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Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Is Christmas Coming Back Into Vogue? - Eleanor Shepherd
I have noticed this year that
instead of acknowledging the season as the Holiday Season, people are beginning
again to recognize that the Holiday is Christmas and are wishing one another
Merry Christmas.I have noticed as I
listen to the CBC that broadcasters are talking about the Holiday Season and
also referring to it as Christmas.The
local CBC carol sing and fundraiser has been called by all of those
participating a Christmas concert.In
the stores, the clerks have been wishing me a Happy Holiday and a Merry
Christmas.My question is why?
I wonder if perhaps it is because
here in Quebec there has been so much discussion about the charter that our
premier wants to introduce as a law underlining that this is a secular
state.This law would forbid the wearing
of any obvious religious symbols by anyone who is being paid by the
government.This would include people
like teachers, daycare workers and hospital employees.
While the desire of the premier in
all of this has been to unite Quebecers around common secular values, instead
there has been a greater mutual coming together of those to whom their
religious convictions are important.Muslims women who would be forbidden to wear the hijab are being
supported by Christians who would not permitted to wear large crosses and
Jewish men who are forbidden to wear the kippah on their heads.Each of us realize that these are symbols of
our faith that are important to us and we want the right to show the world that
they matter to us.What we have come to
realize is that all of us are being targeted and we are united in our desire to
quietly express the value of our faith by what we wear.
In a strange way, I think that much
good will come from all of this.We have
nothing to fear when we are able to be open about our faith.If our faith is true, as we believe it is,
there is nothing to fear about telling others what we believe in an attitude of
respect, not proudly announcing that we have the truth, but rather humbly
exposing the values that govern and give meaning to our lives.Such an attitude is relevant to the climate
of tolerance that is the hallmark of Canadian life and goes with the welcoming
of others from many different parts of the world to discover a new life in our
While I would prefer that this law
not come into being, since like my fellow Quebecers who are Muslim and Jewish,
I want to be able to openly wear the symbols of my faith, I realize that even
if it is passed, there will be unexpected good come from what happens
We will have unique opportunities to
support those who feel they must take a stand against such a law.It will open up more doors for dialogue and encouragement
for one another as people of faith.It
will enable us to demonstrate the strongest power in the world – the power of
love.That will mark us as truly
Christian – followers of the One who came into our world to incarnate love and
invites us to become members of another kingdom, the Kingdom ruled by
In anticipation of a greater freedom
to be who we are, I wish you a Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas!