Last survivor of ‘Christmas truce’ tells of his sorrow – guardian article
i had heard about this story before, of an unauthorized cease fire that took place around CHRISTmas day 1914, but i never really believed it was true. apparently it is a true story and this article details some of the memories of the last survivor of that day. the stories say that the two opposing sides just stopped shooting and began celebrating the only thing they could celebrate in the middle of that war ravaged land. they exchanged gifts, the sang songs, they even supposedly played football (soccer) in “no man’s land.”
it’s a really cool story. yet the sad thing is that the unofficial truce eventually ended and the people who were moments before celebrating “GOD with us” began shooting each other and destroying the image of their MAKER later during the same day. if only we could follow the PRINCE of PEACE all the time in such away that everyday would be a CHRISTmas truce.
the picture to the side is from my youngest’ school second grade musical. the picture is from the song they sang named “yankee doodle santa”. it’s basically a combination of the song yankee doodle dandy and basic modern commercial santa claus mythology. santa at least started out as a spiritual icon. he was a hero of the faith until his basic history was stolen for commercialistic gain. so santa is not completely a spiritual icon anymore, yet “yankee doodle santa” is still basically a combination of a religious and national image.
this is just a children’s musical yet this one song does convey a tendency within american CHRISTianity that i hate and that is the deification of all things patriotic and american. just consider the painting that is within the rotunda of the capitol building in washington. it’s called the apotheosis of washington and apotheosis means “deification”. at the center of our government is a mural depicting our first president becoming “divine”. this actually sounds very similar to the imperial cult of rome or the deification of egyptian pharaohs. both of these practices happened to get people to worship the state. the nation in and of itself became the focus of the people’s religion. if the people worshipped the state then they would support it.
modern american CHRISTianity has a tendency to fall right into this. often we like to think that agreeing with the state is the sign of a good CHRISTian. this is called “state religion” or nationalism by some. i just call it wrong. so we smile when our kids sing songs like “yankee doodle santa.” we also turn our churches into huge patriotic parties during the fourth of july and our conservative churches barely ever cry ‘foul” over what our nation does.
the santa, or saint nick, who has been turned into an image of commercialism and now nationalism was originally a follower of CHRIST who because of his love for JESUS gave out gifts to people in need. the original nicholas was an example for us to follow. “yankee doodle santa” is just a joke to be laughed at because he has no real hope.
i took the boys to see national trasure this afternoon and i would like to make a few comments.
first, i became very excited during the previews (sometimes my favorite part of going to the movies). the reason for my excitement was the trailer that appeared for the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. when i saw the trailer all i could say was “don’t panic”. the movie comes out may 6, 2005. i’ll count the days until it arrives. i just hope that it lives up the trilogy – all five books of it.
second, i was excited about the movie for a few different reasons:
- it was nice to watch an adult movie with my kids and not have to worry about the language or content. the movie was clean without being preachy or cheesy. according to screenit.com there were only a few words to watch for within the whole movie.
- it was a suspenseful, action packed, and entertaining.
- for a nicholas cage movie the acting was not all that bad. i usually find cage to be the same character in each of his movies. he was still very much the same in national treasure but i felt like he had toned it down a little and i appreciated that.
third, the movie was a complete rip off from the da vinci code. the only difference is “national treasure” is based on searching for a “lost/hidden” treasure while “the da vinci code” is based on looking for the “lost/hidden” holy grail. it’s literally the same story – just with a changed object to find. it should be interesting to see what happens when the da vinci code movie comes out in 2006 since it seems like “national treasure” may have ripped off their plot already.
fourth, about half-way through the movie strobe lights started going off within the theater. then there was an announcement over the intercom asking everyone to please exit the facility in a calm and orderly manner because there was an emergency. it was the fire alarm. i now know why they say to never shout out “fire” in a crowded theater. the reason is because people start looking out for themselves. even though everyone was confused their primal instincts for survival started kicking in and they started “walking” fast for the exits. the boys and i were on the front row of the middle section and it was hard to get out because the people form the back kept on pushing through. i kept on having the hold the boys back from getting walked over. about the time that i got the boys safely out of the row an employee had come in and said it was a false alarm. thankfully, we were right at our seats and able to plop right back down. it made for a thrilling movie experience.