Another Christmas is here, and in the tradition of the holidays, Random Spotter has enjoyed time with family and friends. One of the brightest spots of the season is a general attitude of joy and acceptance of others. If only we could bottle these positive emotions for liberal use during the remainder of the year. Let’s hope.
In reflection of the season, I’ve recently become more concerned about our increasingly anti-religious perspective, especially as this relates to Christmas. It is an undeniable fact that there are many non-Christians who celebrate Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or nothing at all. We share the country with them. But sharing a homeland with someone of different faiths or beliefs does not necessitate that we remove every source of potential conflict or disagreement. Why should we deny a heritage of government inspired by the Christian principles of its founders? Why should holidays be re-branded or watered down in denial of their purpose? To celebrate holidays, especially one whose message is of peace and joy, is not to alienate all who do not do the same. Rather, it is an affirmation of an identity and a heritage.
Religious beliefs, while they make us different in some ways, should not be denied. They are elements that make us unique individuals. The real problem, though most would deny them to their dying day, is that Christian principles are under attack. Virtually anything of Christian origin or flavor is deemed oppressive and intolerant by people who will go out of their way to legitimize faiths and beliefs of questionable character. Why? I have no answer, other than it is the trend of the times to vilify the predominant culture, faith, and ideology. This, too, is a unique aspect of current times in the USA. Too bad. Everything may not be perfect here, but hating who we are and where we come from is a very unproductive self-loathing that can only lead to more division among us.
There’s an old saying among recovering alcoholics in AA. They state that when they were in the throes of their illness, they would identify “out” of the community of AA rather than identifying with the groups of addicts. When they finally accept their disease, they are able to see the commonalities among them that make them a community and needy of each other. It seems to me that our leaders and our media keep encouraging us to identify out of our history and doctrine. I don’t understand this mindset in light of the class warfare this message prompts and the malaise prompted by perpetually negative points of view in the press.
In the spirit of Christmas, I wish us all peace in our hearts and minds. I am not blind to the need for change, but change can be undertaken positively and respectfully. Believers and unbelievers should be able to agree on that.