Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Spirit

It’s the holiday season again and if there is one thing that can ruin my Christmas spirit faster than anything it is the people complaining that people who are not Christian are taking the Christ out Christmas and the people who think all non-Christians should go back to their ancestor’s country.

The argument that non-Christians are somehow taking the Christ out of Christmas is the most nonsensical argument I have ever heard. Having Christ in Christmas is something done on an individual and family level. It doesn’t matter if my neighbor is Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, or a Christian. It is not going to affect how I celebrate Christmas in my home.

The meaning of Christ in my life is not determined by people outside of my faith, but from my own beliefs which grow by doing things like going to church and reading the Bible. I do not expect people of other faiths to conform to religious beliefs. My country was founded on the idea of religious freedom and if people choose not to be Christians and celebrate Christmas that is their choice.

The other statement about non-Christians going back to their own country is poorly justified. First of all, Christianity was brought to North America by European immigrants who forced their religion on the Native Americans and even went so far to change the names of Native Americans to Christian names. I always ask people when they say that non-Christians need to go back to their own country. What about the Native Americans who practice their religion that predates European settlers? I always get the same oh look followed by “I never looked at it like that.”

In my country, we have the right to practice any religion we want. In fact, I can make up my own religion if I wanted too. I think freedom of religion is one of those things that makes the United States free and it is not American, in my opinion, to want to force one particular religion on the masses.

Part of this I am sure comes from not growing up in a family that was only Christian. My extended family has a wide array of religious beliefs. Each religious group typically has a holiday in December. To keep my life simple, I send out Happy Holidays cards. Not because I am taking the Christ out of Christmas or because I am somehow conforming to what is politically correct. It just wouldn’t make sense for me to send out Merry Christmas carts to my non-Christian family members and friends. They don’t send me cards with their religious holiday events on them, so why should I send them a card with mine?


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