You needn't be well-versed in the opening lines of Genesis to know how we got here or who's really in charge. But with the holiest of seasons upon us, we obviously need to be reminded of the reason for the season.
Newspapers and news outlets around the globe remind us each and every day that the economic crises gripping the globe are like spokes that have no wheel, and that the solutions to the crises will stem not from the Beltway or any other world capital of great minds. The problems are fundamentally rooted in the deadly sin of greed; the solutions are as pedestrian as admission and submission to the almighty.
We indulge nonbelievers, who refuse to even acknowledge God, and hail commercialism as the barometer for our health and well-being. But do not be confused -- indeed look what happens when confusion does reign.
The state of Washington granted permission to an organization called Freedom From Religion Foundation to install a plaque in its capitol. The plaque won't be placed anywhere, though. The plaque will accompany the annual nativity scene and it will say: "There are no gods, no devils, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and supersition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."
How's that for confusion? In one statement, viewers are told that the immaculate conception led to the birth of Jesus; but in the statement by the nonbelievers such a conception was impossible because there is no God.
Imagine an inquisitive youngster on the scene with his parents. "That's the Holy Night, right, Dad? So what does the sign say?" "Well, son, the sign says, 'There are no gods, no devils, no heaven or hell. ..." "Dad, how can that be? In Sunday School we were told that Jesus was the only son of God. Is that a lie? And what does it mean there is no heaven?"
The confusion stirs anew 3,000 miles away in another capital, the nation's capital, where buses are adorned with ads that, here again, throw Christianity, well, under the bus. "Why believe in a god?" the ad asks, then answers, "Just be good for goodness' sake."
"Why believe?" " 'A' god"? With a lowercase "g"?
The ads are sponsored by a group calling itself the American Humanist Association. A subheading on its Web site says, "Values for today." How sad. How valueless.
Believers learn in Sunday School that God is a jealous God, and Judeo-Christian teaching commands that we "not have any other gods before" him.
To even allow the specter of belief to be questioned on a public bus system that is heavily subsidized with public dollars is blasphemy. To know that this "humanist" group is in cahoots with "Beltway Atheists" to set up shop in Washington's popular Dupont Circle this coming Sunday (of all days) should have Beltway insiders raising Cain. Indeed. The "humanist" group says while it has received "negative reaction" to its bus ads, it "has been unable to identify serious criticism from Washington, D.C., itself." Well, if I were a hellraiser (heh, heh), they'd certainly hear from me. But there's a guiding light that draws my full time and attention.
As many of us saw Thursday night, the National Christmas Tree was lighted. It's a glorious creature -- an 80-foot blue spruce from Colorado and a heavenly sight to behold. It stands on what's called the Ellipse along the Pathway of Peace. The pathway is dotted with trees from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories. A menorah will be lit for Hanukkah. And I've got to tell you, it's all a very moving scene (makes me teary-eyed every year).
Sure, those are mere symbols that, should the Big Guy decide, could be blown away with the breath of Poseidon. But they are so profound and so bright on a starry night, they make the Confederate flag blush. They are awesome symbolic reminders that America is a young nation -- a nation conceived in the womb of God-given liberty.
So, come all ye faithful. The reason for the Christmas season is undeniable, and we cannot afford to remain silent while others mumble bah humbug. People around the world are hurting. Heck, we're hurting right here in America. But we mustn't pity ourselves or others. We should remain truthful to that same guiding light that made the way for our avarice (huge screen TVs, unaffordable McMansions, cars for teens who can barely drive). You get the picture.
Each Christmas season brings the hullabaloo out from hiding all the year long. But make no mistake: Nonbelievers consider themselves godless, but America is not. There was but one night - one Holy Night -- and we must exalt it. As my favorite president, Thomas Jefferson, said, "But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
Enjoy the holy days.
Deborah Simmons is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. simmons@washington times.com.