Liberals at Yuletide

"And So This Is Christmas," released as "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" in 1972, is a Beatles Christmas classic.  I enjoy a lot of Beatles songs, but this one has always been a problem for me.  Voted the most popular Christmas song in Britain time and again, to me it seems a sarcastic and small-minded attack on Christmas and on the ordinary people who derive so much meaning from it.  It is typical of John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's alienation from the ordinary working people whom Lennon grew up with.

In this way, Lennon was not at all different from other liberal celebs.  His views on life were the same as those of most hypocritical left-wingers from Hollywood to Kensington to Manhattan's Upper East Side, where Lennon was assassinated in December 1980.  Millionaires all, they decry the evils of capitalism and preach poverty for others.  These are the celebrity atheists, thousands of them, who will never utter "Merry Christmas" or speak of the "real meaning of Christmas."

For these liberals, it's just not cool to say "Merry Christmas" because Christmas marks the birth of Christ, and if there's one thing liberals agree on, it's that Christianity must be driven out of the public arena.  Not Islam, not Buddhism, not Kwanzaa, but Christianity.  The faith of 245 million Americans must be suppressed because liberals judge it to be a repressive religion with a past (and present) of intolerance and domination.   

Lennon himself was, for a time, keenly interested in the message of Christ, going so far as to watch videos of Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, and Oral Roberts, with whom Lennon corresponded when he sought a way out of the drug-addicted mess of his life.  Unfortunately, he could never come to terms with what he felt was the "uptight" and hypocritical behavior of many believers.  As Jesse Carey wrote on CBN.com, "it was Christians who made him not want to be part of the church."

Like many liberals, Lennon turned from Christianity to universalism, a pseudo-religious moral code based partly on Christianity but drained of all Christian and other specifically religious references.  If Lennon's "religion" was actually derived from Christianity, why should he go out of his way to mock Christmas and Christians, as he often did throughout his life (as when he appeared to do when he famously announced in 1966 that the Beatles were "bigger than Jesus")?  If there is so little difference in moral perspectives — if in fact universalism is in some respects similar to Christianity — why should liberals be so disdainful of Christian faith (as Obama was when he mocked conservatives clinging to their "guns or religion"?

The answer is that it is not just a moral distinction, though there is that, that drives liberal disdain — it is a fierce desire to maintain a social distinction wherein liberals believe themselves to be intellectually and culturally superior to conservatives.  The central appeal of liberalism is the sense of superiority it confers on its followers, no matter how hollow its basis.  The appeal of liberalism is to know, indisputably and at every moment of one's life, that you, as a liberal, are better than those mindless ordinary persons that you grew up with.

The joke is on liberals, of course.  They are the ones who are unreflective in having so easily dismissed thousands of years of spiritual and moral wisdom in favor of a flimsy and misguided version of the truth.  The wise man is the one who has thought deeply about the civilization into which he has been born and who understands how much of value exists in that tradition.  Is it likely that I, as one individual, possess more wisdom than all of the great minds of the past?  Or even that my generation, those of us inhabiting this planet at the end of 2019, know more than did all of the generations that preceded us?

That, in effect, is what liberals are telling us, and it is why they insist on suppressing the traditional faith of ordinary believers.  Despite the superficial arguments of "scientific" atheists like Richard Dawkins ("you can't see God, so he doesn't exist"), the true intellectual is the person who lives his life according to a stable and widely shared faith in a benevolent God.  That person would not have to write Oral Roberts pleading for help ("I want out of hell," Lennon wrote).

There are countless liberals who also live in the midst of broken marriages, drug and alcohol addiction, and hopeless lives and who also want "out of hell," but they are too proud to admit it.  What stands in their way is a refusal to abandon their sense of superiority.  They simply cannot survive without that constant assurance that they are better than the common man who lives with his faith in God, family, and country.

That faith is what liberals wish to tear down, at Christmastime and all year long.  It is why liberals like Lennon, who soon abandoned his quest for Christian faith, could sing in such a disdainful and self-assured manner of a world that is "wrong," filled with income inequality, racism, and hypocritical Christians celebrating Christmas.

That is the same message as in Lennon's even better known song "Imagine," the unofficial anthem of liberals everywhere.  What Lennon seeks is a "perfect" world with no belief in God or afterlife, no love of country, no "possessions" — in other words, a world of atheism, universalism, and communism.

While some liberals — I'm thinking of Joe Biden and Mayor Pete — are coy about admitting it, that is the godless, egalitarian world that liberals have sought for over a century now.  Biden and Buttigieg are just as much a part of the liberal tradition as are Marx, Stalin, and Castro, all of whom were known for supporting the brutal suppression of Christianity.      

During this "holiday season," I greet my friends with a hearty "Merry Christmas," as natural and unaffected a greeting as "good morning" or "how are you?," and most of them respond with something like "Merry Christmas to you!"  I find that comforting, because beneath that simple exchange lies an acknowledgment of the ancient civilization we live in and of its shared love, faith, and protection, not just for believers, but for all human beings.

I offer that greeting even to my liberal friends, not to force my faith on them, but as a humble gesture of goodwill.  Who knows?  Maybe someday one of them will drop his pretentions and respond, "Merry Christmas to you, too!"  That would make my Christmas complete.

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).

"And So This Is Christmas," released as "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" in 1972, is a Beatles Christmas classic.  I enjoy a lot of Beatles songs, but this one has always been a problem for me.  Voted the most popular Christmas song in Britain time and again, to me it seems a sarcastic and small-minded attack on Christmas and on the ordinary people who derive so much meaning from it.  It is typical of John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's alienation from the ordinary working people whom Lennon grew up with.

In this way, Lennon was not at all different from other liberal celebs.  His views on life were the same as those of most hypocritical left-wingers from Hollywood to Kensington to Manhattan's Upper East Side, where Lennon was assassinated in December 1980.  Millionaires all, they decry the evils of capitalism and preach poverty for others.  These are the celebrity atheists, thousands of them, who will never utter "Merry Christmas" or speak of the "real meaning of Christmas."

For these liberals, it's just not cool to say "Merry Christmas" because Christmas marks the birth of Christ, and if there's one thing liberals agree on, it's that Christianity must be driven out of the public arena.  Not Islam, not Buddhism, not Kwanzaa, but Christianity.  The faith of 245 million Americans must be suppressed because liberals judge it to be a repressive religion with a past (and present) of intolerance and domination.   

Lennon himself was, for a time, keenly interested in the message of Christ, going so far as to watch videos of Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, and Oral Roberts, with whom Lennon corresponded when he sought a way out of the drug-addicted mess of his life.  Unfortunately, he could never come to terms with what he felt was the "uptight" and hypocritical behavior of many believers.  As Jesse Carey wrote on CBN.com, "it was Christians who made him not want to be part of the church."

Like many liberals, Lennon turned from Christianity to universalism, a pseudo-religious moral code based partly on Christianity but drained of all Christian and other specifically religious references.  If Lennon's "religion" was actually derived from Christianity, why should he go out of his way to mock Christmas and Christians, as he often did throughout his life (as when he appeared to do when he famously announced in 1966 that the Beatles were "bigger than Jesus")?  If there is so little difference in moral perspectives — if in fact universalism is in some respects similar to Christianity — why should liberals be so disdainful of Christian faith (as Obama was when he mocked conservatives clinging to their "guns or religion"?

The answer is that it is not just a moral distinction, though there is that, that drives liberal disdain — it is a fierce desire to maintain a social distinction wherein liberals believe themselves to be intellectually and culturally superior to conservatives.  The central appeal of liberalism is the sense of superiority it confers on its followers, no matter how hollow its basis.  The appeal of liberalism is to know, indisputably and at every moment of one's life, that you, as a liberal, are better than those mindless ordinary persons that you grew up with.

The joke is on liberals, of course.  They are the ones who are unreflective in having so easily dismissed thousands of years of spiritual and moral wisdom in favor of a flimsy and misguided version of the truth.  The wise man is the one who has thought deeply about the civilization into which he has been born and who understands how much of value exists in that tradition.  Is it likely that I, as one individual, possess more wisdom than all of the great minds of the past?  Or even that my generation, those of us inhabiting this planet at the end of 2019, know more than did all of the generations that preceded us?

That, in effect, is what liberals are telling us, and it is why they insist on suppressing the traditional faith of ordinary believers.  Despite the superficial arguments of "scientific" atheists like Richard Dawkins ("you can't see God, so he doesn't exist"), the true intellectual is the person who lives his life according to a stable and widely shared faith in a benevolent God.  That person would not have to write Oral Roberts pleading for help ("I want out of hell," Lennon wrote).

There are countless liberals who also live in the midst of broken marriages, drug and alcohol addiction, and hopeless lives and who also want "out of hell," but they are too proud to admit it.  What stands in their way is a refusal to abandon their sense of superiority.  They simply cannot survive without that constant assurance that they are better than the common man who lives with his faith in God, family, and country.

That faith is what liberals wish to tear down, at Christmastime and all year long.  It is why liberals like Lennon, who soon abandoned his quest for Christian faith, could sing in such a disdainful and self-assured manner of a world that is "wrong," filled with income inequality, racism, and hypocritical Christians celebrating Christmas.

That is the same message as in Lennon's even better known song "Imagine," the unofficial anthem of liberals everywhere.  What Lennon seeks is a "perfect" world with no belief in God or afterlife, no love of country, no "possessions" — in other words, a world of atheism, universalism, and communism.

While some liberals — I'm thinking of Joe Biden and Mayor Pete — are coy about admitting it, that is the godless, egalitarian world that liberals have sought for over a century now.  Biden and Buttigieg are just as much a part of the liberal tradition as are Marx, Stalin, and Castro, all of whom were known for supporting the brutal suppression of Christianity.      

During this "holiday season," I greet my friends with a hearty "Merry Christmas," as natural and unaffected a greeting as "good morning" or "how are you?," and most of them respond with something like "Merry Christmas to you!"  I find that comforting, because beneath that simple exchange lies an acknowledgment of the ancient civilization we live in and of its shared love, faith, and protection, not just for believers, but for all human beings.

I offer that greeting even to my liberal friends, not to force my faith on them, but as a humble gesture of goodwill.  Who knows?  Maybe someday one of them will drop his pretentions and respond, "Merry Christmas to you, too!"  That would make my Christmas complete.

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).