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The estimable, not to say legendary, Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. reflects on what he calls “the fear of Christmas.” His conclusion:

The fear of Christmas is something even more basic, or perhaps more sinister. Why is that? It is one thing simply not to know something because we have never encountered it or thought about it. It is another thing when, having heard of it, we refuse to allow it to be known. We organize our polity in such a way that every obstacle is put in the way of knowing it.

We are not yet like the countries which seek to prevent private expressions or celebration of Christmas. But with developments such as our increasing denial that marriage is of a man and a woman, we belong to the same mentality. We have taken the first step, and perhaps more than the first.

Christmas is a dangerous feast. We fear it. We do not allow ourselves to consider it. Yet, somehow, we still envy those who know this feast of domesticity. “Unto us a Child is born.” “What Child is this?” If this Child is indeed “Christ the Lord,” what happens to us who make every effort to prevent its truth from being known?


Earlier in the piece, he observes that Christmas has become a mere winter festival, a feast without a reason.  It has become “irrational” in public precisely because we apparently cannot officially or publicly acknowledge the reason.

Of course, one could respond that there are plenty of us who continue to understand “the reason for the season.”  But there remains an important distinction between official indifference and official accommodation.  Is not indifference a step from accommodation in the direction of hostility?

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