Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Proud of my Son

So tonight my son, who is turning seven next month, expressed his concern that in his school's winter program, they are singing songs about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and some other stuff about winter, but there are no Christian or traditional Christmas songs celebrating Christmas specifically. I didn't bring it up, his mother didn't bring it up, he did. He figured it out on his own that his beliefs and experiences weren't being represented. He feels cheated. He doesn't want to participate.

He's got a strong sense of justice and righteousness. He's a Scorpio, and a little genius. He's not opposed to singing the other songs, he just wants his beliefs represented too. He wants it to be fair.

As a Christian Magician, I know how he feels. Most of my friends and colleagues are pagan liberals. I'm a moderate Christian, with decidedly non-mainstream interpretations of what it means to be a Christian, but I get the blow-off from other magicians more frequently than I should. I understand why; Christianity has done wrongs in the name of Christ for thousands of years, and is chock full of disgusting loud-mouthed opinionated bigoted hypocrites. People have been hurt by people in the name of Christ, and it didn't just happen hundreds of years ago, it's happening right now as I type this, somewhere in the middle of America.

It's not fair though. People desperately demanding equal rights don't give them. People demanding "justice" don't want the scales even, they want them in their favor. They don't see their own hypocrisy. No one ever does.I want people to overlook the wrongs other people have done in the name of Christ and see what I'm saying and judge it on its own merits. I try to do that with others. I fail sometimes, but I at least try.

I want $7 Million Dollars, too.

I expect to get the money before I see non-Christians treat Christians with the respect they expect.

So my son wants to opt out of the Winter Holiday recital. We sent an email to the music teacher to get a list of the songs being sung, so that we can see if there's something in there that represents his beliefs that he doesn't recognize as traditionally Christian or Christmas-ey. We haven't been to church in a year or so, he might just not recognize the songs as Christian. I'll feel pretty lousy if that's the case. I want him to participate with his friends and not to feel like an outcast because of his beliefs, if possible.

If the school is presenting religious songs and excluding Christianity, I'll stamp my feet and raise a stink. If it's a secular Program, then I'll explain the separation of Church and State to my son as best I can, and see if he wants to participate. If he still feels morally, ethically, or just plain old conscientiously unable to perform in it, then I'll support him in his determination. Hell, he's so stubborn he'd probably go but just stand there and not sing if I tried to make him anyway. He's nobody's fool.

But I do expect to find out that Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are represented while Christianity is left out. I expect that all mention of the word "Christmas" will be verboten because it dares to have "Christ" in it. I expect my son to learn that his beliefs will, at times, leave him ostracized, pushed to the side, and treated disrespectfully. That saddens me, but I'm pragmatic and know he'll learn it anyway.

But I am totally and completely proud that he is willing to take the ostracism and stand by his convictions. That rocks.