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Another Year, Another Christmas Controversy


fking

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Baby Jesus is at the center of a stir in Washington state. Or rather, his manger and replicas of the Holy Family are at the heart of a controversy. With each Christmas comes this predictable storm: a fight about the public placement of religious symbols and the ensuing argument that the meaning of Christmas is being belittled and downgraded by the nonexistent War on Christianity. Some are even using the term the "extermination of Christmas." Bah humbug, Christmas is not being eliminated, it is just asked to share space.

 

Then as sharing goes others wanted equal rights in their beliefs or lack there of about fairness and soon an atheist organization legitimately claimed its space on the public square as well. So, up went the sign by an organization called the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Placed next to the nativity display, it reads: "At this season of winter solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world."

 

"Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds." It's a good thing babies don't read. But many other people can. First, let it be said that those who take issue with "Happy Holidays" brand of political correctness do have at least one valid point. It's a "Christmas tree" not a "Holiday tree." Millions of Christians purchase and erect in their living rooms every year a Christmas tree. To call it anything else is a snow job.

 

That lends credibility to those who point to some shadowy conspiracy to expunge Christianity from late December. Admittedly, the heavy use of vague umbrella terms winds up offending some who regard it as an effort to equate other beliefs to their own or worse to cast their faith out of the picture. And let's face it, December 25 is the day recognized by most Christians as the birthday of Jesus.

 

The shopping frenzy, the "holiday" sales, the red and green decorations...all stem from that fact. Why deny it? To do so just gives people an excuse to work themselves into lather. Some Christians are fine with tolerating other faiths, as long as it is clear that theirs is king of the religious mountain.

 

The irony is, if we all just lightened up and let Christmas be Christian, there might be less Christian jingoism and more room for others to celebrate their own faiths and traditions. Religious holidays, after all, ought to be expressions of our human attributes, not our petty differences.

 

After all is said and done, it's my belief that I was born black, raised a Southern Baptist, believe in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit which will follow me to my grave. Therefore I have no problem saying Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Excuse me if you get offended, it's not my intentions.

 

I remember so well during the Columbine school shooting years ago, a kid was asked by the shooter if he believed in God and if he did he would be shot. The kid said yes and was shot, he died for God and is now in a better place.

 

 

 

 

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Fred,

 

That was so eloquently written. I am with you - Merry Christmas to all. I am proud to say I am a Christian - a Catholic even and I believe in God Almighty and Jesus Christ his Son. I fear for future generations if there is not a turnabout in our world.

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Good grief, what a mockery we make of it all. Jesus, born in a stable or a cave or a cattle pen of some sort, born to a young Hebrew girl, looked after by a simple tradesman, raised in a poor family, became an itinerant, dependent on the charity of other... We all know the story, the wandering preacher, the healer, the divine man, whatever you believe.

 

I know we are becoming more secular,less religious, even somewhat against organised religion but what has that got to do with the right of those who do believe to celebrate Christmas? To those who wish to tear down the decorations, take down the tree, stop celebrating, nothing is happening. Maybe for once you can stop putting your credit card into jeopardy because it is all so commercialized let's all cry: Bah Humbug. As for me and my house we will celebrate, give gifts, turn ourselves around, stop thinking of our own little needs and wants for a change and do acts of charity and love.

 

Whatever you believe in, be you from Africa, Iceland or Russia, Canada, USA, Mexico or here in Australia, I wish the beauty of Christmas will shine once more in your lives. Heaven alone knows we need that extra reason for loving our neighbour as ourselves, being kind to each other and putting our spare money into the hands of those who look after the poor, the stranded, those who have had it hard in life.

 

Fred, what foolish people we all are if we think anything can, in the long run, stop us from celebrating Christmas once more.

 

Sue.

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ah fred,

as usual, you stated the issue so well. it IS a christmas tree....i had no idea people were calling it a holiday tree......i sometimes wonder if the entire christian holiday has not been taken over by merchants! this country was founded on the idea that everyone has a right to their own personal religious belief or non-belief; not to mention the idea of separation of church and state. it makes me sad when people put down other people's beliefs. i know there are many paths of faith offered in this life and we should learn to respect the ideas of others. just think of the idea of peace in the middle east if the leaders there could respect the beliefs of others....not to mention each other.

i was raised in a christian home...dad's a minister....truthfully, i do not know where i stand on the issue of my belief in god. for the most part i keep my thoughts to myself as i ponder these issues. faith is a private thing in my book. this is a big sharing of myself here. i have real trouble with those folks who say "my way is the only way". that is how hate, intolerance and wars get started. what i know for sure is that love is the basis for our humanity...how we treat others. kathy

 

p.s. fred, your sensitivity on the issue is appreciated and very much respected by me!

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Fred,

Sad that those who feel threatened and intimated by a power who they in reality know is much greater than they, feel the need to attack and attempt to discredit. Fortunately anyone with a brain and even some of us with only half easily see them for what they are desperate lost souls.

As it was on the news my 16 year old decided the governor should be thrown out of office. My initial thought was to argue the political aspect with him, and then thought no. After listening to him rant for the next 15 minutes he actually brought up the point of political correctness. He said I know you were dying to cut me off and tell me about how it's about being politically correct, but we're so worried about being politically correct that we're allowing it to destroy Christ and Christmas. Does anyone see that or are they too afraid they won't be politicallt correct if they speak up?

I agree with Donna, quite eloquently written. Merry Christmas Fred, enjoy your Christmas tree, I will mine by no other name. May God bless you and keep you, and by your faith you know He will.

Maria

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Fred:

 

very eloquently written blog. as you know I follow different faith which is Hindu religion. & in my mind all religions in nutshell are teaching great things. I believe in all religions. though I am not very religious person but rather spiritual person. I actually enjoy all holidays. our son gets to celebrate all holidays including christmas. so Fred Merry Christmas & Happy New year to you too.

 

Asha

 

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