My lit­tle dear, it’s not warm out­side

Record Observer - - RELIGION -

Once again, it is the Christ­mas sea­son, which means I have to put up with peo­ple of­fended by ev­ery­thing, par­tic­u­larly that per­tains to Christ­mas.

When I was young, we had a lit­tle say­ing, “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you.” And as far as I un­der­stand, we stood by that say­ing.

Most peo­ple to­day have never heard that say­ing and maybe some­body ought to ed­u­cate them on some of the re­al­i­ties of life. If words are hurt­ing you, some­thing is wrong with “you.”

Every­body is of­fended by some­thing. I am of­fended by peo­ple who are of­fended by things I say, which makes no sense what­so­ever to me.

Where peo­ple got this of­fend-itis dis­ease is be­yond me. I won­der if there is any cure for this kind of dis­ease?

I was in the restau­rant the other day and be­hind me, a per­son sneezed. In­stinc­tively, I turned around and said, “God bless you.”

Of course, I was not ready for the re­ply when the man said to me, “I’m an athe­ist don’t you dare use that word ‘God’ around me.”

I am a gen­tle­man other­wise I might have been tempted to say some­thing like, “Well, then, God curse you.” Thank­fully, I did not say any­thing like that. I won­der if un­spo­ken thoughts re­ally mat­ter along this line?

What puz­zles me is why some­body who does not be­lieve in God is of­fended by the word “GOD.” The fact that he was of­fended by that word tells me that some­where deep in­side of him he be­lieves there is a God. Other­wise, it would never have of­fended him.

If I was an athe­ist and some­one said to me “God bless you,” I would laugh it off be­cause I do not be­lieve in God. To be of­fended by some­thing you do not be­lieve has to be the epit­ome of stu­pid­ity.

An­other of­fen­sive phrase is, “Merry Christ­mas.” I hap­pened to men­tion this to a per­son I was pass­ing in the store and they looked at me kind of Scrooge-like and said, “Don’t you dare wish me a Merry Christ­mas.”

I would like to know why two words like “Merry Christ­mas” are of­fen­sive to any­one?

Be­ing an am­a­teur word­smith, I like to re­search words and try to find out their orig­i­nal mean­ing. There is no way I have found that the two words “Merry” and “Christ­mas” have any­thing what­so­ever of­fen­sive to them. Those of­fended by those two words have a chim­ney that is not smok­ing.

If you are of­fended by those two words, maybe you should con­sider the fact that I may be of­fended by you be­ing of­fended by those words. What of­fends one per­son does not make any sense to some­one else. This is Amer­ica so keep your of­fend­ing at­ti­tude to your­self.

Just the other day I was go­ing into a store and there was a lady be­hind me, so as a gen­tle­man, I opened the door for her and said, “Ladies first.” I would have a hard time un­der­stand­ing the of­fen­sive­ness of those two words.

The lady looked at me and said, “That is the most sex­ist thing I have heard all day.”

I have been try­ing to find out what is sex­ist about those two words.

I am either ho­mo­pho­bic (what­ever that means), racist or sex­ist. I do not know if I am all of these things at dif­fer­ent times or what. I never know if I am one of these un­til some­body tells me I am one.

There are Christ­mas songs that we can­not play on the ra­dio any­more, movies that we can­not watch at Christ­mas time, dec­o­ra­tions that we can­not put out­side our home any­more.

I heard re­cently that the song, “Baby, It’s Cold Out­side,” is of­fen­sive to some peo­ple. I have lis­tened to that for years and can­not fig­ure out the of­fen­sive side of that song.

What’s crazy to me are those of­fended by that song are com­pletely okay with some fe­male singer get­ting on stage barely clothed, singing a de­prav­ity soaked song with lust­ful lyrics you can’t use in pub­lic.

Why is that okay and not sex­ist, but when I open a door for a lady and say, “Ladies First,” that is sex­ist?

Some peo­ple re­fer to this as the war on Christ­mas. If that is true, I be­lieve those peo­ple are los­ing that war. No mat­ter what any­body says or thinks I still will cel­e­brate Christ­mas, wish peo­ple “Merry Christ­mas” and say, “God bless you” when some­body sneezes and open a door for the ladies.

If those things of­fend peo­ple, I am happy and most de­lighted to keep do­ing them.

For years now, there has been a war on Christ­mas, but it seems that Christ­mas comes ev­ery year at the same time. Isn’t that sim­ply amaz­ing? No mat­ter what peo­ple say or how of­fended they are by it, Christ­mas still comes.

I could think of quite a few things that would of­fend me. How­ever, I have a thick skin and a ten­der heart. My life is not de­pended upon some­body be­ing of­fended.

One of my fa­vorite verses in the Bi­ble is in the book of Proverbs.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own un­der­stand­ing. In all thy ways ac­knowl­edge him, and he shall di­rect thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I refuse to let peo­ple who are of­fended by ev­ery­thing di­rect my path. My trust is not in man, but rather “in the Lord.”

Rev. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship. He lives with the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age in Ocala. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or email jamess­ny­[email protected] His web­site is www. jamess­ny­der­min­

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