Tis the season to be jolly. And to get caught up in commercialism. And other isms. Especially (if you're a Blowhard O'Reilly fan) getting caught up in hating secularism. There's been a lot of loaded rhetoric regarding religion swirling around my life lately. I'm not sure what to make of it, but here's some examples:
I'm still reading Lamb. And still loving it.
There was a story on NPR about a woman who prefers to sing Eagles tunes in the public park instead of caroling.
There was the bru-ha-ha about the Connecticut Valley Atheists and their poster.
There's the omnipresent "Mother Who Has God on Speed Dial" issues.
And then there's my friend at work who's having MIL issues b/c she is convinced if he and his wife don't raise their sons Christian, they're evil.
I'm not sure why there's so many people out there offended at this time of year because they're religion isn't accepted/adopted/respected by people of other (or no) religion. Just because it's a holy day to you, doesn't mean that everyone has to suddently "see the light."
It's especially apparent to me this year because I am completely unable to get into the "holiday spirit." Despite all my best intentions - and efforts - I'm pretty darn depressed. Christmas just doesn't seem to mean as much when you don't have someone(s) special to share it with. And although I have such wonderful, caring, supportive friends and family, let's face it. I live in a new town and work in a new job and don't have a whole lot of day-to-day meaningful interactions with people I can physically see.
But I what isn't surprising is how buying lots of trinkets and toys isn't doing anything to lift my spirits. Somehow I'm having a hard time worrying about buying my mother another DVD when there are lots of families in town far worse off than I (hopefully) will ever be.
I think this post on a message board says it pretty well:
Maybe it's not Atheists who are perpetrating the "War on Christmas," Maybe it's Hallmark and Wal Mart and Best Buy who pump all those snowy, cheery, fun-filled ads for gift ideas into their heads, all before their overindulgent sugar-high wears off from trick-or-treating. And in case you haven't noticed, they're all using "Holidays" in their commercials because they have a panel of public relations experts who realize that there are a lot of people who don't get down with Jesus that spend a lot of money in December.
Even if you think Jesus is the Reason for the Season, the original reason for the season - in whichever religion you belong to - was to celebrate the return of the light. And to help bring the light into all aspects of our lives and others. And not to, say, go shopping.