We could hardly we accused of being â€œBah, humbug.â€ We have a holiday season filled with light, music, food, family, gifts and most important love. Also, as far as I can tell, we consistently pass the â€œgrandkid test.â€ We are just not very traditional in our approach.
Last year my daughter came across and bought for me at a library sale, a book titled, The Sacred Santa: Religious Dimensions of Consumer Culture by Dell deChant. The book is a kick. It is not however a plea to put Christ back in Christmas, rather the author is championing the idea that Americaâ€™s slide into rampant materialism, is an almost inevitable and natural evolutionary event in the history of religion. The author lays out an annual liturgical calendar, complete with Feast Days, Holy Days, High Holy Days, and even Fasts (after an orgy of eating and spending, most people retrench for a bit), all based on Materialism as the real State Religion of America and ultimately Santa as GOD. Of course Christmas is the â€œholiestâ€ day of the year.
Consider the followingâ€”Santa arrives out of the sky (by helicopter) to the precincts of the local temple (the mall) where he is then enthroned in the center of the temple surrounded by numerous attendants. Petitioners then approach him one by one with their requests. However the â€œblessingsâ€ received will depend on the sacrifices (money) given at the various shrines (stores) of the temple. This all builds to a climax on Christmas Eve when Santa disappears into the night sky not to be seen again until his next annual appearance from the sky to his temple.
Perhaps Latter-day Saints of all people should be most concerned if materialism really is our state religion for we alone are familiar with Ether 2:12
Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.
I believe it is also still in effect that we cannot serve two masters, God and mammon.