Monday, December 20, 2004

Christianophobia

Most of us have had the strange experience of hesitation to wish a Merry or Blessed Christmas to some who fully share our Christian faith. Happy Holidays may suffice for others, but I do think that, in pluralist society, we need to use our own rich greetings, without denigrating our own non-Christian friends. I take absolutely no offense when earlier in the Fall, Jewish friends wish me HappyNew Year, although both know that it is not my New Year. I am gratified and honored to be included. This issue is now becoming more prominent in Europe with the debates over the EU constitution and the acknowledgement of a Christian heritage in Europe. Just as the December dilemma, right on schedule, elicits some hard dispute here in the US. Some very nasty. My own take is that the main reason so much Christianophobiah is directed toward Catholic church and its leaders is that, for all its weakness and problems, it is still a commanding presence in both Europe and the US. And thus a threat or bulwark to the most ideological secularists who wish to rid all society of any kind of public religion, especially one that still thrives and gathers people.

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