Thursday, December 23, 2004

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

I am all for giving "Happy Holidays" to the secularists, the retail establishments, the government, the private sector, and those with no particular religious inclination. I am actually somewhat offended that "Merry Christmas" has shown up in the malls again - and I know it is at the behest of Christians. But come on, people - didn't we get mad in the first place because Christmas had become such a shop-fest? And now, after the retailers had created this nice alternative "holidays", we're complaining that they need to put Jesus back in the malls.

Let's have our Merry Christmas for the Church, and let everyone else have whatever they want to celebrate. And let's let the shopping juggernaut use "Happy Holidays". Isn't it less bothersome for them to respect the fact that Christmas really has nothing to do with gifts, elves, flying reindeer, and spending money?

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This is actually the same issue as marriage. Marriage is a sacrament, and frankly I don't feel it should be legislated by a non-religious government. So give back marriage to the religions, and those who prefer not to be affiliated with a religion can have a civil union. The government can set up its tax system and whatever else for the civil unions, and marriage can simply be something that a religious couple chooses to enter into based upon their heartfelt desire to honor their god(s). And those without religion, who don't want God mentioned in their ceremony, can have it their way and still have the legal benefits of marriage.

With this system, everyone can stop worrying about legally allowing civil unions for GLTB couples - the problem of equal rights is solved. And then the churches/synagogues/mosques/temples/etc. can decide each on their own whether to grant their sacrament of marriage to the couple. This should please the religious establishment - the power to grant the sacrament as they see fit is back in their hands. It protects the sanctity of marriage.

Truly, wouldn't this make a more clean separation of church and state?

But anyway, to those for whom I've purchased items, Happy Holidays, and to everyone, Merry Christmas, and thanks be to God for sending us a Savior.


Anonymous said...

Well said. I must admit that my inner iconoclast (as regards much of the institutional church, at any rate) utters forth a giggle of glee at the idea of interdenominational squabbles over recognising each other's marriages. Then, after much work (and many by-laws) come the Great Matrimonial Accords whereby Baptists shall marry Methodists (sovereignty *and* grace? egad!), Unitarians shall marry everyone (but not vice versa), and so on. Great fun!

ShellyP said...

Scary as it may be, I've had people tell me that this country was founded on Christian beliefs and the gov't should be able to legislate morality because it really should be a religious body, not a secular one. I shudder to think if that became a reality here. Think Saudi Arabi, Iran, Kuwait, etc.

Reading your thoughts on marriage and civil unions made me think (more). The Christian Right not only want to "preserve the sanctity of marriage," but they really don't want GLTB couples to have the same rights as married people (namely adopting children and survivor benefits). Giving marriage back to the religions doesn't solve the problem of what rights GLTB couples should or should not have.