Originally Posted by eepster
Then I'm guessing that you came from a predominantly Christian culture. Many nonChristians came from nonChristian cultures. For them Christmas is not mearly not part of their religion, but also not part of their culture.
Yes - I come from a Christian culture (sort of - I don't consider it a religious culture at all, to be honest). However, I know people from very
different cultural/spiritual traditions who also celebrate a secular Christmas. I've had friends and colleagues who were/are (some aren't currently in my life, and some are) from other countries, who were/are religious, but not
Christian, who also celebrate the secular Christmas celebration. I've been given Christmas gifts by both Jews and Muslims...all of whom knew that I'm not a Christian.
|Is respecting a culture as a whole any less important than respecting the purely theological parts of that culture.
This question comes up a lot. You know...I think the multiculturalism we have here is wonderful, in many ways. I'm just not sure why respecting other people's cultures means that my own culture has to disappear into the background. I grew up here. When I was going through school (graduated over 20 years ago), Christmas was a secular celebration. Christmas concerts at schools are part of the culture - Christmas crafts are part of the culture - Christmas trees in public places are part of the culture. Those traditions were already a meld of celebratory styles from different cultures (Christian, admittedly)...but they're now Canadian. (As much as I hate to admit it, Bob & Doug McKenzie's "12 Days of Christmas" is part of Canadian culture.) At what point does the culture of people who grew up here get to be respected?
|As I mentioned earlier there are Christians who share the belief in Jesus as savior, but do not share the cultural tradition of pine trees, Santa Claus, and reindeer. Are their objections to having those things forced on their children in public school any less valid simply b/c they are also Christians and it doesn't go against their religion but against their culture?
I'm sorry. I don't understand the question. I'm not sure whose is being forced to celebrate Christmas.
What should our public schools look like, then? Our entire North American culture (it's different here in some ways than the US, but probably still more like yours than it's like anyone else's) has been shaped by cultural traditions that were, in turn, shaped by Christianity. The entire culture, including the public schools, has been shaped, in part, by Christian thought patterns. Where do we draw the lines?
ETA: I just want to add in respect to the part of your quote that I bolded...are you seriously suggesting that there should be a separation of culture and state, as well as a separation of church and state?? If one isn't objecting to Christmas in the schools on religious grounds, then what grounds are they objecting on?