On yesterday's Rainbow PUSH Saturday Morning Forum, broadcast nationally on the Word Network, Jesse Jackson spoke of Christmas. The activist, 1984 and 1988 Democratic presidential candidate, and former Clinton spiritual adviser told (video here) of "non-Christian" merchants who "use Jesus to lure you in to Santa Claus's birthday party." Here's what he said:
This (Christmas) is a holy day for the poor, not a holiday for the merchants. I once heard some people that I know say that when Christmas Eve is over, they have midnight services in the back of their shops. These were non-Christian people I was, they say we, say every December 24th around midnight we have, we close our shops and we're not Christian but we start singing "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." We use Jesus to lure you into Santa Claus's birthday party and unless you have the holiday spirit, which is his songs, his wine, and his stuff you're not welcome at the party of the man whose party it is. This is, Christmas should be a poor people's holy day.
He then went on to say that Jesus was "born under the cloud of who is his Daddy?"
If Pat Robertson or any other former GOP presidential candidate had said something along these lines, you can bet it would have received considerable press coverage. But this is Jesse Jackson, self-styled spokesman for the downtrodden and Leftist hero. So he gets a pass from the mainstream media.
Christmas had been of particular interest to Jackson for many years. In 1969, he announced his second "Black Christmas" boycott of white merchants. According to the Chicago Tribune at the time, Jackson claimed his initiative would include "a parade and the appearance in Negro areas, hospitals, and jails of 'Soul Saint,' a black Santa Claus."
In their 1985 book "Jesse Jackson and the Politics of Race," authors Thomas Landess and Richard Quinn write of the Soul Saint "who, according to Jackson, came from the South Pole rather than the North Pole and lingered along the equator sufficiently to take up wearing a dashiki of black, with yellow, red and green trimmings — the colors of the flag of Ghana. Henceforth, the Soul Saint would preside over the season of Christmas, a black figure whose gifts were not toys or sugar plums but 'love, justice, peace, and power.'"
Who wants an iPhone as a gift when you can have love, justice, peace, and power instead? Plus, you don't have to give your money to those non-Christian merchants who close their shops at midnight on Christmas Eve after a rough season of using Jesus to lure you into Santa Claus's birthday party. Sounds like a win-win for the Rev. But don't expect to see a story about it on network or cable news anytime soon.