TO THE INTERNET AND THE WORLD (INTERNETI ET ORBI)
Robin Artisson's Christmas 2009 Address
Concerning "Keeping Christ in Christmas" and the Growth of Secularism
A wish for the good of all, and peace on Earth
* * *
If you live in the United States, and likely any other "super west" country, you will get fundies around this time of year yelling about keeping the "Christ" in "Christmas". When I was a younger man, this never happened, at least not in a way that I saw it. There was no internet then, only dorks had computers in their houses, and the mainstream news media never put out stories on TV showing fearful Christians frustrated over the "fading" of traditional values.
They didn't need to; only fringe lunatics said such things back then, and there simply wasn't enough "interconnectedness" (which the internet has now provided) to scare people by showing them just how diverse the world right down their street really was. Maybe it wasn't diverse then, but has become so in the last 20 years, thanks in part to new media. Who can say? The truth of this matter is probably somewhere in-between.
Now, Christians have been yelling about the loss of so-called "traditional values" since Augustine's time, I'm sure. But back then, they had 1400 years ahead of them to dominate the scene religiously and politically, and on the surface, for all those centuries, everyone was a happy believer. Homosexuals were killed or silent, minority religions and non-Christian religions were killed or silenced, and all was well in Jesus' kingdom. The "Pax Christi" was set to stifle creativity, inquiry, and real compassion for centuries.
Then, the shocking "Enlightenment" happened, and the long process of secularization began. Now we live in the outcomes of those long-ago events. For the first shocking time in human history SINCE ancient Rome, countless people of many different faiths are discovering that the Government won't support them on religious grounds against other people, and that their values do not inform government decision making. At long last, religion is where it always should have been- in people's hearts, homes, churches/temples, and private lives.
But this brings up a nasty issue, one that penetrates to the heart of the mystery of mankind. Religious people (read: followers of revealed religions) can't take the idea that their religious icon or creed of choice might be either just one among many, or marginalized at the highest levels of society. All of these "keep Christ in Christmas" people who screech and bother the rest of the sane world are only doing their own toothless version of what the Taliban do when they blow up schools that educate young girls- they are railing against what they firmly believe to be the loss of the most important thing
. * * *( Collapse )