Volume 92, Issue 52

Friday, December 4, 1998

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Truth seekers should get rid of X-mas

Re: Commercialization of Christmas

To the Editor:

Perhaps those who could be most open to Christmas are post-moderns, for whom the idea of truth as religious or moral dictates is toast.

Post-modern life is like a carnival (Brian Walsh, Richard Middleton). We need to be ready for a variety of careers, none of which are secure. We are swimming in a sea of technological gadgets and are regularly manipulated to purchase more of them. Political leaders seem to be well versed on only one issue, namely the economy, an area about which economists seem to be most confused.

Canadians seem to be unable to find a national meta-narrative that could give our society a sense of purpose. We resort to congratulating ourselves that we are a nation of tolerance, acceptance and equality. We are encouraged to try on various sexual personas and to partake in a smorgasbord of media treats which in the end leave us bloated and dissatisfied, but we are going back to the same trough for more anyway.

This week's media features comment from Monsanto representatives who calmly talk about their seed product which allows farmers to spray herbicides on their fields without fear of harming the herbicide-immune seed they have developed. Isn't there something twisted about this last picture?

In this carnivalesque society, each of us is free to do as we please. What's true for you may not be true for me. This goes for matters all the way from entertainment choices to religious "preference," family issues to our responsibilities toward the unborn and dying. And we cease to care about the future because the future is herbicides, global warming, Smashmouth, war and the end of bio-diversity.

What if, though, there were some way to getting our bearings that did not require truth to be seen as mainly a set of political, moral, historical or religious dictates? If there is "truth" maybe we can call this truth "God." One thing that strikes me is that Christian faith stresses that truth is God and that God is a person – in fact that God became a human being. Truth as a person, albeit a unique one.

Unfortunately, the remembrance of the event of God becoming a human being is obscured each December by the consumer spree we associate with Christmas. Perhaps it's time to get rid of Christmas so we can remember that God did become a human being, that he is a person who came to give us himself so that we could become free and open to a new future.

Mike Veenema
UWO Chaplain

To Contact The Opinions Department: gazette.opinions@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998