Sunday, November 12, 2006

Onward Christian Soldiers

Tomorrow (Monday) it will only be 6 weeks to Christmas Day.

It must almost be time for the annual debate about living in a multi-cultural society and the potential offence given to people of other religions by our national celebration of this Christian festival. The politically correct (atheist or agnostic) commentators will start the rush to condemn us for our heritage and practices, in order to better display how liberal and open-minded they are. I suppose we can also expect to hear the calls for the removal of the Angelus from RTE TV & radio.

Multi-national companies will wish their employees and customers a “happy holiday” or “festive season”, avoiding the dreaded “C” word. Ditto many Christmas cards will carry no religious symbols or references to the “C” word.

Personally, I can’t see how anyone can take offence from the celebration of another religion’s festivals, unless those celebrations involve in some fashion the denigration of non-believers. Wishing a Jew, a Muslim or a Hindu “Happy Christmas” will only cause offence to those who insist on being offended.

Perhaps if we invented a suitable mechanism for demonstrating absolute parity of esteem on all religions it would defuse the debate. One possible solution springs to mind, though there are many others I’m sure.

Let’s convert Halloween! Every community will have a bonfire into which will be thrown an icon of each major religion. The purpose of this action is twofold: (a) the ceremonial burning will symbolise the lack of pre-eminence accorded to any one faith and (b) mankind’s free will in choosing to believe in any faith or none and also to practice his/her faith without interference or interfering with anyone else.

This will be known as “The Bonfire of Divinities”. Non-believers may choose to call it "The Bonfire of Inanities."

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