Thursday, December 25, 2014
There is No "War on Christmas" For Me
Merry Christmas to all!
It seems like this time of year is when we start hearing in the media about the "war on Christmas", and frankly, I'm kind of sick of it.
I can understand people thinking that the religious/spiritual meaning has gone out of Christmas. For many people it's about spending money and making money. And there's nothing wrong with either of those two things; everyone has different ideas about what they get out of the holiday. But I can understand people being upset about that.
With that said, it isn't what we're talking about, really. The distinct impression I get when I hear about the "war on Christmas" is that people are upset that people of other faiths are starting to push back against the idea that we're not all Christians, and that many of us do not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday.
One of the manifestations of this phenomenon is the idea that you can somehow offend people with "Merry Christmas!" Since you don't know what faith everyone is, you can't necessarily greet them appropriately for their spiritual path. And what about atheists? Dan Piraro, the creator of the Bizarro comic, has two atheists greeting each other with "Happy Nothing!", which I found hilarious. But I digress.
If someone wishes me "Merry Christmas", I take that as "I hope you have a great holiday, whichever one it is you celebrate at this time of year." I find it makes me feel good and doesn't piss people off, and I know deep down that people are wishing me well. Not everyone knows I'm a witch and I don't feel the need to advertise it, so I don't correct people and say, "No...it's 'Blessed Yule'!"
(For the record, more and more people are recognizing Wicca/Witchcraft, so I often get messages from friends wishing me well for the solstices and the other holidays. I'm always extremely impressed and grateful!)
Other than the whole "Merry Christmas" thing, I'm not sure what the "war" is about. If you mean that people should be able to put up nativity scenes and other faiths should be able to construct and publicly display symbols of their faith, I'm all for it. Everyone, from Wiccans to atheists to Satanists and every other group, should be able to put up displays at public buildings. Or no group should be allowed to do so. That's only fair.
I think that many Christians are starting to get nervous that their faith is losing ground in the United States. I'm not sure why that would make people upset; your faith is your faith no matter how many people practice it. What other people say doesn't affect what you believe, does it? Christianity is one of the world's strongest and largest faiths, so I'm not sure how others expressing their religious beliefs threatens them.
If you really believe there's a "war on Christmas", then perhaps you should look within and ask yourself why other people wanting to express their beliefs has a negative impact on your own. To push this idea forward smacks of intolerance, which is just unacceptable.
My Christmas wish for us all is acceptance. If you can accept that the beliefs of others have nothing to do with you; and that when someone wishes you well, even if it's not of your personal spiritual path, you can accept it as a kind wish, you're already in good shape for 2015.
Best wishes for a prosperous, peaceful, and healthy 2015.