I went to visit a preschool for Amelia on Wednesday. There are a lot of really great things about it – an amazing play space, lots of focus on the arts and music, cool teachers.
One of their primary focuses, and selling points really, is their diversity. They talked about diversity of family – one parent, two parents, many parents. They talked about diversity in race. They even mentioned socio-economics (but it was quite hard to see around the school as we walked around).
I fell in love with the school more and more as we saw a music class, students doing all sorts of cool art projects, and the AMAZING play space.
We got to the end, and they started to speak about their end of week international music and dance event. This week is going to be holiday season themed, and the director of the school emphasized that they would minimize the role of religion. In my head I wanted to scream, “WHY!?!”.
There’s a very real trend in Californian liberalism that speaks to a diverse culture that excludes Christians. It may just generally exclude religion, but it very explicitly excludes Christians. I don’t understand that train of thought at all, and I find it rather offensive that anyone who can accept that there is a higher power and subscribes to the mythology surrounding that is cast out as a right-wing, narrow-minded nut job.
There is no holiday season without Christmas, and there is no Christmas without Christianity. There are plenty of things that radical Christians do that drives me crazy. Their stance on homosexuality. The hypocrisy I see in the South and Midwest around charity and government’s role in helping the poor. But I would never exclude Christians from a conversation because it’s an uncomfortable one. That’s a very narrow minded view of the world.
I also similarly doubt that there is nearly as big a deal made of not emphasizing the religious aspects of the other cultures that are celebrated in this weekly event. I can’t say for sure as I’ve never seen it, but if a culture celebrates its faith through music and dance, and the kids are singing and dancing, then I just don’t understand the difference.
I think there’s a genuine distrust of religion on the coasts in the US. Somehow we need to walk off of this cliff and disassociate religion with fanaticism and zealotry. The goal would be, of course, to re-introduce religion into civil discourse, and understand that intelligent minds can disagree and both be right.
Cutting religion out of the holiday season is the anti-thesis of that.