Every year around the holidays, the left sneers about the overabundance of “war on Christmas” stories in the media. The Scrapbook is tired of hearing about it as well, though that’s because we’re also weary of the left’s zeal in stamping out innocuous public displays of faith.
And so it was with resignation that we read that UC-Berkeley’s student government was trying to ban the appearance on campus of Salvation Army bell-ringers owing to the church’s stance on homosexuality. It’s true—the Salvation Army holds fast to traditional Christian beliefs that homosexual acts are sinful and marriage is between a man and a woman. We understand that many people disagree with this position, but the question is whether disagreement on this one issue is so important that it requires opposing the Salvation Army’s historic and admirable commitment to helping those in need. Last time we looked, we didn’t see thousands of members of the Human Rights Campaign standing out in the cold soliciting donations for the poor.
This narrow focus on the areas where Christianity runs afoul of modern liberalism elevates ideology over deeds and nearly always neglects to note where the church has been a force for good. In a historical sense, without Christianity it’s a good bet that women’s rights as we know them would be rare (which is why they still don’t flourish in vast swaths of the non-Christian world). The abolitionist movement owed its underpinnings to Christianity, as did the civil rights movement and much of the 20th-century political drive to establish a social safety net for the poor. Do liberals not approve of the church having publicly exercised moral leadership on these issues?
Apparently none of this matters. So long as many Christians still oppose policies that undermine the traditional family and refuse to sanction killing unborn children as a matter of “personal freedom,” some liberals will be deeply invested in portraying churches as the most oppressive institutions ever.
Still, if you are one of these -Scrooges offended by encountering the words “Merry Christmas!” on public property and cannot summon the largeness of heart to tolerate any organization that deviates from liberal orthodoxy on gay marriage, no matter how much good they may do elsewhere, The Scrapbook, in the spirit of the season, would nonetheless like to wish you and yours an enjoyable Winter Solstice and the good fortune never to find yourself in need of the sorts of social services provided by the Salvation Army.