The backlash against Christmas-time political correctness
For years, Christians have noticed – and some have even complained – of the increased secularization of the Christmas holiday. The nativity scene has been removed from public places and commercialization has taken root as the gifts we give to one another seem more important than God’s great gift of his Son.
Having tried to remove Christ from Christmas, the forces of political correctness are now attempting to remove Christmas from the holidays.
Perhaps, though, Christians are ready to reclaim Christmas for Christ. Or, at the very least, not let the world forget why there is a reason for celebration every Dec. 25.
A decision by the municipal government of Toronto to call the Christmas tree a holiday tree was overturned by a unanimous council vote. Last year, Manitoba ended the practice of calling the Christmas tree in the legislature’s foyer a “multiculturalism tree” in favour of the more traditional handle.
Even Canadian Alliance leader Stephen Harper complained about the Royal Canadian Mint’s Christmas-time promotion sans Christmas. In television commercials, the RCM promoted gift packages using a jingle to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas” but with the words, “The 12 Days of Giving.”
Gap Inc., which owns clothing stores such as Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, recently strongly suggested employees eschew the phrase “Merry Christmas.” Jane Shaw, director of public relations for the company, explained, “We are trying to be inclusive. Not everyone celebrates Christmas. Really we should be wishing people happy holidays.”
Leigh Bridger, an Ottawa high school teacher, was quoted in the National Post reacting to the Gap policy: “They hire these students for the Christmas rush, and they won’t let them say Merry Christmas.
“I think tolerance is a two-way street. If the policy was like, ‘Use sensitivity, guys,’ that’s fine. If there’s someone who’s obviously Muslim – and there’s certain indicators in terms of dress for women – you’re not necessarily going to say Merry Christmas. But if somebody comes with a list and they say they’re buying Christmas gifts, why shouldn’t that student be allowed to say, ‘Well, have a Merry Christmas?'”
Rabbi Reuven Bulka of Ottawa agrees. He told the Ottawa Citizen, “When someone is having a birthday, you don’t say Happy Anniversary. It’s about elementary respect. You respect their holiday on their turf, not on your turf.”
He added that holiday correctness is a result of “our penchant to being sensitive to the minorities. We have become insensitive to majorities.”
Roughly 90 per cent of Canadians profess a faith and nearly 90 per cent of those who do are Christians. Why banish Christianity from the public consciousness for less than one in five people?
As Terry O’Neill explained in The Report, trying not to offend the quarter-million immigrants who come to Canada annually (although many Christians coming to Canada flee repressive regimes in East Asia and the Middle East) “implies that Canadian natives have to abandon their cultural heritage in order to accommodate newcomers … (That) makes about as much sense as a party host inviting a few hundred people to his home, only to jump out the back window the moment they arrive.”
As Mariette Ulrich, another Report columnist, says, “Leave Christmas as it is, and you deprive no one of his rights or freedoms.”