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...


JJ said...

What a great post, Simon! Thanks:)

Merry Christmas to you & Sebastien and a woof! Christmas to Kerouac, all the best in 2008.

sassy said...

Wonderful holiday post Simon. I was so intent on sending my greetings that I commented on Saturday's post.

Merry, happy, healthy and safe ....


Simon said...

Hi JJ!!! Thanks I'm glad you liked it. Since this was the year I felt that even though I am an atheist, and I believe in the total separation of church and state...I don't want anyone to think that I believe in banning religion. I believe that everybody should be free to believe whatever fairy tale they want long at they keep it to themselves and don't try to pass it off as science.
*sigh* so many much little time.

Merry Christmas and may 2008 be your HIPPIEST and HAPPIEST year ever!!!! :)

Simon said...

Hi Sassy!!! Two greeting are definitely better than one!!! The funny thing is I wrote the post on Monday...but I forgot to check the time before I sent it off so it came out Sunday!! Er...I KNEW I never shoulda had glass of wine... ;)

Maery, happy, healthy, and safe to you too!!