There can be no peace on earth until there is genuine goodwill to all children, women and men. This review of the bigoted badwill war on our winter holiday goodwill season by self-righteous religionists is intended to refute irrational religiosity and restore rational reality.
Our winter holiday season begins and ends with secular holidays, Thanksgiving and New Year’s. In between are nonreligious, religious, cultural, ethnic and other seasonal celebrations.
“Season’s Greetings” and “Happy Holidays” are inclusive and refer to the entire festive period. “Merry Christmas” (Christ’s mass) refers to one day with both secular and sectarian traditions. The inclusive egalitarian celebration for all who wish to participate includes decorated trees, generous gifts, merry music, comforting cheer and gracious goodwill. The exclusive ecumenical celebration for only Christians commemorates the fictitious birth date of a foreign born Jewish man whose name was questionably translated centuries later to “Jesus”.
Jesus’ birth day, month or season is unknown. It was celebrated at different times for 300 years until a 4th Century pope arbitrarily set December 25 to compete with the pagan “Birthday of the Sun.” There is not one biblical birth story, but three contradictory versions in any New Testament publication. Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2 cannot be reconciled when critically compared. Revelation 12 contains ancient apocalyptic symbolism unfamiliar to lay readers. All were oral stories (hearsay) compiled into Greek texts by unknown, non-eyewitness writers long after the presumed life and death of Jesus.
Some examples of seasonal badwill by self-serving sectarians:
*claiming the clergy composed birth date with conflicting accounts as the only reason for the entire winter holiday season. Contemptuous clergy have even demanded a boycott of businesses not using solely “Merry Christmas”. Such hateful hypocritical elitism over problematic historic facts exhibits misguided malice and a callous lack of cognitive consideration for fellow human beings of other faiths, beliefs or practices;
*not knowing American colonists (Christian Puritans) forbid celebrating Christmas because it was a Church of England ceremonial and a time of merriment (not piety). Southern states first begin celebrating December 25 to feast, dance, gamble, hunt, fish and visit. It later became a federal holiday at the urging of banks and businesses (not churches);
*not aware Saint Nicholas, a 4th Century Eastern Orthodox bishop in Asia Minor, was a patron and gift-giver to children. His December 6 festival day became a holiday for children in Europe. He was later adopted by American colonists, transformed into Santa Clause and his celebration date changed to December 25 to become our secular holiday practice of gift giving;
*mistakenly assuming “Xmas” replaces Christ with an English alphabet “X” and removes Christ from Christmas. Christian history clearly documents Xmas originated in the early Christian church as an acceptable abbreviation for Christmas. The New Testament compilation of oral stories was written in ancient Greek and its Greek letter for Christ was “X”, which is still used today as a icon for Christ in many churches. Xmas is deeply rooted in Christianity and has been used symbolically by Christian churches throughout its history;
*condemning Starbucks for removing secular symbols (snowmen, snowflakes and tree ornaments) from its red winter holiday cups. Most Americans were not aware these were considered sacred sectarian symbols by anyone. Such ignorant foolishness would be laughable if it were not so symptomatic of religious demagoguery;
*falsely believing the entire winter holiday season is only for Christians. It is for all people and cannot be exclusively “Christianized”. Yuletide celebrations began as pagan festivals and are not recognized in any Bible version. The artificial birthday of Jesus may be a reason for some to celebrate a part of December 25, but not the whole season or even the whole day; and
*publicly imposing their private religious beliefs on everyone else, spoiling the goodwill season for many children, women and men, and making a mockery of their own biblical instruction to “…walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8), “show…compassion to one another” (Zechariah 7:9) and “do to others as you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31).
Knowledge of history is an admired attribute of intelligent Americans. Consideration for others is a commendable characteristic of compassionate Americans.
Thankfully, there are goodwillers who care about neighbors, respect all family holiday celebrations, keep private religious beliefs in perspective, and publicly honor our national diversity. They know loyal, patriotic and moral Americans show genuine goodwill to all fellow human beings and not belligerent badwill. During this holiday season, may we render gracious goodwill to all and reject the boorish badwill of a few.
SEASON’S GREETINGS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS and JOYFUL BODHI, CHALICA, CHRISTMAS (or XMAS), HANUKKAH, KWANZAA, MUHARRAM, PANCHA GANAPATI, SOYAL, WINTER SOLTICE, YULE & other festive winter holiday celebrations.
“So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
When just the act of being kind
Is all this sad world needs.”
– American poet Ella Wilcox
A retired lawyer, retired judge, retired Army general officer, disabled American veteran (Vietnam), Texas rancher, and MRFF Advisory Board Member