04 December 2007

A poem I stumbled across while perusing the internet:

Twas the month before Christmas When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying Nor taking a stand.
Why the Politically Correct Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a 'Holiday'.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Diversity
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace.
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holiday!

It is sad that politcal correctness has taken over so much. It's tragic that people are consumed by commercialism and material things, rather than the reason behind the holiday season. That part of the poem, I agree with 100%. Christmas Carols? Sure! Christmas Tree! Of course!

The only part I take umbrage with is the elusion that mentioning other holidays is somehow part of the problem. Other holidays have always existed. Promoting Ramadan or Chanukah isn't detracting from Christmas. Naked capitalism and political correctness is. We're so busy trying to "not offend" people, we're removing the soul from the entire population.

Part of diversity isn't erasing the culture, it's embracing and acknowledging all of it. Not white washing it into a dull amalgam where everyone's 'the same'. I don't have to celebrate Christmas to appreciate that it's a lovely holiday. Nor does it offend me if someone does. I would hope no one would get offended if I said "Merry Yule"

I believe the problem is people who go out of their way to get offended. If you display Christmas regalia, that must mean you're anti-semetic, anti-diversity, or trying to shove your Judeo-Christian concept of Divinity down someone's throat. It MUST mean that you're ignoring and shunting aside the other celebrations of the season. It couldn't possibly mean that one is merely celebrating a popular holiday, appealing to a majority populace, and expressing joy in the season. Not everything is part of a giant Christian conspiracy to assimilate the masses and destroy all dissension.

Celebration of one holiday in no way diminishes or dismisses any other holiday. If one is actually deeply offended because someone else's holiday is being celebrated, the problem lay with them. The problem lay with people who get their feathers ruffled when they demand that everyone bow to their whims, just to get them to shut up and stop complaining. I am well aware that other beliefs and ideologies were ignored for far too long, but the pendulum should not swing the other way.

We should not eliminate ALL possible connection with Judeo-Christian culture from this society, just as we should not ignore ALL non-Judeo-Christian belief sets. We should embrace and acknowledge all. However, by and large the population of the US is Judeo-Christian. Why should the majority not be reflected? Just because the majority is more visible, that does not mean we're seeking to abolish the minority or make it so they cannot celebrate. I'm not going to pitch a fit because there's no Winter Solstice cards put out by Hallmark. I'm not going to be offended because there's a Santa at Wal-Mart instead of a Holly King. That seems ridiculous.

The thing is, people are taking the idea that America is a "melting pot" way too literally. When you melt things down they become one, big homogenized mass. There's no distinctive flavour and no way to tell all the parts that had gone in. I think we should reconsider the "melting pot" analogy and look at America more like a salad. You can tell what every piece is, every part, and no matter how much you toss it around each part is still distinctive and carries its own flavour. Yet, it's still just 1 salad.

We can celebrate, acknowledge, and laud all the cultures within this great nation. We can admire and respect each other and our differences, without them having to cowtow to our own beliefs or without having to squash those that may lay in opposition to our own. We have the Freedom to live as we choose, believe as we choose, worship as we choose, celebrate as we choose, and speak how we choose. That's what America is about, isn't it?

I grew up with my family celebrating Christmas, had a grand old time. I've been a practicing Wiccan for 20 years. Gosh, amazing how that works. I can enjoy something that isn't in my belief system, simply for what it is and I don't even feel oppressed. I made a choice to not be offended unless someone was intentionally trying to offend me, even then I check the motivation. Amazing how that works!

Frankly, I'm getting sick and tired of people who go out of their way to be offended. The nation was built on freedom, that includes the freedom to be different. It's appalling we're trying so hard to ignore those differences and present this murky, joyless conglomeration of commercialism without any basis to our children.

Dream Tree? Are you kidding me?

Have a Blessed Winter Solstice & Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Blessed Ramadan (etc) to those who celebrate.