WASHINGTON, December 25, 2013 — Today, Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In America, we refer to it as Christmas. In Greece it is referred to by its liturgical name, “The feast of the nativity of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
When Christ was born and when the Christian faith was born a few decades later, it changed the world. The change was not simply the Christian faith became the dominant faith in the West, Eastern Europe and Russia.
When the message of Christ began to spread, it set in motion events that would free the world, and not just in a theological sense.
When Christ was born in the manger two thousand years ago, the world was a place that had a very defined, rigid societal structure. If you were born into wealth or nobility, that was your station in life.
When St. Paul wrote a few years after the resurrection of Christ, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ,” it represented a cultural seismic shock that the world had never seen before.
The fundamental message of the Christian Church is the incarnation. God came and became man so all could be saved. Not just the nobility. Not just the rich. But the poor and slaves and even the outcasts.
There was a stunning and logical outcome to this. It was the belief that all men were created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, namely life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
It is no accident that freedom and liberty grew mostly in nations that were Christianized. It was the nations that were Christianized that gave birth to democracy. In nations that were not Christianized or where Christianity was thrown out, the result was a dictatorship.
In the Middle East, where Islam dominated and still dominates today, democracy does not flourish. Terror and tyranny do. The first great western nation to reject Christianity was France in the French Revolution. The revolution launched a war against the Church and clerics. The end result was the reign of terror. An estimated thirty thousand Frenchmen died in the reign of terror, the first great genocide of the modern era.
Twentieth century Russia told a similar story. While Russia was Christian nation, taking baby steps towards Democracy, the Bolsheviks came in and created an atheist state. Millions of Russians were executed. Millions more died in the Gulags. Millions died in the first modern use of starvation as a weapon.
It is no coincidence that the great mass murderers of the last were atheists. Nor is it any coincidence that the founders of our nation, the greatest experiment in freedom and liberty, were devoutly Christian men. And it is no accident that the Obama Administration is making war on Christianity in America.
Today we celebrate the nativity of Jesus Christ. But this is not just a date that Americans should celebrate for religious reasons. While we celebrate the birth of this nation on July 4, Christmas also represents the birth of what made a free America possible.
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