Saturday, December 02, 2006


There are only so many days in a year. And it seems that lately every single one of them is a holiday, holy day, celebration day of some sort for some religious, ethnic or cultural group in my school. I don't mean to complain, but there has to be a limit. Right now a friend of mine who teaches elementary is looking at a Winter Holiday spectacle that has to offer paeans to the Three Major Religions AND seven or eight cultural variations. Nobody likes anyone else's music. Everyone hates the commercial stuff and what ends up happening is that some parent will get their knickers in a twist and file a formal complaint about how their child was "damaged" by not having every little essence of the holiday meal, show or celebration to their liking. Talk about people who know how to suck the joy out of everything...

I can understand that some religious issues are touchy. I get it that some Muslim kids wouldn't like singing "Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel" and some Jewish kids might balk at singing "Away in the Manger". But like it or not, we live in a society of pluralities. And contrary to what many think, that doesn't mean you get to cover your ears and mutter nahnahnah until the bad song or sight passes. It means you make the choice to GET ALONG. Let me repeat that for all the upstanding Baptists, observant Jews and active Muslims-it means that you deal with it by letting others do what they want and they in turn, will let YOU do what YOU want. That's what this whole Freedom Of Religion thing is all about. It's not me telling you what to do, it's not the ACLU telling me what NOT to do, it's not mayors shutting down nativity scenes or atheists picketing midnight Mass. It is about being grown-up enough to realize that everyone, even those who are in your own family, have slightly different perspectives on life and religion. Rather than focus on building walls, isn't it about time that we start concentrating on the values we share? I am personally tired to death of one religion poking at another one for some slight that happened so long ago that nobody remembers when or what or why it happened.

In the meantime, take a moment, and no matter what you believe or if you don't believe in a Higher Power at all, and consider how you can let go of your anger and prejudices and make your part of the world a better place.

BTW, contrary to popular views, I am a conservative.

1 comment:

Darren said...

I hear you. Did you notice my post about my school's December calendar? I submitted it for this week's Carnival of Education--we'll see if it gets accepted.

Haven't seen you around lately. Everything ok?