MRFF Board Member John Compere’s Op-Ed: Our Goodwill Season Is For All

There will be no peace on earth until there is goodwill to all children, women and men. During this winter holiday season, there should be more inclusiveness (aka: goodwill) and less exclusiveness (aka: badwill).

Our goodwill season begins and ends with secular holidays, Thanksgiving and New Year’s. In between are various secular (non-religious), sectarian (religious), cultural, ethnic and seasonal celebrations.

“Season’s Greetings” and “Happy Holidays” refer to the entire festive period. “Merry Christmas” (Latin for “Christ’s mass”) refers to one day.

The inclusive celebration for all wishing to participate includes Santa Clause, elves, reindeer, sleigh bells, snowmen/women, fireplace stockings, decorated trees, gifts, eggnog, carols, cheer, etc. The exclusive celebration for only Christians commemorates a fictitious birth date of a foreign born Jewish man whose name was questionably translated to “Jesus”. They are merging, yet separate and distinct, holiday traditions.

Philosopher Aldous Huxley observed “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” For example:

Jesus’ birth day, month or season is unknown. It was celebrated at different times for 300 years until a 4th Century foreign pope arbitrarily set December 25 to compete with the universal Birthday of the Sun. There is not a birth story, but three contradictory versions in New Testaments (Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2, Revelation 12). All were oral stories (hearsay) compiled into ancient Greek texts by anonymous, non-eyewitness foreign authors long after Jesus reportedly lived and died. They cannot be reconciled if compared.

The 16th Century Protestant Reformation was an enormous exodus of Christians from the Roman Catholic Church in protest over its aberrant authority, corporate corruption, dubious doctrines and egregious exploitation of people. It is ironic American Protestants would celebrate a foreign Roman Catholic religious ritual, “Christ’s mass ”, on a false date set by a foreign pope to interfere with Europe’s popular winter solstice festival.

Seasonal badwill included:

• claiming a fictitious birth date with conflicting accounts as the sole reason for the season and perniciously promoting the boycott of businesses not using only “Merry Christmas”. Such misguided malevolence over problematic historical facts exhibits bigoted badwill toward others.

• not knowing American colonists (Puritans, Congregationalists, Quakers, Methodists, et al) opposed Christmas because it was a Church of England ceremonial. Southern states first began celebrating December 25 to feast, drink, dance, gamble, hunt, fish and socialize. It later became a public holiday at the initiation of banks and businesses (not churches).

• not aware Saint Nicholas (4th Century Eastern Orthodox bishop in Asia) was a gift-giver to children and his December 6th festival day was a European holiday for children. He was adopted by American colonists as Santa Clause and the date changed to December 25th becoming our secular gift-giving tradition.

• complaining “Xmas” replaces Christ with an English alphabet “X” and removes Christ from Christmas. History documents “Xmas” originated in the early Christian church as an acceptable abbreviation because the New Testament was written in ancient Greek and its letter for Christ was “X”. The Greek letter X is deeply rooted in Christianity and traditionally used as a sacred symbol for Christ by countless Christianities.

• promoting our winter holiday season as exclusively “Christian” when is it for all. Yuletide celebrations with decorative trees began as pagan festivals and are not mentioned in biblical scripture. The false birth date of a foreign figure from the Middle East may be a reason to celebrate part of December 25, but not the entire season or even day.

• presumptuously practicing unwanted and uninvited religious beliefs on others, spoiling seasonal goodwill for many and disregarding biblical teaching 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 good. Consideration of others is goodwill. Goodwillers care about neighbors, recognize different celebrations, keep personal religious beliefs in perspective, and respect diversity of beliefs. Badwillers do not. More holiday humility and less religious rhetoric are needed. Hopefully, we will reflect the goodwill of inclusion and reject the badwill of exclusion for others during this holiday season.

“With or without religion, good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things. But for good people to do bad things – that takes religion.” – Steven Weinberg, PhD (American Nobel Laureate)

“So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
While just the art of being kind
Is all this sad world needs.”
– Ella Wheeler Wilcox (American author and poet)

Happy Holiday Trails!

John Compere
Brigadier General, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Texas rancher

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3 Comments

  1. W4C

    Inclusion is of the devil. God is not inclusive but exclusive. Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ even though He was more likely to be born around the time of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, for shepherds would not have their sheep out in the fields during the winter time.

    Once again John Compere is quoting verses out of context to fit his own theology.
    I will not say Happy Holidays, but always Merry Christmas!

    I love Christmas trees but I do not worship them as the pagans did. I just think they are pretty.

    I guess to John I am a badwiller, but I will wear that as a badge of honor then.

    Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!

  2. G

    W4C, no one is forcing you to say Happy Holiday.

  3. Grey One talks sass

    W4C – you say John Compere uses bible verses out of context but do not provide the context you feel is necessary. Why is that?

    Also, and too, no one ever said you can’t say Merry Christmas. You can say it all you want. What you can’t do is throw a fit because others say Happy Holidays. The season is not the exclusive property of Christians. You have to share.

    Why is this an issue?

    Oh yeah, because Christian Nationalists insist others do as they say (but not as they do – amirite, wink wink, nudge nudge) due to their overdeveloped sense of privilege and persecution.

    Every year it’s the same garbage from the same bad faith actors.

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