Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Is the "War" on Christmas Just Beginning?

Every year a few crackpots with nothing better to do declare that there is a "war" on Christmas. Usually, someone in a store says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, lumping the two holidays together in one easy greeting. In addition someone, somewhere pushes the envelope on a nativity scene location or some over the top Christmas celebration at a public school. Then the Bill O'Reilly's of the world crank up their tired old argument that some nebulous group is trying to kill the Christmas season.

I have news. This country is changing rather rapidly. There is a growing population of religions other than the Christian religion. The Asian population is expanding, along with people from the Middle East and Africa. Hindu, Muslim, Shinto, Buddhist, they are all here in large numbers. The Jewish population has been here all along, but has generally been ignored by Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus. There are those who follow no religion. Some may still celebrate the season, but could care less whether someone says Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. They will, however, object to having a particular tradition forced upon them in some way, whether it be a work, at school, or at play.

Finally, there are those who may follow the basic tenets of Jesus' teachings, while realizing that the Christian Bible was written by and for an ancient people and much of it has no real bearing on today's world. It is these people who have retained their ability to think and reason on their own and have been driven away from organized Christianity by its extremist Fundamentalist elements. They know that there is no "war" on Christmas. They also understand that the country will be changing in the future and that nothing is this world remains constant.

In order to survive as a nation this country must realize the change that is happening. We must accept that it will never be as it was prior to 1960, a nation with a majority of white, Western European protestants and Catholics with a few Jews thrown in. Our traditions are changing and they must, ultimately, embrace the new traditions of the new comers. There must be a melding of cultures that will, if we allow it, be for the best. If we fight it, however, with such nonsense as the war on Christmas and an attempted repression of non-Christian religions, we will fall hard and fast. The cancer of hatred and oppression from within will destroy this nation as surely as an attack from an outside enemy.