Today, we’ve got two videos, thanks to the biggest software giants–Microsoft and Apple. If you haven’t seen their Holiday commercials, you’ve been missing out. The first video, from Windows, features the song Let There Be Peace on Earth. I remember this song from an old episode of Touched by an Angel about the crisis in Ireland (if you’re too young to remember how bad things were in Ireland for decades, you’ve made me feel old again). Recently, a kids’ choir from NYC sang it for Pope Francis and performed it again at the start of the national coverage of the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting. The song, despite being a Christian hymn, contains a message that everyone should listen to before it is too late. It is a plea for peace and it tells us that peace needs to start somewhere. Why not me?
The second video is Apple’s current Christmas commercial, featuring Stevie Wonder and Andra Day singing his song, Someday at Christmas. This like John Lennon’s Imagine, speak of a time when people have put their differences behind them and have come together in peace. It begins, “Someday at Christmas, men won’t be boys, playing with bombs like kids play with toys.”
It is a sad world when holiday songs have to dream about a time when people aren’t slaughtering each other just because they can. In the last week, we lost 17 Americans in two separate terrorist events on American soil. Both sets of terrorists were motivated by bastardized versions of peaceful religions. Robert Dear attacked people inside of a Planned Parenthood because radicalized Christians on the Religious Right told him that the people who worked there were evil and deserved to be killed. Then, many of those same people cheered him on social media because he was doing God’s work. (I grew up Catholic and the first things we were taught in Catholic School was to love everyone. We were told that even those you consider your enemy should be treated well. If these “Christians” were truly Christian they would not have cheered on Robert Dear for murdering innocent people. They would have condemned him for it.) Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were influenced by the radicalized Muslim teachings of Isis. Neither Christianity nor Islam are evil religions, but people with agendas use both to take advantage of their most vulnerable followers.
This holiday season, please remember that “brothers all are we” and that someday “man will not fail. Hate would be gone and love will prevail. Someday a new world that we can start with hope in every heart.”