A Pagan Says "Merry Christmas"
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I am not a Christian. I am a Pagan who met with other Pagans to welcome the return of the Sun this past weekend. Naturally, lots of people simply assume that I am Christian (like my parents, who are retired UCC missionaries) and wish me Merry Christmas.
Let me say this: you do not have to apologize to me for saying Merry Christmas. _I_ know that 90% of you want good things for me. You hope I will get lots of presents and have a good time with my family. That's a NICE thing to wish for me!
We will be flying out to Florida tomorrow to join my parents for Christmas. Yes, we will be celebrating that holiday, too. Being polytheistic helps.
However... the other 10% want to make "Merry Christmas" into a political litmus test. These people view the term "Happy Holidays" as an insult, an attempt to devalue their god. They feel they are being forced to hide their Christianity.
I think that "Happy Holidays" is probably the most useful expression, though, since it includes other celebrations in December. I don't know what religion all my online friends or work friends are, so it cuts down on errors. It also makes for shorter store banners than "Merry Christmas/Happy Yule/Hannukah/Diwali/Kwanzaa".
I don't think the expression should be taken as an insult. This is about being fair and open to everyone.
I've heard a lot about "majority rule" as a justification to _enforce_ "Merry Christmas". What?!? By the line of reasoning above, this would just put members of other faiths in the position of hiding their own faiths, wouldn't it? Or, worse, pretending to be Christian to fit in.
I say, _no one_ should have to hide who they are. I do ask, though, that they be willing to share. The 'reason for the season' varies from person to person.
Unfortunately, the governmental response has often been to take away everything. I can't speak for other states, but here in KY the response to a request for inclusion (such as adding a menorah to a public holiday display) is often to withdraw the holiday displays altogether. That's a level of 'political correctness' I can do without!
Is being asked to share so very hard for people? Does sharing really repress who people are? Are the only options all or nothing?
You're welcome to believe that I'm going to a bad place after I die. Trust me, being Pagan is only one of many reasons for Christians to think that.
However, I do wish all my Christian friends out there Merry Christmas. I know this is your big day (along with Easter), and I want you to enjoy it.