Saturday, December 13, 2008

A nice pre-Christmas weekend with the family and some friends brings you...


Thought I'd link this fine article by Dinesh D'Souza from November's Imprimis.

One of the best things about Christmas is that it's a wonderful tradition for all Americans, sometimes even despite the fact that the holiday has the Christian faith as its foundation. You don't have to be a Christian to find the lights beautiful, the music sweet and sentimental, and the general good cheer thoughtful, earnest, and contagious, and personally, I can't imagine a cold, dark winter without this perfect family holy day. I happen to think God intended it this way overall; somehow one can either intently or passively dismiss Christ, and yet still receive the joys and blessings that come astride His presence. And I believe He's glad to give them and glad they're received -whether or not He gets the credit (though I suspect He prefers getting credit.)

This essay discusses the values that Christianity has brought to America, and the world at large, and that one does not have to be a Christian to appreciate them. It begins:

"Christianity is largely responsible for many of the principles and institutions that even secular people cherish—chief among them equality and liberty.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” he called the proposition “self-evident.” But he did not mean that it is immediately evident. It requires a certain kind of learning. And indeed most cultures throughout history, and even today, reject the proposition. At first glance, there is admittedly something absurd about the claim of human equality, when all around us we see dramatic evidence of inequality. People are unequal in height, in weight, in strength, in stamina, in intelligence, in perseverance, in truthfulness, and in about every other quality. But of course Jefferson knew this. He was asserting human equality of a special kind. Human beings, he was saying, are moral equals, each of whom possesses certain equal rights. They differ in many respects, but each of their lives has a moral worth no greater and no less than that of any other...

This idea of the preciousness and equal worth of every human being is largely rooted in Christianity. Christians believe that God places infinite value on every human life. Christian salvation does not attach itself to a person’s family or tribe or city. It is an individual matter... "