Friday, December 24, 2004

Who is trying to ban Christmas?

I'm actually supposed to be doing my pre-Christmas housecleaning, but the computer is more interesting -- in fact, almost anything is more interesting than housework. But I can across something in the "Boy, is this guy an idiot!" department. One of the worst aspects about both sides of the political spectrum is the silly paranoia about the other side. Of course, the religious right is always acting like liberals are trying to ban Christianity. (You know, some liberals actually are Christians.)

As a Baha'i, I actually am not mortally offended at public displays about Christmas -- even those who clue people in that the was the Christian church's Feast of the Nativity before it became the secularized and tinselly holiday we all know and love (or hate). I vastly prefer religious Christmas carols; I've lived in California all my life and just can't manage to get sentimental about snowmen, sleigh bells, or Jack Frost nipping at your nose. And the annual tiresome controversies over where you can put a creche seem to me overblown. I do think, however, that any religious aspect to Christmas should be kept out of schools, because adults can deal with being offended, perhaps, but it is not right to put children in an alienated position in schools that they are required to attend. Schools also bend over backwards to avoid offending fundamentalist Christian parents about Halloween, too, with things like witches and ghosts largely absent from the classroom, at least around here. It has pretty much turned into "pumpkin and candy season".

I was going to quote the worst of the article, but you'd just better go read the whole thing. It is so full of anti-liberal paranoia -- not only do these nefarious characters want to abolish Christmas, May has managed to drag in just about every right-wing paranoid fantasy about liberals there is, from wanting legal euthanasia to "autocrats directing our lives".

There is one gem I just have to quote: The fact that Christ and Christmas are still so feared and hated can mean only one thing; Christ really was who He said He was.

You know, some liberals actually think Jesus is on theirside -- all that compassion, forgiveness, and caring for the poor stuff that you find in the gospels jives right with the liberal outlook. In any case, it's really a far cry from wanting to accept that this is a pluralist society, and believing that forcing non-Christians to participate (like in school programs, for instance) in a Christian celebration is unjust, and wanting to, as May says, " close down the churches". A basic principle of our Constitution is to avoid "the tyranny of the majority". The problem is that the religious right thinks that Christianity is owed some kind of privileged position in our society, and if they don't have it, then they are picked on, oppressed, and victims of a conspiracy. Well, non-Christians have rights in this country, too; get used to it.

Click on the title of this entry to read the article.

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