Tag Archives: war

War on Christmas Over!

“It’s okay to say that now. ‘Merry Christmas’ is back.”

Or so declared a number of Fox News voices on a mash-up video from a left-wing site, posted by one of my friends from that political camp. On the video, President-Elect Trump makes a show of proclaiming, “Merry Christmas” to the crowd, and the video cuts to supporters going wild. The newscasters delighted that the war on Christmas might now be over.

So I guess we win, or whatever. Religious Right, assemble! On to the next vile foe we must defeat to preserve America’s position as God’s favorite!

One of many battlegrounds!
One of many battlegrounds!

That a secular government–by design and by the Constitution–would take pains to be inclusive by not singling out one religion over another should come as no surprise. “Happy Holidays” is a way of recognizing “Maybe not all of you are Christians and some of you might celebrate something else during this season.”

But it’s been spun up for years as a “war,” as if not saying “Merry Christmas” is akin to denouncing the faith or outlawing worship. What if coffee shops don’t offer Christmas cups? What if a store clerk says, “Happy Holidays” to me? This is just one step in the advancement of the liberal agenda to destroy America, of course, so we’re told. Because we have to remember how bad “they” are and how imperiled our freedoms are, so that we keep a good, rabid voting base to get the GOP candidates elected.

Dear Christians, is the President-Elect saying “Merry Christmas” the victory we want? Is that the Good News we proclaim? Christmas is back now, guys; it was gone for the last eight years or something, but Trump said the word and now everything is better!

This changes nothing, and we’re foolish if we think it does.

Is saying the word “Christmas” the important part? Or maybe it’s a blow to politically correct culture that we celebrate? “I’ll say, ‘Merry Christmas’ and if you don’t like it then too bad!” Which totally sounds like the love of God revealed.

That’s what Christmas is about, right? The love of God revealed in the Son of God who entered a broken world and became one of us? That Jesus came in the image of fallen humanity in order to show us how to live and free us from the power of sin? We celebrate Christmas because it starts a story that leads to a cross and an empty tomb, not because “boy it really gets under those progressives’ skin when I say it, hehehe.”

My thanks go out to those who are actually on frontlines that matter:

…those ministering to the poor,

…those reaching out to the wounded and hurting during tough times,

…those who preach the Gospel around the country and around the world,

…those working to fight human trafficking and sexual exploitation,

…those providing comfort and counsel to military members deployed worldwide,

…those speaking life and hope in prisons so that men and women don’t continue down the same paths that got them incarcerated, and so on.

I’m pretty sure these are the wars Jesus won at the cross and the empty tomb. These are the war-zones where His victory needs to be proclaimed and His compassion displayed.

Those wars–where we battle not against Leftists or Democrats or Liberals, not against flesh and blood–those are still ongoing. That’s where we’re needed, because that’s where lives can be changed.

To my fellow believers, merry Christmas. Let’s not forget what it is we say we’re celebrating.

Distinguishing Ourselves

Tirade Thursday has often been about my workplace experiences, so I wanted this week to be different. But nothing particularly rant-worthy came to mind. “Surely the military or the government won’t let me down,” I thought. And this morning, I was greeted with this gem:

The Distinguished Warfare Medal
The Distinguished Warfare Medal

The Military Times news story is here.

“It’s difficult to deal with the stress of combat operations–engaging enemies and providing fire support to soldiers on the ground–and then drive home to your family in Base Housing where everything is normal and peaceful. It’s hard to deal with the strain of that dichotomy.” — paraphrase of a recent AF media article about drone pilots.

I share the above not in jest, and I’ve taken care to portray the sentiment as accurately as possible.

Ok, I get it. I think it might be challenging to come home and play with the kids like everything’s fine if I just saw an IED take out a friendly vehicle and then I launched Hellfires at enemy positions attacking the rest of a convoy in Afghanistan. That would be jarring.

The guys in the convoy returning fire and providing medical care to stabilize the wounded until they can get safely evacuated… those men and women might be doing something a bit more taxing, a bit more worthy of recognition.

Drone pilots are the easy kill on this issue. We can make fun of the AF “Boy Scout RC Flyer Merit Badge” and all that. But this is meant to include more than just remote piloted aircraft. This can include electronic and cyberwarfare actions as well.

I think that’s fantastic.

Defense Secretary Panetta wants to recognize that we live in a new world with modern technology that is changing and reshaping how we go to war. He wants to ensure we reward the hard work done by these ever-increasing specialized weapon systems and the technicians (and pilots) behind them. Good. I wholeheartedly agree.

But it should never trump valorous deeds in combat where your life and the lives of your unit are on the line.

The hypothetical convoy is not dealing with the difficulties of war on a drive home to their families and friends in their comfy suburban home. They’re driving on to their Firebase, all the while checking for the next hidden IED or ambush, wondering if they’re going to make it through the next few weeks or months until they get to return home (in order to get ready for the next deployment to the battlefield).

Putting the actions of a drone pilot above those people with boots on the ground is a gross disservice to our volunteer force.

I’m pretty sure very few people really begrudge the existence of the award. What really burns us is the importance attached to it, another example of the misplaced priorities and completely backwards emphasis on the wrong goals.

Yes, that’s the government for you. Yes, that’s a common experience after years in federal service.

That doesn’t make it alright.

Congratulations, DoD, we’ve distinguished ourselves once again… just not in the way anyone hoped.