First of all, let me say up front that Subotai Bahadur, Lord of the Defended Peace, is NOT a Christian in any of the multifarious varieties available. Nor am I of the Jewish faith. However, unlike those on the Left, I do not regard either of them as my enemies. In fact, the concepts of Free Will and of Covenants that even G-d must obey once entered into are fundamental to our concepts of Freedom and Liberty under Law.
The free and open practice of faith, under the equal protection of the laws; neither harms me, nor picks my pocket. Unlike the Left and their de facto allies the Islamists; I can stand hearing things I disagree with. If I disagree, I can argue back, can teach my children my beliefs and hope to do it well enough that the lesson takes [which is pretty much all any parent can do], or if I find them too obnoxious I can leave. In the first case, I trust to my wit and admitted bloody-mindedness to deal with the matter. There being no guarantee that the public forum will be inoffensive to all. Public discourse should be abrasive to rub the rough edges off of bad ideas from whatever the source.
The teaching of matters of faith and ethics is a matter for the family and church. But we are no more than temporary custodians of our children, and they will find their own Truth in their own way. If we have taught them well, and are not attacked by the state for doing so [so long as we are within the civil law] it will be the right way. If we do not have faith that our children will choose well, then we have no future anyway.
Or if I decide to leave, and one who disagrees with me chooses to… disallow that option and intrude on my personal space; then the full force of the law will be brought to bear, or more immediate action if justified. And on that point, I admit that I have signed a criminal complaint against a pastor; who decided that his sermons were so inspired that they had to be broadcast by loudspeaker at high volume over an 8 square block area with running translation into Spanish. You wake me from a sound sleep on the one day a fortnight I can sleep in; and I will be irate. Lady Pao An dissuaded me from shooting out the speakers on the church steeple a block away, so I went down and signed the complaint.
The tax exemption for all religious activity does not offend me, because it can be sure that not only would there be cases of sectarian religious discrimination in the assessment of taxes; but those of the Left would be more than happy to tax all expressions of faiths in competition with their secular humanism out of existence. The relatively small revenue losses are worth the protection of the First Amendment. Oh, and for those who point out the wealth of various churches; we do not tax [read that confiscate] wealth in this country, we tax income. And non-religious income is taxed. In the past, I have lived in rental housing on a Benedictine Abbey. The income from the gift shop at the Abbey, and their rental income [both residential and office space for various non-profits] WAS taxed. The money that they got for religious and educational purposes was exempt, as it should be.
I take no offense in the expressions of faith and joy by my fellow citizens in this, the CHRISTMAS [not generic Holiday] season. Their joy comes from their belief that their faith was made flesh, and that Mankind was to be redeemed from Death. Not a bad thing. To the extent that a Pagan Chinese can be allowed to share the joy of my fellow citizens, I will do so. And since unlike other countries, we do not have a thought police to drive people into little mental boxes; such sharing is commonplace. After all, when my family goes to celebrations of the Lunar New Year; there are a whole bunch of epicanthic fold-deficient attendees. Who are welcome.
So in the spirit of Christmas, may I offer a pair of videos, of praise and rejoicing? My HTML-fu being weak, I can’t imbed them directly, and will just put in the links.
This first, surely must have driven the wanna-be Thought Police bonkers:
And this, for the purity of the Season:
If this is the season of divine miracles; may all of the LC’s and our Emperor and his family each find their own miracle. And may that especially be so for Caveman and Mary; whose miracle will be one for all of us.
LC Subotai Bahadur, Lord Pao An