Horrible Example

Priest

I recently came upon a totally-expected Christmas-time rant from a ‘good Catholic’. It opened with the question, “after all, aren’t these Holidays solely and specifically about the birth of Jesus Christ?”

I commented: “In a word, NO! While it might be the most important for you – the Muslims celebrate Ramadan, the Jews have Chanukah, the Wiccans observe Solstice, the blacks celebrate Kwanzaa, Pagans have Yule, Hindus observe Diwali, Japanese have Bonen Kai….. and many more, all at the end of the year. Do as Christ would, and include them all, not with a bragging, exclusionary Merry Christmas, but with a ‘Happy Holidays’ to one and all.”

I got back: “This is exactly what I mean… There has never been a time anywhere except in the last 10 years where people like you, have imbibed this political correctness crap and pretend that this season is anything but Christmas in countries which have a strong Christian heritage. So get back to work and Merry Christmas.

He was railing about the use of the inclusive ‘Happy Holidays’, instead of his exclusionary favorite, ‘Merry Christmas.’ He seemed most piqued about Muslims, and their growing acceptance in the USA.  (but not Islamic religious terms of course, those are acceptable). Well, we will have none of that in our household!

Ignoring the fact that I had just shown him that dozens of cultures and religions have some sort of year-end celebration, he was convinced that none but the anointed Christians should partake. “you should tell them that they should stop benefitting from this holiday and be made to go to work instead. Perhaps if they are to be totally honest with themselves, they should also shun the revelry that goes with it, but out of the Christmas spirit, do so after, perhaps during lent when you’re fasting.”

A subsequent reply to my comment from another of his narrow-minded regulars asked, “How is it exclusionary?  I say Merry Christmas to my Jewish landlady, and she doesn’t mind.”

You may think that yours is the Rolls-Royce of religions, but you don’t include anyone by insisting that they share a ride in it to YOUR CHURCH.  Exclusion is not allowing me to drive my crappy Chevy to my religious services – or to none at all.

I know there are worse examples of religious intolerance, but I don’t know how to access ISIS or Boko Haram’s websites. I think that there are many, I hope a majority of, Christians and Catholics who are more loving and acceptant than this.

His snotty reply incited me to publish yet another example of narrow-minded entitlement. He must have smelled me coming.  When I tried to access his site to copy quotes, I found that he had deleted my comment and his reply, and turned off all comments – but we know that NOTHING is ever really erased from the internet, don’t we?

If you’d like a look at the original, click here https://astrugglingdad.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/merry-christmas-there-i-said-it/comment-page-1/#comment-883 .  Take backup, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Happy Holidays to each and every one of you, whichever Holiday you wish to celebrate. Bah, Humbug to Bob Cratchit Catholic, and all his head-in-the-sand, Trump-supporting buddies.

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Bear With Me

If any of you read the name of my blogsite and expect something like Ward Cleaver’s den, or Father Knows Best den, (just dated myself again.) forget it!  No comfy sweaters with leather elbow patches here.  This den belongs to a grumpy old bear who is roused occasionally by folks doin’ stupid stuff.  Then I shamble out and growl and wave a front paw to show my displeasure.  “You damned kids get off my lawn!”

I thought when I started this, that I might be like BrainRants, but I soon realised that I idled at a much lower R.P.M.  Perhaps it’s the extra 25 years of immunity and experience.  I’ve come to realize that continuous ranting doesn’t accomplish that much.  It’s like Charlie Brown used to say, “It’s like peeing yourself in a brown suit.  It gives you a nice warm feeling, but nobody notices.”  Not that Rants, or anyone else should stop ranting.  The world CAN be changed, slowly, a bit at a time, but, any single rant, no matter how loud, can do little against the inertia of billions of unthinking, uncaring fools.  It’s like two elephants having sex.  There’s a lot of noise and dust raised, but nothing actually happens for a long time.  It takes a Ghandi or a Martin Luther King or a Winston Churchill, and even they had to fight against strong currents.

I was heartened to see the thousands of Occupy participants, and in so many cities.  They are still few, compared to “the Establishment”, and they are/were fragmented and un-led, but I hope that some of the more astute politicians and businessmen see the writing on the wall.  They are the canary in the coal mine.  The tipping point is still far off.  It’s not quite time to storm the Bastille, shouting, “Off with their heads.”, but, it was a warning, so keep ranting.

Be nice to your fellow man.  Go a little out of your way to make his/her life a little better, a little easier.  Oh, I’m not talking to the small, select group who actually read my stuff when I get around to doling out a bit more unexciting pap.  I’m talking to the huge, imaginary readership I wish I had.  In a production seminar, the instructor stressed the importance of “ready for the next user”.  This applies whether it’s the next guy on a production line, or the next person you meet (or, perhaps never see) at a supermarket.  Rants and I have both recently posted about the importance of THINKING.  Think about who will be affected by anything you do.

Supermarkets and parking lots seem to be where I witness most of the, Man’s Inhumanity to Man, that I see.  That’s probably because that’s where large groups of people inter-react with each other in a concentrated space, usually badly, inconsiderately, selfishly.  The driving and parking of some (most?) people, both inside and outside, just drives me berserk.  Both my wife and my daughter are semi-handicapped.  We rate one of those blue and white wheelchair cards for the windshield, so handicapped parking spaces are important to me.  If I’m alone or with my son, we never use them, even though I’ve got the magic key.  He and I can walk in from the back if we have to.

Shopping carts and what to do with them after you’ve loaded the groceries into your car.  DON’T stick them in the handicapped parking spot!!!  Really!  People do that!  Back when I was working, I had a week of three to eleven shift.  I got up one morning and rode my motorcycle down to the nearest plaza.  I got off the bike and was divesting myself of helmet, gloves and jacket.  As I stood there doing this, a smartly dressed young woman near the end of the row loaded some stuff into the back of a hatchback and pushed the empty cart across to the next row and shoved it into a handicapped spot.  Not across the top of the spot, or up the side of it so that a handicapped person might still be able to get into it, but smack-dab in the middle of it.  As she walked back to her car, I yelled at her, “Hey! don’t leave it there.  That’s a handicap spot.  Put it in the cart corral where it belongs.”  The corral was three spaces towards me.  “I’m busy.” she replied, and kept walking.

While she got busy, getting into her car, starting it and getting her seatbelt on, I got busy with the cart.  I quickly grabbed it and walked it straight at the back of her car.  I turned it sideways and walked back and leaned on my bike.  She came slithering out of her car with her Medusa face on.  If looks could kill, I’d have been a puddle on the parking lot.  I smiled, looked at my watch and said, “I don’t have to be to work till three.”  You know, she wasn’t as busy as she thought she was.  She had the time to take that cart and put it where it belonged, out of everybody else’s way.  On her way back to her car for the second time, I noticed, hanging from her neck, a beautiful 3 to 4 inch silver crucifix with jewels.  I’ll expound on “good Christians doing only good deeds” in a later post.

I always try to make the life of the person “next in production” behind me a little easier.  Sometimes I can offer a bit more, sometimes a bit less, but it is always a pleasant surprise to see how, even a little consideration for others can evoke such happy reactions.