London, Nov 28 (ANI): A bishop has warned that wishing people a Happy Christmas could be seen as an 'insult' or even an 'obscenity', as not all are in a position to celebrate.
The Right Reverend Humphrey Southern, the Bishop of Repton, said it was a "hollow" greeting to make to those who were suffering, and that people should not "simply make a cocoon of happiness for ourselves and our loved ones" at Christmas.
"This is the 'Happy Christmas' month. Yet to many that greeting will be hollow, coming as an insult, or even an obscenity," the Telegraph quoted him as writing in the monthly Derby diocese newsletter.
"What can 'Happy Christmas' mean in a family whose father has been killed in a military operation in Afghanistan that fewer and fewer people understand (still less support)?
"How do you wish 'Happy Christmas' to a community in the Indian Ocean who can probably count on the fingers of a couple of hands the number of Christmases they will see before their home disappears under water, victim to global warming?
"What could it possibly mean to the victim of bullying, ostracism or racial intimidation in your workplace or neighbourhoods or community?" the 49-year-old bishop asked.
While Advent was meant to be a season of preparation and expectation "too often", he said, "that means things like shopping and decorating: working to create a domestic cocoon in which to be 'Happy' with friends and family".
"But Advent is not supposed to be about 'Happiness' or comfort. In fact it's deeply uncomfortable. It's about judgement and what's wrong with the world," he added.
Those who choose to celebrate Christmas in a cocoon and ignore the plight of others are "like the people who took their ease in the Inn, missing entirely what was happening in the Stable just around the corner," he concluded. (ANI)