December 22, 2004

Religious Bubble Babies

Reading through Charles Krauthammer's take on the Christmas wars, these paragraphs struck me as particularly important

I'm struck by the fact that you almost never find Orthodox Jews complaining about a Christmas creche in the public square. That is because their children, steeped in the richness of their own religious tradition, know who they are and are not threatened by Christians celebrating their religion in public. They are enlarged by it.

It is the more deracinated members of religious minorities, brought up largely ignorant of their own traditions, whose religious identity is so tenuous that they feel the need to be constantly on guard against displays of other religions -- and who think the solution to their predicament is to prevent the other guy from displaying his religion, rather than learning a bit about their own.

Amen to that and it brings to mind the sad stories of severely immune-compromised "bubble boys" living their lives in plastic isolation from the real world of rough and tumble. Are these faiths worthy of the name that can't handle a little foreign expression of religion in the public square? I think not. If tolerance means anything, it's that when somebody's celebrating and you don't share that faith, you have a bottom line minimum requirement to avert your gaze. Christians do this every year for both religious and non-religious faiths. The majority deserves no less tolerance from the minorities for our own celebrations.

Posted by TMLutas at December 22, 2004 09:44 AM