Merry Christmas to All

Posted by JMcVerry on December 21, 2009 

The CDT ran a nice story about religious acceptance

 

It's nice to see a new point-of-view from a different culture, one that most of us are not familiar with. It's also beneficial to see that "religious acceptance" isn't about everyone else coming to your terms. In reality, it is (and should be) about respecting other people's beliefs. 

 

Hypothetical: I walk through a borough park with my kids and see a menorah. We walk a little further and we see a Christmas tree. As we stroll by a bench, we pass by a group of folks handing out literature on Islam. Finally, attached to a telephone pole, there is a sign advertising an atheist organization.

 

Should I be upset that public space is being used for the grandstanding of other  people's religious beliefs? Or should I admire the space for what is: public. We are the public—all of us. When we succumb to banning these images and people from our public space (and replace it with terrible park art), we stray further from the culture we truly are. That's not good for anybody.

 

Those who go to war with the phrase "Happy Holidays" are just as misguided. What could be better than an all-encompassing phrase that welcomes us all into each other's special days? However, being offended by a "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hanukah," or "Happy Kwanza" (etc.) is also foolish.

 

We should be honored that our fellow citizen has welcomed us into their special season. We should feel welcomed that despite our differences, there are spaces that we can enjoy together.  A "Happy Hanukah" from a Jewish neighbor says to me that he respects me and would like me to join him in the celebration of one of his religion's most celebrated days. What's so bad about that?

 

There is no need to rant about our country's political correctness problem. In the end, we are all who we are. (DISCLAIMER: This doesn't include ramming beliefs down people's throats.) But celebrated civilly, we can enjoy a hassle-free holiday season. Who's with me?

 

Merry Christmas!


blog post photo

 

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