Monday, December 03, 2012

Open Challenge

If we do not have the freedom to do as we ought, we do not have freedom at all. Just as a man cannot force another man to believe in something so, too, can’t he force another man to believe in nothing. Whatever stripe we choose to colour ourselves, surely there are those who cling to freedom as a shield as they wield it like a sword, for indeed freedom is like those things. It protects and preserves the individual from others and from the State whose job it is to uphold, not grant, rights one already has. Should the State – or a special-interest group- have any right to stamp out long-held beliefs and practices that have been and are still a part of the cultural fabric?

Frosty the Snowman is there — and so is Santa Claus.

But the Baby Jesus is stuffed inside a closet at Cottondale Elementary School — leaving many residents of this small town in the Florida panhandle outraged.

The Nativity scene had been a part of the school’s holiday lawn decorations for years. But this year the yuletide display is strictly secular.

Principal Brenda Jones told television station WJHG the decision to keep Baby Jesus in the closet came after an official with the Dept. of Education dropped by to discuss the separation of church and state.

“The Dept. of Education came in and talked to us about the legalities of religion in the school systems and the separation of the two,” Jones told the television station.

In an attempt to be fair to everyone, the principal said, “We decided that we would just not put the Nativity scene out on campus.”

It goes without saying that one does not observe the birth of Frosty the Snowman on December 25th, nor should one readily accept the convenient and fatuous argument of fairness and inclusion, particularly when it comes at the expense of obliterating beliefs and freedoms of others. It also stands to reason that if fairness IS the primary goal, the statue of Baby Jesus would be somewhere between a cottonball snowman and a plastic red-garbed fatman. The American Founding Fathers sought to protect the citizen from government intrusion. How that intention has been corrupted over time.

The OPEN CHALLENGE is: whatever your beliefs may be, to promote and defend Christmas. Yes, I’m asking you – please – to defend what others have deemed too offensive to even utter. Apparently, Christmas is so offensive that the State must step in and quash harmless aspects of a holiday it won’t outright ban until it becomes profit-less. Can one imagine banning any other holiday or cultural practice whose maximum amounts of harm are in the form of receipts and cloying versions of otherwise beloved songs? When does it stop? Who does it stop for? And what of the very concept of freedom which works as a two-way street for all? Is that principle worth preserving?


Anonymous said...

Terrific post.

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

Why, thank you.

Alain said...

I am not Christian, but I agree that Christmas is part of our traditional heritage and should be defended. It is an integral part of our culture, and one does not need to be Christian to understand this. It is the same culture and heritage that allows all non Christians, including atheists, to live in peace.

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

Thank you, Alain.

There are elements of shame and self-hatred for Western civilisation (in which Christmas, among other things, finds a place) and there shouldn't be. In the West, there are cultures that work, that produce things that one might not see anywhere else. Even if one didn't celebrate Christmas, one should at least recognise its value to others, to the larger culture and what would be lost if it should be whittled away or expunged for what are truly frivolous, unnecessary or malicious reasons.