Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Exhibition of Ignorance

We've heard some French Quebeckers express racist remarks at the Bouchard-Taylor Commission's hearings. Now, we hear other Quebeckers being so proud of their ignorance without looking racist! Indeed, it's about time that someone tells them that the Christmas tree is not a Christian symbol.

A Sikh man said that no preferential treatment should be made in terms of religious accommodations. He supported his lame argument by suggesting that all religions must be treated equally, because we let the Christmas tree being shown in public places. Most of all, he upheld that the Christmas tree is a Christian symbol.

Either this man is a chronic moron or an innocent ignorant.

Needless to remind you that in France, a country that forbids the display of religious symbols in public places, the Christmas tree can be put in public places. Some will say that this is a preferential treatment to Christianity. However, if it can be put in public places in France, it's because the Christmas tree is not a religious symbol at all.

Its worship was part of ancient (and also different) Egyptian, Chinese, Roman and Hebrew customs. Besides, the worship of the evergreen tree (which went on to be known as the modern Christmas tree) was commonly spread in pagan European cultural habits. By the way, this pagan European custom was born in Western Germany.

Obviously, back in the Middle Age, the evergreen tree was integrated to a Christian custom known as "Christmas". However, it has never been recognized by the Pope as something Christian, because of its strange mysticism. At that time, some Europeans thought that a Christmas tree was a way to scare evil spirits, because they didn't see any way proposed by Christianity.

Besides, the art of decorating a Christmas tree is also a pagan habit. In a region of today's Turkey, it was a way to revere a Phrygian semi-deity known as Attis. Indeed, according to a legend, he was reborn as an... evergreen tree.

If that Sikh man (along with his friends) had taken more English lessons, they would know that the word "pagan" means that it is heathen. Too complicated is the previous word? To make it simple, let's say that if the Christmas tree is a pagan symbol, then it means that it doesn't belong to any religions.

It's hard to comprehend why a Christmas tree was taken out of Toronto's city hall last year. For the sake of common sense, let's stop calling it "harmony tree", "friendship tree" or even "holiday tree". The Christmas tree has never been a Christian symbol. Despite being integrated in Christmas festivities, Christmas just no longer has any religious meaning to most of Canadians.

As a matter of fact, any religious minorities should know that most of us don't celebrate the birth of Jesus on the 25th of December. If the Christmas tree could talk, it would be glad to hear that it is an universal symbol of worldwide happiness. The moral of this post is that "when in Rome, do as the Romans do."

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