What I want you to know. Which is everything.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas: On the March!

Well, I've not really put in my two cents about the issue of Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas. I don't really understand why Christians got so bent out of shape over the whole thing. I mean, would you really tell a guy Merry Christmas if he were Jewish? or Muslim? It would seem a little ridiculous, I think. Like trying to give the club handshake to someone not in the club. I think it's just a courtesy. Especially if a business doesn't want to piss off a potential customer it only makes sense that they would be inclusive to all religions and holidays of the season. You don't know who you are speaking to and if there is business at stake, why would you not try to be as diplomatic as you can. I say "Merry Christmas" before December 25 and then "Happy New Year" before the 1st of January. But if I were in China I wouldn't tell them "Happy New Year" until a few weeks later, when the "Chinese New Year Holiday" actually begins.

I think what this boils down to is Americans' (particularly white middle-class Christians) frustration over political correctness. Don't get me wrong. The social limits that are put on us to speak toward the lowest common denominator grind at me, as well. I hate the fact that we sacrifice real discourse and free speech because there are people who don't want to hear certain harsh truths. I think that there are times when it is appropriate and even necessary to break the PC barricade and let your true feelings be known. But, for crying out loud, Target isn't trying to make war with the Baby Jesus! Is it really necessary to risk offending paying customers over some minutiae? And now these companies have to worry about offending the other side if they continue to try being diplomatic. I really don't think that most Christians even care as much as the media has made it out. It's probably just the ultra-touchy trigger hair watch-dog groups that even started the junk in the first place and the media latched on.

Bottom line we should try to be sensitive to others who are different than us if we want to connect with them. If you don't want to connect with them, then, I suppose that you have every right to be a prick about it, but don't be too upset when you have no friends. When the need arises and you have to break a few hearts to make a point, be bold and don't be politically correct. But, only do it when it necessary and important.

Or funny.

I'm sure the controversy will spring back up next year, too. Maybe even worse.

In the meantime, have a laugh.


wendy said...

You may be right, that the controversy is all about PCness. I think, though, more cynically, that it has to do with the ethnocentrism of Americans, particularly white, middle-class Americans. Instead of celebrating our differences and the strenth we have in our diversity, they want everyone to be just like them. AND ... even more so ... the desire for the United States to be an English-speaking-centric, Christian-centric nation mistakenly thinking that will make us stronger. I am much more convinced that our strength will only be realized when we embrace our multi-cultural, and multi-faith identity. When we really look to learn from and love people unlike ourselves, we will be much better able to be leaders in making the whole world a better place.

Chad said...

Did you see Deana's column referencing how assinine this whole argument is? I'd rather dialogue how to live incarnationally rather than symantics about the name of a holiday.can you just imagine how those who don't know Christ must view Christians who get riled about this. Somehow I think the point has been missed. Uncle Screwtape would be more than pleased.