Wednesday, November 30, 2005

De-Christmasing Christmas

Jeff Jacoby, columnist for the Boston Globe, has penned a great op-ed piece about the infuriating trend to remove "Christmas" from the December holiday scene:
And so it begins again -- the annual effort to neuter Christmas, to insist in the name of ''inclusiveness" and ''sensitivity" that a Christian holiday celebrated by something like 90 percent of Americans not be called by its proper name or referred to in religious terms. We all know the drill by now. Instead of ''Merry Christmas," store clerks wish you a ''happy holiday." Schools close for winter break. Your office throws a holiday party.
...[S]uppressing the language, symbols, or customs of Christians in a predominantly Christian society is not inclusive. It's insulting.

It's discriminatory, too. Hanukkah menorahs are never referred to as ''holiday lamps" -- not even the giant menorahs erected in Boston Common and many other public venues each year by Chabad, the Hasidic Jewish outreach movement. No one worries that calling the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by its name -- or even celebrating it officially, as the White House does with an annual ''iftaar" dinner -- might be insensitive to non-Muslims. In this tolerant and open-hearted nation, religious minorities are not expected to keep their beliefs out of sight or to squelch their traditions lest someone, somewhere, take offense. Surely the religious majority shouldn't be expected to either.

As a practicing Jew, I don't celebrate Christmas. There is no Christmas tree in my home, my kids don't write letters to Santa Claus, and I don't attend church on Dec. 25 (or any other date). Does the knowledge that scores of millions of my fellow Americans do all those things make me feel excluded or offended? On the contrary: It makes me feel grateful -- to live in a land where freedom of religion shelters the Hanukkah menorah in my window no less than the Christmas tree in my neighbor's.

Read the entire article -- it's worth the time.

Hat-tip: David Benzion at LST.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home