Merry Christmas! Yes, Merry Christmas, although I know it is not the politically correct thing to say. I have been thinking about rights as envisioned by different constitutions and points of view lately. Much of it has to do with the threat of ISIS/ISIL and what it means to our futures. I am child of the Cold War. I was much more acutely aware of the Cold War and its implications on the world stage than others in my age group because of many reasons. Such realization of the geopolitics being played in the background by others unrelated to me but the nonetheless affecting my personal reality is likely the single most important reason why I have been fascinated by history, politics and international intrigue for as long as I can remember.

Intermixed in between all of that fascination has been religion and the part it plays on our lives. I am a Christian in all aspects, but I do not wear my religion on my sleeve. I believe that in many ways religion, especially the Catholic Church, has been destructive to Mexico. Organized religion in any flavor has one fundamental flaw in that it is interpreted by humans. As humans, our egos almost always get in the way and we end up bastardizing anything we touch.

Although I am a Christian I am not arrogant enough to think that my flavor of Christianity is the “true religion” and much less do I believe that there is only one way to believe in something greater than us. We each look at life through our own sets of experiences and each of our point of views is our own reality. None of us are wrong and none of us are correct. We are what we believe.

Of course that creates a problem. At what point do my belief systems trump yours?

As a Christian, should I be required to wish you Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas just because I might offend your own belief system?

Freedoms and rights are a slippery slope. Each right or freedom is constantly in conflict with another because we each see life through our own points of view. True freedom and true rights cannot exist because we must share our spaces together. In order to be free we must be isolated because the minute we coexist with someone else we must compromise or dictate over the other. Compromise and dictating over others is not freedom – it is the melding of the perspectives of others unto your own.

So what is the solution to the problem of coexistence?

Benito Juárez said it best; “el derecho ajeno es la paz.” It translates into “the rights of others is peace.”

As we must coexist, each equal in our own beliefs then we need to stop wearing our religion and our beliefs on our sleeves and accept that we all look at life through different experiences. As a Christian I wish you a very Merry Christmas not because I wish for you to live my life but because I wish to share my joy with you. You may not believe in the miracle of Christmas but that does not matter to me because it is what I believe in.

On the other hand, if I know that you are agnostic or atheist and I still wish you a Merry Christmas then I am not sharing my joy with you, but, instead, I’m disrespecting your right to be at peace. I am trying to meld you into my mindset and that is wrong.

If I do not know your belief in Christmas then I will default to what I know best and share my joy with you, not to annoy you or to disrespect you but because our common ground at that point is the holiday season that for me is centered on the birth of Christ. Wishing you a Merry Christmas is not intended to convert you as it is nothing more than my uttering my joy to you in passing.

If you find offense to it, then let me know you do not believe in Christmas and next time we see each other I’ll wish you a good day, instead. Who knows, I might even wish you a “live long and prosper” wish instead.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

3 replies on “A Very Un-Politically Correct Merry Christmas”

  1. I’m an atheist and have to no problem with Merry Christmas. I use it along with Happy Holidays, and all other good wishes of the season.

    So Merry Christmas.

    And here’s a nice atheist Christmas song; nice music and lyrics, beautifully sung by Tim

    Tim Minchin White wine in the Sun in Youtube.


  2. Marrin, Merry Christmas.

    You gotta be kidding me though. It was Mexico that wanted to destroy the Catholic Church not the other way around. Catholics helped preserve Christianity in Mexico. They were keepers of the faith during the horrible persecution in the early 1900s.

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