Barack Obama failed to mention Jesus in his description of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and its message about the true meaning of Christmas during ABC's "It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown." Good grief.
The president and first lady spoke briefly during the Monday night Christmas special in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of 1965's "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
In describing the show and that famous scene, in which Linus Van Pelt explains the true meaning of Christmas by reciting Luke 2:8-14, Barack Obama said it teaches "us that tiny trees just need a little love and that on this holiday we celebrate peace on Earth and good will toward all."
The Luke passage and Linus speech does mention "peace on Earth and good will toward men," but that passage is not the answer to the question of the true meaning of Christmas.
Here is a transcript of that part of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (or watch the video below):
Charlie Brown: I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn't have picked this little tree. Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I really don't know what Christmas is all about.
Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"
That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
The true meaning of Christmas is not what the angels were singing at the end. That was just the epilogue to the story of the shepards encounter with the angels.
The true meaning of Christmas is that "unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."
Jesus Christ is not just a character in the Christmas story, He is the Christmas story. The meaning of His birth, a savior who came to cover our sins in His blood so that we can find our own true meaning in a right relationship with God, is, as Linus reminded us, what Christmas is all about.
Obama neglecting to mention Jesus was in keeping with the rest of the show.
ABC's remembrance of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was hosted by Kristen Bell and had musical performances by Vince Guaraldi, Kristen Chenowith, Matthew Morrison, Sarah McLachlan, Pentatonix, David Benoit and The All-American Boys Chorus.
While the birth of Jesus was not a theme throughout most of the Christmas special, there was a clip of Charlie Brown creator Charles Schultz describing how the Linus speech came about in a 1997 Charlie Rose interview.
Schultz had decided, "we cannot do this show without including the famous passage from Saint Luke. And that had never been done before either. No one would put biblical passages in an animated show, and we did it. ... That was the highlight of the show," he said.