This year marks the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I’m old enough to remember the very first Charlie Brown Christmas and even though I wasn’t a Christian at the time Linus van Pelt made an impact on my young life.
Linus was more profound and more genuine than any of the very few preachers I’d known to that point in my life. When he was done I knew that the presents under the tree and all the hustle bustle had nothing to do with what Christmas was all about. It would be another fifteen years before I met the living Savior personally, but I never forgot Linus.
This year somebody did forget Linus. That someone also forgot, assuming he ever knew, the real meaning of Christmas. Who could that have been? Why none other than our President – and his First Lady if we’re counting – during the 50th anniversary broadcast of A Charlie Brown Christmas.
The President and First Lady spoke briefly during the Monday night Christmas special in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of 1965’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
In describing the show and that famous scene, in which Linus Van Pelt explains the true meaning of Christmas by reciting Luke 2:8-14, Barack Obama said it teaches “us that tiny trees just need a little love and that on this holiday we celebrate peace on Earth and good will toward all.”
The Luke passage and Linus speech does mention “peace on Earth and good will toward men,” but that passage is not the answer to the question of the true meaning of Christmas.
No, we’re not surprised.
Charlie Schultz didn’t focus the program on a religious message, but as he noted in an interview, “we cannot do this show without including the famous passage from Saint Luke. And that had never been done before either. No one would put biblical passages in an animated show, and we did it. … That was the highlight of the show.” Maybe Barack has never seen the program.
Mr. President why don’t you gather the Mrs. and the kiddies and spend just a couple of minutes with Linus. Maybe you’ll learn something. Like maybe, Christmas isn’t about you.
Thank you Linus, and Amen.
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