I find this interesting. Ramadan passed without so much as a comment. They said nothing about Halloween, even though it has Celtic roots and is celebrated and observed by many earth-based religions. Nobody’s screaming over Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. But mention Christ, and all of a sudden people have a problem. It really makes me wonder, because everybody knows that basic psychology is that you usually don’t pay attention to things you don’t believe in. I can only surmise that something about Christ is threatening and that’s why people are protesting His birth. Furthermore, it’s kind of funny that they’re more than happy to embrace his words that “the world will hate you” by turning it into a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you want to prove Him wrong, why are you doing exactly what He said you’d do?
I know, I know. I hear your protest that Christmas is everywhere and it’s shoved down your throat. Believe it or not, we can all relate to having a season shoved in your face all the time – it was called the mid-term elections. I had to turn off the television to keep away from the political ads. And from the tales I heard, people with land lines had to listen to the jingle of the telephone and long-winded messages from politicians saying why you should vote for me and not the other guy for several weeks. We felt your pain recently, and in 2 years we’ll all feel it again. We get it. But as you live in a country where Christians are the predominate religion of choice, it’s something you’ll have to live with. Even people that don’t fully believe in Christ want to make a buck off of Him by selling gifts (and that’s a whole other issue to deal with), so there you have it. It’s permeated our entire culture. The good news is that it’s only 2 days at best: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Go to work if you can to get ahead of the rush. If you can’t, then take it as an opportunity to catch up on your “to do” list. That’s what I did this past weekend when my husband was knocked out by the flu, and our Thanksgiving plans fell through. I made the best of it and you can too where Christmas is concerned.
Furthermore, I know you have to live with people evangelizing to you and telling you that you’re going to hell, that you should believe, and yadda yadda yadda. Let me tell you a little not-so-secret: they preach to other believers too! That’s right, they get in our face about our faith not being right, so nobody’s safe from these that we commonly refer to as “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Their lack of grace flies in the face of truth, and it makes the rest of us wish they’d shut up. The truth is that a true Christian knows the love Christ talked of really means respecting other peoples’ choices and beliefs. If somebody says “Merry Christmas” and you reply that “I don’t believe in Christ and don’t celebrate that holiday,” then that should be the end of the conversation. If it isn’t, take it up with the individual. Don’t rent a billboard. That makes you no better than the rest of them. In fact, it issues an open invitation for them to preach to you, so be ready for a whole lot of gospel coming your way.
What amuses me the most is that nobody gets in anybody elses’ face about their faith. I’ve never seen somebody walk up to a Muslum and call them a cold-blooded killer who believes in a ridiculous fantasy of 72 virgins. I haven’t seen the first picture of a Menorah in a red circle with a line through it. There was some noise over Halloween, but nobody had pumpkin burnings or staged protests against Earth-based religion. As I already mentioned, people complained about political ads plenty, but there was no “down with democracy!” campaign to end their endless rhetoric. And yet, nobody has a problem getting in a Christian’s face and saying we’re wrong. It makes me wonder what it is about Christ that threatens you. If He really didn’t bother you, then you’d cast us aside in your mind like all the rest of them – but instead, we’re a specific target for your anger and frustration. That's basic psychology, and before you spew out a "what do you know," yes, I do have a degree in psychology. So what's the problem with the problem with Christ that you claim you don't have?
Whatever the reason, I can say this to all people, regardless of their beliefs: you do have a right to your opinion, and you can stand your ground without getting confrontational. If somebody says “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” then be the first to show the graciousness you want for your beliefs by extending it first. Simply say “I’m not Christian, but I wish you a happy season.” If there’s any follow up flack, just say “I respect your beliefs and am sorry you can’t respect mine” and walk away. Believe me, it hurts a believer badly when a non-believer demonstrates a fruit of the Spirit that they should have mastered if they truly live their words. It’s a shame, but radicals are everywhere and they aren’t going to let you win an argument, so don’t engage them. And don’t assume that all of us are as obnoxious as that. If you don’t see love and grace, then you aren’t seeing real Christianity, no matter what they proclaim to believe.
Anybody can be a decent human being, no matter what they do or don’t believe in. Maybe that’s what we should focus on, not only during the holiday season, but each and every day.
That’s all today. Take care, and have a great rest of the week.