Seriously, why Santa? I concede it’s all probably harmless, and “all in good fun” — but why? Wouldn’t kids be more grateful if they knew from day one their gifts came mommy, daddy, grammy, grandpa, or better yet — are blessings from God? Why base their formative years on a fairy tale? Because “everyone else is doing it” and you don’t want your kid to be left out? Is that really a good enough reason? These are genuine questions I’m asking as a new parent who hasn’t had to deal with it yet, and I’m honestly looking for feedback from parents.
The reason I hear the most is that “doing Santa” is a family tradition with many wonderful childhood memories, and parent’s want to re-live these memories with their own children. I don’t have a problem with that, and I respect how people choose to celebrate the Christmas season with their families. The purpose of this blog, however, is to think ‘counter culturally.’ And with that goal in mind, I try to step back and simply evaluate why our culture is so set on carrying on the ruse of jolly old St. Nick with kids, some well into their school-age years.
In my previous blog post I shared a sentiment that there’s nothing inherently bad about Black Friday. And I stand by my conclusions for families that bond over shopping experiences, and are financially responsible in finding the best deals for which they can use to bless their loved ones with holiday gifts. However, for those of us who are grateful we don’t have to leave the comfort of our homes on Thanksgiving and bargain hunt until tomorrow, it’s the Puritans to which we should be thankful.
Maine is one of just 3 states that have preserved Thanksgiving Day from the onslaught of Black Friday consumerism. It’s no coincidence that the other 2 states, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, are both also New England states. “Why”, you ask? Because the reason major retail and grocery stores remain closed on Thanksgiving is a remnant from the New England-based Puritan-inspired “Blue Laws”.
There’s nothing inherently bad about Black Friday, and now large national retailers have decided to open on Thanksgiving. However, Maine is one of just 3 states that have state laws in place that say “no so fast” to this intrusion on the sanctity of post-turkey, supposedly family-strengthening activities such as afternoon napping and uninterrupted football watching.
As if the irony wasn’t already bad enough that we had to wait until the next day to forget everything we were thankful for, and immediately run out to worship at the altar of “spend now, worry about paying later”. Now in 47 states the turkey isn’t even cold before we can hit the stores and buy things we don’t even want for people we don’t really like.
However, I’m not anti-Black Friday…
Zombies are all the rage right now in entertainment. I am not immune to the draw of the zombie-pocalypse storylines as I count myself a fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead. But as I have been consumed by stories of human survival against impossible odds these past 3+ seasons now, there’s one thought I can’t get out of my head. Without God, we are “The Walking Dead” — allow me to explain.
In a new series where I will feature a specific Bangor Area church or Christ-based ministry, Counter Culture takes a look at the church formerly known as Abundant Life for the last 25 years. Located on outer Broadway, they have recently changed their name to Grace Church Bangor.
I reached out to senior minister of the church Russ Hewitt for more information on this transition, and the reasons behind the change.
Last week the Maine ACLU threatened legal action against Biddeford Schools because of a school assembly that one parent deemed “too religious” for their taste. The ACLU said Biddeford could avoid the law suite if they apologized for allowing it — which the school department quickly did — much to the dismay of the Maine Christian Civic League.
I can’t say I’m surprised at how the events unfolded. I don’t expect our public schools to be able to safeguard our children from bullying, peer-pressure, intolerance, and sexual promiscuity when they are subject to appeasing organizations such as the ACLU — whose demands are so “bullish” and intolerant.
Does anyone else notice the irony that on the same day the Federal government shuts down, the Maine sales tax increased because of a deal reached this summer to prevent a similar shutdown at the state level? It seems we either have to keep paying more for government services, or shut them down all together.
But the problem is, governments at all levels have run out of ways to “raise money” because there are less and less people from which to collect it. So the question must be asked – who pays?
Most often, it ends up being the middle class
I typically write about more general topics related to the Christian faith, and my personal faith journey. This time, though, I’d like to use this blog to discuss the passing of a man who changed the landscape of American church. And while he called California his home, his legacy is felt in Maine, and will continue to impact lives here for many years to come.
I sat down at my computer Thursday morning and was met with the news that Pastor Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel church movement in the mid-1960′s, had died. But Pastor Chuck Smith did not die, he moved. In 1994, those were his words…
The mega TV hit Breaking Bad aired it’s series finale last night, and social media is abuzz with how things wrapped up. I have never watched the show, but it has come up on my radar a few times over the years. Therefore, I did some investigating to see if it’s something worth adding to the Netflix queue.
Things seemed promising when I found a recent commentary on Christianity Today that says “we need Breaking Bad” because the consequences of our choices (and lack of good ones) are lived out by main character Walt and his co-horts. His downward spiral is something we absolutely can’t miss, lest we spiral downward ourselves.
On September 25th the ’40 days for Life’ prayer vigil kicked off in Bangor and will run until November 3rd. As a peaceful national campaign, ’40 Days for Life’ participants pray and fast near abortion clinics with the goal that visitors may see them and think twice about their decision, and ultimately choose life for their unborn baby. Perhaps more importantly, those praying simply believe God will use their prayers to change hearts and minds concerning this issue.
In Bangor, those wishing to participate gather at the entrance to Evergreen Woods at 700 Mt. Hope avenue (across from the Bangor Humane Society) anytime between 7AM and 7PM. Evergreen Woods is home to the Mabel Wadsworth Center where abortion procedures take place regularly.