Coexistence Vs. Ignorance : A Reminder This Holiday Season

Coexistence Vs. Ignorance : A Reminder This Holiday Season

Practice living in harmony, peace and unity.

The holiday season is in full gear with festive decorations, repetitive radio songs, and cheesy commercials all showcasing this season’s spirit. Maybe to some, the reason for the season means spending time with friends and family. For others, the holidays’ central focus could be the religious reason behind the décor, songs, and presents. Whatever the reason may be, it is important to take time to determine that although everyone has specific reasons to celebrate the holiday, it is crucial to not let borders between the reasons of celebrating come into place when celebrating this seasons' holidays.

In my one of my literature classes, my fellow university students and I have been given the opportunity to examine and critique the “borders” set up in society and the world around us. We have gotten into deep discussions surrounding the questions “why do we create these borders?”, “why are they so necessary in society?” and “what is the real reason we feel the need to create not just physical, geological borders, but borders in our identity and others as well?” After consideration, I believe that this holiday season, it is important to understand these questions raise a certain debate in regard to religion. While organized religion holds a place of wonderful congregation, a family and moral set of standards for some people, I think that it is also important to regard and think crucially about the borders it can create in regard to everyone’s perception of identity. It is important to honor religion and it’s individual meaning to everyone; however, do not let the overruling sense of personal identity and fear of “others” hold a dividing factor or “border” in the world and other beautiful souls around us.

One of the ways that religion can divide us is in our search for identity. While it is important to have a strong sense of identity and belonging, one should not let that constrict them from exploring or separating themselves from people of different faiths, beliefs, or lack thereof. It is important to practice acceptance for all religions and, instead of focusing on the differences, focus on the beauty of the similarities between them. For example, the "Golden Rule" is a key practice in every faith. If people focused less on the differences and trusted that all people of empathy wish for the same thing – peace. The world truly would be a much happier, a coexisting unity for everyone – a place without borders.

In my opinion, the best way to destroy these borders is to practice acceptance. Doing so will help our society to expand their horizons and diminish ignorance. Empathy is universal, among all people. While it is important to some to keep individuality and have strong faith, do not forget to experience and explore other beliefs and religions, especially during the holiday season. Do not allow differences to distinguish friendships and oblige to ignorance – instead, coexist in celebration and unity.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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So Apparently Chuck E. Cheese Lore Is A Thing And I Am HERE For It

Yeah, don't look at me like that, you know you're interested in this.

So apparently Chuck E. Cheese lore is a thing

I stumbled across this beautiful new world in a tweet from Twitter user @friendbow about the fact that Mr. Cheese is canonically an orphan.

RIP Mr. & Mrs. Cheese

Think about this for a second. Of all the possible backstories for an over-sized anthropomorphic mouse robot who works as a lounge singer at a child casino, the person in charge of character development for CEC Entertainment decided his parents being dead was the best option. Captivated by this, I naturally decided to follow the trail and see just how far the lore goes.

Most of it seems to stem from a book called "The Story of Chuck E. Cheese". The book has no author listed but Chuck E. Cheese's itself, as though it were simply the embodiment of the corporation, the enfleshed form of the lore that exists in the minds and hearts of every employee of the pizza and arcade chain.

The plot of this biography- or, more properly, hagiography- is so wondrous, so unique that I cannot but think that it must be a true story. I truly believe that no human writer could create a legend of this caliber.

The story begins with Cheese moving into St. Marinara's Orphanage. We are not told what event necessitates this, or where he moves from, so we can only assume that his parents' fate was so horrific as to be unrecountable.

Cheese loves to sing, particularly the song "Happy Birthday". His penchant for birthdays turns out to be a prominent theme throughout his life, although he does not know his own due to his lack of parents. Perhaps this is merely a cruel irony, mentally torturing him forever and driving him to seek solace in others' birthdays. Or perhaps this ignorance about the beginning of his life is the source of his birthday obsession. Maddened by having been robbed of this fundamental piece of information about himself, alienated even more thoroughly from his family than he already would have been, he is determined to someday solve the mystery, and if not, then he will ensure that no other child suffers the same fate as he.

Apparently, his only other passion is Pong, which he plays so much that he wins a trophy and $50 in a tournament. Cheese uses this $50 to buy a one way ticket to New York, which raises a number of questions about this orphanage. Do they regularly allow their charges to move off on their own? Do they even keep track of their kids? For a second, I thought that perhaps he was simply living in the walls of the orphanage and was not actually a resident on account of being a mouse, but the fact that he was able to win a Pong tournament and buy a bus ticket indicates that he is anthropomorphic enough to have been treated more or less equally with the human orphans. On the other hand, perhaps he was discriminated against due to his species, and that is why no one cared about him taking off on his own. (Wait. Is Chuck E. Cheese otherkin? Oh God.)

In any case, he arrives in New York homeless, so he squats in a pizzeria- right above the kitchen, in fact, which is quite certainly a health code violation. He successfully hides from the chef, Pasqually (who was named, it would seem, by an alien attempting to guess what an Italian name sounds like), until one night he mistakenly assumes the unfortunately named cuisinier to have gone home for the night.

Upon discovering a mouse running around his restaurant, our pizzaiolo is rightfully concerned and chases the rodent with a rolling pin. (This seems to me a rather poorly thought out pest extermination plan, and I know that I would certainly be fired for doing that in the kitchen I work in, but we can show the man some grace for being in a panic).

The would-be exterminator- or murderer, depending on your point of view- has his victim cornered, ready to strike the fatal blow, when all of a sudden, the mouse begins to sing. Freaked out at this frightening development, Pasqually drops his weapon. After the initial shock of a singing mouse wears off (the trauma would take several additional decades to go away), he proclaims (in a definitely accurate and not at all offensive Italian accent) that his establishment has been saved.

The reason, of course, is that he has realized that he can exploit this desperate singing mouse for profit. We had not previously known that his business was in trouble, but it is not terribly surprising given his poor maintenance skills; and besides, capitalism is excellent at creating crises.

Anyways, Cheese nearly destroys the restaurant by freezing up at his first performance, only to be saved by his uncontrollable urge to sing happy birthday. From there, they hire more singing animals and turn the place into a casino bearing his name, eventually expanding across the country to turn children everywhere into jazz club frequenters and gamblers.

So, uh, yeah, remember that when you have kids and want to take them for some family fun. (Don't worry, there might be booze in it for you).

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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As A Christian, I Think Our Country Needs To Separate Our Beliefs From Government

It's for the wellbeing of the USA.

of 70% of those individuals claim to be a part of the Christian faith. As a result of having such a giant number of people have said faith a question has risen that many citizens believe should be answered; "Should the United States claim to be a Christian Country?'

Many conservative citizens believe we should, our founding fathers were Christians, and intended for the country to be as well, so why not stick with that mentality? We already have "In God We Trust" on all of our currency and many government buildings. In our pledge to allegiance, we even say "under God."

Unfortunately, I disagree; I believe we should not claim Christianity or any religion. If the United States decided to claim to be a Christian country, we would be isolating the other 30% of our population who either are of a different religion or don't believe in a higher power. The founding fathers also believed in religious freedom, which allows anyone to be a US Citizen and have any faith they choose to without being harmed (which isn't the case at the moment).

I am a Christian, I was raised in church, and was baptized at a young age. I try to go to church as often as I can and I love God will all my heart, but I believe we must separate our religious beliefs from anything to do with our government. We must do this not because we are against God, but we must do this to better represent the millions of our citizens who don't believe in the same faith as we do.

The United States has already taken a great step forward by removing prayer from our public-school systems. Many believe that this is wrong, and we should add prayer back into our schools, but again I must disagree. If the United States adds prayer back into schools, we will have many students singled out when they do not pray with the majority of the class. This will ostracize the population of non-Christians more than they already are in this country.

I believe that we must take things further and remove 'In God We Trust' from our currency, the reason being is not every citizen believes in God; some believe in Buddha or Ganesha. Simply speaking for everyone and saying In God we trust is wrong. We must also take out "under God" from the pledge of allegiance for the same reason. Millions of US Citizens do not believe that God is watching over this country. Having "under God" in our pledge and "in God, We Trust" throughout our government is making us Christians separate ourselves from the other non-Christians, and evening making it seem like we are better than the other 30% of our population.

Although it is up to our political leaders to remove Christianity from our government it is also up to us Christians to stop putting ourselves on a pedestal. We need to stop believing that the United States owes it to us to put these little religious remarks on anything that has to do with our government.

It is our duty as Christians to show love to all people and doing that we must make everyone feel welcome in this country, and we cannot do that when everything that has to do with the United States is slapped with something to do with our God. Therefore, it is our duty to make a difference in this country. We have to separate our religion from this government for the well-being of the entire United States of America, all 325 million of us, and we cannot forget the .7; every single citizen matters.

Cover Image Credit: Catholic Imagery™

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