Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dear Kirk Cameron, This Is Becoming A Thing...

Dear Kirk Cameron,

This is becoming a thing, isn't it? In some ways you are far and away more entertaining now than you were when I was a kid. Unfortunately, the joke now seems like it's at your expense, and that's just sad.

So, you're out promoting your movie again. Good for you! But maybe you should stop talking about things that you clearly know nothing about. Last time it was Samhain, and this time it's Yule.

So, once again, I feel like I need to correct you. Because honestly, someone should, and I think maybe you live in some kind of echo chamber, where all you hear are the crazy people who think you're brilliant.

So, you told the Christian Post:
"I'm a sucker for all of it, and of course the nativity, and there's a lot of people who really want to put a big wet blanket on the celebration,"..."It starts this time of year. You have people who want to pull down nativity scenes, you have lawsuits showing up in schools that can't have Christmas performances ... it has to be winter break or holiday break or sparkle season ... they want to take that out of Christmas so they don't offend people who hate Christmas. And then we have a new group who are telling us, convincingly, that Christmas is actually a celebration of paganism...we kinda drink the Kool-Aid and believe pagans when they tell us they have ownership of these things"
Let me clear a few things up for you.

There is no effort to remove religious symbols from churches, homes, or private property. The only places that people have objected to having those things, are on public property like schools, and courthouses and such. And it's not because they hate Christmas, you one trick pony, but because it's exclusive to one faith.

We are not an exclusive nation. We are a nation that is made up of many religions, and the freedom to worship as we wish, or to not worship at all. A freedom, by the way which protects Christians as much as it protects the state. I mean, you wouldn't want to be told which denomination was the right one, would you? Hell no!

Now, allow me let you in on a little secret: We don't hate Christmas. For most non-Christians, Christmas is our favorite of your holidays.

You focus on peace on earth and goodwill to men.

There are presents and joy.

It is truly the least objectionable of any holiday you celebrate. But that doesn't mean we like it shoved down our throats especially in places where religion shouldn't be an issue.

So yes, Holiday concerts and performances, and Winter Break. Because that is respectful of the faith of all of the students, and not just some.

But hey now, because I know you want to, let's get to my favorite part of your quote, the part about Pagans.

I'm sure this will come as no surprise to you, but your whole premise is wrong. Pagans don't "own" any of your traditions, and we aren't out to take them from you.

Now, I'll try to explain this to you as simply as I can:

We believe you are celebrating whatever it is you think you're celebrating. To Pagans, intent is everything. We do not believe that you can be secretly worshiping other Gods, if your intent is to worship and honor your own.

Also, in the world, there are a limited number of symbols. So, many cultures and faiths will use the same symbol to mean different things.

We also live in a world, where we can all see the same cycles in nature. So, there will be things that are similar across different faith traditions, and it doesn't mean anything other than we all have eyes.

So, when the Solstice occurs, and the days start to get longer, we Pagans acknowledge the wonder of that. In my tradition we believe The Goddess gives birth to her son, and with him, light returns to the world. We see the lengthening days as evidence of that, and are grateful.

Which sounds pretty gosh darned similar to your tradition where God's Son is born, bringing light to the darkness. The fact that the church decided to celebrate at the Winter Solstice isn't an accident. And I don't think it's because they were trying to "steal" the Pagan holiday (although that probably made it more inviting to the Pagans they were trying to convert) but because the lengthening days became an easily understood symbol for the theological point being made.

But let's not re-write History, Mr. Cameron. The Church has repurposed many traditions, first because they thought it was a great symbol of something they were teaching, and second because it made it more familiar to people converting.

That doesn't mean that your symbols or celebrations are any less valid. So, I applaud you for standing up for the continuation of those traditions. You should celebrate your holiday without fears that you'll somehow end up Pagan.

But where you lose me entirely, and actually start to piss me off, is when you misrepresent Paganism in order to make your point. You could actually leave us out altogether.

We don't need to own anything. All most of us have ever wanted, was to live in a world where mutual respect of our faith traditions, was a thing. A simple thing that you can't seem to do, and feels especially rich when you are, at the same time, complaining about people being disrespectful of your faith.

Have your Christmas, Mr. Cameron, and keep Christ in it. It really doesn't bother me. But couldn't you, even if you don't agree, respect that I have just as much right to keep the Yule in Yuletide?

And for the love of all things bedecked in holly, stop thinking that other people trying to have their faith acknowledged or respected, or just wanting to be left alone, means that somehow we're trying to suck all the joy from your holiday. Your holiday is everywhere. Seriously. Get over yourself.



P.S. Here's a quick read about some of the Pagan traditions that we see repurposed in Christmas. Which, again, doesn't mean we own them, but is just History. Don't be scared.

Doesn't it feel too early to be talking about Yule, Christmas, or any other Winder Holiday? Well, it really is. But since you've already read it, and happen to be awesome, maybe you could click the link, which registers a vote for me? Seriously, you guys are the best. ❤
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