I am happy–I repeat–happy to wish people a Merry Christmas.
Perhaps that’s because I actually hope they have a Merry Christmas.
I say that even though I celebrate Hanukkah. True, I am never quite sure how to spell it. Its English spelling seems to meander, at least for me.
Back to Christmas . . . as a kid, I was always delighted to see friends riding around on their new bicycles and going to church with their families to celebrate the day.
I had my holiday. They had their’s. No harm, no foul.
All was well between us, even if no one had ever heard of multiculturalism.
I remembered these warm sentiments the other day, as I walked past DePaul’s building in the Chicago Loop. (It’s a satellite campus. Their main one is farther north.)
There, taking up the side of a building, was a big sign wishing everyone, “Happy Holidays.”
DePaul, mind you, is a private school, so they can wish you anything they want.
It’s also a Catholic school, which would seem to give it some connection to . . . well, Christmas.
I wanted to see if DePaul’s website was more forthright. Nope.
I assume DePaul’s administrators have only the most benign sentiments. They are probably thinking, “If we said, ‘Merry Christmas,’ it might not be inclusive enough. It might offend. There are lots of other faiths and lots of agnostics and atheists out there, and we want to wish them a happy time, too.” That’s a fine thought, but it assumes we wouldn’t respect their integrity as a Catholic institution for saying what they really believe. The only people it will hurt, IMO, is people who are rigid and intolerant, either because of their own religious beliefs or because they hate all religions. Why give them a veto?
When people wish me a Merry Christmas, I take it with the good cheer with which it is extended. Why not?
The University of Minnesota goes much further in stamping out these greetings. Granted, it is a public university, which places some limits on what they can and cannot do legally. But I don’t see why that should prevent the employees from wishing each other all kinds of holiday greetings and putting up Christmas decorations or Hanukkah decorations if they wish.
Not so, they say.
Employees of the University of Minnesota received a document this week saying:
In general, the following are not appropriate for gatherings and displays at this time of year since they typically represent specific religious iconography:
Santa Claus, Angels, Christmas trees, Star of Bethlehem, Dreidels, Nativity scene, Bows/wrapped gifts, Menorah, Bells, Doves, Red and Green or Blue and White/Silver decoration themes (red and green are representative of the Christian tradition as blue and white/silver are for Jewish Hanukkah that is also celebrated at this time of year).” —University of Minnesota memo to employees, reported at Intellectual Takeout
Documents that authoritarian tend to come from offices named “Diversity” and “Inclusion.” And those are the Orwellian Scrooges behind this gem.
Got that? RED and GREEN are forbidden as “religious iconography.” So are BLUE and White (because they are Jewish religious iconography, I guess).
Santa Claus? Oh, the horror.
And why, pray tell, is Festivus excluded? Are they not worthy enough to be prohibited?
Somewhere, I fear, the University of Minnesota’s librarians are burning “A Christmas Carol” to keep the administrators warm for the season.