EDITORIAL: Goodwill and chill

Part of embracing all creeds and colours is to accept a greeting of "Merry Christmas"

Merry Christmas.

It has to be OK to say that to people this time of year, just as it was OK to say Happy Hanukhah earlier this month or Happy Ramadan in June.

Jesus Christ was one very influential person. We are predominantly a nation of Christians. This is not a bad thing.

Moses was one very influential person. We have many Jewish people in Canada. This is not a bad thing.

Muhammad was one very influential person. We have many Muslims in Canada. This is not a bad thing.

Those who bend over backwards to not offend are doing just that. How is it an offence to say Merry Christmas? We don’t know many Christians who would be offended if a Happy Hanukkah or Happy Ramadan was directed their way.

It’s way past time to dial down the rhetoric regarding the use of the word Christmas. We should as Canadians be proud of our inclusive ways. The country as we know it was founded by immigrants — that is not to say it wasn’t doing just fine without European settlers, but that’s a different subject for a different time.

Our inclusive ways should include Christians, shouldn’t it?

Because we are predominantly a nation of Christians, we need be cognizant of the risk of bowling over those of other faiths, to be sure. Sadly, those who are the loudest about ‘keeping Christ in Christmas’ don’t sound inclusive. They sound combative, which is, well, kind of un-Christian.

Conversely, those who are the loudest about being offended by the bombardment of Christian holidays and references to Christ need to chill and perhaps focus on the messages of goodwill and giving the season of Christmas brings, instead of religion.

Yes, there is too much commercialism. Yes, if you’re not a Christian, this can all be a bit much. But just as Easter can be a time of renewal, Christmas can be time of giving and goodwill. Those positive concepts cross all paths.

Merry Christmas.

— Editorial by John Harding

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