I’m non-religious, but even I can appreciate and enjoy the festive spirit, the Christmas decorations, the fat Santa’s, and especially the beautiful traditional music being played everywhere.
The stores and malls everywhere are annoyingly overcrowded with shoppers whizzing around to get in that last-minute shopping, but even that is not enough to make one hopping mad. The rush of people is in a sense wonderful to observe, and be part off [OK, a weird sense]. Anyway, it is good to see people looking far happier than any other time of year.
Personally, I don’t think it has much to do with the fact that it’s the claimed anniversary of the miraculous birth of a mythical supernatural entity. Or even the far more believable pagan festivals it is based upon. I suspect it has more to do with the fact that people look forward to a much-needed break from working for the corporate crooks, or having a little more money to spend if the corporate crooks were amazingly more generous. Perhaps it’s because the traffic is much easier, what with the corporate crooks and those who somehow have a bit more money, all being down at the coast. Or just the mundane desire to pig out, for once.
For whatever reason, people are just a little bit happier this time of year, and it really pisses me off when someone tries to fuck with that state of being.
So, imagine my disgust when I read this report of one Muhyidin Junaidi, one of the chairmen [how many do they need?] of the Indonesian Council of Ulema, a Moslem religious authority, who had the following scrooge-like drivel to mouth off about:
[The decorations] are too demonstrative, and that might incite a counterproductive reaction from the Muslim community.
But it should not be excessive, otherwise it might hurt the feelings of the Muslim community.
And from another source:
We received complaints from a number of malls’ employees who are forced to wear Santa Claus costumes which are against their faith. Such things should not have happened.
We need to restrain Muslims from joining the festivities.
I mean WTF. How is it possible?
- That decorations can be demonstrative, invoke counterproductive reactions, and hurt someone’s feelings. [Are Moslems so fragile?]
- For an article of clothing to be in conflict with a religion? Is that rational or sane? What does it say about the religion, or the person who believes such nonsense?
- To restrain people from wanting to enjoy themselves? Perennial threats of eternal damnation? That’s the crux of religion, isn’t it?
These absurd religious bodies should stop interfering in people’s happiness and concentrate on the losing battle to make themselves more relevent in a society that is increasingly becoming conscious of their kill-joy tendencies.