Desde Dentro de Cuba.
Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org
November 19, 1998, 1998, Cuba Free Press.
CHURCH ASKED STATE TO DECREE THAT CUBA WILL HAVE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY By Ofelia Nardo Cruz, Cuba Free Press.
So today we again hope for the decree that will recognize one aspect of religious liberty. But the very fact that we hope and ask for it proves that in Cuba such freedom does not really exist. That atheism is officially imposed on the growing mass of Christians demonstrates once again the oppression of and imposition on the citizens. It is not the governors' being correct, in maintaining a doctrine that demonstrates their vainglorious belief that man does not need God or that their doctrine is legal, that causes the Christians to see themselves limited in the expression of their faith.
It is clear that the posture of those who exercise the power in this country can't block the celebration by the faithful of the religious festival. It is accepted that this year there will be more Cuban homes that hold a special feast on Christmas Eve, and even though it may allow only lentils, rice and bread on the table, it will also provide much love and devotion to the blessed birth.
Since the government is the owner and controller of the basic foodstuffs, of all commerce and of the centers of labor, it determines to a great extent what material goods we may find on our tables at the feast-time. But it cannot control the spiritual rewards, such as are found far beyond the festivity, throughout the world.
Meanwhile, those who dedicate their days to the religious activities also are limited materially, but not spiritually.
To declare Christmas a holiday is to recognize the right of the Christians to their celebration and the exercise of their beliefs and, therefore, the will to value freedom of conscience, as stated in Cuba's current constitution. Not to recognize that right would violate that constitution.
If the authorities allow the Christians liberally to manifest their religious views in the labor centers to the same extent as they allow the celebrations of the Communists' special days, then it can be expected that the workers' morale will rise and will be demonstrated in improved job performances. So all will benefit.
It is notable that the conversion of citizens to Christianity seems to be one of the few ways that remain in this country to recapture old moral values and civil conduct, which have practically disappeared in our society.
The pervasive spreading of the negative values has brought great problems, not only among the ordinary people but throughout the society and the state. The idea that the "new man, socialist and atheist," is better than the traditional educated citizen of faith must be abandoned if the values that are sought are to be rescued.
So it is not only JUST that a legal decree be issued to allow the celebration of the arrival of our Savior; the beneficial results also will be useful.
By Ofelia Nardo Cruz
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