Posts tagged ‘secular’

December 20, 2013

What truly is the “true” meaning of 25th December?

by eirenehogan

Christians haven’t quite got a handle on ‘multiculturalism’ as yet, have they?

 

I received some messages on my Facebook page from relatives and sometimes friends, who speak of the “true meaning of Christmas”.  Now I have a lot of respect for these relatives and friends, but I do get irritated by those statements, such as:

 

Jesus is the reason for the season.

 

Keep the Christ in Christmas

 

Christ is the true meaning of Christmas

 

And such.  Yuck!

 

It irritates me because I am not a believer in the religion of Christians.  In fact I don’t believe in any god and so therefore I do believe that Christianity is just one religion among many.  You choose, for whatever reason, to believe in a god and so choose a religion.  No religion is better than any other religion.

 

As I said, Christians haven’t got a handle on multiculturalism as yet.  Or rather, they don’t have a handle on secularism.  And Australia is secular, it is in our constitution and was an aim of the place from its original colonisation.  Thanks to the Age of Enlightenment in 18th century England.

 

Secularism means even if you believe your God is the one true God, you don’t force it onto others.  If others don’t believe it, they are entitled to NOT believe.

 

So this returns to the idea of the true meaning of Christmas.  Christians seem to want to refuse to allow us to celebrate the end of the year with a party and being nice to each other and happy and maybe giving gifts to others as a token of our love and generosity.  They seem to think that if we are NOT Christian, we aren’t allowed to do that.  Well, you know, if Jesus and his Dad ARE real, then I’d think they would see us secularists acting like that as rather nice and kind and maybe we’d get a good tick next to our name.  And even if he doesn’t, who cares?  Only those who believe care.  Those of us who don’t are happy being nice and kind to our community, regardless.

 

 

Do Christians have it right when they claim Christmas as theirs and theirs alone?

 

OK, the word ‘Christmas’ presumably means ‘Christ’s Mass’ so I guess the actual festivity of  “Christmas” does belong to Christ and the his followers.

 

But does that mean we non-believers are not allowed to have an end of year celebration where we relax and give gifts etc?

 

By non-believers I mean all of those who worship a different god and all of those who worship no god, ie, everyone else who is not Christian.

 

The so-called Christmas tree, the candles, the Christmas dinner, the hymns, Santa Claus and even the gift giving are not actually part of the original Christmas festival.

 

A mid-winter festival is a common festival in many, if not most, if not all, human societies through out history.

OK, we don’t concern ourselves these days over whether the sun will return or not, but we still enjoy an end of year celebration; in fact I would say we NEED to have an end of year celebration.  We need time to relax, to chill out, to take stock, to make resolutions and plans for the new year, to assess what we achieved in this year, or what we did not, to spend time with our family, to mark the passing of time, to just have a rest. Imagine life without it.  Imagine trudging off to work endlessly with no break.

 

So I guess for many the day is really a new year celebration, but for historical reasons it is the Christians holy day.  Maybe we should stop calling it “Christmas” and recognise it for what it is, an end of year celebration.   Maybe we should transfer it to New Year?  Or maybe the whole week from 25th Dec to Jan 1st is an end of year/beginning of year celebration.  Maybe we could call it the Close of the Year and Jan 1st the Opening of the year?

 

So I will accept that “Christmas” is a Christian festival, but the end of year celebration is not.  Christians can celebrate their day how they wish, but the rest of society is allowed to have its end of year party too.

 

 

 

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