Tuesday, December 20, 2005
GOI: There is a spirited conversation going on in my post titled, "War on Winter Solstice" and I have just posted a long comment there. I am posting it here because perhaps some of you have not been following the comments on that post and I wanted to include you. This post therefore "bumps" the conversation up to the top again:
Amadeus: What an amusing and brilliant story!! The Buddha idea was an excellent way to point out the hypocritical actions of certian Christians. The shoe was put on the other foot and they did not like having the Buddha forced upon them. I do not blame them as they are not Buddhist so I would expect the same respect to my beliefs as to not say, "Merry Christmas" (for example) to me if they do not know my faith. Or to shove the x-mas tree down my throat as well. Either we do many holidays or we do none. This is one nation of many, many faith's after all.
Christians may believe that other religions are in error but the Constitution does not...which guarantees our rights to choose the religion of our choice. Regardless of whether of not Christians believe other religions to be in error.
Since we have established that most Christians believe other faiths are in error then the framers could not have been Christian (or at least not the right kind of Christians according to the defintion brought up in the comments). Otherwise they would have established Christianity as the state religion of America (which apparently many modern-day Christians would like to do.
Let's refresh ourselves of the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."
O.k., now notice first of all that they state that all men are created EQUAL. This means that ALL men...even non-Christians are equal in the eyes of the, "Creator." This blows the doors off the arguement that "God" believes other religions (besides Christianity) are in error. If "HE" did then the framers must not be the right kind of Christians, eh? Or perhaps you believe that the framers didn't do the Dec. of Indy right???
Therefore couldn't one surmise that these certain Christians do not believe 100% in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution? That men are NOT created equal with the freedom to choose a religion other then Christianity? If "God" says that everyone is created with the right to freedom then how can freedom to be say, Buddhist ever be in error??
Now, notice the choice of the word, "Creator." "Creator can mean many things to many people. Even I as a Buddhist believe in a "Creator." I believe that the "Creator" is everything that exists and does not exist. The "Creator" (I believe) is each and everyone of us and inside all of us at the same time. Yet, so does this mean that I'm not included when the term, "Creator" is used? Of course not.
Even the choice of the word, "God" is loaded. "God" is many things to many people as well and Christians do not have a corner on that market. They may believe that other religions are in error but that does not mean their view is constitutional or even correct. It is simply an opinion. Their demand to have Christmas celebrated exclusively even in the work place is not in keeping with the principles laid out by our fore-fathers. It is a divise demand in the season of coming together. I do not know of a definition of freedom after all that says it only applies to Christians or that freedom means non-Christians are in error.
Moving on, "Life" means of course life and I think that we can all agree that we are alive. So we move on to "Liberty."
Liberty means freedom and freedom means choice. Forcing people to accept a Christmas tree (one by which is presided over by the Angel Gabriel, a very Christian messanger who announced the birth of Jesus) is not allowing people their freedom of choice. After all, let's not forget that the Christians in Amadeus's story were sorely offended by the Buddha. Therefore the reason behind "Happy Holidays," and "Seasons Greetings" in a work place environment as diverse as any American city.
Surely we can agree that Jesus Christ taught his followers (at the very least) to be respectful.This would mean to me that Christians should not force their religion upon others. Such as in the work place or in a store. Of course, freedom also means that stores and companies have every RIGHT to display what they desire.
However, the RESPECTFUL, Christ-like thing to do is to not force Christmas down everyone's throat. Christ also taught not to pray openly in the streets so that you do not become prideful. Beating your chest about your faith and over the exclusivity of it's symbols and holidays is prideful.
Oooo and how easily these prideful Christians forget that Jesus (the man himself) said to render unto Caesar (the government at the time) what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. This is clearly a statement seperating church and state (the government).
Moving on, I have established that I am a Buddhist and I celebrate Bodhi day. Bodhi Day is a holy day for Buddhists (December 8th...well in the "holiday season.") when Buddhists celebrate the enlightenment of the Buddha. However, because I believe in the Constitution and freedom I do not expect or demand that everyone around me celebrate Bodhi Day and wish me, "Happy Bodhi Day" if they are not Buddhists.
Is it so hard then for Christians to be inclusive and to take a break from the conversion process in this season of "Good will towards men (all men by the way...and women??) Just keep the Christmas tree to yourself...is that soooo hard and offensive??? I guess we non-Christians should be saying, "Happy HELLidays" since that is apparently where we are going. If there IS a hell, however, then I suspect there will be more Christians there then they might believe. ;)
May peace on Earth reign!!