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Merry Christmas to all!

Displays of faith, anybody's faith, are welcome; attacks on anybody's faith are what are really offensive.

One of the many great joys of being a person of faith, no matter what faith, is that your faith is never negatively impacted by anyone who doesn't share it with you.

You can work beside people who don't share your faith, live next door with people who don't share your faith, rub elbows in any variety of ways with people who don't share your faith, see representations of other faiths on display, even in public places, and none of this has any negative impact on your faith. Your faith is YOUR faith. If you are comfortable in your faith, you may share it with anyone who wants, but you don't have to force it down anybody else's throat and nobody else's faith, or lack of faith, diminishes or challenges you. You may pray for others who don't share your faith to "come on board," but when you are comfortable in your faith, you do not threaten anybody else's faith, or lack of faith, nor do others threaten you.

Therefore, Merry Christmas to all, no matter what your faith or even if you have no faith. I say this based on my own faith and the joy I get out of wishing all a Merry Christmas. If you wish to say "Happy Hannukah" or "Happy something else" to me, based on the joy you feel from sharing your own faith, I welcome your joy into my own heart and and say "right back at you."

If you are not a person of faith and still enjoy the joy that fills the Holiday Season and wish me "Happy Holidays," I welcome that expression, too.

All expressions of joy and good will should be welcome at all times of the year, Christmas Holiday Season included. Positive expressions of joy and good will should also be welcome any place where people wish to place them, and yes, that even means public property. I don't want government employees required to work on building or even maintaining such displays; but if individuals or groups wish to put up displays celebrating their faith and their joy in their faith, or joy in having no faith, for that matter, even on public property, that will be fine with me.

What I don't welcome is attacks on anybody else's faith. We can celebrate our own faith, or lack of faith, without attempting to desecrate or otherwise put down someone else's faith or lack of faith. However, there is no reason to be "offended" by someone else's expression of their faith. What is offensive is displays that put down someone else's faith.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Charles Ferrell December 21, 2012 at 04:02 PM
My problem with many athiest posters and displays is that they are so often anti-God. I always believed that a true athiest believes there is no God, so how can someone be against or anti something that does not exist? Therefore, so many athiest posters and displays, while appearing to be anti-God, are actually anti-those who believe in God -- those of faith. Isn't that what is really offensive?
Hopeful December 21, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Well I thought this was a really good blog until your second comment Charles. You went straight to the negative on Athiests and straight against what your whole blog was about. I think we can all agree there are negatives in all beliefs, but we can't blame the Athiests, or the Christians, or the Catholics etc... it is some individuals with-in those belief systems that take things to the extreme. So I say we get this blog back on a positive note and accept all for their beliefs and not categorize people by their beliefs or point out their problems. Let us send our well wishes and hope we can move past what problems we believe them to have. It is not a time to focus on problems, but time to work on acceptance and being open to others beliefs. I think you were on spot with your opening blog, but your second post left a bad taste in my mouth. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year to you Charles!
Julia Olsen-Rodriguez December 22, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Merry Christmas Mr. Ferrell, you're still the best. I wish only good things for you this coming year and always... Much Love, Julia
Roger Berg December 22, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Merry Christmas Charles, You made a wonderful post. I remember when working at Highland Springs Resort while in school, the Rosen’s who owned the resort at time would throw a big Christmas Party for all the employees even though they were Jewish. We would then take our turn and celebrate Hanukah with them. It was great. They were such nice folks to work for.
Washy December 25, 2012 at 01:57 PM
How unfortunate you believe you are self employed now and don't answer the the citizens of Beaumont! If you think your day of accountability isn't very near you are mistaken
Jeremiah December 25, 2012 at 03:28 PM
It didn't appear to me that Charles was denying Atheists their "religion", just decrying the fact that many professing this appear to be threatened by the expressions of faith of those who express a Christian belief system. It is interesting to note that these same Atheists very rarely attack the expressions of the Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim or other Native religions. Charles is right, though. If you are secure in your beliefs and have thought them through and examined them thoroughly then you know what you believe and why you believe it. At that point no one else's beliefs are a threat to you and the need to suppress the belief systems of others disappears. May all have a Happy Christmas. Peace be upon you. That is what the God who came into this world intended!
beaumontdave December 26, 2012 at 07:16 AM
The man should be able to give a seasonal greeting or share a memory without the political attack. There's plenty of time for the usual bickering. Merry Christmas to everyone.
Steve Mehlman December 29, 2012 at 01:12 AM
"just decrying the fact that many professing this appear to be threatened by the expressions of faith of those who express a Christian belief system...." It is not the expressions of faith that threaten people. It is attempts by the American ayatollahs...in the guise of fundamentalist Christians...to force their religion on everyone else. There is no difference between these people trying to turn Christian beliefs into the law of the land (such as anti-abortion laws, DOMA, etc.) and Muslims who want to run their countries under Sharia Law. There is no state-sponsored religion in America, and thank God for that.
Charles Ferrell December 31, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I hope everybody had a Merry Christmas season and weren't afraid to wish the same on others and accepted others' wishes with grace and a smile. While we are on the holiday season, Happy New Year to all, too.

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