In spite of my atheism, I still celebrate Christmas. Some Christians may see this as an affront to their religious holiday, but that's just tough. I really dig the core message of peace, goodwill and the process of gift giving; I'm just not game for the mysticism. It's a time to reflect on the year and count our blessings. It is equally a time to recognize the unfortunate and wicked things in our lives and make plans to right past wrongs and walk the straight-and-narrow.
Those of us who live in one of the united States should thank our lucky stars for the chance to live in the first nation explicitly formed on the basis of ideas as apposed to national boundaries and ethnicity. The freedom to trade and innovate that grew from those principles of individual liberty has made this the most prosperous nation in history. Tragically, complacency in our views on the role of our union has eroded those core values. Misguided policies of nation building, entangling alliances and perpetual foreign and domestic wars have stretched the purview of our government far beyond its mandate of ensuring domestic tranquility. Global hegemony of our paper money and the expanding range of our military muscle have, if we are not unthinkably responsive, sown the seeds of their own destruction.
Like the unfortunate souls who have mistakenly come to see the material outcome of Christmas, the gifts, as the purpose of the holiday, we have come to see our hegemony as the goal that must be maintained. The cliched consternation over the commercialization of Christmas is the result of the failure to see that the beauty of the holiday is the act of giving a thoughtful and appreciated gift without obligation to those we love. The guiding principle of our national affairs should not be prosperity but freedom. Let freedom ring and prosperity follow.