Monday, December 6, 2010
It's that time of the year again and with it come the same old arguments and beliefs about others taking Christmas away. I had one woman; a friend of my husbands; try to tell me that it's now illegal to put a Nativity Scene up in front of your house. When I pointed out to her all the beautiful Nativity Scenes that I have seen in the last few years, she told me that it was people defying the law.....right.
Last time I looked, we still live in Canada. And whether you like it or not, we are a multicultural society with many strong beliefs.
So...I did what I always do. I researched the so-called law, in order to let her know that she can put out her nativity scene without worry of the anti-Christmas police banging down her door and arresting her.
I was raised with the Baptist faith. As a child I used to love to explore the different faiths of my friends and that continued into adulthood. I love having an open mind and that is exactly what I feel I've gained from this experience. And I can feel very proud to say that I passed those same values on to my own children and they will continue to do the same.
First, I need to start by saying that nobody is out there trying to take away Christmas. There is no green grinch just waiting to pounce on your Nativity Scene or whatever you may display to celebrate what the season is for you.
I believe that faith is a very important part of us and something that is essentially needed for our emotional health. But it is also very personal and should never be opened to insults and criticisms.
It's been many years now since I stopped believing in the Christian faith and my reasons are irrelevant. I've always been very Earthy and feel my best when communicating in some way with nature.
At the same time, I have the ability to listen to somebody tell me that God is with her always. And I can believe that beyond a shadow of a doubt.
I don't believe in the same God so why would I believe this to be true?
Because it is true for the person speaking of it and I do not believe it is my right to try to take away somebody's core values and beliefs. At the same time, I appreciate and expect the same courtesy.
There will always be Christmas every year because it's too much of a tradition to have it ever fall by the wayside. However I'm sorry to have to say this to the Christians, but you don't have the monopoly on the holiday season. And you cannot force others out because we don't believe what you do.
You have to face the facts that many of your Christmas traditions were originally traditions for a pagan holiday. If anybody robbed any other faith of their beliefs, I'd say it was the very opposite of what you are taught to believe.
In ancient years the Winter Solstice was celebrated by many Countries, many cultures and many beliefs and in many ways, including Yule Winter Festivities during late December to early January beginning on the day of Winter Solstice (usually December 21st).
Eventually the Christian holiday, known as Christmas was absorbed into the Yule Winter Festivities, taking with it many of it's traditions, such as the Yule Log and the decorated tree.
According to Wikipedia the official date passed on to the people to celebrate was December 25th after the Julian calendar was adopted.
It would be a very special holiday season indeed if people would open their minds and look at the faiths of others as just that...different faiths. Everybody has a strong belief that their faith is the true faith. That is a good thing. We all need strong faith, especially during difficult times.
But keep in mind that during this period, Christians are not the only people celebrating. When I wish somebody "Happy Holidays", it's generally because I don't know what their faith is or how they will celebrate. If I know somebody's faith, then I will wish them happiness for their celebrations without prejudice.
We all have a right to our beliefs. Please remember that when you are getting frustrated at how you may feel your beliefs are being stepped on, remember we all can feel that way.
Happy Holidays to one and all.