Friday, December 09, 2005

Tis the Season for Religious Bullies

Controversy has arisen over the annual "Christmas" parade in Norman, Oklahoma changing its name to "Holiday" parade. An article entitled, "Christmas or Holiday" appeared in the Norman Transcript Wednesday.

Here's a letter that I wrote to the editor of the Norman Transcript:

Tis the Season for Religious Bullies

Christmas once was associated with the "Prince of Peace," but some religious bullies are turning the season into an annual offensive in their culture war.

Last year, the committee organizing Norman's annual December parade changed the name from "Christmas Parade" to "Holiday Parade." The committee, comprised entirely of practicing Christians, says they did so in a benevolent and generous attempt "to embrace community members of all faiths."

Some members of the community and at least one State Representative have publicly expressed their disapproval of the name change. While doing so, they have maligned the good intentions of the parade committee and falsely accused "secular progressives" of trying to "sanitize" things.

I think it is well past time for Christians to begin exercising some spiritual discernment and start reflecting on the message that they are sending to people in this community who do not share their faith. Non-Christians are not second-class citizens in the city of Norman.

The spirit being expressed by the religious bullies in our community is one of dominance, belligerence, and superiority. Such a spirit has nothing to do with the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit of Christ is one that serves others, promotes peace, and elevates others to a position of love and friendship.

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