Each year the attacks on the celebration of Christmas become more vicious. Recently, in a small town in Maryland, a tradition of 22 years was banned. Why? One person threatened a small town of population of about 700 people that if the Biblical Christmas story was read at the town's tree lighting ceremonies they would sue the town for defying "the wall between church and state!" The mayor, after conferring with a lawyer, decided to ban the reading because this little town could not afford a lawsuit. One person took away the freedom of 700 people, either out of spite or complete belief in "separation of church and state ruling." How interesting when Christmas has been declared a federal holiday! The man who had read the Biblical Christmas story for all these 22 years said it was the favorite part of the lighting ceremonies because families and extended families came back every year and the minute he started to read, a hush fell over the people attending because they wanted to hear the story.
A number of years ago, in a small Minnesota town, the Nativity scene which had been enacted by the first-graders for decades was suddenly banned because one person objected. Here again the board could not afford a lawsuit. The editor of the local paper was absolutely furious to think one person could destroy a tradition of so many years and wrote a stirring editorial. The next year the Nativity scene was restored. Where has our freedom of speech gone when one person can stop the traditions of Christmas which have been celebrated for hundreds of years? What next? Christianity banned, only one world religion allowed. Crosses torn down, churches boarded up! Never? Never is a very long time!
An angry, hate-filled letter
I just finished reading the angry, hate-filled letter a man from Pequot Lakes wrote to Open Forum. This tirade results, obviously, from a distinct fear on his part of someone from the Afro-American race and it comes through loud and clear. At this joyous time of year when we are taught to show love and care for those who are less fortunate and to try to understand those who have different outlooks on a given subject, along comes the Grinch, throwing hate and vituperation against a person's color and heritage.
I feel sorry for him in that with all the words in our language that could have been used, he chose hateful and divisive adjectives to display his distaste for the black American people. Unfortunately for him, instead of getting his point across, he instead identified himself as the fearful creature he is.
Hate, anger and all other negative words that can be used are, in fact, a diversion for a very basic underlying fear of someone or something that we cannot control in our life. I have no idea of this person's background or experience that would lead him to want to degrade himself to the point that he did and I can only speculate that he is hurting and needs some happiness to enter his life so that he can exchange his fear of the black people to love and understanding as we are all taught to do, especially this time of the year.
I wish him and his family only love this holiday season.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.