Marilyn Writes

Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 year banking career, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, and other major industry publications. The American Bankers Association (ABA) published Barnewall’s Profitable Private Banking: the Complete Blueprint, in 1987. She taught private banking at Colorado University for the ABA and trained private bankers in Singapore.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


By Marilyn M. Barnewall
December 25, 2011

How many times in my 74 years have I asked myself “What is the real meaning of Christmas?”

I know this day we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Any Christian knows that. But what is the meaning of His birth? We celebrate meanings, not events. Does God’s gift of His only son, Jesus Christ, represent the love and peace and giving exemplified in our modern world? As my article last week suggested, our social environment in America 2011 is anything but loving, peaceful and charitable.

Here’s a quote from my book, When the Swan’s Neck Breaks (Xulon Press, July 2008):

“Nothing is black and white because powerful people are removing our unchanging principles. They are re-defining freedom.”

Alex cleared his throat before speaking. “You’re saying the reason for all of the confusion in both political parties is caused because politicians are removing the unchanging principles that have anchored American society for a few hundred years.”

Meredith looked at Alex, then Jake, before responding. “What I’m saying is that the only way to move America from capitalism to communism is to re-define words like freedom, faith, education, sovereignty, independence, competition… all of the words you mentioned in your presentation, Alex. Those words represent the unchanging principles on which America was founded. It makes it possible to ignore the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States… which provides our most important unchanging principle: Freedom.”

What has this to do with the meaning of Christmas and the birth of Christ?

“They” have not only re-defined freedom, faith and the other words used in the quote from my book to exemplify how “they” are moving us towards socialism and communism. They have also been hard at work re-defining the meaning of “Christmas.”

Why are changes to our belief structure so easily accomplished? “They” have subtly made these changes because very few people pay attention to the definitive value of the words they use. “They” are surprised when Americans react to things like removing the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. It startles “them” when we say we won’t shop in their stores if the best they can muster is “Happy Holidays,” rather than “Merry Christmas!” (and mean it). Because “they” are able to change the way so many words are used and how so many expressions are stated, “they” don’t see certain lines Americans draw in the sand. Who are “they?” That’s for another article. This is about Christmas – and “they” are about anything but celebrating the birth of Our Lord.

You can’t really blame “them” for their surprise when we refuse their demands because we let them get away with changing the meaning of words throughout the year. Every now and then, “they” get a little ahead of themselves with their “get rid of God” political objectives. You see, one of the basic needs of changing a Republic to a Democracy (which they have successfully done) is to remove clear access to God as each individual perceives God… to deny freedom of religion. That change began when the ACLU began protesting crèche scenes of the Holy Family and showing the Cross on public property at Easter and removing prayer from schools… when they changed freedom of religion to freedom from religion. We let them get away with it instead of raising so much hell that they would not try again. The actions that followed got us to socialism… but to complete the circle and get to full-fledged communism, God must be removed from the things we celebrate – like Christmas. Well, they will likely allow a government-approved version of religion… it is an opiate for the masses, after all. They move us towards totalitarian rule via things like airport security that makes clear we are nothing more than animals who, if we want to fly on an airplane, must subject ourselves to a depraved system designed to make us aware that government holds so much power over us it can subject us to vile treatment… and we must smile and say “thank you.”

Thus, the question of what we’re celebrating – what we honor – every December 25th is very important. If we honor the birth of Christ, we must honor the truth of what we have allowed our society to become because if we do not honor truth, it is impossible to honor Christ.

John 14:6 …I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
John 8:31-32 … So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
Job 34:12 Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

As Job points out (above), court decisions would not be perverted if God was the force behind them. The birth of Christ is the birth of truth… at least it is if Christ is to be believed. He is the one who told us “I am and way, the truth, and the life.” He tells us that no one can get to the Father except through Him. In other words, if we avoid truth, we cannot get to the Father. So, it is truth we embrace on December 25th because without it, we have nothing… least of all, Him. He is Truth.

There are certain things truth does not do. For example, it does not implement a divide and conquer philosophy because to do so dishonors truth. When we honor truth, political realities do not motivate compromise because to compromise truth with lies or omissions of truth creates an environment in which truth cannot live. Politicians will tell me that life in the legislature cannot exist without compromise… they would never get any laws passed. Well, now, looking at the laws that have been passed the past few years, that would not be all bad, would it? Most of us would rather have no new laws if the intent behind the law must be compromised to get it passed.

Truth does not extend the olive branch that says the Rule of Law exists while allowing Wall Street banksters to defraud investors and taxpayers (and here’s a good example of compromised, bad laws: Gramm, Leach, Bliley which did away with Glass Steagall; and, Barney Frank’s and Christopher Dodds’ regulatory reform). In other words, if what we honor every December 25th is truth, we have a responsibility to remove those who are lie mongers and we must fight to make sure the truth tellers stay in office and work to get more of them elected. The problem is, most people can’t stand to hear the truth… so politicians often do not tell it! What does that tell you about what those who lie to us celebrate at Christmas? It sure isn’t the birth of truth!

In this world of ours, truth is elusive. We appear to have a Republican truth and a Democrat truth; we have a liberal truth and a conservative truth. Liberal truth is quite the opposite of conservative truth. Republican truth versus Democrat truth… well, both change on any given day as each is reliant on changing the rules of the game being played at any given time... and truth is not a game. There are numerous definitions of “truth” in different religions. Does truth vary? Or, is the finding of truth based on a clear definition of the words we use when we write and speak? That’s a conversation for next week, perhaps.

It takes no character for a nation to function as America now does. Apathy requires no character. Lies, deceit, treachery, and fraud require no character. Turning from God requires no character. Truth, however, requires character. It requires discipline and thought and perhaps the deepest level of understanding of which we humans are capable.

So, when I wish you truth for 2012, I wish you life and a love of the gift of life that is born of truth. The good news is this: If our almost Godless society exists because we allow it, it can be done away with because we disallow it. All it takes is standing up for truth and rejecting the lies that slip so easily from the lips of those who would rule us rather than set us free.

That would truly bring joy to the world!

I wish you Truth for the coming year – because without it, there is no love, there is no meaningful faith or peace or charity or any of the things we hold dear… especially at Christmas time. These are the things that make us a unique people in the world – things that make us Americans (in the only nation founded on Christian principles). Without Truth, there is no Christ or Savior… as He told us. If you accept the current lie-filled standards of Washington, D.C., of Wall Street, of Main Street, stop pretending you are celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25th. What you celebrate is a day off of work, the exchange of greeting cards, the exchanging of gifts, and a big holiday meal. Stop lying to yourself that you are celebrating the birth of our Lord… the birth of Truth.

If we reward truth, we will see more of it. If we reward lies, we will see more of them. It’s our choice.

Merry Christmas!

>© 2011 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved


Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career in 1956 as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 years (plus) as a banker and bank consultant, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, was U.S. Consulting Editor for Private Banker International (London/Dublin), and other major banking industry publications. She has written seven non-fiction books about banking and taught private banking at Colorado University for the American Bankers Association. She has authored seven banking books, one dog book, and two works of fiction (about banking, of course). She has served on numerous Boards in her community.

Barnewall is the former editor of The National Peace Officer Magazine and as a journalist has written guest editorials for the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Newsweek, among others. On the Internet, she has written for News With Views, World Net Daily, Canada Free Press, Christian Business Daily, Business Reform, and others. She has been quoted in Time, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and other national and international publications. She can be found in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Finance and Business, and Who's Who in the World.

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