Saturday, 22 December 2012

Why I celebrate Christmas

I haven't been a Christian long, but long enough to recognise a leading question. Like, when somebody who doesn't share my beliefs asks why I celebrate Christmas, I'm fully expecting a detailed explanation of how Jesus wasn't born in December and Christmas trees are just something we carried over from the pagan festivals and blah blah blah whatever.

To which, my response is a resounding 'So what?' If we didn't celebrate the birth of Jesus in December, we'd just do it in June or some other date that someone decided was as good as any. And so what if we have kept on a few old traditions. If you want to celebrate Yuletide or the Winter Solstice or Hogmanay or me and animal's anniversary, knock yourself out. I choose to celebrate the birth of my saviour at this time of year.

So, to answer the question: I've celebrated Christmas all my life; it's just what we do. In this country we need a bright spot in the middle of the depressing wet winters we usually get, and Christmas is it. It's an excuse to get together with loved ones, and at least be civil to those we don't love quite as much. And that's good; peace and good will to all man is a good thing, whatever you happen to believe in, God-wise. Family get-togethers are... well ok, they can be a bit fraught, but it's once a year. If I only saw my sister once a year we get on far better I expect...

So Christmas is a good thing, and I don't have any issue with non-Christians celebrating it. After all, I celebrated 24 myself as a non-Christian...

But, dates aside, as a believer it obviously has a deeper meaning now. And it doesn't matter that Jesus never said 'celebrate my birthday'. He didn't say don't celebrate it. Why would the event be described in such detail in the Bible if it wasn't important?

I've posted this here before, but this song pretty much sums up the religious reasons why I celebrate Christmas:
I don't know if that answered the question, but there you go. That's me done blogging for 2012.

Merry Christmas, and I'll be back next year.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy Anniversary... me and Animal.

Yep, it's two whole years since I booted my flatmate out for the night and invited my drum teacher round for a good home cooked meal.

Two years since I took a wild chance and pounced on the poor bloke under some strategically placed mistletoe. (Not that I put it there specifically for that purpose. Oh no...)

Two years, and I've gone from 'happily single' (ie not looking for a man) to 'happily married' (and still not looking for a man).

Two years since... hang on, I don't think I've had a drum lesson in two years! Oi! Animal, get yer kit out, I'm over due a lesson!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Gay Marriage: A Rant

So, I posted a few months back about how I didn't really care whether people wanted to be gay, bi or metrosexual, but I was beginning to think that gay marriage was a bad idea.

And, as the nation awaits the government's new plans for the introduction of gay marriage, I find myself leaning even more this way. I am, however, somewhat conflicted.

You see, in theory, the protection of religious freedom should allow gay couples to get married in a church which is happy with that, whilst not forcing other churches to carry out gay weddings if they believe this to be in contradiction with their beliefs, should come as a sensible compromise position. I should be applauding this proposal.

However... I can't help thinking that, somewhere along the line, the only gay couple in the village are going to find they can't get married in their quaint local chapel, and, fuelled by righteous outrage, they will mount a legal challenge and force the church to marry them, regardless of the curch's position on homosexual relationships.

But what really ticked me off was seeing a gay couple on the news recently, saying 'Neither of us are religious, but...' And as a Christian, that's what worries me. This whole debate is going to lead to a place where people can say 'I'm not religious, but I want churches to do things my way'. It's about government trying to push a secular agenda into the church. It's about non-believers telling the church what it should believe, and what is should practice. And surely that can't be right?