Amy Eva Alberts Warren and William Alberts published a significant article in CounterPunch.org that does not adhere to the usual sentimental interpretations of Christmas.
Warren and Alberts: There is a “sign” in the manger that does point the way to “peace on earth.” Ironically, the “sign” is obstructed by the special supernatural effects accompanying the birth of that baby. These divine trappings help to legitimize Christian exceptionalism and creation of The Other. Quite simply, the peace “sign” in that manger is the baby himself—not his assumed special divine delivery. The pathway to “peace on earth” is not by way of his divinity, but his humanity—his human potential for great love and compassion, which he shares with every other human being. (See A.E.A. Warren, Strengthening Human Potential for Great Love-Compassion Through Elaborative Development, in Thriving and Spirituality Among Youth: Research Perspectives and Future Possibilities, edited by A.E.A. Warren, R.M. Lerner, & E. Phelps, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, N.J., 2011)
Editors Note: A good point about the virgin birth. It is over emphasized.
Warren and Alberts: Peace does not come to “those whom he favors,” but through those who are loved for themselves, rather than the objects of favoritism—or conditional acceptance. Parental love provides the emotional bonding that enables children to identify with and feel empathy for other persons. Children have no preconceived notions about others—or themselves. Respect for others begins with self-respect. Caring for others begins with being cared for. "Loving begins with being loved." In homes where there is emotional room for children to explore, question and grow. Free of biases and indoctrinating restraints. Free to be and to belong and to become. Nurtured by those who possess beliefs without borders. Humanizing beliefs that transcend religious and political exceptionalism and revere all people as members of one human family. In Christianity’s case, it is a child in a manger, who is not unique but representative of every child everywhere and thus the real “sign” for “peace on earth.”
Editors Note: A powerful paragraph by Warren and Alberts and a reminder that Christmas is about what it means to be human and loving, especially to the vulnerability of the "least of these". For now one of the the most concrete example of the "least of these", are the immigrants fleeing from their war torn countries with their children to save their lives and spirit.
Warren and Alberts: The “sign” in the manger leading to “peace on earth” is embodied in all children everywhere. Peace is not a gift from above to “those whom he favors.” Peace is created by those who possess beliefs without borders. Who become free to love– like children. As Jesus himself is quoted as saying, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18: 3)
Perry Miller, Editor
Amy Eva Alberts Warren, PhD is the daughter of Eva and Bill Alberts. Her Ph.D. is in Applied Child Development from Tufts University, where she is a Research Associate for Applied Research in Youth Development. She is a co-author of the textbook, Visualizing the Life Span, John Wiley & Sons, 2015, and a co-author of Thriving and Spirituality Among Youth, Wiley, 2012. Her email address is email@example.com.
Rev. William E. Alberts, Ph.D., a former hospital chaplain at Boston Medical Center, is both a Unitarian Universalist and United Methodist minister. His new book, The Counterpunching Minister (who couldn’t be “preyed” away) is now published and available on Amazon.com. The book’s Foreword, Drawing the Line, is written by Counterpunch editor, Jeffrey St. Clair. Alberts is also author of A Hospital Chaplain at the Crossroads of Humanity, which “demonstrates what top-notch pastoral care looks like, feels like, maybe even smells like,” states the review in the Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.