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It's been amusing reading the letters protesting stores using "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

Somehow, an 11th commandment must have slipped my notice, "Thou shalt consume in God's name."

In the New Testament I read, there is little discussion about commerce. I read about Jesus chasing the money changers from the temple and that the rich man has a harder time entering heaven than a camel passing through a needle's eye. There is the eager youth who wants to be holy; but when Jesus tells him "sell all you have and give to the poor," the young man walks away disillusioned.

If returning Christ to Christmas is the goal, there is no shortage of opportunities. The hungry await food, the naked clothing and the imprisoned comfort. Numerous local organizations and charities need a helping hand throughout the year. And besides charity, there is always the call to justice, ensuring a human family where all are treated fairly and have equal opportunity. Health care, families working two jobs at low wages to survive, affordable housing and numerous other human challenges await a Christian and generous response.

How the mall proclaims and profits from what began as a religious holiday is beneath comment, in the same way "President's Day" sales fail to reflect George Washington's or Abraham Lincoln's legacy. Commercial interest will profit in any way they can. The real challenge is how we care for the least amongst us. If that becomes our "business," we'll have little time to worry about tinsel bedecked stores and plastic Santas.

Mike Matejka

Bloomington

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