This is what I say to those I meet this time of year. It is the same greeting that my family and friends would get, so it applies to benign-looking strangers as well, meaning them nothing but good. My Jewish and Islamic friends also get “Merry Christmas”. Not surprising among reasonable people, they smile and return the blessing. Likewise, when I notice (not being a theologian or scholar) that it is Ramadan or Al-Hijra, I will tell Muslims to have “a blessed” one and I post a hearty “שמח חנוכה!” when I see that Hanukkah is approaching.
The way I see it, if I would bestow the same wishes to my children, they should be pleased if I wish them well in the same way. Likewise, if they are sincere and would give their loved ones the same greetings, then I am satisfied with their intent when I get a “شهر رمضان المبارك” (I admit I cannot even come close to pronouncing the Arabic). I’m not worried about being diminished somehow or being tagged for eternal punishment. I don’t believe that God, the only one that gets it right with a sea of imperfect humans underfoot, would do anything other than smile.
Don’t get me wrong, I am rock-solid in my faith and believe I have most of it right. I know that I misunderstand some things, but, “behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears me and opens the door, I shall come in and eat with him”. If I have Jeshue’s or Jehovah’s name wrong, or make some other error because of what I have been taught, He will come to me if I am sincere. He makes up the difference. That’s called “grace”. If He will cover for me, why not any other human striving (according to his experience) to be Godly?
But this “happy holiday” business? Holiday? If they’re lumping in everything from October to January, that’s one thing. If not, exactly which Holy Day are they celebrating (with their Christmas trees and presents) if not Christmas? The Festival of Lights and Islamic New Year are over. Kwanzaa (not a holy day, but a cultural event) isn’t until after Christmas. This appears to be a rather vapid attempt to avoid being offensive by some and an attempt to deny the true nature of the celebration by others. Some make it “winter solstice”, which is just the name of the shortest day of the year.
This last group (atheists) insists that any mention of anything to do with God (they often make it “magical sky-god” to be as offensive as possible) is unconstitutional. They demand that ancient city names be changed, historic memorials and other artifacts be hidden or destroyed, etc. Real Taliban stuff.
The First Amendment says that the government will not set up a state religion, but otherwise, the free exercise of religion shall not be prohibited. This is referred to as “freedom of religion”. One is also free to opt out of participating in religion. But it doesn’t even suggest that anyone can be free from seeing or hearing about it. ‘Freedom from religion’ (protection from exposure) means staying home. Interestingly, the phrase “separation of church and state” does not exist anywhere in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. It is widely attributed to a 1947 SCotUS decision, referring to an 1802 letter from President Jefferson to a religious group. Jefferson confirms a division between religious and government business, but goes on to wish them the blessings of the “Father and Creator”.
And a Happy New Year! I was going to save pedestrian, D.C. news for future scribbling, but we have been given gifts too important to ignore. The Democrats have been ignoring the will of the People and the Constitution as if November’s election never occurred. They delayed responsible legislation (like a budget and the expiring tax cuts) all year to cram it all into this false-crisis “lame duck” session, along with tons of Socialist agenda items. Instead of a “continuing resolution” (50 pages, simply continuing all programs at current levels until the new Congress in January), they (most Dems, a couple Republicans) came up with a gargantuan “omnibus spending bill”. Yet another 1,900 page monster, crammed with hidden/confusing language, and at least 8,000 new, Progressive spending projects that would increase the deficit by another trillion dollars.
They also tried again to force through their DREAM act (Democrats’ Registration Extravaganza by Amnesty measure?), which would give illegal alien “children” up to 35 years old immunity from deportation upon application, and eventual citizenship, in return for their “service” in accepting money, free food and free education for years, if they promise to accept the additional burden of more free cash and education. And priority over Americans’ kids. And ability to vouch-in their entire families.
Well, the conservatives did as we told them in November: they largely held the breach against the blitz in favor of illegal aliens, massive debt and crippling tax increases. They had to give up on “paying for” the extension of unemployment, so it wasn’t a great deal for the country. They wanted some cuts somewhere to offset that cost (most of the “$700 billion – no, $900 billion – no, $1 trillion, GIVEN to the rich”). However, it seems that the Progressives’ much touted “pay as you go” resolution (and recent screaming about debt) was just an inconvenient truth for them to sidestep.
So, while we still have a lot repair work to do, we will be in much better condition than we feared (or they planned) in January. We can breathe a bit easier and enjoy the more important truth. The Good News that is the reality of this season.