"You're listening to Morgan in the Morning. This is Gary Morgan and if you're just joining us, we have an in-studio panel. Rev. Don Smith Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church, Mrs. Myra Schmidt, Vice President of Temple Beth Shalom, and Joe Stollings, President of the minority business development committee are ready to take your questions about Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa. We have Marilyn with a question for Rev. Smith. Go ahead Marilyn."
“I’d like to know if it's normal for Baptists to despise Santa Clause. We come from a different denomination, and I think my daughter has gotten involved in some kind of Baptist Cult."
"Karen, turn that radio up!" Lori said. "I think that's my mom."
"Marilyn, I wouldn’t say that all Baptists despise Santa Clause. Tell me a little more about what's going on, so that I can give you a better answer."
"Well, our grandson’s two, and after he was born, they started going to this Baptist Church. Before this year, he was too little to know where his gifts came from. . ."
"I can't believe that she called into a radio talk show because she thinks I joined a cult!"
"You should call in!" Karen said. "Here I'll dial for you!"
"Karen, I thought you didn't like that we aren't doing Santa?"
"Well, I don’t, but I don't think you're some kind of cult lunatic either!" Karen handed her the phone.
"Hi, Morgan in the Morning."
"This is Lori, and I would like to respond to Marilyn. I'm the cult brain-washed daughter, and I’d like to give my side."
"Hold on! I'm going to put you through."
"Well last week, she told us that they didn't want him to get presents from Santa because it was anti-God. . ."
"Marilyn, this is Gary. We need to let Rev. Smith answer, and I've also got your cult brain-washed daughter Lori on the line who wants to join in. Lori, you're on the air."
"Well, first of all, we do not believe in a Santa conspiracy; however, almost everyone has to admit that Christmas has become very commercialized and many kids think that getting presents is the reason for Christmas. We are choosing to limit our son’s exposure to Santa, because we want to focus on the true meaning of Christmas - the little baby born in the manger more than 2000 years ago who God sent to take away our sin. We also don't think that it's bad for him to grow up knowing that his parents and grandparents love him and give him Christmas gifts. I . . ."
"So does that mean that you don't want him to have fun at Christmas?" Her mother asked.
"Ladies, let's give Rev. Smith a chance to answer."
"Our time is limited, but I want to encourage you to continue this dialogue off the air, and if you need help with that please call me at 555-1234. Whether to have Santa Clause in a child's Christmas is a very personal decision for parents. If you ladies can both agree that it’s important that children know the true meaning of Christmas, and it’s also important for them to have fun at Christmas, then maybe coming up with a compromise will be easier."
"Alright then, this is Gary Morgan again, Rev. Smith, I'm curious what you and your wife did about Santa Clause?"
"Well, Gary, we always did Santa, but in a very limited capacity."
"Thank you, and now we have a question from Ida for Mrs. Schmidt.”
Lori’s cell phone rang as she looked up and saw all of the staff gathered around the desk.
“Was that really you and your mother?” Her husband Josh asked.
“Yes, the whole tri-county area now knows our family feud, and the worse part is that most people probably missed the reason for the season because they got so caught up in the drama. I have to go I have another call. I love you. Talk to you at lunch.” Lori clicked over.
“Hello, mother. You’ll be glad to know that you stopped all work at Davis and Cartwright accountants.”
“I didn’t mean like it sounded. I was just upset, and I didn’t think it through. I do love you! Can you and Josh come over for supper so we can talk?”
“I’ll have to ask Josh and call you back at lunch. Right now I have a meeting to go to.”
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