Yes, I am protesting today! Not that this is any alien expression for me, because whether I do it vocally, or silently, I have been a protestor almost all my life. In fact, I think my protestations must have begun back then when I was around four years old. We were still living in Jerusalem at that time, and my father had cages for his prized pigeons on the roof of our building. Well, one lovely morning I decided to open a cage door and let some of the pigeons out. Since then I have often wondered whether it was at that moment that I first realized the meaning of Freedom and, consequently, protesting all that I believed was suffocating Anyone’s Freedom.
Concepts, such as Freedom, are innate in us human beings. However, translating them into outlooks, convictions, philosophies and ideologies develops over many, many years. While setting my father’s birds free might have kick started the process for me, it only took about a decade longer before I become conscious of the fact that we, Palestinians, did not have our Freedom, ergo that became my main political priority and continues to be. Naturally, and along the journey of my life, I also became aware of other humans who did not enjoy Freedom: Women, Maids, and Minorities of all kinds and on and on and on. These too became important and linked issues for me.
Sadly, these have not been resolved. Most of them are still ongoing, heart-wrenching and tragic.
As this Christmas Season envelops us with all of its wonderful spirituality and magic, as well as its ugly consumerism, and as the tragedies of the Middle East continue unabated, I cannot help but feel my protesting nature reasserting itself.
Of course, there are countless issues to protest on our planet; there always have been. However, there is one specific topic that I am vehemently protesting during this season.
Social media, newspapers, magazines, mainstream frivolous pundits, ignorant and malevolent politicians have been pushing an incendiary issue in these United States: religion. They have been causing a hullabaloo and urging people to say: Merry Christmas as one manifestation of their Christianity and zeal. They are promoting this so much that it has become a Dare on social media: Share If You Agree. In other words: I’m In Your Face about this, so go ahead and skip my post and demonstrate how anti-Christian you really are! More ludicrous is that people are protesting a beautiful generic holiday coffee cup launched by Starbucks as another example of how Christmas is being subverted. Their banal argument is that there is some sort of a conspiracy happening in which Christians and Christmas are being marginalized and denigrated. Where is the proof of that? What can we cite as tangible examples, not the incendiary, untrue and inciting garbage such as Shari’a Law is coming to these United States! That this is happening in this century, other than in the delusional imaginations of corrupt and radical politicians and their ignorant followers is insane. There are also magazine articles and media commentaries galore regarding how Christianity is being sabotaged!!
Is Christianity, a religion of over 2000 years, that fragile? Are its adherents hanging onto their faith by a mere hair? Will promoting hallucinations and paranoia cement people’s faith in their version of Christianity?
The more of this vile and inane rhetoric I hear the more adamant I become that this brand of Christianity that is In Your Face in this déclassé fashion is more of a turnoff than an inspiration for the millions of Christians who practice their faith with humility, devotion and modesty. It is also a turnoff for the millions who have been sitting on the fence seesawing between returning to their churches or simply giving it all up once and for all. As for the many agnostics, like myself, who sometimes wonder about giving the church and my Christian faith another go, it is certainly the recipe for my fleeing forever and ever after rather than associate myself in any way whatsoever with this dim-wittedness!
Do those who are advocating this In Your Face Christianity seriously think that it is the antidote for ISIS? And will demonizing Islam save Christianity? And do they genuinely believe that all Muslims and Arabs are ISIS-ians? And is the perverted version of religion that ISIS is promoting espoused by the majority of Muslims in their books? And in sensationalizing this serious subject do they have any iota of a conscience, or any sense of responsibility? Not in the least, I say. Not in the least! Moreover, prostituting any old and venerated faith in this despicable fashion is sacrilegious whether it is championed by Jews, Christians, Muslims or any people! That corrupt politicians and dishonest media personalities would promote this and have the imbeciles who are their adherents repeat and believe it is the depth of depravity!
So I will wish my beloved family members and my good friends any wishes that I normally share with them in private. However, I will wish No One Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Eid or anything close to that on social media simply because I do not want to participate in this blasphemous circus that is going on around me, nor do I want to encourage any sentiments of divisiveness, sectarianism and outrageous usage of religion in order to advance an irresponsible, preposterous and shameless political agenda that seeks to promote a vulgar, offensive version of Christianity.
Meanwhile, I will wish us all Love, Peace, Tolerance, Compassion, Justice, Equality and Freedom from all sorts of Bigotry, Racism and Discrimination no matter who is advocating them! Enjoy this year-end-season my friends in whatever fashion you choose, say any words and well-wishes that you think are appropriate, and leave me to enjoy it in any style I so choose!