Sunday, October 26, 2014

An early appearannce

That fun annual phenomena that is best labeled Christmas cultural arrogance has made an early appearance. One advice columnist has already answered a reader's concerns about the upcoming Christian silly season. I largely agree with Amy Alkon's response in her "When atheist meets pious: A Christmas story." However, I think she let's the boyfriend in the scenario off way too lightly.

Basically, a dilemma is created by the boyfriend of this relationship when he tries to guilt his girfriend into attending Christmas mass with his very religious parents. He himself is not religious but tries making it seem that it would be disrespectful not to attend mass with his parents. Bullshit. Amy points out that it is not disrespectful and does a decent job explaining why that's the case. She should have noted that it is the boyfriend who is belittling other people's views, namely those of his girlfriend. He's being the disrespectful one. She, the girlfriend, has not indicated that she has in anyway sought to dissuade or interfere with the parents beliefs. He is doing to her what he falsely perceives she is doing to his parents.

Not being religious himself has not prevented a common misconception from clouding his judgment. The notion that everyone should approach Christmas from a Christian perspective is pervasive. Christians rarely bother to consider how weak and pathetic their claims on winter celebrations are. Even those of us non-believers who are generally comfortable celebrating Christmas don't necessarily want to constantly deal with the theological baggage that comes with it. Why should we? "Christmas" is not unique and doesn't have to be.

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