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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas as offense

When people exert themselves during the year expressing ill will, maligning other people at every opportunity, and working hard at fomenting malice, it is offensive when they get sanctimonious at Christmas time and profess messages of peace and good will.  A "merry Christmas" from the mouths of the perpetually malevolent desecrates the message of Christmas, which is one that has significance for people of all creeds and beliefs.

The blogosphere is cheerless during the holidays, because most bloggers who engage in ad hominem  malice seem to realize that words of cheer and good will coming from them will be taken as an obscene besmirching of what some people hold sacred and uplifting.  Some bloggers try to enlist Christian theology in support of their verbal pogroms of defamation and hate.

Educated people, whether they receive those educations form their native intelligence or formal schooling, know the difference between an honest statement of opinion and an ad hominem attack.  They know that people who  constantly contrive defamatory accusations against others are not engaging in debate, but in hateful slander and libel.  The problem is that the educated tend to avoid the blogosphere as the province of the malicious, and expressions of malice and defamation go unchallenged. 

There is a parallel problem in the major religious communities.  Theologians from both the Muslim and Christian beliefs have a task that they aren't carrying out very effectively.  The Muslim theologians have to teach more effectively that Islam is a religion that teaches peace and good will.  Christian theologians have the same problem.  There are those who use Christianity to foment hatred and discrimination and destructive action just as the jihadists use a perverted version of  Islam.

Perhaps the attempt by a Nigerian to set off an improvised explosive device on a Northwest flight coming in to Detroit was our best Christmas gift.  It reminded us that there are those out there who do not want peace and good will.  And the incident can remind us of the consequences that  malicious words lead to.  

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States