Category Archives: Lillian Hellman
Dec 03 comments
Times change, and some things become accepted wisdom, the uninvestigated way of thinking.
Here in Oklahoma it is fashionable recently to have a hissy fit about how the majority religion, Christianity, is being sidelined. A current example of this is the hissy fit our senior Senator Inhofe is having over the annual parade that occurs this time of year. In the past it was called the Christmas Parade of Lights. Last year the name was changed to the Holiday Parade of Lights. Sen. Inhofe has made a grand proclamation this year where he says he will refuse to ride his horse in the parade unless the name is changed back. We also have a City Councilman and others threatening to not allow a parade permit unless the name is changed back. The argument is that ‘Jesus is the reason for the season’ and so it should say Christmas in the name of the parade.
The reason given for changing it from ‘Christmas’ to ‘Holiday’ is one you have probably heard before. It is that many people in the community are not Christian, they celebrate other religious (or non-religious) events during the same time frame and in the interest of having them feel included in both the parade and the seasonal atmosphere the word Holiday is the better word to use.
But there is another argument that I have not heard. It is more Christian to have the parade name include ‘Holiday’ than it is to have ‘Christian’ in it.
The essence of the day-to-day practice of Christianity is love. Love is made manifest by, among other things, kindness, gentleness, thoughtfulness, patience, selflessness, sacrifice, and inclusion.
If I know that some in my community are celebrating holidays other than Christmas, then why would I not want to reach out to them and find ways to include them in the community wide celebrations. If by one simple word change that doesn’t affect my religion, doesn’t affect my worship, doesn’t affect me being ‘Christian’ in any way I can reach out a hand of love and joy to Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and those who don’t believe anything in particular, then why wouldn’t I want to do that? Why woudn’t that be the Christian thing to do?
If I do so, then my church is still intact, my worship is still secure, my example is still as it should be, Christian.
That’s my conscience speaking to me. What is yours saying to you?
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by Lillian Hellman, from a letter to the chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, May 19th, 1952.