A decent message in the true spirit of the holidays.

Posted by admin
Dec 25 2005

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has passed almost a month ago. The Winter Solstice is only days behind us, a holiday in its own right for many people. Today Christians will celebrate Christmas. Tomorrow marks the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. Many African-Americans will soon gather together in the homes of friends and families to share in the spirit of Kwanzaa. Many New Year celebrations will take place for many cultures, particularly but not limited to people from southern and eastern Asia, in the upcoming weeks.

“So what?” you may ask.

I’ll tell you “so what.”

Lately, the American Kulturkampfer’s who have waged a pitched struggle in their self-proclaimed “war on Christmas” have sickened me by their salvos directed against the use of “Happy Holidays” as some kind of generic, neutered, watered-down, and politically-correct term lacking any substantive meaning. Some, declaring that they want to put the “Christ” back in Christmas, take the Christian message of hope, peace, and love toward all and dump it by the wayside as they proclaim their allegiance to a kind of warrior Jesus who will slay our real or perceived enemies.

How many middle-aged, wealthy, nominally- or intensively-Christian, white men do we have to hear on the radio, read in the newspapers, see on television, or read on the internet before we begin to wonder if their version of how this holiday season should be observed contains subtle or not-so-subtle messages of racism, cultural dominance, classism, and sexism? Isn’t this time of year a season that is less about a single day and more about a truly remarkable series of holidays that so many people of differing religions, ethnicities, and cultures celebrate this time of year?

There is no good reason to wage a culture war to establish Christmas as some kind of One True American holiday when there are so many holidays people in our country celebrate. To say “Happy Holidays,” as I do, is to wish each and every person well as we all work to bring light into a time of darkness and renew our commitment to work toward establishing peace and prosperity for all in a world where war and poverty still exist.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

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