I haven't gotten everyone mad at me lately. Let's discuss religion!
Two things: Mitt Romney and Christmas.
There is no way I want Mitt to be president. This has nothing to do with his too-perfect hair, his driving to Canada with his dog on the roof of his car or his cussing out some kid during the Olympic games at Snowbasin.
Simply put, his politics -- whatever they are this month -- give me the fantods.
That's not enough for some people, so they attack his religion. Mitt is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To some, that means he isn't "Christian."
Who is a Christian? Last time I checked, it's someone who follows Christ's teachings.
What are those? Someone asked Christ that very thing. His answer was to quote Leviticus, which says to treat others as you want to be treated, or as he said, "love thy neighbor as thyself."
"Who is my neighbor?" the same questioner asked. Christ told the parable of the Good Samaritan, who was not a follower of Christ, nor even a Jew. He was just a guy who helped a total stranger and asked nothing in return.
"Go and do likewise," said Jesus.
I like that. It's simple. It's easy to understand. Anyone can do it.
So as far as I care, Mormons are Christians if they are honest, kind and treat others with respect, which most do.
Does this make my equally nice Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, agnostic and atheist friends Christians?
I don't care. Neither, I suspect, would Christ. It was the behavior of the Samaritan, not his label, that mattered.
Speaking of Christians, Christmas is the time of year we see loud proclamations, usually typed all in capital letters, screaming, "THE ACLU CAN'T FORCE ME TO TAKE CHRIST OUT OF CHRISTMAS!!!!!"
Then they type "Merry CHRISTmas!" and dare anyone to say otherwise. My answer to them is always the same:
Yes, the ACLU opposes government displays of religion and yes, stores are saying "Happy Holidays."
But nobody is telling you to take Christ out of your personal Christmas. Paint it on your house, wear it on your shirt, say it to everyone. No one will stop you.
ACLU's work against government religious displays is to protect -- yes, protect -- your right to worship as you want, not as some religious person who got elected wants.
If your religion matches that of the elected person, you're happy. But my religion does not match yours.
That elected person is using government power to push your religion onto me.
Christ commanded us to treat others as we want to be treated. You don't want me pushing my beliefs on you. Don't push yours on me.
So give alms. Decorate your house. Hit midnight Mass. Worship as you want, all you want. Nobody will stop you.
As long as you respect me, and don't use community events to force me to take part in your religion, we're good.
About "Happy Holidays."
Do you really need a discount store to reinforce your religious beliefs?
Most stores depend on this time of year to make enough money to stay in business. Saying "Happy Holidays" doesn't exclude atheist, agnostic, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Native American and Pagan shoppers from the buying frenzy. Nor does it end the frenzy on Dec. 25.
If they sell enough, their employees -- which could include you -- get to keep their jobs. A job makes for a very happy holiday season.
So lighten up. Deck the halls. 'Tis the season to be jolly.
And, seriously, have a Merry Christmas.
Wasatch Rambler is the opinion of Charles Trentelman. You can call him at 801-625-4232 or email email@example.com. He also blogs at www.standard.net.