According to Twitter, Liam Fox has written a piece for todays Sun newspaper. I have not seen the full article and the image above does not provide the complete text, however it seems sufficient to give a flavour of what the ex-Defence Secretary has to say. For him a Christian Christmas appears to be in part about criticising his colleagues in the coalition for being unwilling or too embarrassed to use the word Christmas. It is an attack on those who are looking for Christmas or perhaps Winterval to be a home to Political Correctness. I have no idea if Liam Fox considers himself to be a Christian, and I cannot claim to have a greater understanding of the mind of Christ than many other people. However I suspect that Jesus is not as disturbed about our political correctness, as Liam Fox appears to be. We do know from tradition that a Christian Christmas is about Peace on Earth, a peace not achieved by blowing up one’s enemies with high grade munitions, but by bringing an end to the internal conflict that many of us recognise, but thankfully few act on in a manner that leads to the death of another. It is intended to be a time of Hope for all who are lonely and experience poverty. It is a time of Joy for those who have experienced misery, and it is a time of Love for those who are more used to the disdain of those around them. The arrival of the Baby in a stable as Saviour of the World is intended to show that power in the sense that Mr Fox is used to dealing with it through his business and political interests cannot resolve the issues which challenge us all, but what is needed is a power that persuades all of us to operate differently impacting our priorities.
If Mr Fox is genuine in his desire for a Christian Christmas, I am thrilled for him and those who know him best. The evidence will be in the way he and I respond to others in the year ahead. If we use our energy to bring Peace and Hope into the lives of those we interact with and the communities that we influence, then our desires will have been fulfilled. If not they may just be judged to be words, not better or worse than the political correctness which Mr Fox appears to so dislike. To misquote a well loved car sticker, “A Christian Christmas is for life, not just for two weeks in December”. Although I think there could be something profoundly prophetic about an article explaining the true meaning of Christmas in the Sun newspaper, that comes to nothing if the truth is as superficial as Mr Fox appears to have expressed in the article above. He does nothing to challenge the poverty of understanding that the newspaper portrays about families and our humanity on a daily basis. If all he wants to do is to challenge coalition partners about their political correctness perhaps he could do that in the House of Commons where they are all supposed to work together. Some genuine truth and peace amongst our 650 MPs could genuinely transform our nation.