Monday, December 21, 2015

Season's Greetings (done the right way...)

Keith and I went to the bank on Saturday to do the bulk of our Christmas shopping. We have three young adults (one 25, one soon to be 24, and a 22 year old) so we give them money every year. Somewhere around $500 each. Easy for’s what they need the most and they can use it for whatever they choose to. It beats $500 worth of presents that are not quite what they wanted, wrong color, wrong size etc…

It is a fairly small bank. There were two tellers working. Our teller was also taking care of the drive-thru. As we were in the midst of our transaction (that included cashing one check and writing another) she attended to the car in the drive-thru. As she was concluding that transaction….putting the envelope in the tube system thing….she wished him a Merry Christmas. Her tone was warm and friendly. Over the intercom we could clearly hear him reply back, in an equally cordial tone, “Happy Holidays.” To which she replied……..”Thank you.”

I took note of the interaction because this nonsense about Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays aka Season’s Greetings has always rankled me. What is the big deal? Accept the salutation your are given with grace no matter what holiday you celebrate.

Another example. We were at a small, holiday gathering at the very small airport where Keith is a member of a flying club. (I haven’t written much...anything?....about his flying exploits. I should really get on that because it is a huge part of his life. And by default, my life) But anyway….the hosts of the party are Jewish. As the gathering of about 10 people was breaking up, she wished us all a Merry Christmas. They don’t celebrate Christmas….but the rest of us do….and she graciously extended her hope that we all have a happy one.

That is how it is done, people. Whatever your faith, religion, political alliance….when someone wishes you is absolutely rude and dishonoring to be offended because they did not use the right words.

Peace on earth, goodwill to men is the spirit of the season.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Uh-oh...'Tis the War on Christmas Season....

Today, on Facebook, I happened upon a post called Top 10 Reasons Christians Should Stop Whining About Secular Xmas. This time of year I usually write about the oft lamented but fictitious “War on Christmas.”  This blog post was obviously written by a kindred spirit. It was from the Patheos Blog called “irreverin.”

Out of the ten reasons, these two are my favorites....

1- Season’s greetings,” refers to that broad expanse of time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Multiple holidays=holiday season. It’s nothing against Jesus, really.

7 - Speaking of shopping–if you are bothered by all the secular expressions posted around malls and big box stores this season, might i gently suggest that you spend less of your Christmas season at the freakin mall? If you don’t like the signage, spend more time serving the poor, going to worship, getting out in nature, and spending time with the people you love. I’m pretty sure the birthday boy would be all for it.

Check out the blog post (written by Rev. Erin Wathen) for the other eight reasons…..

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

If someone becomes nuts, you don't represent the religion anymore...

I came upon several quotes related to the recent shooting in California that I thought were worth sharing.

About the incident, Bill Maher tweeted, 

"Religion is why "people who 'always acted normal' drop a baby off to go to a massacre"

That IS what happened. This seemingly normal young couple dropped off their six month old child then went on a murdering spree with pipe bombs and automatic weapons.

Some, like Bill Maher, blame it on religion....all religions....any religion. He is pretty much anti religion across the board. Others see the problem as specific to Islam.

Mahmood Navdi, the imam at the mosque Farook attended, Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah in San Bernardino, made this profound statement

"If someone becomes nuts, you don't represent the religion anymore."

Take note - this does not just apply to Islam. This applies to all religions. The criteria for “nuts” might be subjective and could mean different things to different people, however, the situation that went down in San Bernardino clearly fits the definition

In the New York Times, this same imam is quoted as saying the shooting is a shock and a mystery and that…..

"Mr. Farook does not even represent humanity."