Random thought that I had yesterday.
I am going to preface this with, not attacking anyone, just something that I have been reflecting on and made me think. I also could be just overthinking this, as I am apt to do at times, so please let know your thoughts.
If however, you see this as an attack and feel the need to defend your religion, you can just go ahead and keep scrolling, that is not my intent, I am simply putting some of my thoughts into words to open debate and make people think. I am not saying any belief system is more right than another, in fact, my belief is that all religious and spiritual beliefs are partly right (and partly wrong, because they were created by humans, who are flawed) and are just ways that resonate more with different people.
If you feel that strongly about it, maybe that is something you should look at, and if you want to go on the defensive, maybe you should just stop reading my writing, as an attack is not what I am doing, and I am not going to sit and try to defend things that are simply observations.
That being said, here is what I have been reflecting on over the last 24 hours or so:
It is amazing how much the Christian mindset pervades our country. I am not Christian, haven’t been in a long time, but I got so many “Happy Easter,” greetings yesterday (phone calls, texts, etc.), including a Snapchat message from the developers…
Nothing wrong with that, except as a person who doesn’t subscribe to these beliefs, it is pushed so hard, especially when compared to other belief systems and their (not)doing the same thing.
I didn’t know what to say/respond to these messages. You too seems wrong, as I don’t want to enforce the idea that it is fine and I believe the same thing that they do. I said (to my mom when we talked on the phone) that it isn’t a holiday for me, so I didn’t have a special meal or anything planned; it seemed as if she was shocked/thrown when I said that, I think partly because I grew up in that belief system, and partly because she doesn’t see how I could walk away from it, because it has helped her so much and is so tied to a part of her identity.
In comparison, I have a LOT of Jewish friends…and none of them sent me a message wishing me a happy Passover (even though the start was only a few days ago)…but I can think of at least 10 people who reached out to me to wish me a happy Easter.
For a country that says it is ok to be whatever you want, it is amazing how the subliminal message that is being pushed is that if you are non-Christian, you are outside of the norm, and it is ok to push those beliefs onto others, even if just in a “Happy whatever,” way.
A related thought is the “War on Christmas.” Spoiler alert, people that celebrate other holidays aren’t trying to take away your ability to celebrate one of your religion’s major holidays.
There are holidays for almost every major (and some minor) religions in December and January, and saying happy holidays is literally the most accurate way to greet people, especially if you don’t know their beliefs, which, if you are honest with yourself, it is a pretty good bet that you don’t know what religious belief all of the people that you interact with in a 6 week period are practitioners of.
Personally, I know Pagans, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Satanists, Jews, Taoists, and more, so me saying “Merry Christmas,” especially when it isn’t something that I follow or agree with (for me only), and have had such a tumultuous relationship with the religion I was raised in, (in a sense) negates the experiences and beliefs of all of those people.
It personally makes me feel uncomfortable saying Christian phrases, for many reasons. If I do, am I open to hearing Happy whatever, or May X bless you, or am I implicitly closing the door and making others either pretend like I didn’t say anything, or letting them know that I think that their beliefs are not as valuable as mine?
It also echoes the (sometimes) unspoken belief that if you do not fit in the White, Cisgender, and straight package there is something wrong/broken/different/other about you, and we need to make sure that you know this…incessantly, and offensively. Add Judeo-Christian to that list, and the only thing on that list that I am is White, so there is always going to be something about me that offends someone’s delicate sensitivites.
Just some food for thought.