Monthly Archives: December 2013
It’s funny the way we remember things; not the details, but the feelings. I didn’t remember the details, but I remembered that The Littlest Angel, by Charles Tazewell made me very sad.
I didn’t remember it being an overtly religious story (in spite of the title and imagery), but I do remember feeling painfully sorry for the nameless little boy who had been swept into the immensity of heaven, only to find himself alone. For whatever reason I presumed he had been ill and then died and I remember wondering about his parents and how miserable they must be after the tragic loss of their child.
There was something the little angel missed from his brief life on earth. Not his family, but rather his collected treasures; wonderful bits of bright and shiny and new all kept in a little box under his bed. He was allowed to go back to earth and get them – I don’t remember why. It didn’t matter. His life had been so brief that the things he held dear, lovely little memories all his own, could all be contained in a small box. It still brings tears to my eyes.
This is a summary of the story — the part I remembered:
This is the part I had forgotten and now find so appalling:
For Christians The Littlest Angel and The Little Drummer Boy are touching tributes to their glorious savior: no matter how small or insignificant your gift, you may place it, without fear of derision, at the feet of Christ. Even if your gift is pathetic, Jesus sees into your heart and really appreciates the thought. The savior of mankind is nothing if not polite.
So why do I despise this sweet Christmas story? Why do I believe it is an emotionally manipulative and pernicious tool of indoctrination? Because of it’s implicit messages:
The death of a child is not sad or tragic because he’s in heaven with the angels.
The small, insignificant joys that make up a life are worthless.
Conformity ensures happiness.
Everything you hold dear should be given over to God as an act of fealty.
It’s never too early to start molding a child’s mind to ensuring that he knows from the very beginning that he is nothing without God. So here’s the story in it’s entirety. Go ahead and sue me.
Richard Land is a form of repugnant humanity that makes even Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter seem compassionate. Only a true believer — in the form of a white, overprivileged, outrageously self-righteous, conservative Southern Baptist conservative Christian male — could be so insulated and heartless. His chosen target is an often vilified and incredibly diverse minority: single mothers.
According to Stephen D. Foster, Jr. at Addicting Info:
I don’t think that every creature of Land’s ilk is intentionally trotted out as a polarizing tool, but I am just cynical enough to believe that, throughout the country, there are many Christians who are in wholehearted agreement with Land. Childless couples, bitter and envious at the thought of a worthless stranger getting knocked up when it is they who truly deserve such a gift from God.
Why is it that no one EVER asks where the guys got off to? Single mothers aren’t all single by choice. “Fathers” bail all the time, but it’s the women who take the brunt of Christian and conservative abuse. It is too much to hope that those people could, for one moment, contemplate what it might be like to be a young woman who, rather than aborting an unwanted pregnancy (because that’s inhuman), chooses to raise her child, with or without the help of the father (or the government). That would require empathy, compassion, and a choice not to judge women they don’t even know – qualities that conservative Christians were, apparently, born without.
So at the very least, rather than encouraging mothers to give up their babies, why doesn’t Richard Land encourage deadbeat dads to man up.