Thursday, 15 December 2011

Merry GIFTmas!!!

Let me start by saying that I don't consider myself a religious person, and haven't for quite some time. But I needed to get this off my chest. A good friend said he thinks we should actually remove or change the "Christ" in "Christmas", since apparently Christmas doesn't really involve Christ anymore. Let's take a HUGE leap, and assume that this is in fact the case (which by the way it is not...not by a long shot; there are still plenty of folks in this world who believe in a Christ at the core of their Christmas tradition). But even if it were true that the vast majority of people who celebrate Christmas around the world did so in a purely secular way, is there really any point to changing the name of the day itself? It's one thing to say that we must right the wrongs of the past, such as slavery and segregation. But must we now go so far as to whitewash every single vestige of tradition, to the point of renaming a day which has never in any way been meant to oppress or marginalize anyone, but rather to spread a feeling of love and kinship? Should Hanukkah be renamed, since many Jews who celebrate it are not regularly practicing their faith anymore? I mean, come on - it's like trying to erase the word "seminal" from our vocabulary, because it connotes the predominance of the male of the species in the act of procreation! (This was actually a rule imposed upon me in university by a GEOGRAPHY professor!) Really? How many people actually think of that when using "seminal"? Holy Crap! Or should I say, "Secular Crap!" God forbid I refer to something being Holy! OOPS! I just said, "GOD forbid!" Now every atheist is going to feel slighted and hard done by. The point is this - let's stop wasting our precious time, energy and resources looking for things to be offended by (particularly word origins and semantics) and instead let's just try to TREAT each other with compassion and respect...regardless of race, colour or creed (or lack thereof). Honestly, people...words are a powerful thing. But where do we draw the line with respect to rewriting the English language? ACTIONS, my friends, are what really matter. Remember the saying, "Actions speak louder than words?" But wait...maybe we should quiet down our actions, because isn't it rude to speak louder that others? The words might be offended! Another great saying is "DO unto others as you would have them do unto you," not "rewrite and edit unto others..." Sorry again - I believe that is technically a saying rooted in the Christian tradition, although I'm sure there are similar sentiments at the heart of most if not all religious traditions. I guess we better ignore it, though, and pretend it was never said...despite the simple and powerful wisdom held in those few words. We wouldn't want to offend anyone by making sense, now would we? Merry Giftmas, everyone! SP

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