Sunday, December 23, 2007
Donkey Tales and the War on Christmas
When I saw that West Bank residents had defaced Banksy's donkey not far from where Jesus is supposed to have been born. I couldn't help but think that now the poor Palestinians have lost everything.
Even their sense of humour.
And I also couldn't help but think of another donkey. And one of my favourite childhood Christmas stories.
The story of Small One the poor old abused donkey who finally has his moment of glory...when he gets to carry pregnant Mary to that manger in Bethlehem.
I could never watch that one without choking up.
Of course that was before I learned that Mary was a virgin. And that Small One didn't really exist. And neither does God.
But even as an atheist I love this time of the year. The lights....the songs....the food ...the feeling that we should treat each other more kindly than we do the rest of the time. And of course all that talk about peace on earth.
So it annoys me when I see some religious fanatics claim that we are waging War on Christmas. Even though... as JJ has fun pointing out... there isn't one.
And it disturbs me to see how right wing xenophobes use that fake war to make people believe that foreigners are stealing our culture and traditions.
All this would just be seasonal silliness if it were not cover for a more sinister drumbeat. The right has taken to flying the "Christian" flag in ways that suggest none too subtly that foreigners - Muslims - are stealing our culture and traditions. "They" are stopping "us" celebrating Christmas and teaching Christian stories to our children.
Which is not only nonsense...but dangerous as well.
And the LAST thing we need in Canada.
So I guess I'll just keep on believing that there is no God. Just a lot of humans living on a small and fragile planet who need to respect and care for each other a lot more than we do now if we're going to survive.
Because the earth is our only heaven and our only hell. And the gods aren't going to help us.
While I also keep on enjoying the beautiful myth of a baby born in a manger during a time of terror and persecution. Or the legend of the Hannukah lamp that burned forever. Or the story of Small One the poor humble donkey.
And of course all those Christmas songs....
The words may not mean anything to me. But isn't that HUMAN sound beautiful ?
Merry Christmas...Joyeux Noël...Happy Holidays everyone!
From me and Sébastien ....and my little donkey Kerouac.
Love and justice and peace on earth...