Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas, hold the politics....

I like this time of year -- y'know Christmas time. I'm not a religiously-inclined person (but I'm OK with you whether you are or you aren't; in fact, I think everyone ought to be free to follow his or her own path in that regard without interference from anyone), but one thing baffles me -- people who get all wound one way or the other up about Christmas. Some of those people are followers of other religions; some are non-believers and probably some are liberal Christians who think that in order to accommodate every religious belief (or non-belief) we need to keep the foot of society firmly planted on the throat of Christmas so it doesn't get too, I dunno, Christmas-y? Others are really devout Christians who oh-so-sure there's an anti-Christian conspiracy out there trying to, what's the phrase, "take Christ out of Christmas" or something like that?

Look, at this point in history, particularly American history, Christmas is, from a public-policy/governmental perspective, a secular holiday. Governmental agencies, libraries, etc are all closed, and it's not because government is bowing down in homage to Jesus. It's because a whole lot of us, theists and otherwise, celebrate the holiday with family and friends and want a day off to do it. Yup, some of those people also celebrate for religious reasons; some just like hanging out with people they love and exchanging gifts. Whatever floats yer boat. What's more punk-rock than a little freedom to celebrate a holiday as just a holiday or, if you choose, a holy day?

So why do some people get so bent out of shape about either the phrase "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays," hmmm? May I suggest that both camps need to get a life? Very few (OK, none?) of the people wishing you, the non-Christian, a "merry Christmas" are in fact speaking code that says, "Have a great day (improperly) celebrating a Christian holy day (jackass)!" They are just wishing you a nice Christmas day, season, etc. That's all. They are being nice. They aren't implying that you do (or ought to) believe in any Christian tenets. Conversely, those who wish you, the devout Christian, a "happy holiday" are not secretly speaking in code that says, "Jesus is dumb. You are dumb. I hate Christianity. Why do you believe that stuff, anyway?"

Lighten up, kids, and just enjoy a great time of year. You could spend more time being nice to people that way, which would fit in well with the season no matter what you believe in.

Merry Christmas. Happy holidays.

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