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Political Correctness Gone Mad

10-Dec-06 07:52 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Every morning I’m entertained by the piqued musings of local talk radio host, author and right-wing mouthpiece Lowell Green.  No, I’m not a neocon by any stretch of the imagination.  Like most of my countrymen I like to think my views are comfortably placed in the political centre, along with those of most other (wo)men of reason.  However, I’m in vigorous agreement with Lowell on the subject of Christmas – it’s a word, a concept that’s under attack – and Christmas is worth defending.

Yet again tonight, I find myself reading an article about Christmas under attack: it seems a Jewish Rabbi complained about here not being a display of menorahs at Seattle International Airport this past week.  The Rabbi asserted that if Christmas should be observed, so should Hanukah, which apparently started this past Friday.  I suppose the Rabbi ought to be forgiven for his near-sightedness, but this is exactly where the attack on Christmas typically begins.  And while it might not have been the Rabbi’s intention to fire the first volley, that’s basically where the situation has ended up.

And it all started so innocently.

The notion that anyone (and I don’t care who you are) is somehow offended by Christmas or its celebration has become, frankly, the worst form of Christian persecution since the time of Romans throwing Christians to the lions in the Coliseum.  Even more surprising (and hypocritical) is that much of the calamity of this kind is being caused by those who aren’t comfortable with the environment they find themselves in because they’ve recently immigrated and/or don’t belong to a heritage where Christianity played a very big role.  In short, they’re the same people who complain about being oppressed or facing discrimination of one sort or another and yet readily oppress others when the shoe is on the other foot – but only because either the majority or the largest minority in Canada opt to celebrate Christmas in some fashion.

This isn’t an anti-immigrant rant; God knows most immigrants have it hard enough without having to worry about more bigotry being spun their way by a misunderstanding on this issue.  I’m quite sure the vast majority of immigrants quite readily accept that there are inevitably culture differences between where they’ve been and where they are now; Christmas being only one factor among many.  But the fact remains that a vocal, minority element many of whom are immigrants, many others belonging to ethnic groups where Christmas is not part of the local tradition is stirring up trouble here.  And it’s just as unfair as any form of cultural discrimination faced by anyone for any reason.

That said, the good news is Christianity is all about understanding, tolerance and love.  The reaction of us Christians to this attack is firm, polite resistance to it by reminding our elected leaders that there are rights for all – among these being the right to practice one’s religion in public places. Myself, I’m in favour of more holidays.  Let’s celebrate Hanukah, Ramadan and Christmas.  And even if one is less prevalent than another because of the traditions of the population in one area versus another – so what?

I remember that in the building I first moved into after arriving in Ottawa was dominated by followers of Islam.  One Ramadan I even received a gift from a small child who was part of some kind of entourage handing candies and other tokens of generosity out.  (I’m assuming that had something to do with the festivities at that time which were otherwise evident.)  I say better we have too much of that going on than someone trying to dim the lights on our most important of winter festivals.

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Terry Glavin

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