Seeking a way to move forward


I’m still seeing it happen across the country, and even across the globe, and it always becomes more of a problem around this time of year.

I’m of course talking about the efforts of a few to stamp out Christmas, or at least the Christ part of it.

You can’t tell me that the pinnacle observance of Christianity is so offensive, so unpalatable that it merits such animosity from other groups, both religious and secular, but it does.

Nativity scenes are supposed to be removed from any government property, schools no longer hold Christmas programs, but holiday programs, universities dictate that celebrations cannot reflect religious holidays.

There’s so much more. Even on a television program I watch, one person — one — out of a group of people who were planning to throw a Christmas party objected to it, and deemed the party a holiday party, to which the rest acquiesced without any comment.

When these kind of things creep into popular culture in that manner, it shows that there is an effort to eliminate an observance that belongs to Christianity almost exclusively anymore.

Don’t throw that ham-‘n’-egg argument about the roots of the observance coming from pagan origins or whatnot. That is decidedly beside the point.

The point here is that Christians observe this holiday, and because small groups of people feign offense, it has to go.

What goes unsaid, however, is that it’s the only holiday under this type of siege. There’s never been a concerted effort that I’m aware of for the removal of Ramadan or similar events, or Hanukkah or Yom Kippur, and even suggesting something like that is met with derision and jeers.

So what’s different about Christmas? And why does our observance of a holiday strike offense?

Your status as something other than Christian does not give you the moral high ground to hide my holiday from sight. You cannot claim tolerance for Islam or Judaism or atheism or Zoroastrianism or whatever ism you want to name while at the same time seeking to limit or erase portions of other observances.

However, it seems in this world, tolerance means taking turns being the top dog, not mutual respect.

It shows in race relations, it shows in religion, in any situation where two or more different structures exist; we eschew equality for alternating dominance. You know, “You had your turn, now it’s ours.”

I believe in the risen Christ, but I’m OK with your beliefs. I’m not OK with you telling me I have to sublimate my beliefs because you’re offended. I won’t, because that makes me fair-weather believer, which is to say, not one at all.

We’re going to have to come to the realization that what’s in the past is past, and we’re going to have to decide to move forward without the baggage of millennia of grief. We must decide to respect each other, to love each other, to honor each other’s faith while maintaining our own.

That’s when we get to truly have peace on Earth, and display good will toward men.

Which is what the season of Christmas exemplifies.