PietasWith all of the screaming, screeching, and wailing about Christmas somehow being outlawed (it isn’t, of course), as well as how it’s somehow necessary for Christians to make a point of openly celebrating Christmas — to the extent that they demand everyone they ever come across wishes them a “merry Christmas” and puts up Christmas trees to entertain them — I can’t help but wonder how truly “Christian” all of this is.

You see, Jesus himself condemned open displays of piety and righteousness. This is a reality of their own religion of which most Christians are inexplicably and inexcusably unaware. The words of Jesus as recorded in the gospels are clear on this matter. Perhaps the best such passage is found in the gospel according to Matthew (emphasis mine):

Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-6)

I just don’t see how any of the sanctimonious caterwauling about Christmas can possibly be interpreted as being in line with this philosophy. I assume that Christians can easily cook up a rationale for how their very-public worship of Christmas — including demands that everyone else worship it right alongside them, regardless of their own religion — somehow does mesh with this. They generally are quite willing to rationalize away pretty much the entireties of the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain (the above-quoted passage is part of the former). But these are arguably the very “core” of what it means to be Christian … which means it’s not appropriate for them to cook up reasons to ignore them.

Someday Christians will mature to the point where they can be comfortable with their own religion, all by themselves, without imposing it simultaneously on everyone else … but that day, sadly, is not going to come soon.

Photo credit: scazon.

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6 Responses to “Christmas And Public Displays Of Piety”
  1. […] — explicitly forbidden to all Christians, under all conditions — it’s also a form of public piety, which is likewise explicitly forbidden to all Christians, under all […]

  2. […] note that this huge event is precisely the sort of “public piety” that — as I’ve blogged previously — the founder of Perry’s own religion, Jesus Christ himself, explicitly and clearly […]

  3. […] hope Siplin realizes that, in saying this, he violated Jesus’ explicit and unmistakable command never to engage in public piety (see Matthew 6:1-6 among other gospel passages). These militant […]

  4. […] good Christians out there who love to make a big fucking deal of how they celebrate Christmas, that your own Jesus himself clearly and specifically ordered you never to engage in public displays of pi… like this. It’s unbiblical of you to do it (see Mt 6:1-6 among other passages inside your own […]

  5. […] their desire to celebrate Christmas, is an unabashed — and unmistakable — violation of Jesus’ own injunction against any and all forms of public piety. I suggest they stick a crowbar into their precious Bibles, crack them open a bit, and read their […]

  6. […] What’s amazing about examples of hypocrisy like this one, is not that they happen. It almost goes without saying that there are people who will fail to live up to their ideals. It happens all the time — in religious venues, and in others. What’s surprising, though, are the lengths people go to in order to defend their hypocrisy, especially when they’re Christians who are not permitted ever to be hypocritical. What’s equally amazing are the other Christian sheep willing to pretend these people have done nothing wrong and that their hypocrisy is OK. Clearly they have no clue about the teachings of their own religion’s founder, in spite of the fact that they loudly trumpet their own Christianity — and this only compounds their error, since expressing one’s piety publicly also violates Jesus’ teachings. […]