Value of Tradition

Posted: 05.12.07 in Blogging

With reference to this article on BBC News, it’s an interesting argument over how Christian the United Kingdom is. In the grand scheme of things though, it seems to be one of those arguments that is almost pointless and irrelevant — does it really matter?

There is no getting away from the fact that the modern United Kingdom was built upon a Christian-valued basis. There are churches in just about every village, town and city; and our more traditional laws draw reference from the tenets of the Bible. But our country is changing, undoubtedly, away from the strict devotion to the word of the Bible as more interpretations of the scriptures lead to conflicting opinions on how we should live our lives. The acceptance of other religions and communities has also changed many aspects of the United Kingdom.

Once upon a time, converting to Christianity was enough to be spared the death penalty; and indeed supporting the ‘wrong’ denomination condemned you to a public killing. In my opinion, this what makes our country a much better place to live now than it was then: tolerance and understanding. The bad aspects of the United Kingdom now as we stand are purely down to a lack of understanding and tolerance.

But Christmas is an interesting argument. Should it be a solely religious occasion? Suppose it wasn’t (and perhaps there are arguments to support that being the case). Then is that a bad thing? Each Christian is able to celebrate Christmas in his or her own way and that is up to them. Meanwhile, Christmas only teaches good things to those that aren’t necessarily Christian. The gift of giving (and indeed receiving, graciously); the coming together of family and friends; and the almost carpe diem nature of the season spreads happiness towards all those that choose to acknowledge the day. Whether we understand the background of the day, is that such a bad thing?

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