STAND UP FOR TRUTH

This the season to spread stupid rumors. It keeps coming up. I get madder each time I see it.

This is the season to spread the rumor that there’s a war against Christmas. That the same cabal consisting of “them – the unnamed conspirators that are doing bad things” want to ban the holiday. That there are movements afoot to make Christmas trees into “holiday” trees and thus ban Christ in Christmas. Worse, that people will get angry and maybe sue you if you wish them a merry Christmas.

Has that ever actually happened? To anyone? Anywhere?

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It has never happened to me. I am not a Christian, but I like Christmas. It’s a nice holiday with pretty decorations, terrific music, and great lighting. Good food and drink and friends getting together to celebrate. What’s not to like?

I am an equal opportunity greeter. I will greet friends and strangers by saying whatever comes to tongue first. I have been doing this my entire life. Not once in all these decades has anyone objected to being wished Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday. Because people are not anti-Christmas. There is no war on Christmas.

There is a Constitutional, entirely legal (obligatory) separation of church and state. It suggests putting a crèche in the middle of town might be in poor taste or outright illegal, but is not a war on anything. It’s protecting my right to not be Christian while simultaneously protecting your right to go to the church, synagogue, mosque — or none of the above — of your choice. Separation of church and state protects all religions and non-believers equally.

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If you want to a crèche in the middle of town, ask the nearest church to put one on their property — if they don’t already have one (and I bet they do). Enjoy it at the church because that’s where it belongs. It’s religious iconography and is entirely acceptable in a religious context.

The United States is not a Christian country. It is religiously unaffiliated. Even though the majority of the population may profess to be some kind of Christian, this includes millions of people who never go to church. One of the many thing that are protected is your right to say your are a Christian or anything else without actually having to do anything to prove it. Freedom of religion is a wonderful thing. It means the government has no stake in your personal belief system as long as it stays personal and doesn’t involve bombing other sects or non-believers.

Which means you can say you are a Christian, never go to church at all, complain how Christianity is being threatened by the “freedom and politically correct cabal” (who don’t exist) and no one will ever ask you to show your bona fides. It’s a great constitution we have. If we ditched everything else but kept that first amendment, we might just be okay anyhow.

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If there’s a war on anything, it is on my right to not be Christian. Enforcing the first amendment is not a war. It’s what keeps us free.

Speaking of the first amendment, there is no law anywhere against greeting anyone in any manner you choose. The first amendment also protects your right to free speech including saying Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Or nothing at all. Whatever. It’s all good. I suggest the following response to any seasonal greeting: “Thank you!” Accompanied by a smile. Because someone is being nice and you should be nice, too. Now … that wasn’t so hard, was it?

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Despite Facebook, there is no war on Christmas. No war on free speech. If you spread the rumor that this is true, who knows how much damage you can do? Unless that’s your intention, don’t do it.

No matter what you believe, it’s time to stop sharing, tweeting, and re-posting stuff that’s supposed to be true without first checking to make sure that it is true. How about we stop letting other people’s opinions substitute for facts? How about not passing rumors? How about we all make a commitment to fact-checking as a matter of course? Because the damage we do by spreading lies, rumors, and half-truths — intentional or not — is incalculable. This is something you can do to make the world better without getting out of your recliner.

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If you don’t have time to check the facts, do not repeat it, share it, re-post it, publish it, or in any way pass it along. Unless you personally have checked the facts, assume it is not true. The world will be a better place no matter what politics you favor.

This is not an “us versus them” issue. It is a true versus untrue issue, a fact versus fiction issue. It affects everyone — including your children and grandchildren. Stand up for truth!

27 thoughts on “STAND UP FOR TRUTH

    • Thank you 🙂 I wish people would listen. This isn’t 20 years ago when no one knew how to find facts. It just takes a few seconds to do at least a basic check on Snopes or some other fact-checking site or even Google. Yet people — smart people who surely know better — keep perpetuating lies and frauds and conspiracy theories. I hope they can learn from the past. Hoping still!!

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        • I don’t know about rising. I do know that the weather worldwide is changing and sea levels are rising and the glaciers on the poles and elsewhere, are receding. We can argue about why, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore what’s happening. I was amused that the army and Navy are taking it very seriously and are working to make sure their bases are not likely to be underwater as sea levels rise. They can’t afford to nitpick about it. They just want to secure their bases. At least someone recognizes reality when it smacks them on the head.

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          • The military was very quick to go green. I also drive by the acres and acres of solar panels Musk built in the Mojave desert. He is really trying to save this place and others still toss their trash on the side of the road and make their trucks into exhaust pumping coal spires. It’s crazy.

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  1. Couldn’t agree with you more, Marilyn. We took a long time to figure out the separation of church and state. That’s not one idea I would throw away lightly.
    Leslie

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    • It’s a nice holiday. Anyone can enjoy it. It’s pleasant to be with celebrating people, giving and receiving presents — and eggnog and decorated trees. And I love Christmas Carols. I used to sing and was in a choir for a long time. Great music for Christmas.

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          • I gave away the organ. My son didn’t really use it and it took up too nuch space. He’s got a ukulele that none of us are using. Ukulele is not a real instrument for me, more like a toy that sounds like it’s constantly out of tune…

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            • This is a pretty good little uke. It’s bigger than the one I had before and all wood, not composite, so it sounds like a real instrument. I wish I could get rid of the organ. No one wants it and I can’t just toss it out. It’s taking up a lot of room — very much in the way — so eventually, I will have to pay someone to dispose of it.

              I used to be a pretty good pianist, but my hands are very arthritic. I just can’t do it any more. The ukulele is small enough to play without pain, so I went with what I can manage. I miss being able to play.

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