Reader wonders whatever happened to Christmas
I grew up celebrating Christmas.
Apparently we wished everyone a “Merry Christmas” without offending them. Although it is the birth of Christ, those who weren’t “of the faith” expressed the same wish because it wasn’t about a religion to them. It was about the spirit of a season that was magical to children and a symbol of peace.
In the age of tolerance there seems to be none for Christmas. Our culture has attempted to neuter Christmas by referring to it as a mere holiday. What’s more offensive: the part about “peace on earth” or the “good will toward men” rhetoric? In 1870, when Congress made Christmas a federal holiday, did they attempt to establish an unconstitutional national religion or plainly recognize a heartfelt national sentiment?
My point is not to make anyone uncomfortable or convert them to any particular religious system of beliefs. My point is more of a dream to restore Christmas to its original place in our lives. I also hope that businesses, stores and people won’t be offended by its name or meaning. Last but not least, I’d love to hear people proclaim once again without fear, “Merry Christmas to you.’’
Stephen Collins, Asheville
The Quantum State of Consent
Posted: 10 Feb 2018 04:34 PM PST
56% of younger millennials identify as Christian. 2% as Jewish or Muslim. 1% as Buddhist. And 36% as nothing. That's double the number that made up the "nones" among baby boomers. Being a "none" often means having no sense of purpose, except to seek personal happiness and make the world a better place by recycling, opposing Trump and calling out racism. It also means a moral code based on academic analysis of power relationships between races, genders and sexual orientations.
"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom," Benjamin Franklin cautioned more simply.
These aren't abstractions. Nor are they measured on some vast scale of civilizations. They define how we live our ordinary lives. They are why this debate is taking place.
Free people consent. But freedom comes from virtue. Freedom without virtue is anarchy. And anarchy ends in brutality and tyranny. That outcome isn't only expressed in riots in the streets. It emerges in smaller and more intimate matters, like the debate over consent.
Freedom of consent is failing. The left wants to replace it with brutality and tyranny. The brutality of online smear campaigns and the tyranny of campus kangaroo courts. But a secular right has no replacement for it either except the more libertarian brutality and tyranny of the individual.
What we forgot is that we don't truly have freedom of consent, until we have purpose.