The Gospel of Luke is what most people seem to associate with the Nativity and Christmas. But the Gospel of Matthew has an important point in it – Joseph “being a good man” didn’t plan to make Mary’s pregnancy public and ask for her to be punished. And he stayed with her, believing the angel in his dreams, and accepting the child as if it were his. Mary was not “just like” modern single mothers.
But that seems to be an unfortunate trend in pop theology and therapeutic Christianity. There’s nothing wrong with being a single mom, or by implication, with the actions required to get in that condition. Or worse, you have the guest editorial writer in the Washington Post who claimed that the Christian Church’s making Mary an example of the importance of bodily purity is hurtful to rape victims and that no human should be expected to be celibate until marriage, and that to recommend such is triggering and cruel. Which, even though I’m not Catholic, is not anywhere in the teachings about Mary that I’ve read or come across.Sometimes it's hard to understand whether someone is truly ignorant of the Christmas story and its meaning or it they're deliberately misinterpreting it. Such is the case with what David French calls "the strange and revealing controversy" over a message sent out by the Republican National Committee that made the left's heads explode (as so many things seem to these days). Goodness, they all fretted, was the RNC actually calling Donald Trump a king and equating him to Christ? Hardly. This was the part of the RNC statement being reacted to:
Merry Christmas to all! Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King. We hope Americans celebrating Christmas today will enjoy a day of festivities and a renewed closeness with family and friends.I'm no expert on Christianity, but even I know that "new King" (note the capitalization, please) refers to Christ.
I have two reactions to this strange little controversy. First, are these folks really so ignorant of Christian language and customs that they don’t understand that the “new King” is Christ? I’ve heard that phrase countless times. “King” is capitalized for crying out loud — a clear reference to the divine.
Two weeks ago, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet told NPR’s Terry Gross, “I think that the New York–based, and Washington-based too, probably, media powerhouses don’t quite get religion.” Yup, and this tiny tempest is Exhibit A.
Next, do liberal journalists and pundits really think so little of the RNC that they actually believe they’d call Trump a king? Do they really think they’d compare the president-elect to Jesus? Apparently so, and that’s a big problem. They’re not even granting the RNC the presumption of rationality. Indeed, they presume the opposite – that their political opponents are delusional.I remember a line from the move "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (haven't read the book so I don't know if it's there, too). Chips said the two things you really need in life are a sense of proportion and a sense of humor. When it comes to covering Donald Trump, the press is going to have neither, so it will be of ever-diminishing value.