2020’s agonies make it more important than ever that I count my blessings — and sharing America’s Christmas spirit is a very big blessing.
Every year, I post my favorite Christmas song, which is Josh Groban’s live version of O Holy Night. This has been a strange year but I’m not going to abandon that tradition. Also, not every year but often, I use Christmas as a springboard to express my gratitude for the gift of Christianity — most specifically, America’s Christianity.
American Christians are very special people in that they generously share Christmas with everyone! There’s no price tag. I don’t have to give up my secular, cultural (and moral, I hope) Judaism to be enveloped in the loving, happy Christmas spirit. That spirit is everywhere — in the well-wishes from friends and strangers, in the beautiful lights that surround me, and in the hopeful spirit of the season. Christians carry it in their hearts even when our federal, state, and local governments takes on the character of Scrooge and the Grinch combined, except that none of these institutional tyrants and haters show signs that their hearts will change this year.
I’m also grateful for American Christians because those churches that have not embraced Marx as their central tenet in place of the New Testament are not anti-Semitic. My parents were afraid of Christianity. They came from Europe and associated Christianity with anti-Semitism. Even the fact that the greatest anti-Semitic killer the world has ever known was a socialist who rejected the church did not change their view. To them, European Christianity was a threat and, if Hitler went mad, the backdrop was a thousand years of a church that hated Jews.
That’s not the case in America, at least among traditional denominations. And with America’s angry leftists becoming ever more open about their anti-Semitism (ironically, as the Muslim Middle East is starting to embrace Jews and Israel), I am daily grateful for American Christians. Thank you for being you and understanding brotherhood and pluralism in a free country.
With that, I freely and happily wish everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike, a very Merry Christmas. Whether as a deeply religious occasion or a shared spirit of seasonal joy, it’s a wonderful holiday. And what better way to do it than with Josh Groban’s beautiful O Holy Night?