Re: Culturally Sensitive Xmas/Religious References
Chaplain Morrison (aettch@EMAIL.GRAFENWOEHR.ARMY.MIL)
Thu, 12 Dec 1996 10:07:21 -0500
You and I are not so far apart as one might think. What you say of Jewish
parents not teaching their children secular myths is also true of
conservative committed Christian parents also. We always taught our
children that "Santa"
was part of a "game" which some parents played with their children and that
Santa was not real, but it would be wrong for us to ruin the game by telling
that the parents had not been truthful with the children. This was an
effort to be truthful with our own children (which is always the right thing
to do) and also to be kind and sensitive toward other people's.
The point is that discerning Christian parents don't teach Santa as a
religious figure in their belief system. Many undiscerning people mix
Christian celebrations with the secular aspects of our materialistic society.
Ron Dixon expressed the background of these secular or ancient pagan aspects
of our current Christian feasts very well. His thoughts articulated things
which were "givens" in my mind, but left unsaid. Thank you, Ron.
I also appreciated the thoughts of Cynthia King and Cliff Golden on the
It is obvious to me that this is a problem which is more difficult for those
who are working with Cub Scouts than it is in the case of older Scouts. We
are not having a Christmas party in our Boy Scout Troop. We do sell
Christmas Trees, but that is because people want to buy them and the project
will provide for the cost of much of our annual program.
As young people get older they need to learn not only to value differences,
but to live with differences. As a conservative Christian, I am a member of
a minority. As a Calvinist, I am a member of a minority amoung conservative
Christians (often misunderstood, sometimes vilified). I am also a Naval
Academy graduate in the US Army, certainly a minority. Needless to say, I
have had to learn who I am and how to get along in the world inspite of the
May God bless you all during this season,
TCC, BSA Troop 261
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City