Saturday, December 13, 2008
Bah Humbug - Not!
by Denise Beck-Clark
As a Christian acquaintance of mine who persists in sending the sappiest emails, informed us recently, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” I thought, Whew, now I know why everyone is walking around saying things like “Season’s Greetings.” I checked out my Delete key and it worked well... thank the lord.
Another Christian acquaintance of mine gave me a lovely card with a lovely note that she wrote in her English as a second language. She thanked God for knowing me, saying I am a “special person, strong and kind.” Respecting my not being a Christian, she also wrote “Happy Holiday,” thereby avoiding the faux pas she made when we first met and she gave me a very religious card.
The irony is that I am a Jew, as was Jesus, who also, reportedly, was strong and kind. I will show my ignorance here by saying I don’t know what his religious beliefs were, but I have come to understand that I am an atheist. I don’t admit this often, just as I often don’t talk about being a Jew. You’d think that being well into middle age I’d be used to being in the minority, but really I’m not.
Back to Christmas and “the season.” Like many people who don’t believe in Jesus, I still like the season. It’s fun, pretty, and kind. I love Christmas lights, and I love giving and getting presents. There’s really only one thing that bothers me about Christmas, and come to think of it, it’s not really about Christmas at all. It’s about certain people’s interpretation of Christmas. It’s those people in government who forget about separation between church and state. Did you know that in New York State there’s only one day of the year when there are no Lottery drawings? You guessed it. Why is this? I bet if I wanted to undertake the filing of a class action suit we would win.
Unfortunately, I have neither the time nor the money to do this, so I will continue each year to be angry that they withhold my addiction from me every December 25th. At the same time, I suppose I can look at the bright side which is the money I’m forced to save. So, thanks, New York State, for imposing your Christian beliefs on me. Oh, and Merry Christmas. And Happy Holiday, to any one of the many non-Christians who love this country for its guarantee of religious freedom.