August 20, 2007

Christmas in July

I am aware that is is no longer that seventh month, but I needed a catchy title and what I have to say is just as relevant in August as any other month of the year.

Christmas- yes, I said it. Christmas. Christmas is one thing I refuse to euphemize.
I was in the choir room last December on a Thursday night, putting my books away after an arduous choir rehearsal for the Midnight Mass. I noticed on the shelf a lovely specimen of Schlumbergera bridgesii. You have most likely seen one before. This species of epiphytic cactus has broad, flat leaves with dull spines, and blooms beautifully in a wide range of colors around the Christmas season. Hence, time out of mind, it has been called a Christmas Cactus.

On reading the tag to see what hybridization it was, I saw that it said simply "Holiday Cactus." Staring at it a moment, I took a marker and crossed it out, writing underneath, "I am a Christmas Cactus. Liberated." This I stuck back in the pot; putting away my hymnal I headed for home, deep in thought.

Why is religion so euphemized today? Around Christmas (-Advent, rather...) it’s everywhere. Bows and wreaths and Christmas trees- and signs that say "Happy Holidays". As if people are afraid to mention Christmas. Why celebrate Christmas if you’re not going to...celebrate it? It’s all coming down to the First Amendment.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

That’s the first amendment. It’s what gives us the right, as American citizens, to be Catholic, to be Lutheran, to be Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist. Nowadays, like so many other things, it’s being grossly misinterpreted.

Oh, no- it’s not being misinterpreted. Not at all. This is the place of freedom- and respect. It’s out of pure respect that we put the damper on why we celebrate Christmas, why we are Christian at all. We simply wouldn’t want to offend anyone by mentioning God. We are free people, but here in America, today- God isn’t free. He’s real enough- yes, no, probably, maybe- but we can do just fine without mentioning Him. It’s just- not something we really want to talk about. It’s....embarrassing?

-Where in the Constitution does it give authorization for that mentality? To eliminate God from everyday America- in schools, places of business, anywhere- if anything, that’s a gross abuse of the first amendment, that first number in our Bill of Rights. That amendment was given to us so that we would never face religious persecution in America, the persecution that has brought us countless scores of immigrants in the past three hundred years. It’s slowly being abused to deprive us of our most important right- the right to make God the true Leader of this country- the only One who will ever bring a perfect justice and peace.

Look at other countries- even non-Christian countries. Look at India, for example. Practically everyone in India is Hindu. Their religion is manifested in the way they dress, the way they act, the way they live their lives every day- and they do not hide it. They’re not afraid to. If I were to go to India, I would not be offended by the fact that people there are Hindu. It goes with their culture- it’s to be expected. Why can’t we, as Christians today in America, be the same?

Under God. This is what is being so lost today. It’s hurting our identity as a people. America, comparatively, has no traditional culture today. No costume, no foods, no one ethnicity. But we, as Americans, are not without culture- we are one people because we believe in freedom, because we believe in liberty and justice for all- that is our culture. That’s what we were raised in, that’s what we are immersed in, that’s what we love and fight and die for. We are one people, one nation- under God.

I’m all for diversity. We are a diverse people. People of other religions are welcome here. But anyone who lives here needs to realize that this is a country founded on Christian ideals- and not to be offended by the fact. Why should we stop everything- even living our faith out in public- so as not to offend people who are not Christian? Is this country for them more than for us? We as Americans must be more assertive of the fact that the freedoms we outlined in the Constitution, the ones that we clamored for in the Declaration of Independence just can’t survive without Christianity. "The laws of nature and of Nature’s God."

Who really benefits from hiding God in society? The atheists. And it’s not even really going to get them anywhere. They're just throwing a blanket over a Fire and sitting on it.

God cannot be quenched, hidden, euphemized like that. No matter how completely He seems to have been "gotten rid of", He is always here.

Case in point: the majority of the American public does not remember that the older spelling of "holiday" is- Holy-day.


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Blogger ~Ambrose said...

I think it's rather a brilliant rant, Mari, regardless of what you think. ;)

August 20, 2007 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, true...

My issue with diversity is that there are some ideas that contradict others, and thus contradictory ideas are forever ill at ease with each other - like the Id and the Superego. Certainly, we are all given intellect and Free Will, and we must respect that God has given this gift to everyone - Christian, Hindu, or Hitler, however, when respectful people hold a beleif that contradicts what some... disrecpectful persons... hold, people feel threatened and, when push comes to shove, power shapes the casual tenants of the point of veiw in question and thus shapes reality.

Under today's interpretation of the constiution (or just people's reactionary conceptions), a polite defense can be taken (perhaps purpousely) as an offence, and so the problem arises of how to defend one's veiws without looking "offensive." The result is either a stiff upper lip, or bending over backwards as we see today unfortunately.

The constitution gives people the right to hold two constradictory veiws without either side being hit on the head with a mallet, however when Truth shines on unTruth, the unTruth shall fall apart in the end. Those who have built their houses on the sands of untruth are threatened, and thus the unTruth must sweep Truth under the rug in order to exist.

I love rambling...

- Louis

August 07, 2008 11:39 AM  

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