Saturday, November 05, 2005

Merry Winter Celebration

Sometimes I despair. Us Brits are too accommodating to people from other countries and cultures. I spoke to Offspring in London today and he told me that his little cousins have had two days off school recently. One for Eid Al Fitr, and one for Diwali. I think that's pretty cool - no doubt they will have been taught a bit about what these things mean, and that can only be a good thing.

But then there's this. The famously nutty Lambeth Council in London will no longer be putting up 'Christmas' lights. Instead, they will be called 'winter lights'. I am deeply, deeply offended by this. I have steam coming out of my ears. Lambeth Council, if you can show me one single Muslim, Jew, Sikh, Hindu, or any other bugger who lives in the UK and thinks that Christians should not celebrate their own festivals in their own way in their own country, I will personally slap them round the head with a deceased fish.

Get a grip you morons! I, as a Christian, am not remotely offended by mention of the religious festivals of other faiths. In fact I enjoy them. So why do you think that non-Christians in the UK would be offended by the Christmas thing? I tell you: I am sick and tired of Christianity being repeatedly subsumed to the 'cultural sensitivities' of other faiths. I have absolutely no axe to grind about these other faiths being practiced peacefully in my country, but when 'politically-correct' local politicians start arsing about like this, a line has to be drawn.

In fact, it's probably about time the UK got itself a written constitution, along the lines of: the official and approved religion is Christianity (Anglican & RC). All other religions are tolerated, and can build their own places of worship. No brain-dead local politician is allowed to interfere with the traditional UK religious or pagan celebrations. No other religion is allowed to be upset by Christians doing what they do. Likewise, no Christian is allowed to be upset by the celebrations of other faiths. OK, nice and easy. Get on with it.


Blogger Emirati said...

Glad to see ultra left multiculturalism is working out for you guys..

I can tell you that Islam has nothing against christmas lights were probably the only other religion which recognizes and celebrates Jesus, some locals are even called Essa, arabic for Jesus.

9:46 pm  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Em: glad to see you're still around. WTF is happnin with your blog?!!!

And yeah, re multiculturalism, I think the UAE has a pretty good model on the religious front at least.

10:57 pm  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Em: Found it!

11:20 pm  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Oh, forgot to mention: 'ultra left' - strangely not. Lambeth currently is run by a coalition of Tories and Liberal Democrats.

12:02 am  
Blogger Amrit(raj) said...

" Sometimes I despair. Us Brits are too accommodating to people from other countries and cultures. "

!!! ... err.. why would you despair? isnt that perhaps a good thing ?

10:08 am  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Amrit: normally, yes, it's a great thing. But when it gets to the stage where local councils start banning mention of words like 'Christmas' because it *might* offend people of other religions then that is a step too far. Or when we pay huge amounts of social security money to support people like Sheikh Omar Bakhri who openly oppose the entire political structure of the UK. You get the picture.

10:40 am  
Blogger The Devil's Advocate said...

I think you're getting a bit protective here. Being a bit conservative?

The one thing I respect about Christianity more than anything else is it's complete selflessness. I mean 100% lack of pride or need for acknowledgement. It’s a beautifully humble religion.

What do I mean?

Well, if Christmas is about celebrating Jesus and all then surely, making a compromise to get people to join in the festivities and drive home the point of the occasion would be (And forgive me if I'm wrong) the "Christian" thing to do.

By removing the "Christmas" title, the lights become a symbol of a holiday that transcends religious denominations and segregation.

Wouldn't it be great if on Christmas Muslims gave Hindus gifts and Christians gave Sikhs and Sikhs gave Muslims? Wouldn’t that be a lovely, warmth inducing experience to be party to?

Beyond that idealism, it's the price you pay for having a secular society and government. You can't spout secularism as the savior of civil liberties and then conveniently forget all about it when it comes to the fuzzy memories that you want to cling onto.

Personally, when I was a kid I found it really hard to be a Muslim and not want to sit on Santa's Knee because of the whole religious aspect. The point of Christmas (As I understand it) is to celebrate the act of giving and sacrifice, right?

I can understand your fears though, if it's "Winter lights" this year it might be no lights next year, yeah?

Plus, honestly, How Christian is Xmas nowadays? More like a consumerist holiday than anything else celebrating materialism.

1:03 pm  
Blogger nick said...

Christmas at Wafi is beautiful =)

On another note, Christmas no long involves just my family and I. I end up giving and recieving gifts from my non-Christian friends as well every year. And no, they don't think of Christmas as some gift-exchanging racket. They understand that for us it's a special time, and just as we wish them for Eid, Diwali, etc. they would like to convey their wishes to us as well. Every year now my house is filled with people, Christians and non-Christians alike, and all of us have a great time, and you can really feel the spirit of Christmas in the air.

4:29 pm  
Anonymous Oscar said...

I think it's a real shame that Lambeth council have decided to honour how out of touch the PC movement is with.. anything at all with the pretty lights. Regent Street has blue and white stars crossing overhead with the characters of Ice Age having a group hug. Red and green seem to be out this year. The decorations are out in force but steer clear of snowmen, father christmas, holly, anything distinctly christmassy. Who is this going to please?

7:15 pm  
Anonymous A Christian said...

So now changing the name of the CHRISTMAS lights is the thing to do so not to upset others; does that mean that I will have to change my name if I want to live in peace with others?, what were my parents thinking when they named me CHRISTINA? so unthoughtfull of them....
As far as I can remember Christmas is the celebration of CHRIST's birth and yes as "devil's advocate" mentioned is to celebrate the act of giving and sacrifice... but of CHRIST for us (and more like the birth of the one that gave and sacrifice).
I've lived in many countries so I have learned to accept and many times also learn from other religions but I have also learned to stand for mine. They are called CHRISTMAS lights because they are to celebrate CHRIST's birth!!!...
And Brits don't feel alone, you are not the only ones too accomodating, in the time when I was living in the United States at the University where I was working Christmas trees where not allowed (jewish comunity was againts them), but if you were a muslim woman you could wear a head scarf; so, seems like as long as no one is against it you can do what you are asked by your religion.
I don't think that tolerating the differences in religions means segregation, I think once you learn to accept the differences is when you can actually live with other's in armony. We are not meant to think or belive the same (Winter Lights For ALL!!..rubish!!!) we are meant to accept the differences (Christians, Jewish, Muslims, Indus, etc,etc).
And I am totally in favour of any one standing for their believes (as long as you are not hurting/killing others) indus, muslims, buddists jewish... but come on Christians should do the same.

8:32 am  

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