Monday, December 27, 2004
He Who Sings, Prays Twice
It was St. Augustine who gave me one of my favorite sayings about worship, "He who sings, prays twice." It was a phrase my mother would use to encourage me to sing in church. Of course my response was, "I'll just pray twice". I'm not sure what St. Augustine would have to say about Mr. Briket whose elaborate Christmas decorations and blaring holiday music is upsetting his neighbors.
At 6 o'clock on Friday, as a crystalline blue dusk descended over the desert valley, Chris Birkett began his nightly Christmas extravaganza, turning his modest house and yard into "Winter Wonderland," a blazing filigree of up to 150,000 lights forming Santas, reindeer, "Nutcracker" characters, snowflakes, stars and American flags, under puffs of soap bubbles and sprays of artificial snow.
With it came blaring Disney music and narration that echoed up and down the quiet residential block: "Do you believe in magic? Look to the sky and make a wish. Star light, star bright, I wish I may, I wish I might."
The family next door wishes he would just shut up.
I'm with the neighbors on this one. Elaborate holiday displays are a fun way to celebrate the holidays, but respect for your neighbors is also a good way to act like a Christian. And since when is blaring Disney songs on a loudspeaker in a residential area a demonstration of one's religious faith? A violation of copyright laws maybe (unless Mr. Brikett obtained a license from ASCAP).