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OUT TO PASTOR: My little dear, it’s not warm outside!

Once again, it is the Christmas season, which means I have to put up with people offended by everything, particularly that pertains to Christmas.

When I was young, we had a little saying, “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you.” And as far as I understand, we stood by that saying.

Most people today have never heard that saying and maybe somebody ought to educate them on some of the realities of life. If words are hurting you, something is wrong with “you.”

Everybody is offended by something. I am offended by people who are offended by things I say, which makes no sense whatsoever to me.

Where people got this offend-itis disease is beyond me. I wonder if there is any cure for this kind of disease?

I was in the restaurant the other day and behind me, a person sneezed. Instinctively, I turned around and said, “God bless you.”

Of course, I was not ready for the reply when the man said to me, “I’m an atheist don’t you dare use that word ‘God’ around me.”

I am a gentleman otherwise I might have been tempted to say something like, “Well, then, God curse you.” Thankfully, I did not say anything like that. I wonder if unspoken thoughts really matter along this line?

What puzzles me is why somebody who does not believe in God is offended by the word “GOD.” The fact that he was offended by that word tells me that somewhere deep inside of him he believes there is a God. Otherwise, it would never have offended him.

If I was an atheist and someone said to me “God bless you,” I would laugh it off because I do not believe in God. To be offended by something you do not believe has to be the epitome of stupidity.

Another offensive phrase is, “Merry Christmas.” I happened to mention this to a person I was passing in the store and they looked at me kind of Scrooge-like and said, “Don’t you dare wish me a Merry Christmas.”

I would like to know why two words like “Merry Christmas” are offensive to anyone?

Being an amateur word-smith, I like to research words and try to find out their original meaning. There is no way I have found that the two words “Merry” and “Christmas” have anything whatsoever offensive to them. Those offended by those two words have a chimney that is not smoking.

If you are offended by those two words, maybe you should consider the fact that I may be offended by you being offended by those words. What offends one person does not make any sense to someone else. This is America so keep your offending attitude to yourself.

Just the other day I was going into a store and there was a lady behind me, so as a gentleman, I opened the door for her and said, “Ladies first.” I would have a hard time understanding the offensiveness of those two words.

The lady looked at me and said, “That is the most sexist thing I have heard all day.”

I have been trying to find out what is sexist about those two words.

I am either homophobic (whatever that means), racist or sexist. I do not know if I am all of these things at different times or what. I never know if I am one of these until somebody tells me I am one.

There are Christmas songs that we cannot play on the radio anymore, movies that we cannot watch at Christmas time, decorations that we cannot put outside our home anymore.

I heard recently that the song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” is offensive to some people. I have listened to that for years and cannot figure out the offensive side of that song.

What’s crazy to me are those offended by that song are completely okay with some female singer getting on stage barely clothed, singing a depravity soaked song with lustful lyrics you can’t use in public.

Why is that okay and not sexist, but when I open a door for a lady and say, “Ladies First,” that is sexist?

Some people refer to this as the war on Christmas. If that is true, I believe those people are losing that war. No matter what anybody says or thinks I still will celebrate Christmas, wish people “Merry Christmas” and say, “God bless you” when somebody sneezes and open a door for the ladies.

If those things offend people, I am happy and most delighted to keep doing them.

For years now, there has been a war on Christmas, but it seems that Christmas comes every year at the same time. Isn't that simply amazing? No matter what people say or how offended they are by it, Christmas still comes.

I could think of quite a few things that would offend me. However, I have a thick skin and a tender heart. My life is not depended upon somebody being offended.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is in the book of Proverbs.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I refuse to let people who are offended by everything direct my path. My trust is not in man, but rather “in the Lord.”

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Ocala. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail . His web site is

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