Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday: What A Way To Start The "Holiday"

Black Friday has come and gone. It is called "Black" Friday because it is the day when retailers go from red, if they've had a slow year, to black. Often, as is the case this year, the meaning may more closely follow along with these lyrics from Les Mis:
Red...The color of desire! Black...The color of despair!
So it was at a Wal-Mart where a worker was trampled to death by over zealous shoppers. So filled with desire were they that when store management announced in despair that people had been seriously injured and would everyone cease shopping and vacate the store, it was to no avail.

It leads me to wonder if we as a nation really ever take a close look at our behavior. If we did we'd understand why the rest of the world has come to dismiss us. This is a a prime example.

Here we are at the beginning of one of what Christians are supposed to consider the most Holy time of the year. It doesn't mean that any more, not at all. It begins the time of year where pious pronouncements rule. A headline shouts Atheists will post own display telling of another episode of demanding equal representation of displays on government property. I'm willing to wager this is a nationwide occurrence and has become as annual an event as the Black Friday shopping madness.

Also in this morning's paper was a superb column, Bible passages at times contradict Christian message . In it the writer talks of all the versions of the bible that are "out there" and how they vary from one to another. He also talks of how passages tend to be cherry picked and interpreted to suit various ambitions.

This is of course not news to those of us interested in such. People, at least in this country, are free to believe in what they like. What I have a problem with is hypocrisy. I couldn't live with myself if I knew I had been a part of actions causing a death in the name of getting a "bargain". For Christmas.

To me the reality of "Christmas" has been reduced to frenzied shopping, parades, lights, presents and more presents and the cheaper the better. No thanks.

When December 25th actually rolls around store decorations will have been up for over three months, the music will have gotten tiresome and the "spirit", if it isn't hot buttered rum or spiced wine, will be cranky. Actually attending a church service may be more obligatory then heartfelt.

No thanks. We'll have our tree. Yes. Tradition, memories of family and times long gone. Our peace and good will will be toward one another and those of our friends who make no demands on our views in the name of a book or a being that isn't being well served in the first place.


Sylvia K said...

I gave up on formal/organized religion many years ago -- at the time I was in a convent with plans to become a nun. It was in New Orleans and one day at lunch I heard several nuns discussing integration which was on the horizon at the time. One said and the others agreed, "that the day they put one of those black bears in my classroom, I'll leave the order" So much for religion and love. I left the next day. I raised my children to have the choice of church or not, but I did emphasize that God is everywhere, not confined to a building or any one group. Christmas has no truly religious message any more -- not one of love, forgivness, acceptance, sharing. It's all about the money, the gifts and how much can I take away. I'm not anti-religious as I know there are many people who practice their religion, unfortunately they're in the minority. Yep, pushed all my buttons today, didn't you? Thanks for a great post!

Word Tosser said...

I thought Atheists Day was April 1st.

Rinkly Rimes said...

I'm sending you a poem I've written to put on my Blog later in the month. It seems to echo some f your sentiments.


I've been asked to make a speech and 'Bah Humbug!' is the title,
And something rather seasonal is absolutely vital.
Of course, we're all familiar with that old Dickensian phrase;
That Scrooge expletive rubbishing Victorian Christmas Days.
Being assigned this topic has made me think a bit
And I have to say, in many ways, 'Bah! Humbug!' seems to fit!
My up-bringing was Church of England, very, very staid,
So Christmas was a bit subdued, not a big parade.
Three times to church on Christmas Day, and carols, only, sung,
And the all-insistant melody of church-bells being rung.
We had a special meal, it's true and small gifts were exchanged,
But my father'd find the Christmas of this century deranged!
I turned my back on organised religion as I grew;
I simply felt I could not find the proof that it was true.
But a lingering reverence remains for beliefs that are sincere,
And I even envy other folk who hold religion dear.
I'd never sneer at people who find church makes them secure;
It must be nice to feel one's future's certain and quite sure.
And there's nothing wrong with Festivals, or even spending cash,
Or buying Santa brooches with little lights that flash;
Or getting drunk at parties and flirting with the boss.
But it hasn't got a lot to do with Christ upon the Cross.
And I feel for True Believers as they find their faith demoted,
With cheap and cheerful Xmas cards having Christian phrases quoted!

It pains me hearing 'Rudolph' sung straight after 'Silent Night'.
And 'Jingle Bells' with 'Hark the Herald Angels'! That's not right!
Angel-fairies, flashy Crib-scenes, anything that's bright and crass,
Mixing Christ with Jolly X-mas, cheap old cheerfulness en masse!
I feel for all the truly faithful, seeing their story treated so.
All that whizz-bang arrant nonsense when they just need candle-glow.
I'm all for a Family Festival, maybe at New Year,
A great big Get-Together, with folk from far and near.
And if Spending Big is part of it, well, it helps the economy;
We could pile up New Year presents underneath a New Year Tree!
The truly Christian Christmas could be a quiet affair,
In which we non-believers wouldn't even need to share.
But the mad conglomeration in which now we all take part
Pains me because, if he were here, it would break my father's heart.
He'd feel that something special had been horribly debased
And he'd miss the gentle reverence which now has been replaced.
Here's to a Family Festival, flash presents, a big feed!
But let's not mix it up with someone's truly Christian creed.

Margie's Musings said...

It's a tragedy that so many "so called" Christians have blackened the name. I think we ought to go back to what the bible has said were the words of Jesus and try to live by those principles. The world would be a better place. There would be peace and love on earth.

I agree with Ghandi. Churchianity has spoiled the movement.

Christmas is, unfortunately, a pagan holiday, as so many of the Christian holidays are. No one knows when Jesus was born and certainly our bible stories about his birth were written decades after his death. No one followed Jesus around and wrote down his history.

He would turn over in his grave if he saw what Churchianity has done with his movement that he meant to bring peace and equality to the wirld.

Jim Brand and Jana Tritto said...

My feelings, exactly... but with words I could not possibly string together so beautifully. I hate the commercial aspects of all of our holidays, especially now, with so much hardship in the land. It's supposed to be all about our relationships; What have we done!?!?

Anonymous said...

It all feels so forced these days. Bill O'Reilly starts earlier and earlier ranting about whether clerks in stores say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" and all at work are forced to participate in some type of holiday partying regardless of race/religion/ethnicity.

If we didn't have our dog to worry about, I'd go on vacation somewhere where Christmas wasn't celebrated just to get away from it all!