Friday, December 23, 2011

No need for tribalism: just good holiday wishes!

We've been discussing (debating? arguing?) atheism vs organized religion, and whether there can even be actual discussion.  But, back from the brink, we also posted a couple of nice verses about the season, and nice behavior was one of the issues around which the post that elicited the atheism/religion debate was motivated.

An important point is that one can have holiday wishes, and spread them around, without their being tied to any dogma.  Here, in a well-known verse by the often beautifully pastoral poet William Wadsworth, is an example of good holiday cheer:

The Minstrels
The minstrels played their Christmas** tune
To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;
While, smitten by a lofty moon,
The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze
Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
Nor check, the music of the strings;
So stout and hardy were the band
That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.

And who but listened?—till was paid
Respect to every inmate’s claim,
The greeting given, the music played
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And “Merry Christmas” wished to all.

**or however you wish to refer to the season's rationale

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