Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all who pass by. This time of year all the grinchs are out saying "Happy Holidays" or just grumping or muttering something when you say "Merry Christmas!" in a cheerful voice.
Now I know there are Jewish people and Islamic people and some African American people who don't celebrate Christmas and Christmas is a specifically Christian holiday, although it is also a secular holiday of gift giving.
The religious dimension is what interests me. I think that religious tolerance extends to accepting good natured greetings like "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Hanukkah!" or "Happy Kwanzaa!" for that matter. Indeed I think we should encourage acknowledgement of one another's serious faith commitments. Seeking the truth will always lead to people taking different paths. It is important to respect the decisions that other people make so long as they are not destructive and immoral.
Only the Grinch or Scrooge or those who think their convictions override all others have any basis for being unpleasant to those giving them good natured greetings and wishing them well. I'm inclined to simply smile and repeat the wish for a very Merry Christmas. Just because they are being miserable is no reason to join them.

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