Is it just me or is there a "war of the worlds" every holiday season? You have the very, very, VERY ugly commericial aspect to the holiday season on one side and the very, very, VERY sentimental "focus on the REAL meaning of Thanksgiving/Christmas" on the other side.
And then there are the squabbles between those who celebrate Christmas and those who don't. Each year seems to bring on more sniping and griping no matter which side of the continuum you slide to. I read something the other day about a community that has banned all Christmas displays because there were Nativity scenes next to atheist scenes and the snarkiness was getting out of hand. Really? Forget the 1st Amendment problems there, whatever happened to "live and let live"? Those who want to celebrate Christmas can't do it the way they want to because it might "offend" people? Atheists can't say what they want about myths/fables/legends without having dogma thrown in their direction?
I wish I could sit down with some of the extremists on both sides.
Hey. Christians. Yeah, I know you probably don't like how everyone is getting all in your face about your lifesize nativity scenes. And I bet you really don't like atheists dissing your faith as nothing more than crazed delusions. But you know what? Christ had it worse than you did. He also made a point of saying that when someone harms you, you should "turn the other cheek" and "pray for those that despitefully use you and persecute you". In other words, instead of getting all up in arms over people telling you that Christmas was originally a pagan, Roman solistice celebration, how about you quiet down and try to be the best Christians you know how to be every day of the year? Maybe if all Christians acted more like Christ did to everybody, people wouldn't get so uptight about a religious display.
Hey. Atheists. You do have a point that extreme dogmatic religion can be bad. You have a point that a lot of wars have been fought "in the name of God". You have a point about religious icons in government buildings and settings. So let's look at this logically. You believe there is no supreme being, and, most likely, that there is no life after death. You probably see religion as a waste of time and energy in that context. So why should you get uptight about how some people choose to waste their time and energy? There are plenty of ways to devote your life to something that is temporary and of no lasting value: sports, hobbies, socializing, the list is endless. Why don't you be the best kind of human being you can be every day of the year? Maybe if atheists focused on what was good about the human spirit as a whole, people wouldn't get so uptight about how people should celebrate, or not celebrate Christmas.
Here's what it boils down to: you choose what to do with your life, AND LEAVE EVERYONE ELSE ALONE! Simple, yes? Reasonable? Sensible, even? And yet every year we get more lawsuits, more petitions, more conflict.
My Christmas/Winter Solstice wish is that people just grow up and respect each other's beliefs, ESPECIALLY when you don't agree with them. Once mankind can do that, there will indeed be peace on earth.