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The Greatest Traditional Gift For All

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Cross-posted from Paul Craig Roberts


Christmas is a time of traditions. If you have found time in the rush before Christmas to decorate a tree, you are sharing in a relatively new tradition. Although the Christmas tree has ancient roots, at the beginning of the 20th century only one in five American families put up a tree. It was 1920 before the Christmas tree became the hallmark of the season. Calvin Coolidge was the first President to light a national Christmas tree on the White House lawn.

Gifts are another shared custom. This tradition comes from the wise men or three kings who brought gifts to baby Jesus. When I was a kid, gifts were more modest than they are now, but even then people were complaining about the commercialization of Christmas. We have grown accustomed to the commercialization. Christmas sales are the backbone of many businesses. Gift giving causes us to remember others and to take time from our harried lives to give them thought.

The decorations and gifts of Christmas are one of our connections to a Christian culture that has held Western civilization together for 2,000 years.

In our culture the individual counts. This permits an individual person to put his or her foot down, to take a stand on principle, to become a reformer and to take on injustice.

This empowerment of the individual is unique to Western civilization. It has made the individual a citizen equal in rights to all other citizens, protected from tyrannical government by the rule of law and free speech. These achievements are the products of centuries of struggle, but they all flow from the teaching that God so values the individual's soul that he sent his son to die so we might live. By so elevating the individual, Christianity gave him a voice.

Formerly only those with power had a voice. But in Western civilization people with integrity have a voice. So do people with a sense of justice, of honor, of duty, of fair play. Reformers can reform, investors can invest, and entrepreneurs can create commercial enterprises, new products and new occupations.

The result was a land of opportunity. The United States attracted immigrants who shared our values and reflected them in their own lives. Our culture was absorbed by a diverse people who became one.

In recent decades we have lost sight of the historic achievement that empowered the individual. The religious, legal and political roots of this great achievement are no longer reverently taught in high schools, colleges and universities or respected by our government. The voices that reach us through the millennia and connect us to our culture are being silenced by "political correctness" and "the war on terror." 

Prayer has been driven from schools and Christian religious symbols from public life. Constitutional protections have been diminished by hegemonic political ambitions. Indefinite detention, torture, and murder are now acknowledged practices of the United States government. The historic achievement of due process has been rolled back. Tyranny has re-emerged.

Diversity at home and hegemony abroad are consuming values and are dismantling the culture and the rule of law. There is plenty of room for cultural diversity in the world, but not within a single country. A Tower of Babel has no culture. A person cannot be a Christian one day, a pagan the next and a Muslim the day after. A hodgepodge of cultural and religious values provides no basis for law -- except the raw power of the pre-Christian past. 

All Americans have a huge stake in Christianity. Whether or not we are individually believers in Christ, we are beneficiaries of the moral doctrine that has curbed power and protected the weak. Power is the horse ridden by evil. In the 20th century the horse was ridden hard, and the 21st century shows an increase in pace. Millions of people were exterminated in the 20th century by National Socialists in Germany and by Soviet and Chinese communists simply because they were members of a race or class that had been demonized by intellectuals and political authority. In the beginning years of the 21st century, hundreds of thousands of Muslims in seven countries have already been murdered and millions displaced, because their religion does not submit to Washington's hegemony.

Power that is secularized and cut free of civilizing traditions is not limited by moral and religious scruples. V.I. Lenin made this clear when he defined the meaning of his dictatorship as "unlimited power, resting directly on force, not limited by anything."  Washington's drive for hegemony over US citizens and the rest of the world is based entirely on the exercise of force and is resurrecting unaccountable power.

Christianity's emphasis on the worth of the individual makes such power as Lenin claimed, and Washington now claims, unthinkable. Be we religious or be we not, our celebration of Christ's birthday celebrates a religion that made us masters of our souls and of our political life on Earth. Such a religion as this is worth holding onto even by atheists.

As we enter into 2013, Western civilization, the product of thousands of years of striving, hangs in the balance. Degeneracy is everywhere before our eyes. As the West sinks into tyranny, will Western peoples defend their liberty and their souls, or will they sink into the tyranny, which again has raised its ugly and all devouring head?

 

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here. His latest book,  How America Was Lost, has just been released and can be ordered here.

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  A pro-Christianity article on Op-ed news. I... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 4:49:23 PM
I think your attribution of a belief in individual... by Ernie Messerschmidt on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 5:24:16 PM
Why should Dr. Roberts keep his religion to himsel... by Chris Cook on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 5:55:34 PM
Why should Dr. Roberts keep his writing about reli... by Chris Cook on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 7:44:54 PM
You have no idea what you are talking about. I am ... by Paul Craig Roberts on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 6:37:49 PM
That is how I felt also.  We can not deny tha... by Michael Dewey on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 6:23:16 AM
Lenin never  said that. He did say  that... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 5:27:43 PM
I have never known Mark Sashine to know what he is... by Paul Craig Roberts on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 6:34:01 PM
if you find a quote from Lenin where he says about... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 7:15:50 PM
Mark, one understanding of the communist revolutio... by Peter Duveen on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 10:38:59 PM
I think  we can communicate  separately ... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 7:55:11 AM
See my comment below for the cite in Lenin's works... by Paul Craig Roberts on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 9:20:08 AM
Mark; I was with you 'til you said Christianity wa... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 1:30:28 PM
All-in- all we can imagine  some another spec... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 4:51:34 PM
I find some of what Paul Craig Roberts has written... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 5:28:54 PM
So what held Western civilization together for 200... by Paul Craig Roberts on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 6:40:25 PM
"We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this L... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 7:24:30 PM
I tell people all the time that there was a need f... by Michael Dewey on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 6:33:44 AM
Christianity has had a positive effect on Western ... by E. J. N. on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 7:44:45 PM
Which has had much religious influence.  Thou... by Michael Dewey on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 at 8:33:51 AM
One one hand, Christianity, as Jesus of Nazareth i... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 7:57:10 PM
Adaption and appropriation can be done by others b... by Kevin Anthony Stoda on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 12:29:13 AM
   anyone here believes that salvation (... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 6:35:22 PM
does not need to be defended or fortified.  I... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 7:27:12 PM
  that wasn't the question.... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 7:45:57 PM
but  I did proclaim my atheism before. And&nb... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 7:54:13 PM
   Salvation is a "circumcision of the h... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 8:03:02 PM
But we understand God's premise through His  ... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 8:18:22 PM
King David wrote: "Put not your trust in princes, ... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 8:39:34 PM
  you know what part I disagree with. &n... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 8:58:03 PM
I really don't know if Jesus actually existed or n... by Steven G. Erickson on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 6:37:52 PM
Having no reason whatever to revisit the biblical ... by Michael Rose on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 8:05:29 PM
I think of Jesus as an emotionally and spiritually... by eesabi on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 9:21:38 AM
I think of Jesus as an emotionally and spiritually... by eesabi on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 9:23:22 AM
In exchange for financial support for his presiden... by Lance Ciepiela on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 7:30:49 PM
With all due respect to Dr. Roberts, indigenous pe... by Al McKinley, Jr. on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 8:50:21 PM
Like some of you, I once followed the tenets of Ch... by Swamper Tom on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 10:44:40 PM
   I think Jesus' original teachings hav... by Bob Gormley on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 8:25:55 AM
I suspect that Jesus did not come into the world t... by Peter Duveen on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 10:54:10 PM
Giving up on religion or considering it somehow ou... by Adam Smith on Sunday, Dec 23, 2012 at 11:19:35 PM
   Jesus did come to earth to die a PHYS... by Bob Gormley on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 8:28:08 AM
What I meant, Bob, is that, my reading of the gosp... by Peter Duveen on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 1:03:37 PM
   Jesus' mission was clearly stated in ... by Bob Gormley on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 11:09:55 PM
I like what you write but some of your readers ar... by Kevin Anthony Stoda on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 12:22:59 AM
I am reading Bart Ehrman's God's Problem, having j... by Michael David Morrissey on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 3:07:43 AM
this country. Jesus was a communist, if anything.... by Lester Shepherd on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 7:55:12 AM
Perhaps Mark Sashine passed an exam, but I wrote t... by Paul Craig Roberts on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 9:16:18 AM
1. The definition of dictatorship as the way to ru... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 9:55:43 AM
What a blowhard you are.  ... by Paul Craig Roberts on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 1:27:43 PM
For a former govt official you are remarkably rude... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 2:34:15 PM
Paul Craig Roberts wrote: "My column makes a simpl... by E. J. N. on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 12:41:10 PM
The Founding Fathers, whatever they might have tho... by Paul Craig Roberts on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 1:33:38 PM
Paul Craig Roberts, I thank you for exposing yours... by E. J. N. on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 9:02:48 PM
but I think that  if PCR had not reacted so&n... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 9:29:15 AM
   The temptation to argue and prove one... by Bob Gormley on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 at 9:51:09 AM
It's sad that you had to explain explicitly that "... by Paul Rye on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 3:24:21 AM
This is a cogent observation by the great Indian s... by Chris Cook on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 9:46:14 AM
 As far as I know, no atheist/etc. ever prote... by Ad Du on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 10:22:34 AM
He was speaking of Russia before the Bolshevik tak... by Chris Cook on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 3:16:26 PM
 I read Mr. Roberts articles. I claim I can f... by Ad Du on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 11:31:40 AM
 Should we mention that the (Eastern, Christi... by Ad Du on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 11:45:55 AM
We might do well to reflect more often on understa... by Ad Du on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 12:54:25 PM
In the early 1980, Daniel Gorenstein announced th... by Ad Du on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 1:01:30 PM
 Should we not show more restraint about wha... by Ad Du on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 1:05:29 PM
This article falsely conflates Christianity with a... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 1:26:23 PM
Amy Fried, like Nunn, blames the misuse of institu... by Paul Craig Roberts on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 1:39:24 PM
... by Sister Begonia on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 3:18:11 PM
   I've been on this forum quite awhile ... by Bob Gormley on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 10:54:04 PM
... by Michael Rose on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 2:53:59 AM
   Not one person in this comment thread... by Bob Gormley on Monday, Dec 24, 2012 at 11:15:16 PM
BobWould you please have a look at the  small... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 8:01:49 AM
     I am well aware of the va... by Bob Gormley on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 11:50:25 AM
connection between God and Man as in Panofsky's&nb... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 12:22:58 PM
If no one gets a mark  to buy or sell they wi... by Michael Dewey on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 at 8:10:48 AM
   Receiving the mark is not an option f... by Bob Gormley on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 at 9:57:09 AM
Just look at what today's economics is leading tow... by Michael Dewey on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 at 10:13:25 AM
... by Michael David Morrissey on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 5:08:18 AM
See here.... by Michael David Morrissey on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 6:04:44 AM
As we enter into 2013, Western civilization, the ... by Michael Dewey on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 5:16:46 AM
http://www.catherinechalmers.com/... by Michael David Morrissey on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 5:47:07 AM
Paul Craig Robert's most erroneous statement, and ... by E. J. N. on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 7:11:13 PM
but judging  from Mr. Roberts's reactions it ... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 at 8:04:18 PM
Nothing, imho. PCR has a perfect right to express ... by Michael David Morrissey on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 at 2:24:55 AM
that Mr. Roberts wrote his  article  for... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 at 7:55:58 AM
I would add that PCR did not merely get upset and ... by E. J. N. on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 at 1:35:23 PM
This discussion has shown that people who claim th... by E. J. N. on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2012 at 1:49:25 PM
PCR's "good work" in opposing the 9/11 hoax and th... by Michael David Morrissey on Thursday, Dec 27, 2012 at 3:43:28 AM
My priorities are about saving the planet and the ... by E. J. N. on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 12:25:55 AM
... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 9:47:59 AM
It makes me sick to have to speak out like that, b... by E. J. N. on Friday, Dec 28, 2012 at 4:22:21 PM