Together in Spirit

Browsing From the Desk of Fr. Mike

Christmas and TV Ads?

Dec 10, 2018

The Advent/Christmas season confuses me more and more as I get older. There has been a great working to secularize our nation, and for the most part I have not minded the effort. As long as there is religious liberty it makes sense to me that no one religion should dominate our nation’s attitude. It has not bothered me that our public schools have reduced and even removed a religious influence. The passing on of religious faith belongs to the family, not the school system. As long as our government does not limit the family’s right to pass on the faith to their children I support the religious diversity within our society.

My confusion of this season comes from watching the many different sales pitches both on TV and other advertisements that make use of our Christian ethic to sell their products. In this age of religious diversity why is the Christian message twisted and used to sell cars, jewelry, and all sorts of other odd products instead of Muslim, Jewish or other faith expressions? My real preference would be that these merchants sell their products based on the merit of the product instead of making use of some latent religious sentimentality.

You would think in this era of a growing population of “nones” (those who are choosing not to recognize any religious preference) the merchants might begin to find a methodology that would appeal to this group of people. I would very much encourage this so that they would quit using some of the most precious insights of Christianity for their own ends.

I find it interesting that there are those who have grown so used to the cultural domination of Christianity that they try to fight this cultural misappropriation by telling us that we need to keep Christ in Christmas. No, I would much rather allow our religious culture slip into the background so that it would not be abused by the secular culture in which we live.

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