Happy Holidays! Merry Chanukah! Merry Christmas! Merry Ramadan! Merry Kwanzaa! And a very happy Festivus for the rest of us!
I'm not picky, you can wish me a happy anything and it will make my day. Go ahead, tell me to have a Happy Wednesday, I'll enthusiastically thank you for your well wishes. I promise I won't accuse you of having a war on Tuesday. That is just not my style.
You see, I am one of those old-fashioned Constitution-loving people who think Freedom of Religion means freedom for EVERYONE. So I'm not being politically correct, or religiously indifferent when I say "happy holidays," I am being sensitive to the fact that there are thousands of religions in the world, and I generally have no idea what flavor you choose to acknowledge, practice or ignore.
Frankly, I find the whole "War on Christmas" saga a bit melodramatic and just another conservative attempt at misinformation with the goal of division and derision of liberals. When almost every house I pass has a Christmas tree and Christmas lights and no one is being arrested, persecuted, fined or forced to take it down, it strikes me as silly that a few talking heads on conservative shows want to whip up a frenzy of forced holiday angst. I mean really, what do they have to gain? Well isn't that the $64,000 question?
On the one hand, these commentators want to hold up Christ as an icon to tolerance, kindness and caring, but on the other these same commentators are absolutely intolerant, unkind and care only about creating hate and spreading lies. They rant how we are a "Christian" nation, but when our president tries to care for the least among us, they call him a communist.
When the Pope himself spoke of caring for the poor, homeless and helpless, the conservative right howled with indignation. And somewhere an angel hung up her wings and gave up in despair.
So this Christmas, wouldn't it be nice if everyone practiced some of the tolerance and acceptance that is the reason for the season? It would be wonderful if the terrible trio of Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh were transformed from the fear and hate-mongers they are, to the rational opposition they could be.
Oh, what a joyous day it would be if Santa bestowed some wisdom and rational thought on us all!
I decided to put together my list of what I'd really like for Christmas, but I can promise you this, I'm not going to wait for a jolly old elf, or a do-nothing Congress, to magically give me any gifts. I'm going to go out and make this happen. 2014, this is my To Do List:
1. Pass the FRAC Act; Sign on to ask our president to take action
2. Basic Gun Safety Regulation, sign the petition here
3. Protect Reproductive Rights and passage of ERA, draft legislation is here
4. Fund Education
5. Protect and fund care of our Veteran's
6. Marriage Equality
7. National strategy for reduction of consumption and extraction of fossil fuels
8. End corporate subsidies
9. Raise the minimum wage
10. Increase social security wage base, get started by signing on to the petition for True Entitlement Reform
And you can join in, starting in January I'll be hosting a monthly discussion, my new Sunday Salon, What Matters Most. We'll meet, eat and discuss how we can change the world. We'll write letters to our representatives and legislators, we'll schedule meetings with them, we will contact candidates and we'll reach into our communities to create more conversation and less contentious contretemps.
For more info, drop me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.
We can change the world, but first we need a plan.