I haven’t attended church in a long time, foregoing the “must attend” events of Easter and Christmas instead of appearing to be hypocritical. There’s a story behind my attendance, but I’ll save that for a later rant.
Instead, I wanted to comment on Pope Benedict’s warning earlier today against rampant materialism which he said was “polluting the spirit of Christmas.”
“In today’s consumer society, this time of the year unfortunately suffers from a sort of commercial ‘pollution’ that threatens to alter its real spirit,” the Pope told a large crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square to hear his weekly Angelus blessing.
He said Christmas should be marked with sober celebrations and urged Christians to display a nativity crib in their houses as “a simple but effective way of showing their faith and conveying it to their children.”
Last year, under Pope John Paul, the Vatican launched a high-profile campaign to urge Roman Catholic Italy not to compromise the spirit of Christmas through excess or dilute its message out of fear of offending a growing Muslim population.
I whole-heartedly agree with the Pope’s statement. I have ranted against the commercialism of the “holidays” for years now. They’re “holy days” that should be observed with reverence, not the latest and greatest electronic do-dads or high top sneakers. Don’t get me wrong, I actually LIKE the idea of exchanging gifts with others, but I think that the focus of our attention is misdirected. And the idea of PCing Christmas has got to stop. Again, another rant for a later date….
That said, I went out today and bought myself a little Christmas gift. OK, yes, I recognize the hypocrisy… But it was a deal too good to pass up – I paid $149.99 at Costco. And it IS an awesome series. And it DOES represent the battle of good vs. evil. It’s almost church-like.