During this holiday season I have observed that many people have allowed the whole COVID virus, and mostly the response to the virus, steal their joy.
In whatever form you choose to celebrate the holiday season you most certainly have the right to joy. The Declaration of Independence clearly states “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
I don’t even consider this a “pursuit of happiness” issue, but a “liberty” issue. The holiday season is closely associated with various religious holidays, and the first amendment to the constitution clearly grants us religious freedom, and more specifically freedom of conscience.
As I wrote in a previous letter, COVID is not an excuse to be a bad human being, and it doesn’t matter which side of the issues you are on.
As a person who is opposed to masks and mandatory vaccines, I need to have grace for the people who do. I need to be as friendly and respectful to them as I can, and to the people on the other side of the issue need to understand that I and others like myself have thought through our choices, and are owning them.
I will choose to be joyful during the holiday season. I will go to Christmas Eve service, Christmas caroling, I will hang stockings, I will celebrate with my family, and I will not be harassed, shamed, or whatevered into losing my joy.
I will say that the vast majority of people in Hollister and San Benito county are doing a great job of being civil to each other, understanding that there are people who have very different views on COVID and COVID restrictions, however there are a few, (again on both sides of the issues) who think that they are right and therefore are superior and feel that they can put others down and attack their beliefs.
They are attempting to steal others’ joy. No one has the moral high ground to do this. Whatever your beliefs about the pandemic and the response to it, those belong to you, you have the God given right to them and no government, religious organization, overzealous neighbor, or belligerent family member should steal your joy.
My all time favorite movie is the old Cecil B. Demille classic “The Ten Commandments” and there is a scene where Moses, who upon finding out that he is Hebrew, makes a great observation:
“There is no shame in me, how can I feel shame for the woman who bore me or the race that bred me.”
I suggest this holiday season that you feel good about whichever side of the issues you are on, be joyful and don’t attempt to steal someone else’s joy, and above all don’t let anyone steal yours!
Have a joyful holiday season.
Respectfully submitted, Randy Logue