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James Martin, S.J.December 21, 2010

Dissecting the topic on "Fox & Friends."  Or at least as much as I can in 3:26 minutes.  By the way, I note that for all of Fox's televised anger over the so-called "War on Christmas," the lobby of the Fox News Building had a menorah, but no creche!

Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

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Jonathon Santilli
12 years 1 month ago

I would think that Fox would rather have this group of "Christians" on thier little early morning chat fest...

david power
12 years 1 month ago

Fr Martin,

An Italian journalist has attacked your concept of the "War on Christmas" in a typically elegant Italian way.I am too lazy to translate it but it also takes a shot at the media for the same "crime" as yourself. I hope you have someone there who could give you a rough verbal translation.

12 years 1 month ago
Nice job (and I never thought I would see you on that channel ;)

I still hear cognitive dissonance on your part, though.  Yes, the consumerism produces a negative effect - but advertizing does not come out of nowhere, it addresses the psychology and popular culture of the people.

To address materialism you must also address the hyper individualism that dominates our country.  But you seem unable to want to make this point because it implicates your ideology - i.e. liberalism.  (it also implicates the right)

Do you not see that the liberal culture you promote - with a focus on autonomy and and sexual freedom ("love whoever YOU want") contributes to this bleak materialism that caters exclusively to the satisfaction of individual desires.

The problem is cultural and the commericalization of Christmas that you rightly denounce is merely a symptom - it is not the root.

Vince Killoran
12 years 1 month ago
Nice job Fr Martin.  The hosts were trying to pull you into a politicized interpretation but you stayed on message and correctly addressed rampant consumerism. It's probably not the take-away the folks who annually wage the faux war on Christmas will easily accept.
12 years 1 month ago
Very nice interview.  I personally have mixed feelings having experienced the joy of Christmas for as long as I can remember and that involved receiving gifts and as one got older, giving them.  I search each Christmas for something appropriate and that has utility and fun.  But Christmas always involved the birth of Christ as there were creches, tree ornaments that were religious and images of the three kings sprinkled around the house and the top of the tree had to be an angel.  There was always Mass and there still is with your family.  It was a mini season that created joy with a lot of people and the giving of gifts were part of it.  Tomorrow my whole family will be in the house and there will be Christmas carols as well as fun.

Maybe we should adopt the Latin America or at least Mexico tradition (I do not know how many countries do this) of giving gifts on January 6th.  That separates the two events, the birth of Christ and the giving of gifts which are symbolized by the wise men.  I think you can have both.  Since I was a young adult Christmas has always meant giving.  One of the great stories was the Gift of the Magi and how important giving was to each individual in that story.

And the gifts you give could be what one can use all the year.  My problem is not so much the gift giving at Christmas as the gift giving at the drop of a hat the rest of the year.  I told my wife once that it became a real struggle to find uniques gifts for her for her birthday, anniversary, Mother's day as well as Christmas.  A couple presents at Christmas always brought a smile for everyone and the survey is right, it is a major bringing together of family.   I understand the loss of the meaning of Christmas but we have four creches spread around the house and where possible the Christ child will not appear till the 25th and the kids know this.  They know the story of Christmas.
Gabriel McAuliffe
12 years 1 month ago
Brent -

Good grief!  You could be correct to a degree but Fr. Martin is echoing something that was written as reflections in copies of the St. Joseph's Missal back in the 1950s.  Consumerism is something that we as a church has been rallying against for some time, from the encyclicals of Leo XIII, Pius XI, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.

Consumerism is only a means toward an end but with so much pressure to purchase gifts, we lose sight of the true gift which is Christ our Lord, our precious Savior.

Merry Christmas and God bless you and Fr. Martin.

Mary Nolan
12 years 1 month ago
Interesting article in yesterdays Providence Journal by Jill Labbe of the Fort Worth Star Telegram...the gist of which was "Once the birth of Jesus was made a national holiday taking Christ out of Christmas was destined to happen".  Made me wonder...
Mary Nolan
12 years 1 month ago
Gabriel, I said the good father did a nice job!  ;)

But, I cannot help but notice him promoting hyper individualism - a la his recent comment on repeal of DADT thread - and then on this thread complaining about the results of that individualistic culture: vapid consumerism.

We need consistency/logic for things to make sense, right?

Merry Christmas to you, too!

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