religious intent

December 14, 2005 12:02am
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I’m usually pretty good about accepting other people’s religions, as long as they know their boundaries and don’t try to push them back on me … but mind you, accepting and understanding are obviously two totally different paths and a very brief conversation that I had today just sort of caught me off guard…

The discussion was referencing The Polar Express, which apparently now I own because it was given to me after the first recipient of it as a gift didn’t approve of the content therein … which, probably like yourselves, is where I got lost, too, because … it’s the Polar-freakin’ Express!!! “How can a movie about the joys of Christmas possibly be bad???” you ask? Well, as it was explained to me (I haven’t actually watched the movie yet), the film focuses around Santa Claus and his being the icon of Christmas…and this individual was offended because “Christmas isn’t about Santa Claus, it’s about Jesus” and he didn’t want his children to be exposed to that.

Fair enough, I suppose, because one thing I’ve grown to develop over the years is a keen sense of who I can and can’t argue religious beliefs with and I didn’t want to cause a fight, but nonetheless his ideas coupled with the rants of a local church group’s banter last week asking folks to boycott stores such as Target and Wal-Mart because they use the phrase “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” in their advertising and it’s taking away from “what Christmas is all about” – as if I needed a reminder, if anything it certainly helped me to remember just how crazy the Christian rite is, that’s for sure!

I have a problem when these groups will fight tooth-and-nail for their own beliefs, but then virtually disappear when another of their own kind is fighting a similar battle. Case in point – about a month or two ago, there was a whole lot of discussion about certain other religious groups getting their holidays added to the school calendars (mainly Muslim, if I remember correctly). They argued on and on for weeks until finally the main group gave up their plots after the school board threatened to pull other holidays off the calendar “to make it fair” because the group understood that they would be blamed for the plight…and mind you, all the while we heard not a peep out of the Christian corner, except when they cited that their holidays weren’t “official school holidays,” either. Funny how “winter break” and “spring break” just so happen to cover Christmas and Easter then, eh?

It brings me back to the day when Matt and I used to review outlandish Christian websites for Just Laugh – we would find ones covering everything from which Disney movies would send you straight to hell to which Christian groups themselves were better than others … it seems that no one is safe unless they’re expressly agreeing with you in their world and I think that’s a very dangerous thing to be teaching children these days. There’s enough other horrible things going on in this world than to breed pride and prejudice at such early ages – what is it going to take the “majority” to realize that it doesn’t really solve any of the problems and just makes people look foolish around the nation and even around the world? Mass amounts of people have been wrong about their intent before … anybody remember the Nazis?!

So me, I strictly celebrate the commercial aspect of Christmas and at the end of the day, I really don’t feel all that bad about it, either. The acts of giving and receiving have always managed to put smiles on the faces of those around me, from what I’ve noticed, and that’s really good enough for me. I don’t mean to sound elitist or snooty by saying that I can find the values that I live my life by without religion, but I suppose at the end of the day, I just sleep better knowing that I’ve done my best to do onto others across the board – not just for those who might happen to share these exact same beliefs with me…

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