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 country. 
          
          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 nevertheless. 
           
           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 Love. 

                 In anticipation of a greater freedom to be who we are, I wish you a Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas!
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3 comments:

Peter Black said...

Thoughtful and sensitive . . . Thank you Eleanor.
Coming from you as a resident Christian and minister in Quebec, your thoughts on this subject have weight that others of us might not be able to carry into the conversation.
A blessed and joyous Christmas to you and yours. ~~+~~

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Interesting point of view - good thoughts.

Clotee said...

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!
Bring you Good wishes of happiness.

Sorry for greeting you earlier,, just don't want miss saying this.
By the way, I'm clotee. I am blogger too, and now try my best luck to open an e-store. Nice to know you.

Regards,
Clotee

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