Column: The last month of 2020 — Whoopee! – The Morning Sun

Posted By on December 4, 2020

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrowvainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrowsorrow for the lost Lenore

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore

Namelessherefor evermore.

Edgar Allen Poe

Whether or not Ed found Ely, December certainly is dark and dreary. December allows us to celebrate many holidays, both religious and secular. Advent began on November 20 and is celebrated each Sunday until January 20. Advent is a season for both the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at Christmas and the return of Christ at the Second Coming. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year in Western Christianity.

The first of the month is Giving Tuesday and World AIDS Day. The second is the International Day for Abolition of Slavery. The next is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, followed by National Cookie Day. Saturday the 5th sees three occasions: International Volunteers Day; National Repeal Day; World Soil Day.

Finland Independence Day is on December 6. We remember Pearl Harbor Day and Civil Aviation Day on the 7th. Immaculate Conception Day and Bodhi Day on the 8th. Bodhi is Buddhas understanding about the true nature of things. Anti-Corruption Day and the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity fall on December 9th. The next day starts the nine days of Hanukkah. Hanukkah is the Jewish festival commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. It is also known as the Festival of Lights.

Human Rights Day and Jane Addams Day are on the 10th and Indiana Day the next. National Universal Health Day occurs on the 12th. The 13th sees National Cocoa Day and the National Day of the Horse. Green Monday is on the 14th, while the Bill of Rights is celebrated on the 15th.

Still there? There are more. Many look forward to National Maple Sugar Day and Wright Brothers Day on December 17 and Arabic Language Day and International Migrant Day on the 18th. Senator Hattie W. Caraway Day is on the 19th. Sunday, December 20th is Sakada Day in Hawaii and recognizes the Filipino contribution to the history, economy, culture and heritage of Hawaii. The Winter Solstice is December 21.

Each event has thousands and often many millions of devotees. These groups overlap where individuals prefer similar sets of traditions. We are free to choose our preferences. This is not always the case.

My wife and I watched Iintolerance the 1916 epic silent film directed by D. W. Griffith. Cast of thousands, elaborate scenes, complex plot. It consists of four interwoven tales that demonstrate humankind's persistent intolerance throughout the ages. In the American 1920s progressives closed the bars, pleasure domes and dance halls. This led to bootlegging, organized crime and the Great Depression. The ancient Babylonian story (539 BCE) depicts the conflict between Prince Belshazzar of Babylon and Cyrus the Great of Persia. The fall of Babylon is a result of intolerance arising from a conflict between disciples of two rival Babylonian gods -- Bel-Marduk and Ishtar.

In 1572 France Catholic rligious intolerance led to the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of Protestant Huguenots fomented by Catholic royals. Finally in 27CE the Pharisses convince Pontius Pilate to arrest Jesus of Nazareth.

In each tale innocent people suffer because of decisions made by those in control. In America the Boy is falsely accused of murder and is saved from hanging when his friends capture the real culprit. Mountain Girl dies defending Balshazar. In France Brown Eyes loses her child. In Jeruselem Jesus is executed.

Intolence exists today. The current administration has stoked it. May January 20, 2021, bring less of it.

Ed Fisher writes a weekly column for the Morning Sun.

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Column: The last month of 2020 -- Whoopee! - The Morning Sun

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