Monday, December 18, 2006

Buddhist Christmas?

In some parts of the world, Christians are enraged by the secular world and other religions' attempt to put away Christ from Christmas. I was castigated by my Christian friends for greeting them Merry Xmas and told me I was in cohort with people trying to get rid of Christ in celebration of this coming holiday. Even my effort to explain that it is not an English word X but a Greek word "chi" didn't help either instead I was considered to be pretentious.

But anyway here in our community, our Buddhist neighbors are just too happy to celebrate it or at least join us in our celebration. They do not have ideas why we Christians celebrate this day but we are taking this as an opportunity to tell them the reason why we celebrate Christmas--this is the story of Christ's birth when God became man to be with us.

I find this article and this is quite good to think about. Christians in their effort to "keep" Christ in Christmas have the opposite effects on non-Christians.

Other non-Christian religions can get a bit uptight about Christmas, but Buddhism is fairly laid back. A few years ago the city of Birmingham renamed Christmas to 'Winterval' as a result of protests by non-Christian faith communities, but as far as I'm aware it wasn't the Buddhists who were complaining. Since then, similar examples of political correctness have become commonplace. Fortunately, there don't seem to be many cases of Buddhists using the 'sensitive person's veto'.

Of course, there are aspects of Christmas which a Buddhist might have reservations about - rampant consumerism and so on, but these are the same excesses that are often denounced by Christians who complain that in recent years the spiritual aspects of Christmas have been replaced by a credit card orgy.

But in general Buddhists are quite happy with Christmas and have no hangups about hanging up Christmas decorations and enlightening Christmas trees.


Anonymous said...

Hi -- I just found your site. This insight is really compelling. Do you have an RSS feed?

Joey said...

Hi Anon,

Thanks for the visit and the complement. I'm sure I have an RSS feed but I really don't have the knowledge to work around it. Just drop by perhaps I can provide you the way to subscribe. :-) I'm still learning.