Merry Christmas, Christians!
I want to wish every Christian a very merry Christmas! Thanks to the wisdom of our nation’s founding fathers, you are free to celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, whom you believe to be son of the universe’s creator! Christians believe the life of Jesus was sacrificed so that the wrongs of faithful humans could be forgiven so that they may have everlasting life with God in heaven. His birth is certainly a reason for Christians to celebrate!
I have learned this and much much more as a former participant of Christian faith, including the many positive teachings of Jesus as written in the Holy Bible. What I have yet to learn is the Christian basis for the active attempts at nullification of celebrations outside the Christian faith. As I understand it, early Christendom embraced other celebrations and actively worked to integrate them into their way of doing things both to share in the social benefits and as an exhibition of Christian tolerance and inclusion. It’s why we have Christmas trees, Easter eggs, and more traditions that are now associated with the Christian faith.
What remains in the early 21st century since the time of Jesus, is something completely different. The prevailing messages of tolerance and inclusion have been replaced by their opposites. Simply acknowledging anyone else’s reason to celebrate anything during the winter season draws the ire of many modern Christians. A well-wish of “Happy Holidays” is considered a battle-cry for a “War on Christmas” that no one declared.
Everyone knows that there are many non-Christians living in the United States. As of 2020, it’s about one out of every three people. Perhaps it’s not coincidental that the percentage is growing. This means there are now over 100 MILLION Americans that don’t celebrate Christmas as a commemoration of the birth of Jesus, son of God. Many celebrate Christmas secularly as a celebration of family, other relationships, the beauty of winter, and more. Many celebrate other holidays near the same time period, including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Pancha Ganapati, and more.
Despite the popularity of the insistence that the United States is a Christian nation, our country’s forefathers appreciated the societal benefits of leaving policy based on belief to the individual. Within the first amendment to our Constitution, the “Establishment Clause” was included so that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” In other words, no religion gets legal preferential treatment and no one can be prevented from participating in a religion.
While it’s legal to hatefully demand that your neighbors accept the same religious premises as true and worthy of worship, you’d be hard pressed to find a palatable ethical argument for it and you’re going to have a hard time suggesting anyone join a religion with such poison fruit. If you find yourself bristling at someone wishing you happy times in your life, you might want to take a close look at why. If there’s a War on Christmas in America, it’s being waged by Christians, contrary to the spirit of the roots of their religion, their country, and the collective values of humanity. Endorsing happiness in all holidays does not prevent your Christmas from being merry. All holidays matter.