christmas is christian
December 8, 2002 04:13 PM
I got a nice taste of being in the majority the other day when a woman at work asked us to not do anything Santa Claus-related for our holiday outing.
See, she's Jewish. While Santa Claus seems completely non-Christian to me, he is an icon associated with christmas, and christmas is undoubtedly Christian. It seems fine to me to enjoy the whole Santa Claus concept, because, even though I am not Christian, I see the pagan side of Santa.
And, more importantly - I am not Christian, which is a much different perspective from non-Christian. I can comfortably reject Christianity and not be offended by the many ways in which it is the state religion in America, but I seriously doubt I could do that if I followed a non-Christian religion. Secularized Christian holidays (valentines, candy eggs, yule trees) are part of my secular upbringing. No big deal.
But. Just as the slimness of everyone on television tells fat people they're not really part of society, the institutionalization of Christian holidays is a firm reminder to everyone else in America that they are minorities. There may be giant menorahs at the gas stations, but people still get christmas day off automatically at work.
The nice thing about this exchange (for me) was its departure from my usual role. For once, I was the one in the noncommittal majority (I don't believe in the religious mythology of christmas, but I still basically celebrate the secular holiday) instead of the one pointing out the offense. It was a nice lesson. A reminder that people rarely offend intentionally, and that education is really what we need.
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your wicked thoughts
Santa is about as Christian as Zeus and Krsna. He has virtually nothing to do with St. Nikolas, either - that's a typical Christian overlay. He is obviously related to old Tuetonic dieties (Odin, Thor), and I have a guess that his ancestry goes back to the Stone Age. "Yule" is pre-Christian. Santa Claus is the last surviving European deity. Also, he is a swell guy.
these are the thoughts of buddy on November 8, 2003 01:34 AM
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