Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Don't Judge Me and I Won't Judge You

I'm having a difficult time. Aaron is out of town, won't be back till Saturday. Yesterday was a mad rush to get presents boxed up and shipped out. Going to the post office with two children and three heavy boxes one week before Christmas is a special kind of hell.

My house is a wreck, Darwin still refuses to potty train and Goddess have mercy his diapers are gross. Griffin magically has explosive poop and I can't find my kitchen counters from all the glitter.

I went to Griffin's "winter" party at his (public) school and his teacher was blaring O Little Town of Bethlehem complete with when Chr-r-r-ri-i-i-ist our Savior was born. And I'm all are you fucking kidding me with this shit? I don't give a fuck if we do live in Kansas. I don't want my delicate little UU child hearing that.

(Oh yes, it's official: we joined a "church" this year. I always put church in quotes in regards to Unitarian Universalist because really? It's not church. It's more like, let's understand each other and build a community and be respectful to each other's souls and beliefs. It rocks.)

Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm all about people choosing to believing what they want to believe and there is a time and a place for people to teach about religion and public schools is not the place for my child to be learning about the sweet baby Jesus.

I think one of the hardest things for me during the holiday season, besides Aaron's constant traveling and the disgusting consumerism, is the fact that people suddenly become entitled to shove religion down my throat.

You believe in God? Great!

You think Jesus was sent to die for our sins? Hallelujah!

You get offended because I say "Happy holidays!" instead of "Merry Christmas!"? FUCK OFF.

And please, dear readers, do not think I am ripping you a new one. I've never once had a conversation with anyone who reads this site who wasn't respectful of the fact that I don't worship Jesus Christ forever and ever, amen.

My anger is against the people in the stores, in the produce isle, the teachers in the public school system.

It's very tiring to be respectful of your religion, especially when you are not being respectful of the fact that I'm not Christian.

Perhaps it's because I'm in Kansas. Perhaps it's because I was born Catholic and raised Southern Baptist. Perhaps it's because I actually pay attention to the world outside my door and guess what?

It's fucking harsh out there.

What happened to humanity, respect and acceptance? Isn't that what Christians are suppose to do? Would it be more forgivable if I were Jewish? Muslim? A more-practicing Buddhist?

I wished someone "Happy Hanukkah" after they wished me "Merry Christmas" and you would have though I smacked her across the face.

Seriously? Seriously? This is the world I live in? Zero intolerance for anyone who isn't exactly like you?

Is it fear? What is it that makes the people around me so damn upset that I choose not to worship their Jesus?


Chickenbells said...

Go Team UU!! Man, I love those guys...we have a great church/sanctuary/gathering place here in town...although, I must confess...I do not go nearly enough.

Yeah...Jesus is not the reason for a lot of people's season...and, that's OK in my book...which is why I usually wish people a happy holiday, as I figure I've hit something they celebrate without being too overbearing about any one thing...because...Santa's a fine jolly participant this time of year, and the fact that most people display a huge (and sometimes living) MAJOR pagan symbol in their home, decorate it...and lay presents under it? Without even realizing what it symbolizes? THATS what makes the holidays fun!!


Kim -today's creative blog said...

you need to move to the NW.
Much more diverse in many ways.....although I have never been to Kansas. Just from what I have learned from you. :)

World Wide Alternative said...

I had NO idea about UU. Thanks for opening my eyes.
And yep, it's fear.
You need to move to Japan & live next door to me. No Christmas, (well a little in town but hey we don't really go) & a religion that is a culture & incorperates just about anything you like.
Happy New Year to you & yours! ;)Xxx

Anonymous said...

some people really try it on with the whole christ thing (which gets right up my nose). but i think we're luckier here, as christmas in britain is about the school holidays, a man in a suit and presents. not so much the birthday boy.
i teach in a school that is predominantly muslim (75%). i am not religious. at. all. i don't believe and doubt i ever will. it's eid today/tomorrow (bonus really, hardly any kids in) and so the kids are all excited about the fact that it's eid and christmas at the same time this year - because everyone gets to look forward to and have a good time together. which is sweet, really. they wish us a 'merry christmas' AND 'eid mubarak'. and we reciprocate. that's what it's all about.

Anonymous said...

Hei Lady, Calm down!

Why do you need to be so angry and reactive? This church of yours is definitely not helping.

You should find another way to guide your path and become stronger, less sensitive and less rude as a consequence.

You don't hurt me, I don't care. I am an atheist who hate churches in general. You hurt yourself.

As an atheist I feel happy to wish and to be wished 'good anything' to those around my world. Since wishing will make people happy and enlighten their world. It is K for me! Nobody remembers I am an atheist. My teach my daughter my truth in order to make her life easier.

Why everybody has to be concern with others religiosity. Who cares?

Be nice. This is will definitely make people care more about you.

Or keep on making wars if it is what pleases your hurt soul.

LLA said...

Hear, Hear!!!!

My own personal belief if "Just Be Nice". Which means just that.

I'll wish someone who believes in Christmas a Merry Christmas, just like I'll wish those who celebrate Hannukah a Happy one of those. I might not celebrate or believe in those things - but I respect those that who do believe do.
(hee - I almost said "do do!")

What does offend me is Bill Fucking O'Reilly and his "they're declaring war on Christmas" bullshit. Seriously - so misguided. He proclaims to be a Christian, right? Yet he seems to miss the boat on the fact that his judgey-mcjudgeyness of, and utter intolerance for, anyone who doesn't worship exactly as he does is the exact opposite of the love and tolerance of Jesus's teachings. UGH! I need to stop here before I get too wound up. 'Cause I could go on for days...

Oh - and you'll appreciate this: last night was Schecky's band concert (his first! So proud!) And they announced that one of the next songs was a "secular Christmas" favorite...

um? Oxymoron much???

Anonymous said...

I have to take issue with the UU church being a problem. Our congregation is very inclusive and includes Christians, atheists, Jews, Buddhists, and a variety of other belief systems. It doesn't foster anger in itself. The anger comes from encounters with people who feel entitled to have their own belief system be the default. It's the entitlement (and the behavior it produces) that's the issue, not so much the differing beliefs.

I'm a bit feverish right now, hope that made sense.

patrice said...

I even think the Santa thing is a warm-up for JC. Be good, and this all- seeing bearded man will reward you with "heaven" sent gifts. Yuck! I tell Annie that Santa will not reward or punish you. It doesn't work that way.We're going to have fun no-matter-what!
We're not Christian so this time of year triggers me too.


Alicia A. said...

Um, you know how I feel about all of this, but um, honey? are you ok over there? you need anything?

Stacy said...

aye.aye.aye. Sounds like you're having way too much stress. Your husband definitely owes you some fancy presents when he gets back.

Merry Holidays to your cute little family! :)

Ali said...

Being wished a Happy Hannukah always makes me feel rather nice and included in something, even if it's not really 'my festival'.

Hell there's enough meanness around to be grateful for a heartfelt happy anything at all.

Now I'm off to stress about who I've unintentionally offended by wishing them a Merry Christmas.

Kristy said...

Believe me it's just as hard for us respectful Christians trying to find ways to openly include Christ in our Christmas without offending people like you! We can find plenty of 'seasons greetings' or 'yuletide fun' there's any number of blokes in red suits and 'Xmas', 'Crimbo' etc references too!

Frogdancer said...

Are you in that Bible Belt thing we hear about?
As a godless heathen, I still don't mind the Christian religion thing around Christmas. If it wasn't fo rthe christians, we wouldn't have the fun of christmas, so good on 'em, I say! I'm ok with all that, as long as they don't try to ram it down my throat.
Merry christmas for you and your boys. Have as much fun Christmas morning as my boys and I will!

Wendy said...

I've celebrated Christmas my entire life; my family was Southern Baptist (not my parents, but a generation or two back), so honestly, it seems normal to celebrate it. It's traditional. It's what we do. But, it sort of makes me feel like a hypocrite. I think Jesus had some great things to say (the whole peace, love and understand thing), and I honestly don't mind celebrating his birthday, but it's not why we celebrate Christmas. What we celebrate isn't that he was born to absolve our sins, but the concepts of tolerance and love that he taught (at least that's what I remember from Sunday school).

As I've grown older, I've become Buddhist mainly because it seems more like a philosophy than a religion. And tolerance for others is not only at the heart of the teaching, but of the practice as well.

I'm also enamored with the earth-type religions and so really, the solstice should mean more to me than Christmas. But Christmas is when we get together and when I have to have my shopping done by.

I really do think 'Happy Holidays' covers it all because most cultures have something about the returning of the light at this time of year. When the long dark winter has reached its worse and will only get better.

Honestly, the only thing that's weird about being wished Merry Christmas today or last week or any day but the 24th and 25th of December is that it's not actually Christmas.

Christmas is not a season.

It's two days. (K- really only one, but I'll count Christmas Eve.)

(and I agree with Chickenbells, I love the fact that everyone puts up their trees, without knowing it's pagan roots.)

Laura said...

I'm just happy to celebrate anything, christmas, diwali....if it means getting together with family and friends then great.....I definately agree with the 'be nice to everyone' idea.
Juat outta plain old nosiness what does your hubby do that takes him out of town so much?......sorry I'm very nosy, do tell me where to go if you don't want to say!

Anonymous said...

well i agree, and you KNOW who i am.

civil religion gives me the chills.

sorry aaron is awol.

::wishing you magic glitter inhaler::


Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays, Laura. May your glitter be swept off by fairies and may Aaron's flight return early.


sltbee69 said...

I'm Christian but I don't force it down peoples throats. I think Christians and non-Christian, religious, whatever you are, are very guilty of intolerance for each other. I don't stress about it because at the end of the day, you can't please everyone so do or say what pleases you and go on your merry little way. Worrying about what to say to people or how they will react to what you say, is a waste of time. Because if you take Christ out of Christmas you end up with just more Consumerism. What's worse? You can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

I just received a card that said "One word frees us from all the weight and pain of life. That word is LOVE". I'm wishing you and yours lots of love! Happy, Merry, Joyful LOVE!

Xan said...

It definitely gets frustrating when you feel like you constantly need to defend yourself because of what you believe in. I haven't experienced it much from strangers but I've gotten it enough from my own relatives to know what it's like. Hang in there.

I'd never heard of UU before! I don't consider myself a part of any organized religion, but I am a spiritual person and I've found myself wishing I could find a place of worship that is respectful of all beliefs. After reading your post I did a little researching and found a church in our area, and I think I may check it out.

Angelina said...

I've been having the same issues over here in the PNW bible belt (MacMinnville) and I got pretty heated up over all the same things you did. I really do respect other people's faith but I FULLY expect not to have religion pushed at me. I got some scriptures spontaneously read to me last week and a whole lotta "Him"s and "The Lord" and even some "Satan who tries to destroy our souls every single day"

Really? Every single day? I just don't see how Satan has time to work on all of us every single day..billions of poeple. If I believed in Satan (which I don't) I would have to professionally admire his dedication to his job.

I know Christians who are very respectful of me and I wish all Christians were more like them because when a person who has any kind of faith is truly respectful of other people's different beliefs, it lends them a certain kins of grace.

Your anger is righteous.

Angelina said...

I cannot believe I just misspelled the name of my own town. It's really McMinnville in case any local spelling police are hanging around here.

Geri said...

AMEN!!!! But I'm worried for you!!! Stress kills dude, be easy,it's almost done. I'm sending you some god vibes to push you thru.

Happy Holidays!

Berber said...

I share your ideas on the whole religion thing. Although in Holland I think we're all a little more open minded about it.
Anyway... merry Christmas ;0

Wendy said...

I know I already commented, but I had to come back and add in a link to an Eddie Izzard clip...
Eddie Izzard clip