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Fear not; I bring you tidings of great joy

‘Fear not … I bring you tidings of great joy’ Posted by tmatt

I have a confession to make.

One of my childhood heroes — right up there with “Little House” author Laura Ingalls Wilder, Celtic great Bill Russell and jazz pianist Dave Brubeck — was cartoonist Charles M. Schultz. I still cannot believe that Schultz died (February 12, 2000) only hours before his poignant farewell to his readers ran in American newspapers.

I remain an avid reader of the “Classic Peanuts” feature and, to tell you the truth, some of the strips remain so current that it seems like Schultz is still at work, taking the latest fads in pop psychology and weaving them into his dry punchlines.

This brings us, of course, to the annual broadcast of the “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” This cartoon classic remains one of the highlights of America’s mass-media holiday blitz, which makes me wonder why glass-tower Grinches at ABC elected to run it on Dec. 7th this year, instead of on the Sunday night before Christmas or, better yet, on Christmas Eve.

If you are interested in the fascinating story behind this classic, by all means check out the Washington Post feature that ran in Michael Cavna’s Comic Riffs weblog. I have been so busy the past few days (it’s exit week at the Washington Journalism Center) that I didn’t notice whether or not this story ran in the dead-tree-pulp Style section. I hope that it did.

Schultz was a Christian believer, but one whose faith evolved quite a bit as he aged. He was raised as a Lutheran and as an adult taught Sunday school (oh to be a fly on that classroom wall) in a United Methodist church. In his final decades, he simply called himself a “secular humanist,” but without actively denying his faith.

As you would expect, there is a religion angle in the Christmas special. It’s impossible to talk about Schultz’s life without mentioning his insistence that the always wise Linus van Pelt be allowed to recite Luke 2:8-14, from the King James Version of the Bible, in the script — forming the emotional peak of the show. Feel free to watch the attached YouTube video, if you have forgotten this scene.


Please click through on "external source" (below) to access the entire article, which highlights the controversy that Schultz's video engendered.

From The Urantia Book:

"To you, Mary, I bring glad tidings when I announce that the conception within you is ordained by heaven, and that in due time you will become the mother of a son; you shall call him Joshua, and he shall inaugurate the kingdom of heaven on earth and among men." 122:3.1

Link to External Source Article

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