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Switch to Forum Live View Christmas is Not Your Oppressor
4 years ago  ::  Dec 17, 2010 - 7:05PM #1
KeaErisdottir
Posts: 222

Today, I had the displeasure of reading a blog post of a friend of mine who found themselves on the recieving end of a brutal verbal attack from someone claiming to to be a wiccan.  The crime this man, a guy who has made tools for both Craft and the making of crafts?  He's a Christian who said "Merry Christmas" .


 


Yes, kiddies!  It's that time of year again, the time when all the good little pagan/wiccan girls and boys shout out in screaming outrage because someone said "Merry Christmas" to them and brought the darkness and oppression of not only the Patriarchy and its religion, but of the whole Burning Times as well.  As if mindreading and/or a Pentacle the size of a manhole cover were not enough, it is understood that all people, everywhere, at all times, must be made aware that pagan/wiccans exist in the most hostile and obnoxious ways possible. 


 


Really?  Honestly?  Can someone offering well wishes during the Winter Holiday Season really do all that psychic damage to someone who wasn't wanting to feel those kinds of feelings anyway?


 


Christmas is more a secular and cultural holiday now than ever before.  A Muslim of my acquaintence said, "If putting up a tree and giving gifts is what Christmas is, then we celebrate it.  If it is about the birth of the Christian Prophet, then we don't--but we still put up a tree and give each other gifts." 


 


Perhaps, at the end of the day, Pagans and Wiccans alike could probably benefit from taking the Long View on the matter, whether they celebrate Christmas or not.  (For the record, we don't celebrate Christmas in my home.)  We who identify ourselves as Wiccan aren't supposed to be prosletyzing anyway, and as Hidden Children of the Gods, we ought to reconsider taking stands that make us obvious to the masses and/or annoy them for the sake of some pointless Political Correctness, or maybe to get us a cheap slice of bully action.  Making honest folks, regardless of religious affiliation, feel bad because of some unfocused anger and blurred lines between courtesy and anger with the families and religions we grew up in, is fundamentally unethical.


 


So please consider not correcting or being impatient with the next person who wishes you "Merry Christmas".  Please remember that they are trying to share a shred of their happiness and joy with you--and by making them feel bad, they might not choose to offer a piece of themselves to the next person, who might just need that smile and that little piece of Joy to get them through a personal crisis.  Also remember that for that short moment, such a wellwisher will remember that kick in the teeth a lot longer than they will the face of a person who says "thank you" and moves on.  They are also not likely to care what your religious affiliation actually is, and won't want to hear anything at all that you might have to say in protest of their 'stolen' customs and whatnot. 


 


Just. Be. Nice.  Remember the manners that most of our mothers taught us, and enjoy whatever holidays you choose to participate in.  Tis the Season, we live in a free country where religious pluralism is a longstanding tradition, and where we still value politeness and tolerance in the few places left that we can still find it.


 


Happy Holidays to everyone.  I, for one, am looking forward to makign the most of the entire Holiday Season.


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2010 - 12:58PM #2
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496

You know, Kea, while I absolutely agree with this, I got attacked the other day at work when I said "Happy Holidays" to a customer. Now, I didn't know this guy from Adam.  He was buying a newspaper from me, of all things!  I sold him the newspaper, and told him to have a happy holiday season, and he got all snipy with me, telling me "It's Merry Christmas and you need to learn to say it!"


So I think this comes on both sides of the coin.  People, in general, just need to chill out.  When someone wishes (generic) you a happy holiday, then take it in the manner it was meant.  Ditto for the Merry Christmas. It's not a personal attack. No one is nasty to anyone else for saying "Have a nice day." So why do people get pissy over this one?

Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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4 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2010 - 3:06PM #3
KeaErisdottir
Posts: 222

I think that we're only beginning to see the backlash against the attacks on Christmas.   The outbrusts were never truly necessary, and really are not representative of the basic Tolerance and Good Will that witches are supposed to have.  Further, all the movement seems to have done is empower the worst among us to act out and/or bully people to really didnt deserve it.  What good is that?


And frankly, anyone with half a brain could have seen that eventually the majority would start pushing back against the overt rudeness and implicit denial of their religious beliefs.  Why shouldnt they?  Their rights to Free Speech and Freedom of Religion are just as important as ours--the line merely has to be drawn in a place that allows everyone to exercise those rights while denying no one else theirs. 


Sadly, too many folks these days are willing to go on ruinous campaigns that shed a lot more heat than light.  We all lose.

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4 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2010 - 3:28PM #4
LeahOne
Posts: 16,463

I have never understood this....neither Wiccan nor Christian here.  I'm Jewish - and I'm delighted when one of my nonJewish friends remembers enough to send me a New Year's card for Rosh Hashonah.  But I'm still delighted when my Christian friends have me on their Christmas card list...


If you wish me a merry Christmas, I might wish you a Happy Hanukkah (it's over, but we're waiting to celebrate until we get the kid home for eight nights in a row)....or a Divine Diwali, a Joyous Eid, a Spectacular Solstice....there's lots to choose from : ))  And does it really matter? It's all good people celebrating light in darkness, love amidst indifference....


My late beloved FIL had a phrase "You can always get angry later" - meaning 'angry' should be the LAST reaction to have.  He was a gentleman, unfailingly polite, probably the best human being I've known.  And I think one of the very wisest.

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2011 - 10:51PM #5
Brownowl33
Posts: 443

I've never seen anyone get enraged over "Merry Christmas" but I've definitely had people go off on me when I've said "Happy Holidays."  I use the latter term at work, as of course there are many religions with many differeny holidays in December, and it's usually well received except by the occasional Christian who feels compelled to scream at me about how we need to "put Jesus back in the season!"  When I patiently try to explain to them that Christianity isn't the only religion, and that Jews and Pagans and others also celebrate holidays during December and January, they get even more upset because, of course, all those religions are "fake" and Christmas is the only holiday worth celebrating.


I personally don't mind if people say Merry Christmas to me, as long as it's meant in a spirit of friendliness.  I used to say it all the time myself, after all.  However, I definitely think there's way more freaking out from Christians who are angry that their holiday isn't the only one being honored than there ever will be from non-Christians upset over Christmas.  Indeed, the largest Baptist church in Dallas had a "hit list" this year of businesses to harass because they used "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" in their advertising.  I guess it's a crime to these people, now, to attempt to include everyone instead of pandering to one special group.

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 11, 2011 - 4:23PM #6
Shadeosg
Posts: 222

I have noticed that the war of winter words has gotten so touchy.  I say happy holidays and I don't correct anyone who says Merry Christmas.  What's the point? 


The difference of course is that while I am not supposed to get offended by Merry Christmas I'm likely to offend someone if I wished them a Good Yule.  There are of course larger problems in the world to worry about. 


When I have a Christian correct me for saying Happy Holidays (and this has almost never happened) I have always wondered if they are really enjoying the season if it puts them on edge so much.

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2011 - 9:48PM #7
Brownowl33
Posts: 443

Jan 11, 2011 -- 4:23PM, Shadeosg wrote:


I have noticed that the war of winter words has gotten so touchy.  I say happy holidays and I don't correct anyone who says Merry Christmas.  What's the point? 


The difference of course is that while I am not supposed to get offended by Merry Christmas I'm likely to offend someone if I wished them a Good Yule.  There are of course larger problems in the world to worry about. 


When I have a Christian correct me for saying Happy Holidays (and this has almost never happened) I have always wondered if they are really enjoying the season if it puts them on edge so much.




 


I think you've hit the nail on the head here, and pointed out the double standard inherent in the whole rather one-sided debate.  Should a Christian wish a non-Christian "Merry Christmas," the non-Christian is expected to take it in a spirit of good will.  However, tell a Christian "Happy Holidays" and you might very well get an enraged response about some "war on Christmas" or "attack on Christianity" or whatever the buzzword of the week is. 


There is no "war on Christmas; it's just that businesses and schools have latched on to the fact that we're not a "Christian nation" and never were, and that lots of different faiths have holidays that they celebrate in December.  The main difference is that, while I've yet to see a Pagan demand that everyone cater solely to their religion and use "Happy Yule" signs, or seen a Jew demand an exclusive "Happy Hannukah," Christian groups somehow feel justified in demanding that their religion, and ONLY their religion, be recognized.  The real message behind their shrill tantrums over "Happy Holidays" is that they don't have the same respect for other people's celebrations that they expect for their own.  By insisting that every sign say "Christmas" and nothing else, they're making a statement that they don't care what other people believe, they only care about imposing their religion at the expense of others.


I don't care if people say "Merry Christmas" to me, but I DO care when Christian groups use threats and boycotts to force companies to celebrate Christmas and no other winter holiday.  "Happy Holidays" at grocery stores and the like can include everybody, "Christmas" cannot.  Most other faith groups seem more than willing to compromise and be included under the "Holidays"umbrella, I don't know why the Christians can't seem to.

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4 years ago  ::  Feb 06, 2011 - 10:36AM #8
Shihulud
Posts: 1,360
For me, Christmas is more of a western tradition than a religious "holy" day. It contains elements of pagan and christian beliefs or traditions. So it's perfect for my family, since my husband is a christian.
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