Saturday, December 6, 2008

Have Yourself a Secular Little Christmas

By Tony Mazur

Ah, Christmas. The time where we spend hours at malls and shopping centers, searching for the perfect gift. The time where we fight over whose house we go over for dinner. The time where we freak out about which room the in-laws are sleeping in. With all of these factors on our mind, many of us forget that Christmas is indeed a religious holiday.

In the Capitol building in Olympia, Washington, a Christmas tree and a Nativity scene are displayed. Of course, a Nativity scene in a government building would be completely offensive, so instead of removing the religious-themed display, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire decided to include a little something for non-Christians.

Next to Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the ox and ass, and the Magi lays a sign for the atheists and agnostics that reads: "There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

This, for all Christians, should be offensive. I'm not someone who typically gets offended by the elements in our disgusting, progressive-minded society, but this angers me. Christmas is a Christian holiday, but it has been cleansed of all Christianity. Even the story of Santa Claus is strictly nondenominational. Kids are only taught that Santa Claus is an obese man in a red getup who comes bearing presents.

I would be giving the same speech if that offensive sign were placed next to a Menorah.

I respect faith. I may not believe in what you preach, but I respect the fact that you have faith in something. I will also respect an individual who does not believe in a particular religion, but don't make it your goal to press your agnostic agenda on those who have faith. If the story of Christmas offends you if you're an atheist or agnostic, that's fine. Don't celebrate Christmas. Don't celebrate Easter. Don't make myself and other Christians feel like criminals because you denounce religion.

(Funny thing is, you don't hear atheists come down on Islam. They will burn crosses and the Star of David, but will be surprisingly silent when it comes to Islam, since they do not want to offend Muslims.)

Throughout this Christmas season, when you're running around from store to store, purchasing gifts and food, stop for a second to think about the reason for the season. And for those who make it their agenda to take 'Christ' out of 'Christmas', get lost. Take your secular agenda elsewhere.

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