Aerden (aerden) wrote,

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On the Secularization of Christmas

Outrage of the Week

Okay, I've decided why I hate the secularization of Christmas. It's because of the blasted secular so-called carols.

My friend Donna and I were eating Chinese buffet at a restaurant around the corner from my house. The only religious song played on the Muzak was 'Carol of the Bells' (instrumental version). Everything else involved Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and various oldies-but-goodies about going on sleigh rides and stuff.

Christmas is the one time of year when you can play the really beautiful, exquisite, medieval music, the kind of music that transports you away by its sheer beauty. But do we play that in stores? No, because that would be offensive!

I'm about ready to offend somebody with some Hildegard, right now.

I don't consider myself Religious with a capital R. I value religion and faith, but I have not yet gotten to the point where I can live and breathe it. I have read a religious book (The Cloud of Unknowing) that almost brings me to tears, because it is so beautiful and so true. Yet I don't go to church every Sunday, and I am still leery of having a 'personal relationship with God (of whatever one's faith is),' even though I also believe it is absolutely necessary for the world as a whole to do so.

My annoyance with the secularization of Christmas is not born of any feeling of personal religious outrage. It's more that it is a religious holy day, it has meaning, and by expunging all traces of that meaning from our celebrations, we're killing it--or we're allowing other people to kill it for us.

Maybe that is what people want; they certainly sound like it when I watch the news or read the newspapers.

In Plano, Texas,* of all places, the Plano Independent School District is forbidding the students from wearing red or green at the Christmas--excuse me--Winter Break parties. They're to wear white, instead. Even the paper cups and plates are going to be white. (!)

I would be so tempted to send my (non-existent) children to school in red and green, except that I don't believe in using children to express adults' political views. However, I would draw the Plano ISD's attention to the fact that this is the same sort of nonsense that the English tried to force on the Irish and the Scots (no wearing of the green or wearing tartan). It didn't work well in those cases, and it won't work here--unless the parents of Plano schoolchildren have suddenly turned into spineless wussies--which I doubt.

To Plano parents: Come on, people, we're Texans! Since when do we let ourselves and our children be so unduly bossed around by the school board? I'll bet they have ultra zero-tolerance weapons policies in Plano, too. I hope you folks take back your schools.

Christmas is about a promise of self-sacrifice and a gift. It is about love. A person needn't believe that Christ is their savior, to understand and appreciate the concepts of self-sacrifice, gift, and love. Surely, concepts like these should not offend anyone. They should be universal and appreciable by people of all religions as well as people who aren't religious, at all.

*Note: The article is found on the Alliance Defense Fund website, which seemed to be tooting its own horn a bit on the page.

Carol of the Bells

Hark, how the bells, sweet silver bells,
All seem to say, Throw cares away.
Christmas is here, bringing good cheer
To one and old, meek and the bold.
Ding, dong, ding-dong, that is their song,
With joyful ring, all caroling.

One seems to hear words of good cheer
From everywhere filling the air.
Oh how they pound, raising the sound,
O'er hill and dale, telling their tale.
Gaily their ring, while people sing
Songs of good cheer, Christmas is here.

Merry, merry, merry, Merry Christmas.
Merry, merry, merry, Merry Christmas.

On, on they send, on without end,
Their joyful tone to every home,
Hark, how the bells, sweet silver bells,
All seem to say, Throw cares away...
Ding, dong, ding-dong.

[Alternate lyrics]

Ring Christmas bells, merrily ring,
Tell all the world Jesus is King.
Loudly procalim with one accord
The happy tale, Welcome the Lord.

Ring Christmas bells, sound far and near
The birthday of Jesus is here.
Herald the news to young and old,
Tell it to all in every tongue.

Ring Christmas bells, tell loud and long
Your message sweet, peal and prolong,
Come all ye people, join in the singing,
Repeat the story told by the ringing.

Ring Christmas bells, througout the earth
Tell the glad news of Jesus' birth,
Loudly proclaim with one accord
The happy tale, Welcome the Lord.

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