As a Christian, I’ve been taught to speak of God, to sing His praises every day in every situation. I am supposed to live my life by the example of Jesus… I am supposed to be unfailing in my faith, my God, and I am to shout it to the world. And this is true of any religion… we are all taught to worship and sing the praises of the higher power of our faith. But…. People in this modern world become so easily offended. And I don’t know that I would truly consider most instances as offensive. As a generalization, it seems that people look for reasons to claim offense, a reason to cry-out, a reason to fight. Religion in the workplace is avoided in an effort to keep the peace between employees for the most part. Employers discourage displays of faith in the workplace out of fear – those who cry offense are apt to hire lawyers, sue, and cost an employer a great deal of money.
The global village that is the world has become a vast multi-cultural society and we are too be respectful of all cultures at all times. In days gone by, cultures were more divided because travel wasn’t as easy, the internet wasn’t yet invented, and it was easier to immerse oneself in the culture of their community. When this was the situation, it was acceptable to openly praise and worship because everyone was of the same faith. It was easy to establish holidays, days off from work, days of worship, particular diets, rituals, and other religious practices.
We have become people who remove faith from our public persona and reserve our worship for home and church. Many have become embarrassed by their faith. Others are hesitant to use the words God, Jesus, and Christmas. 2010 is the perfect example…the White House no longer has a Christmas tree, but instead there is a Holiday Tree. I don’t know why this has happened….Christians are to be tolerant. But the Menorah is still called a Menorah, Taiji is still Taiji (yin and yang), the Star of David is more than just a star, and on and on and on. The symbols of other faiths, rituals, and celebrations have not been altered in such a public manner as those of the Christian faith.
Mutual respect for all faiths….. this doesn’t happen. There are holidays and religious events for each faith that are important, but not all are made accessible. As an example – recently a woman requested 3 weeks unpaid leave from work so that she could go to Mecca. This is part of her faith and something that is highly regarded. Her employer denied the request. She ended up losing her job when she was attempting to appeal the decision… the story indicated that she was forced into resignation.
So much controversy …. so much dissension… we are all supposed to be loving souls that look out for one another, respect and honor one another, and we should all be doing everything in our power to live a better life. In every religion and faith, the premise is goodness, faith, belief. The interpretations and perceptions of a few in each faith have changed that meaning in many instances. And this is having a global impact… causing wars, death, destruction… in the name of love? In the name of God?
P.S. Edited Saturday December 19,2010 in 5:40 PM
It seems that I must correct something I have said. The White House tree is a Christmas Tree…not a Holiday Tree. Back in 2005 the name was returned to Christmas Tree…. then why do I keep hearing all this hub-bub? Not sure…but there are resources showing that it is true…the name is Christmas!
And at the lighting of the tree on the West Lawn, the president uses the words God, Jesus, and Christmas!
“Holiday Tree” Hooey
October 14, 2009
Updated: Nov. 30, 2009
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Q: Are the Obamas doing away with the White House “Christmas” tree and banning ornaments with religious themes?
A: The traditional Christmas tree will remain, and an e-mail claim about ornaments is unsubstantiated.