Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Secular or not? The (internal) debate rages on....

Update on Noel - I know you have all been curious about this....(or not, if you haven't figured this out yet - I write what's on my mind - which is not neccesssarily what you were wondering about)

First off, went back to the mall the other day and saw that I had missed one of the Santas. (How I don't know since each is about 8 feet tall) and had to include his picure- I dub thee: Straw Santa....
Since some of the people at Andre's work read our blog, he got comments on how Santa/Noel IS secular - it is a tradition that goes back in time, in lots of cultures and has nothing to do with Christ etc... etc.... Wow, is it really true then, that Muslims and Jews celebrate Noel in France? The answer to that one was "I don't really know, actually". Hmm.... does the answer to this question matter? I mean, I see Halloween as secular, although there is no denying it has religious (albeit pagan) roots. I guess it is because, in the US, everyone, celebrates Halloween (ok, I know, not everyone) Hmm...how about Valentines??? Do they even have that here? Or St. Patrick's Day? Man, the christian church has got it's finger everywhere. Well, I am trying to accept that it is secular here - but I am still hoping to someday (maybe when I can actually speak the language a bit better) make a non-Christian friend I can ask about their views on this stuff.

Also, Olivier mentioned that he was very suprised that Christmas wasn't taught in the schools in the US. He didn't even know we HAVE separation of church and state in the US. Don't the presidents put their hands on the Bible when they are inaugurated? Don't you swear on the Bible in court? Doesn't the pledge of allegiance have the word "god" in it? Doesn't every speech I ever hear from an American politician end with "God Bless America"? Um....yeah - but we don't make all kids sing songs about Santa, by golly! Now, that would be crossing the line....
Recently people have been saying "Bon Noel" to me instead of the usual "Au revoir" as a goodbye. I know in Mt. Airy, people are always very careful to say "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas" this time of year. That is true unless you know what religeon they are - and then you can insert proper holiday greeting.... The political correctness dance - may we all learn the steps for whatever culture we may be in.
All so fascinating isn't it? Rebecca

1 comment:

Nikles said...

Il existe plusieurs facon de célébrer Noel:

Fete religieuse: messe de minuit, creche, prière...

Fête paienne traditionnelle: occasion de se réunir en famille, avec des amis, de faire rêver les plus jeunes avec le père Noel. Occasion d'etre généreux.

Certains musulmans fêtent Noel dans le second contexte, d'autres ne le fêtent pas.

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