I have to do this and it almost pisses me off as much as the subject matter. When I started this blog I made the decision that I wasn’t going to be another one of those angry “mom bloggers” that rants about every little thing that gets their panties knotted up. I don’t want to be an Andy Rooney that only points out the frustrating points of life. There are enough people out there that only speak up when someone does something wrong and so few that take the time to let someone know when they’ve done a great job. I like to inspire, not disparage, so this is a hard blog for me.
     As you may have noticed, I don’t write on here much. I have spent the last five months making the revisions suggested by the agent that I’ve been working with on my novel. It has been challenging and arduous to say the least, but my book has greatly benefitted from it. Because of the fact that I have a home, husband and three little boys, my time is precious and every free moment I have is spent writing. When I have time to write it is spent on the book and not the blog. So this is the second reason this subject has pissed me off, because it will not leave my brain and has forced me to do this.
     Last night I sat in the living room half-listening to the news while I did some hardcopy edits. The first story was about the Farmers Branch Mayor wanting to split off and form their own ISD. He kept stating over and over again that the move would better suit their “conservative” position on education. After saying “conservative” several times, the news anchor finally asked what he meant by that. He went on to explain that the present ISD was making amendments to their policies that would allow kids who cheat on tests to take the test over without penalty; would not allow teachers to deduct points for work turned in late; and that homework would no longer count towards grades. Basically the ISD wants to instill rules that would make the children unaccountable, irresponsible, lazy losers that would never make it in the real world.
     Now the fact that an ISD would do that is infuriating enough, but the fact that this asshole was essentially implying that those were “liberal” policies, sent me through the roof. When the hell did people decide that only “conservative” parents teach their children morals and values?!? WTF???? Just because I believe in teaching my children that ALL people are equal and that discrimination is wrong, that means I’m teaching them to be immoral? Just because I teach my children the value of giving to others, I’m teaching them to be lazy free-loaders? Does the fact that I only grounded my son for a week instead of beating him when he cheated on a spelling test mean I’m making him unaccountable?
     So, tell me, Mr. Mayor, when did “good-parenting” and “conservative” become synonymous? Good parents come from all walks of life and so do bad ones. The sad thing is that you are taking a stand against something that will hurt our children, but instead of uniting your community, you divided it. Looks like you didn’t benefit from a “conservative” education–idiot.
    Ok…deep breath.
    Part II. Yes, as much as I wish there wasn’t, there is a part two because the news kept coming. After a nice break showing some sharply dressed Marines collecting toys for needy kids (a charity I volunteered for last weekend despite my immoral liberalness) they went on to report on a local Baptist church that has opened a page on their web site that allows its congregation to report “Grinches” to the rest of the community.
Now, are these “Grinches” green monsters that steal from families? Nope. The only offense you have to commit to be publicly labeled a “Grinch” is to use the phrase “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
     Hmmm…last I checked there were other holidays celebrated this time of year besides Christmas. Are all retailers expected to know what each person’s personal belief system is so they can properly greet them? Do we have to wear nametags announcing our religions? Why is Christmas the only holiday that counts? Isn’t this a time of brotherly love? I’m personally happy to receive any greeting given with good will. I’ve never received a “Happy Kwanza” but it certainly wouldn’t offend me.
I’m wondering if this list will include all the Chinese restaurants run by Buddhists? Do I need to report the Jewish baker down the street because she doesn’t have a Christmas tree out and didn’t sing me The First Noel when I walked in the door? In my opinion this web site is nothing more than bullying, and from my understanding, not a Christian thing to do.
     The minister of this “monster church” was in the vast foyer of his multi-million dollar “chapel”, standing in front of a massive, perfectly adorned tree. He spoke of these “Grinches” as stealing “Christ” out of Christmas. While he spoke, I wondered, “Didn’t you do that a long time ago?” Didn’t all of us do that a long time ago?
What would Jesus say if he was standing in that church? I think he’d say something like, “You missed the whole point.” He’d look at the expensive tiles and brick and chandeliers and think about the temples and pyramids built by the slaves to idolize the few. He’d probably think about the fact that God thought a manger was an appropriate place for a messiah to be born; that no palace was needed. He would probably think about that he never needed more than the rise of a hill to speak to his people and give his messages of love, charity and acceptance. He didn’t need vaulted ceilings and ten-piece bands to bring hope to the masses.
     I think he would look at the preacher standing in his pricey suit and he would marvel at the decorations on the tree, and then he would wonder how people spend money on things so trivial when their brothers and sisters are freezing and starving under bridges. He would wonder how we spend so much on tinsel and lights in His name, yet allow children to starve in our own country. He would wonder how we can spend so much on presents for our children, yet know so little about giving.
     Another deep breath.
    And this is where I take my rant and find some way to make it inspirational because anger is not who I am. I do this by challenging every person who celebrates this season (no matter if your Jewish, Christian, Pagan or what) to truly give of themselves. And to truly give is to not say, “Oh, I forgot I had this $5 in my pocket. I won’t miss it if I drop it in the Salvation Army bucket.” To truly give is to let go of something when maybe it’s not that easy to do. Maybe you really could use that $20 dollars, but instead you give it to someone that could use it more. Maybe you really need those hours to finish a project or shop, but you let it go and go read to the children at the shelter or spend time with one of the thousands of elderly who are essentially forgotten. Or maybe you have been secretly disgusted for years about the commercialism and gluttony of Christmas, but you keep doing it because everyone else does—but this year you don’t. Or maybe you teach your children about giving by having them spend their Christmas money on a child who will get nothing. After all, not every child that could do amazing things for mankind will be born with a star overhead. Give them a chance. Give hope this holiday season. Give it with great love and peace will find you.
(See, I’m not really an angry “mom blogger.”)
Happy Holidays