The ‘just in time’ Christmas thought.
The established belief and doctrine of a religious or political order, not to be doubted, disputed or departed from. The penalty for disobeying, disbelieving or questioning said dogma can be rather ruthless, thoughtless, murderous, abusive and inhuman.
Christmas is a consequence of many things mainly that somewhere in the 4th century AD, Christian scholars decided that Christ was born on 25th December. It also coincides with the pagan winter solstice, a time of feasting and plenty, and with a hotchpotch of mythical gift givers from Kris Kringle to Father Christmas and a swath of equally benevolent types in-between.
Christmas can mean many things to many people and we take from it what we want and leave the rest. The Christian message has to fight harder to be heard over all the greed and gluttony going on, but it’s still an integral ingredient for many. Some I’m sure would see the demise of religious significance at Christmas as a sad indictment of modern living. Or is it, I’m not a Christian, I’m not religious and I don’t sign up to political dogma of any sort but I enjoy Christmas nevertheless. So Santa plays center stage in my home, it’s fun, it’s fantasy, it stimulates the economy and it makes a little boy happy. One day, sooner than I would like, he’ll rumble me and although I’ll be sad I’d be glad the pretence is over, I don’t want to lie to him. It’s a kind of global conspiracy that not even the hardest cynic or the toughest communist has the heart to deny a six-year-old, so I aint gonna spoil it.
Santa is, at the end of the day, harmless and a good excuse to spoil our children; we enjoy their rapture more than they do.
As for Jesus, well unfortunately he comes wrapped in Dogma and has, through no fault of his own, caused a lot of heartache and grief. Anyhow this isn’t just about Christianity which, is after all, not alone in ruining lives and damming souls before they are even fully grown. This is about Dogma, about indoctrinating our children and about the theft of free will.
I have taken it upon myself to draw up a contract of compliance for all citizens of the world to sign.
Dear Despot, Dictator, religious leader, Tom Cruise, politician.
Feel free to bugger choir boys, they’re god’s gift to you. Track my every move on CC TV, on the World Wide Web and by satellite. Condemn me for drinking elicit liqueur in seedy, insidious bars, with prostitutes infected with the Aids virus, infected because you banned condoms. Strip me of my dignity, take my freedom, tell me to cover every inch of my body because I may offend you, or worse arouse you, forbid me from using my voice. A man owns his wife. Breed my people out of existence. Don’t educate me. Cleanse me of my entire family with a machete while I tremble frightened in a cupboard. Starve me. Forbid me to fly a kite, if I refuse execute me publicly. Mutilate my genitals. Lock me in my own house and forbid me to leave for twenty years because you fear I’m right. Blow me up, shoot me, bomb me, kick me, bite me, make me bark like a dog whilst naked and leashed. Rape me. Humiliate me, take away my humanity, restrict my movements, imprison me and don’t let me see my loved ones again. I must not be different. I must not be gay. I must not rock the boat. Don’t allow me an opinion or the right to have one. Your need is greater than mine, you were chosen by god, you are right and I am wrong. I will lay down my life for what you believe.
But more importantly
Teach my child not to think for himself, tell him ‘this is all you need to know, right here, within these pages’. Encourage him to rebel against instinct, smother him with your opinion until he can’t breathe anymore! Better still ban all other books, burn them, ban any counter knowledge or argument, and restrict the internet. Make him crippled with shame and guilt and self loathing. Tell him ‘because I said so’. Feel threatened by my child’s intrigue and curiosity after all it’s not natural…is it? Rob him of his innocence. Yours is a history steeped in tradition, your forefathers would be proud of you, they to tried to hold back the human spirit.
Dogma once meant ‘to think, to suppose and to imagine’, seems to have come a long way since ancient Greece.