[saymaListserv] Christmas and proselytizing
freepolazzo at comcast.net
Thu Dec 23 11:49:20 JEST 2004
Thanks to those Friends who wrote about how their meetings handled the
concern that Christmas was being given too much importance, compared to
other days of the year. I look forward to other meetings telling us how
they handle the Christmas tsunami. Because I was raised Jewish, I have
always seen the many Christmas messages and songs and movies as part of the
Chrisitan community's efforts at proselytizing their faith.
Even in the public schools in NYC in the 50's, my twin brother and I were
asked to perform in a Nativity play, much to the horror of my concentration
camp survivor mom. Some say that Hannukah, the Jewish Festival of
Lights, had it's significance as a celebration elevated to give the Jews
something to offer their children that could help inoculate them from the
onslaught of Christmas messages.
We unprogrammed Friends do not proselytize, but we don't usually discuss
the effects of that choice on our faith community or on our
children. Steve's message had me appreciating how difficult our
testimony on equality must be for Friends with Christian backgrounds with
children. How do you teach them that December 25th is just as important
a day as every other day of the year?
Those of you who are interested in the whole issue of missionaries and how
a faith that does NOT proselytize deals with it can get some insight from
the Jews for Judiasm site: (A site that reaches out to "lapsed" Jews. )
They have a complete book on line called "The Real Messiah: The Jewish
Response to Missionaries".
May the truth prosper in each of us.
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