I couldn't say it any better. Having lost a daughter and newborn granddaughter just three years ago, this article appeared at a perfect time in my Facebook news-feed. My thanks to the writer. May it provide you insight as well as it did me.
Happy HalloThankHanuKwanChristmas! Well, that's what commercialism has done to the 4th quarter holiday season. Autumn arrives in late September and here come Christmas Carols, Halloween decorations on sale at 50% off as soon as they hit the store shelves and somewhere in the middle you find things like Halloween, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Veterans Day and others thrown in.
Thank you, thank you retail industry. Is it the retail industry.....or is it more??
I shall spare each of you my definitions of the holidays, they are subject to interpretation anyway. If you're Jewish, you'll prefer Hanukkah. If you're Christian you may be pro-Christmas and anti-Halloween. If you're a citizen of the USA, you'll relish over-eating, parades, and football games on Thanksgiving Day. If you're of African-American descent, you will cherish your heritage at the celebration of Kwanzaa. If you're a veteran in the USA, Veterans Day will be held near and dear to your heart.
Guess what? I bet I just missed a bunch of other holidays and someone out there will call me on it. We all do the best we can to celebrate our heritage, our religious faith, our communities, and having fun for the sake of having fun.
Sometimes we get very outspoken against something we do not understand. Just because we don't understand someone other people's reason for joy is no reason to be mean and verbally or physically attack them.
That said; however, when people pervert their faith and use it for evil/generally bad purposes, then we have the right to call them out on it and put a stop to it.
I read an article recently in which reference was made to atheists and satanists promoting practices to children and asking a school board to approve of materials for distribution. If you don't want religion in the schools, then you must not permit anti-religion either. It has to be equal both ways. If for example, you don't allow the Bible and Christianity in school materials, then Islam cannot be taught either. If you won't allow religion, you can't have anti-religion (e.g. atheism) in the school
If you believe in good, you must believe in evil.
If you believe in God, you must believe in the devil.
If you believe in heaven, you must believe in hell.
Every action incurs and equal and opposite reaction.
Look at our schools today. They are a jumbled mess. Took Christianity out but put pure evolution in. They do not permit the discussion of the beliefs of Christianity even though Christianity exists. They do not permit prayer. All of a sudden lately, though, there is a huge push to permit the teaching of Islamic beliefs, atheistic beliefs, and even satanic beliefs. If you're going to teach one, you must teach them all, equally.
And we wonder why our youth are confused, depressed, angry, and getting into trouble. WE are confusing them by our very lack to teach them with fare and true content. WE are allowing our government-influenced educators and school boards to be bullied further and further into teaching our children a bunch of confused and partial belief systems.
(Don't even get me started on the Common Core system that is completely degrading mathematics among other courses.)
How have we gone from celebrating each holiday for its own worth and respecting others' celebrations to demoralizing our children with conflicting belief systems? Do we blame the greed of the retail industry? Do we blame teachers or school boards? Do we blame various religious and anti-religious groups? Do we blame ourselves? Do we blame our own faith? Do we blame each other? Do we blame the leaders of our country?
Something to consider: we elect our leaders (either by voting or failing to vote and allowing bad leaders into power), we elect our school boards who hire the teachers of our young people. We choose where to attend church, if we attend church. We allow bullying of our educational system and our young people on the largest scale possible and yet we do nothing about it.
We see parents run to the schools and complain if Suzi Q or John Doe get insulted and we complain bitterly because the school didn't protect our child. BUT GUESS WHAT FOLKS?? Life is mean. Life is not easy. If it were pleasant and easy all the time, we'd most likely be in heaven (for those who believe it exists.
I'm not saying not to stand up for your children when there is a serious problem, which can include bullying. We do need to teach our children to stand up for themselves too.
We are setting the poorest of examples in this country in the current era. We allow small sub-groups to bully our educational system instead of standing up and saying this isn't good stuff/good curriculum. Do not misunderstand me, I am all for adding new and good things. I have no problem teaching all about all religions and anti-religions, let's be equal. Equal is the component. Give our children and grandchildren an equal balance of knowledge so they don't continue growing up confused, needing more and more chemical medications pumped into them to help them cope with the lack of mental tools we failed to provide them.
Back to the holidays......enjoy each one. Play, celebrate, pray, and savor. Enjoy each one in its own time, not in one jumbled mess.
From my faith to yours, may you be blessed.
Do you celebrate the holidays? Do you celebrate Christmas? How about Kwanzaa? Or Hanukkah? New Year's? Thanksgiving? Valentine's Day? Easter? St. Patrick's Day? President's Day? July 4th? Labor Day? Halloween? Canada Day? What DO you celebrate?
There seem to be many interpretations running around on the internet and in general conversation as to what the holidays ARE.
Christians want to say Merry Christmas, not Seasons Greetings or Happy Holidays. Non-Christians want to celebrate Christmas but ignore the basis for the holiday and celebrate a secular Santa Claus and gift-giving (I wonder if they know that even Santa Claus is based on a saint.....Saint Nicholas?).
There are those who are offended at the holidays of other religious groups, although seemingly more tolerant in this country of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa (although I remember a huge verbal fuss in society when African-Americans instituted Kwanzaa).
Right now, Muslim holidays seem quite scorned by the 'Christian' population. (Funny thing is, the Muslim faith goes clear back to Abraham, just like the Jewish and Christian faiths do.)
And what of these other 'lesser' holidays......Labor Day, for example? No one seems to mind having a day off to celebrate hard work!
Thanksgiving is popular here in the States: a day off, huge feast, shopping sales galore the day after, parades, naps, football.
Halloween has had its share of debate: is it rooted in evil? is it just for fun?
MANY of the holidays in this country have some religious foundation if you research them deeply enough. Some do not, but many do. I'm not trying to define them all today, just look at the generality.
I was recently 'accused' of being "hopelessly conservative." I asserted that I am "hopelessly American." I am probably too liberal for my conservative friends and too conservative for my liberal friends.
I believe that religious RESPECT is far better than religious Tolerance. Our country has in its founding guidelines FREEDOM OF RELIGION. To me, that means that I must respect others' right to worship their god as they choose; correspondingly, they must respect my right to worship as I choose. That does not mean it's OK to have 'civil rights and liberties' groups filing lawsuits to have my holiday symbols removed from public places, any more than it is OK to have the symbols of other religions forcibly removed from public places. There has been a trend lately to force the removal of Nativity scenes, depictions of the Ten Commandments etc. There is NO need for such removal.
Yes, there is separation of church and state; wherein the government doesn't meddle with the churches and the churches don't meddle with the state and their is mutual RESPECT.
By the same token, traditional symbols of holidays placed in public and government locations does not violate that separation - those symbols are long-time traditional symbols of holidays celebrated within this country.
There is a huge difference between respect, tolerance, and preaching the theme of political correctness (so named from the brain-washing of prisoners in the Korean War until they thought politically correct) -- Political Correctness is NOT a new term, it is not clever, it is not cool. Its goal is to make everyone think alike, which in itself goes against everything American: Independence, Respect, Tolerance, Acceptance, Melting Pot.
You cannot truly enjoy any holiday while trying to force others into political correctness. It just doesn't fit. You cannot enjoy a holiday without respecting the history of the holiday. If you try to celebrate and ignore its history, you will still feel an emptiness inside.
Respect others this holiday season. Allow others their thoughts, beliefs, and faiths. Share your thoughts, beliefs, and faiths -- but do so in a respectful way, not a shameful way.
Do not accuse or label others because they think differently on a topic of religion, politics, or holidays. They are all individuals in their own right. Be tolerant. Be peaceful. Protect these very rights of worship and celebration, no matter whose they are.
I will wish each of you a Merry Christmas season and a Happy New Year!! (That is my background!) For those of you who do not wish to celebrate Christmas, but celebrate another holiday, or none at all, I will wish you the Greetings of the Season!! May your days be long and blessed. (Hopefully you have faith in blessings! ;)
This is MY blog. For my thoughts, my opinions, my views. Get it? Self-centered, this is for my outlook on life, politics, religion, family, friends, and any other topic I choose for my ramblings.