On Tradition

To defy the laws of tradition is a crusade only of the brave – Primus


I dislike tradition. I think that they fundamentally need to be challenged and replaced with something better if it is available. Inevitably someone pops along and says well what about Christmas and birthday parties. And while there is a bit about that I am going to offer the following counter argument.

  1. A birthday party is about sharing time with the people that you care about. There is nothing prescribed about how you celebrate a birthday. You aren’t required to give/accept gifts. You aren’t required to do it on your birthday. You aren’t required to do it at all. It is a voluntary activity that is so personal that it really can’t be considered a tradition.
  2. Christmas isn’t what it was. It has evolved into a mostly secular capitalist spend fest. The Christmas tree itself is forbidden in the Bible. The original gift giving happens on the Epiphany on Jan 6 (when the wise men arrived). The date was even changed during the shift from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar (the original date was on Solstice to coincide with Pagan holidays) to the actual tradition of Christmas, being the Christ Mass is already dead.
  3. It is traditional to pay women $0.77 for every $1 that a man earns.
  4. It is traditional to subvert the civil liberties of the non-rich white upper class.
  5. It is traditional for women to be subservient to men.


Fundamentally to me, these all derive from the tyranny of dead people. Someone, sometime in the past decided that this is the way that it should be. It may or may not have been the best choice at the time, but as time moves on the rules for society necessarily must change to deal with the problems that currently face living people. The dead do not need to worry about the problems of the living. The living should not care about the opinion of the dead.

This isn’t to say that all ideas from the past are bad, obviously, but to blindly follow the traditions of old is to rob yourself from finding a better way forward.

Would you prefer to spend Dec 25 at Mass or doing your own thing?

Would you prefer that the institutional inequalities be perpetuated or challenged?

You may find that some traditional activities agree with your life, and other not. But be active in choosing what is and what isn’t for you. Don’t let others make that choice for you.

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