Archive for the ‘Secular Society’ Category

Whose war on Christmas?

‘Tis the Season of stupid comments about Christmas and a “war on Christmas”.
Funny, but people forget about, or are just plain ignorant of, the FACT that some Christians did not like Christmas based upon its pagan origins and traditions (pretty much all of them are Pagan). 

Christmas was banned in Puritan England and New England as well as Scotland.  Other Protestant faiths refused (and some still refuse) to celebrate Christmas.  It wasn’t until 1870 that Christmas became a federal holiday!

I’m going to grab this comment as a pretty good summary of the state of Christmas in the US:

Christmas is actually a perfect example of the way that a nearly homogeneously Christian dominant culture has segued into a pluralistic one. Christmas is a national holiday mostly because it’s always been one and the inertia is too strong. But Christmas has been co-opted by secular society to the point that it is celebrated by the popular culture as a nonreligious holiday. All the Christmas specials about the “true meaning of Christmas” being abstract notions like “giving” and “caring” and “family” and so on.

The other part of this is that lots of voters still believe that America is a “Christian” country–whatever that means–and any politician who so much as suggested demoting Dec. 25 from its status as a federal holiday would be committing political suicide for no tangible benefit.

So, there really isn’t a “secular war” on Christmas and Christians, it’s that some people don’t realise that the holiday has become secular, rather than religious.

Nimrata, you are such a shame!

Nimrata, why are you ashamed of being Indian?

I look at this picture and you look like a Farangi (If I were using Cantonese, the word that comes to mind is “gweilo”).  Did they lighten your skin up? Did they Photoshop you to change your looks?

Sikhism is a noble religion.  Why did you give up the kirpan for guns?  The symbolism of the kirpan is much more productive than the ridiculous chant of “gun rights” that people mindlessly chant as a mantra in your neck of the woods.

Isn’t ahimsa a better principle to live by?

Not to mention, I have a thing for Indian Food and music.  Bollywood movies are over the top, but what the heck, they are fun. I seriously think you should choreograph your next speech as a Bollywood dance routine!

So, does your American Story mean that you have to renounce Indian Culture to fit in?  Does it mean that you have to hide how you look and assimilate into the culture?  Why can’t you be proud of your Sikh heritage?  Or do you associate that with corner shops rather than being a governor?

Remember Margaret Thatcher was a grocer’s daughter when you think such thoughts! Not to mention that your father was a doctor.

I don’t know, Nimrata, but this picture scares me quite a bit about the US.  Does one have to assimilate and lose their heritage to belong to that society?  Is historic amnesia part of the American nightmare?  Does one need to become a White, Christian to be a proper American?

Somehow, all that seems wrong.  The US is headed in the wrong direction–not that I really need to care about that myself.  The society I live in is working at living with its diversity and moving forward.

What I see in the US and from its media, shows that it is a society that is moving backward to a world that I don’t want to live in. I am glad to have left it.

You should say the Punjabi equivalent of “Jai Ho”, not “Can’t is not an Option”


I will add as a postscript that my copy of Flora Steel and Grace Gardiner’s The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook, which was a guide for British ladies living in Colonial India first published in 1888 on how to live in that society, just arrived today.  That seems rather fitting to add that bit of the Empire to end this post.  Maybe Nimrata is trying to be a Memsab!

Ritual and meaning in post Christian society… (via this fragile tent)

I found this to be an interesting post. This seems to apply very strongly to US society where the religious right is trying to make the US a “Christian Nation” rather than the secular one it was founded to be.

Ritual and meaning in post Christian society... Religion, according to sociologists like Durkheim, plays a vital role in society. It unites and solidifies our morality, our world view and facilitates social cohesion. According to Durkheim, religion is very real; it is an expression of society itself, and indeed, there is no society that does not have religion. Since Durkheim, there have been many discussions about the value of religion to society. Some have been critical, and seen organised re … Read More

via this fragile tent