Saturday, November 26, 2005

Merry Krissmachannaramasolstikwanza-winterfestiveenimas!

Policital correctness is the scourge of modern society. One the one hand, hey, at least Bill Clinton can try to add it to his legacy, even though the practice of bowdlerizing language has been around for hundreds of years. In certain peoples' rush to not offend anyone at all, our language has been bastardized, our traditions have been skewered and we have been made to feel rotten about ourselves by being forced to look at things from other people's supposed points of view.

There's an interesting article about the Christmas tree in a Boston city park. It was renamed a "holiday tree" by the city (apparently the mayor had nothing to do with it). The Nova Scotia logger who donated the tree said if he had known it would be called a holiday tree, he wouldn't have donated it. He also said he wants it back. This kind of thing happens in California all the time, but since the guy who cut it down has protested, this particlar one has attracted attention.

I have a question. Is there another holiday that involves putting an evergreen in your house and hanging things on it? If it's a "holiday tree" does that mean muslims will start putting them up in their house? Will we have "holiday candlesticks" as well? The same controvesy took place in Toronto in 2002, when city workers referred to the city's Christmas tree as a "holiday tree" resulting in a controversy that political correctness had been taken too far. Said Barry Levy, an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi and the head of religious studies at Montreal's McGill University, "That object is identified as a Christmas tree - it's not a Hannukah bush, it's not a winter tree, it's not a festival tree - it's a Christmas tree - we all know it for what it is. Quite frankly I'm offended on behalf of Christians for whom it's a symbol of some importance - that they should have a religious symbol converted into a secular one just in order to accommodate it into public display." This is almost as stupid as French African-Americans

I don't care what holiday you celebrate or what religion you practice. The fact is that if you live in America, you do not have the right not to be offended. Nor do you have the right to prevent me from practicing my religion or lack thereof, and vice versa. You also dont get "freedom from religion." I refuse to feel guilty about Christmas or my family traditions and I am completely unwilling to try to predict what is going to get your undies in a bunch. I refuse to walk on eggshells around anyone or suffer the insinuation that I am inherently evil because I am white, male or raised as a Christian.

If you are offended by public Christmas displays, you need to get over yourself. If someone uses "God" or "Jesus" in a sentence within earshot of you, my friend, then you are just going to have to deal with it. Stop imposing your sensibilities on the rest of us. Try to have some fun. Don't forget one reason this country exists is because adventurous men sought freedom from religious oppression. The reason we celebrate anything in December is because of the beliefs of those men and their willingness to die for it, if necessary.

Bad news: The Christmas Tree on the capitol grounds is also being called a "holiday tree".

For more info on the secularization of Christmas, check out The Grinch List, The Committee to Save Merry Christmas and The War Against Christmas.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Rebekah bloody well said...

I agree with you. Religious freedom is quite different than the ridiculousness being associated with it. If I went to a predominately Muslim country, should I expect to have Christianity celebrated along with Islam and absolutely no reference made to Islam? No, as long as I could worship however I wanted, public or private, that's all I ask. But of course, don't expect that from any Muslim country.

26 November, 2005 18:51  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

It's a good point, but also, as you say, you couldn't expect that in any muslim country. Most of them don't even allow Bibles in the country. It's difficult to make the comparison with them because most of them are totalitarian or extremely intolerant.

If there was a predominately muslim American-style democracy, then I would think you'd have to deal with Ramadan and celebrate your Christmas in the privacy of your own home. Egypt's Copts are the closest example I can think of. They are openly persecuted and have endured regular violent attacks (especially recently), but they do hold seats in Parliament.

Try Googling "Egyptian Christians" and see what you get.

27 November, 2005 07:59  
Anonymous Em bloody well said...

Ah, the joys of political correctness. It is really getting rediculous! I wouldn't be offended if someone wished me a Happy Hannukah instead of a Merry Christmas. If that's what they celebrate fine with them, it is their right. I'm sure many non christian people are not offended by a "Merry Christmas" it's just a few radicals so why make a big deal of it. Changing it takes away the freedom of religion.

30 November, 2005 12:31  
Blogger Robosquirrel bloody well said...

I think what people forget is that when people say "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hannukah," and set up nativity scenes and Christmas trees, they are expressing a feeling of joy and happiness and they want to share it with you. How on Earth could anyone find that offensive, regardless of what you believe?

Good comment, Em.

30 November, 2005 18:56  

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