December 23, 2010 – I mean that sincerely.
By The Cerebral Aesthetic Vagabond
A little fall color (again with the darned wires, sigh)
I’m sick of all the hysteria about saying “Merry Christmas” and displaying Christian religious paraphernalia. I honestly enjoy this time of year, the colorful sights, the good moods people are in, the snow (thank goodness I’m not in Europe, however!) and the delicious feasts. Actually, I’m disappointed by the dearth of Christmas lights adorning peoples’ houses this year. As a child, of course, Christmas promised a bounty of gifts, something that seemed important then but not now. In fact, today I eschew both giving and receiving Christmas gifts, although if I knew any children I might be inclined to give them gifts.
Anyway, I just don’t understand what all the fuss about Christmas is about. Are we so intolerant that we cannot share, or at least try to understand the joy that Christians feel at this time of year? I don’t see why we cannot respect and tolerate all religions and their customs. I’m not the least bit threatened by religion or beliefs that differ from my own. If people have confidence in themselves, their religions and their beliefs, then they shouldn’t feel threatened by other religions or beliefs any more than I am.
Perhaps the fearful hysteria of offending anyone stems from peoples’ basic insecurity. After all, if one is hanging on by a thread, financially, I suppose they cannot risk offending someone if it might cost them their job. All of us can mitigate such risks by simply not allowing ourselves to be offended, by instead being tolerant of others’ beliefs. If nobody allows their self to be offended, then people won’t have to fear losing their jobs as a consequence. Longer term, people can strive to assume more control over their lives, making them less vulnerable to the whims of profit-obsessed bosses, restoring to the individual the decision whether or not to adorn their place of business with religious regalia. If after all that, people are still insecure about competing beliefs, then maybe they need to reexamine the depth of their commitment to their own beliefs.
Enough said. To all the Christians out there and anyone else who enjoys the season, I say, Merry Christmas. If people practicing other religions feel left out by my expression of good will, please let me know how I can make amends. To all the atheists out there, for whom zealous atheism has become a “religion” in itself, I urge them to acquire a little tolerance.
(By the way, I’m an atheist – always have been – who practices no religion whatsoever.)