Is it Borrowing or Hijacking Words and Symbols?
The English language is a dynamic living thing: words are taken in from other languages, new words are invented ( see: http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/wordsinvented.html ) and new meaning assigned to words in common use quite easily. Words like gay, naughty, guy or even meat are examples. ( See: http://ideas.ted.com/20-words-that-once-meant-something-very-different/ for more) Some symbols have had their meaning altered as well: The Rainbow, The Hindu Swastika or the Star of David all have had meanings altered through history. Some changes are benign, others positive but some changes are not welcome and the new meaning a result of what those who disapprove refer to the word or symbol as being “hijacked”.
We Cannot Prevent Change
Hard as we may try we cannot stop the processes that alter the meanings of words or symbols. Christmas itself originated when Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity. Once Christian Faith was accepted and allowed it was practiced openly. The celebrations and holidays recognized by “The Church” then were incorporated into the life of the people. Some symbols that were originally associated with other meanings (celebrations at the winter solstice for example) were adopted and today seem like they were always associated with the way we see them. So yes, even we who may express concern of cultural morphing of some words and symbols can trace some of our traditional usage as having been “hijacked”. However I am not defending what was hijacked from our Christian culture or tradition on the contrary, I associated the Christian view of American culture and traditions as an important part of our identity as a people.
As Americans we value our liberty, freedom of speech and our tolerance of things different. Yes this is part of what makes us who we are and what has made us a great nation. Yet I do not want to lose our strong social, cultural and traditional identity and as a Christian Nation. I will discus the issue of Church and State in The United States in a future post to my blog, this topic is not about that. This article is intended to express the need to keep the true meaning of Christmas and the strong positive Christian influence on America vibrant and as a Nationwide observance even as we tolerate different perspectives. I defend the absolute right for all Americans to say, “Merry Christmas” to any and everyone they choose because it is a part of the United States of America’s very foundation.
My song: “Think of Christmas Long Ago”
What the Bible Says About the Meaning of Christmas
Luke 2:11 ESV
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Isaiah 7:14 ESV
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.