Can we stop acting so offended?

Published 5:44 pm Saturday, December 19, 2015

By LARRY STOVERPraise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene

America has become a microcosm of the world. We are diverse in culture, religion and belief systems. As people from around the globe come to this country, they arrive with all kinds of traditions. We have allowed many of those customs to become a part of the fabric of our society. It is a beautiful tapestry.

Along the way some of those customs have become offensive to a few and there has emerged an argumentative spirit that seems to not only prevail but grows with every passing year.

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People around the world have been celebrating Christmas for centuries. It’s not just a Christian tradition and belief system but many espouse the theme of the celebration.

While more than 75 percent of Americans (according to a survey read by this columnist) believe and celebrate Christmas, across the country we are allowing a family or two in many places to shut down this celebration that has been a fundamental weave of our nation’s tapestry.

If you don’t want to celebrate, don’t try to stop the rest of us from the joy of the season because you don’t happen to like the idea.

There are a lot of things going on in America that I personally do not like nor do I participate in the festivities that surround those institutions and celebrations. I choose to be tolerant of what they want to do, but it does not mean that I participate. I just do other things.

I have many Hispanic friends. If I went with them on a trip, around the fifth of May to Mexico I would be caught up in “Cinco de Mayo.” It’s their Independence Day celebration. I can choose whether or not I want to participate in the festivities, but that does not mean they won’t go on. That is a part of their country and heritage. By the way, I would choose to celebrate with them even though I’m not a citizen of that nation.

America is in trouble. We are trying to be so politically, socially and historically correct that we don’t see the train-wreck coming. If we are supposed to be a tolerant people, then let us celebrate our holidays. If you do not choose to be a part of the activities, then don’t. But please let the rest of us celebrate Christmas.

I want to be free to say “Merry Christmas” to everyone. If you prefer to say “Happy Hanukkah” to me, not a problem! I want to see more traditional Christmas songs in Christmas programs. Retail stores should not be offended by being part of a Christmas celebration. They want our money, so, why not loosen up and join the reality of the season.

We keep talking about needing God to bless America again. Why not start out by celebrating the birth of his son, Jesus, the savior of the world. The average citizen of this country needs to stand up for their rights. If 75 percent of us like Christmas, then celebrate the “Reason for the Season!”