Assortments of Thought

Posts Tagged ‘Diversity

As the days grow cold and the nights grow long, it’s that time of year again. Families and individuals across the nation–and much of the world–are gearing up to celebrate, or else already have. It’s a time of joy and yet stress, of frantic paces and yet quite moments, and a time of remembrance, indeed, and yet of looking forward as well. Yet it’s also a time of some controversy, over the usual squabbles; whether the proper greeting is “Merry Christmas” or not–whether “Happy Holidays” is offensive or not–and how much or how little governments, businesses, and schools should adhere to given traditions. Such may colorfully be referred to as the “War on Christmas”; but despite the strong feelings often involved, perhaps there’s really very little we have to fret about. Such diverse holidays as Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, Chinese New Year, Eid al-Fitr, and Kwanzaa do indeed represent divergent traditions, traditions that can’t be entirely reconciled. Perhaps there’s nonetheless a common thread throughout all our “winter” holidays though–a spirit of togetherness, love, and hope for the future–that’s really all that need matter to all of us outside of most traditions. The issue with public institutions is a bit more complicated, involving separation of church and state; private rights in public but privately-owned businesses; and cultural or secular traditions versus religious ones; but, even there, just accepting each others’ traditions needn’t be so hard. We need only to think of each other in the spirit of the season, and then whatever our own traditions or choices of greeting may be, speaking and listening with our hearts, we’ll surely have happy holidays for all.

Continue reading “Happy Holidays to All” …

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The inclusion of God by government and other public institutions has continued to stir controversy. For instance, public schools have even faced lawsuits over using the line “One nation, under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, and some activists continue to cross out “In God We Trust” on all paper money that comes their way. That anyone takes issue with these things, however, may seem surprising. If separation of church and state as mandated by the Constitution is maintained with the exception of such minor things, indeed we are all fortunate. Even so, that anyone in turn takes issue with removing God from public institutions is perhaps less surprising but far more concerning. For it isn’t just separation of church and state that’s involved, though that’s certainly very, very important. Even further, it’s discrimination on the basis of religion. After all, government and public institutions serve the nation, and in a nation with citizens of virtually every major world religion and more, just one or a few religions shouldn’t be endorsed over all the others. And it’s important that everyone realizes this, even if it’s not a particularly big deal as it stands, to ensure that it doesn’t become anything bigger in the future.

Continue reading “Religious Diversity and God” …


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