Georg Friedrich Handel – Messiah
Today’s Quote: “Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” –William Jennings Bryan
Only 13 days until Santa Claus makes his round the world trip. I’m trying to get excited about it but it just isn’t happening. I’m not getting excited about the non-secular aspects either but that’s probably because I celebrate the birth of Jesus on April 17th.
ca. 17 April 6 BCE
Is it just me or has this holiday season been devoid of religious connotations? I’m not hearing traditional Christmas carols, I’m not seeing religious Christmas displays such as Nativity scenes. Even in the stores I haven’t seen anything displayed that says “Merry Christmas.” Instead, everything says “Happy Holidays.” Has political correctness reached the point of absurdity where we can’t even express holiday greetings that may carry a religious message in fear that we may offend someone who doesn’t happen to celebrate Christmas?
My holiday in December is Christmas; that’s what I celebrate and that’s the sentiment I’m going to convey in my holiday greeting. I’m not celebrating holidays in the plural. I’m celebrating a holiday, Christmas, in the singular. If anyone is offended, get over it.
If I know the person I’m greeting is Jewish, then I’ll wish him a Happy Hanukkah as well. If I don’t know he’s Jewish, he can correct me and then I’ll wish him a Happy Hanukkah anyway. If the person is an atheist then I have to question why he’s celebrating anything. It seems kind of hypocritical to celebrate the secular Christmas without at least acknowledging God and Jesus. If I meet an atheist, should I wish him a Happy Godless Holiday?
As far as public Christmas displays, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution is mum on the subject. Essentially, all the amendment states is that the state will not establish a state religion and will allow its citizens the freedom to worship (or not) as they please. It does not prohibit prayer in school, a Nativity scene in the town square, or displaying the Ten Commandments in a government facility. Common sense should tell us that we should acknowledge, respect, and tolerate religious differences. If you can’t do that, then you need to take a hard look at yourself and your beliefs.
I’m not one to force my religious beliefs on anyone else. I naturally expect the same courtesy from others. I’m open to hearing your viewpoint but I don’t want your version of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, agnosticism, or atheism forced on me. Unless God appears before me and tells me otherwise, my belief is that religion is not absolute. It’s open to interpretation and subject to change. No one has all the answers or ultimate insight into the divine.
Now, how about a rousing chorus of “Away in a Manger” or “Silent Night” followed by “Hava Nagila”? I think I’ll watch The Hebrew Hammer tonight. Maybe that will help me get into the spirit.