I do not claim to be a Christian. I thus don’t have much invested in the Christian festival of Christmas. In fact, there isn’t much of the original Christmas remaining in the modern observance of the secular Mammonist materialism which aligns with the date of the Christian festival. This can be readily seen in the behavior of those who DO claim to be Christians.
In one particular case, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller openly declared how much unlike the man he claims to follow he is: “If one more person says Happy Holidays to me I just might slap them.”
I’m sure this allegedly Bible-reading hypocrite never gets to the New Testament, where Jesus tells Peter to sheathe his sword in the face of a physical threat. (John 18:11) Any person Mr. Miller might strike under such “stand your ground” religiosity -assuming the strikee isn’t an Open Carrier willing to retaliate with escalating defensive force by using the Smith & Wesson .40 strapped to his Wranglers- is advised by Jesus, “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.” (Luke 6:29)
Mohandas K Gandhi had this to say about this situation in general:
Non-violence is the article of faith. Intolerance betrays want of faith in one’s cause. A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.
The gentle figure of Christ, so full of forgiveness that he taught his followers not to retaliate when abused or struck, but to turn the other cheek – I thought it was a beautiful example of the perfect man. Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians – you are not like him.
What would Jesus say to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller if the latter had struck the former over a celebratory greeting which Mr. Miller may not approve of? “If I said something wrong, testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”
If instead of Jesus, if the target of Miller’s holiday rebuke had been packing heat, the coroner would get the final word: Justifiable Self-defense – but only if the shooter was Caucasian.
History is replete with “christians” waging wars over differing beliefs of the other various sects of “christians”. I’m sure that each side in each conflict believed that their version of god was on their side.
As commerce and travel expanded access to the entire world, conflicts between religions thus became the norm – outside of the Crusades, that is. Those had been going on for centuries before navigators proved that the world was finite, triggering the colonial period of world history and fomenting more conflict between belief systems.
Too many dominionists (those who claim to be Christians but seek -just like ISIL- to force the world to convert to a set of beliefs which only they righteously hold) don’t seem to care that the majority of the world isn’t interested in their Old Testament religion.
As the world is increasingly becoming dominated by commerce, it is generally a rule that one seeking business opportunities must show respect for the local beliefs and customs if one truly desires success. In some nations (particularly those of dominating fundamentalist religions), violating such local beliefs and customs can prove to be dangerous. US State Dept. Travel Warnings are but the beginning of things merchantilists need to understand when they venture abroad in search of profits. Your patent rights have better protections than you as a human can expect.
So if Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller was to travel to, say, Kuwait (AS IF!) to promote the sale of Texan produce, and someone there wished him Happy Holidays, would physical assault ensue? Why do I suspect not?
I really doubt that Jesus wanted the world to become an even more violent and deadly place than it was in his time. I’m sure he wouldn’t be pleased that those who claim to follow his teachings are the major cause of the current environment of death and destruction facing many. He also wouldn’t be pleased by those whose taste for gold supersedes their basic humanity to the point where few remember the contents of Matthew 25:31-46 in their daily activities.
One would think that those who believe Bronze Age mythology, and are expected to model their life’s behaviors on its precepts, would actually do so. They wouldn’t want to miss out on the Eternal Christmas if they didn’t pass the open book tests.