Suggested Soundtrack for this post: Mr. Krinkle and The Antipop by Primus.
Hello dear readers, it's good old Reverend Cam-Cam again with some thoughts on secularism. You will hear it in both spring and winter, the discordant tune of confused members of the herd mooing, "Give us our holidays back!" It takes many forms from, "It's Merry Christmas, not happy holidays!", to "Back in my day they made us stare at crucifixes and told us horror-stories about what they put Christ through, nowadays they just shove a bunny in a kids mouth, give them a pat on the head, and send them on their merry way!" Despite these complaints however, it is no secret to anyone that the major Christian holidays, already rife with Pagan symbolism due to the absorbtionist policies of the early Catholic church, have become more and more secular as society has become more and more secular.
I, personally, do not see anything wrong with this. Secularism happens, mostly because most people don't want to be religious and can't be bothered most times to even be spiritual. Holidays however are fun, and a good opportunity to fleece the flock for a little extra wool, if you catch my drift. So, what used to be times for quiet contemplation or thankfulness and joy in your beliefs becomes a gigantic chocolate fueled cash-grab. You know what though, if others are fine with that, so am I. Do you know why? Because it doesn't really matter.
I don't know when people forgot that humankind is a group of individuals. We may form a social structure .We may like to gather together and do the same dance and walk the same walk and talk the same talk, but we do not have to. The greatest of us, as a matter of fact, don't. It is those who refuse to walk with the herd that are not devoured when the farmer gets hungry. It is the goal of our current shepherds, industry, politics, and organized religion, to keep us fattened up so that we may be consumed at leisure and holidays provide the perfect chance to savor a bit more of the fat of the herd. That's okay though, that's their job, that's what they do, that is what we, as a vast majority who outnumber them, but are still scared shitless of them, are allowing them to do. All of us, every one of us, even the ones that bleat the loudest, are letting this happen, excluding the few that have come to a great revelation. It doesn't need to happen for them.
No matter how much some people complain, the way things currently work isn't going to be changing any time soon. It's too profitable for the big-whigs, too easy for the proles, and makes perfect grist for the mills of the religious. That's right, you heard me. The churches love the secularization of the holidays, and I'll tell you why, because they can complain about them and stroke the egos of their congregations for remembering "The true meaning of the Holiday." and when they do that it puts butts in the seats and when there are butts in the seats there is cash in the donation boxes or collection plates. Your local religious organizations make more money when holidays are secularized than they ever would if they weren't. They don't want to change a thing. You can trust me on this. I am, after all, a fully ordained minister.
So if you can't trust the churches to keep holidays well...holy...who can you trust? The answer is simple. No-one but yourself and those close enough to you to buy your line of reasoning. YOU make your holidays. No-one, NO-ONE says you have to follow the herd into secularization and no-one says you have to pay an organized religion money to make you feel self-righteous outrage over the direction in which the herd is being led. If you don't like easter baskets, and chocolate rabbits and colored eggs, don't buy them. If you don't want a big ol' ham with all the fixins on the table, by all means, no-one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to put one there. If you want a spiritual holiday filled with contemplation on the inspiration of the day, rather than shaped peanut butter or chocolate, no-one will give it to you but yourself. Complaining does nothing but put noise from the air, cause people to laugh and sneer at you and distracts you from the very meaning that you are trying to capture within it.
So in closing. I would like to say enjoy your Easter, or your Beltaine (Coming on May 1st, I know, but you know how often I blog. I may miss it.) or whatever spring rites you would choose to celebrate. Make it great and make it your own. Life is too short to worry about how others view your beliefs, live and let live and allow others to enjoy the holidays the way they would have them. It will make for a more peaceful, yet less controlled world in the end.
Thanks for reading,