is the Christian Right so bent out of shape about Christmas? Of all the
stories of the Bible, none has engendered as much worldwide peace and
love as Christmas: many wars have been suspended for that one day.
People are noticeably friendlier, happier, more compassionate. For at
least one day out of the year, much of mankind becomes more human in
being ... humanitarian. So why are Christian Right-wingers up in arms
Simple: they don't own
it anymore. It's one of the few good pieces of PR that they had left
and they can't lay claim to it. Christmas transcended them when it
morphed into "Happy Holidays" because the true Spirit of Christmas lay
in sharing and including everyone, inviting people of all faiths, some
with holy-days falling at about the same time, to celebrate mankind and
his potential for good. Christmas has also become a time when Original
Sin is all but forgotten: guilt does not play the role that it stars in
at Easter time. And to many right-wing Christians, Original Sin is the
bedrock of Christianity. Original Sin helps them to feel wonderful
about themselves when they forgive someone. Yes, take away Original Sin
and the label Christmas and they don't have anything left of the
holiday to which they felt entitlement. Christmas, or rather the
Holiday Spirit, isn't theirs anymore. Not exclusively theirs.
anyone out there remember the Transcendental Meditation craze of the
mid 70s? I practiced it for a while in order to deal with stress. I
should take it up again. I remember it now not only because of the
meaning of the word "transcend" but because I vividly remember the
times I actually did transcend from my world to another plane. And
whenever I transcended to that plane, it was a jolt, a breakthrough as
it were. And after the breakthrough there was a feeling of freedom.
Holiday Spirit is like that, isn't it? It frees us of the burden of
hatred, for even though hatred is easier to achieve than love, it comes
with emotional baggage we need to lug around forever. So once we've
achieved the Holiday Spirit, we go beyond it and don't think of it in
terms of gifts, Santas, old-time carols or even a babe in a manger. We
think of it as freedom and the peace freedom brings with it.
Christian Right, however, is still lugging its baggage of intolerance
and won't let itself appreciate the wonderful feeling of transcendence.
Oh, they think they feel it and crow with a superior sense of
entitlement that they above everyone else should know what Christmas
feels like. But with their self-righteousness they have built a wall
that hinders them from feeling truly free. And they can't join their
brethren who enjoy unconstrained, unqualified love and acceptance.
guess I should feel sorry for those who are truly "Left Behind" (ala
Tim LaHaye), but ... I can't. You see, I'm hindered by memories of "Age
of AIDS" Christmases here in San Francisco, when thousands of
volunteers - strangers, really - strove to bring as much comfort as
they could to people who had been evicted from their homes while they
were sick and dying under the guise of "righteousness." It saddens me
that I can neither forgive nor forget. Perhaps someday...
"We want Christmas back, it's OURS!"
but the Spirit of Christmas, the Holiday Spirit they lay claim to is no
longer theirs: it's gone beyond them and is traveling through the
hearts and minds of ... everyone else.
Have a Happy Transcendental Holiday, Everyone!