Ammo Grrrll isn’t taking the day off. She writes to wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!
What we have learned from forty years of “Diversity” and “Multiculturalism” is not tolerance and respect for differences of either opinion or culture, if, indeed, that was ever the point.
What “multiculturalism” has wrought is an unseemly, undemocratic, thin-skinned prickliness and hair-trigger eagerness to take offense. Plus a relentless race for Gold in the Oppression Olympics. Outside of doctors who treat high blood-pressure, how has our society benefited from this orgy of overreaction to the slightest most unintentional “microaggression”? That such an idiotic word even exists is evidence of how far we have fallen as a culture.
We’ve gone from “Live and let live” and “Don’t sweat the small stuff” to “React instantly to any real or imagined slight – litigate, legislate, regulate, or riot.” What a joyless, lonely mob of prigs, babies, and bullies we have become!
Surely among the most trivial of microaggressions is when someone cheerfully wishes a Merry Christmas to someone of a different faith (or none at all). Reasonable people can disagree with me on this; feel free to get your own dang column. But this is my opinion:
We can’t have Valentine’s Day parties in school because Valentine was a saint. We shouldn’t celebrate Columbus Day or Thanksgiving because it’s insensitive to the Indians. Hallowe’en is offensive from several viewpoints, not even counting the fact that for some reason, women often take the opportunity to dress up like hookers. And, heaven forfend if a store clerk dares to wish us a Merry Christmas.
Are we seriously better off because there are no mangers in the public square – banned by an unholy alliance of killjoy atheists and hypersensitive non-Christians? So, you don’t believe in God? How much more sophisticated you must be than I, a mere clinger who also has a gun! Or you are Muslim, or Hindu, or Jewish? Mazel tov. Me, too. How ’bout we shut up and avert our eyes from the offending tableau, or tell our children that “This represents a very important day in somebody else’s belief system. The vast majority as it happens. We don’t celebrate that, and are not required to because of this great country we live in, but many of our neighbors do enjoy these displays. It doesn’t hurt us in the least, as you can plainly see!”
The very same people who loathe the notion of the American melting pot because it supposedly trivializes or erases our all-important tribal differences are nonetheless compelled to say “Happy Holidays” because they have been told that is so much more “inclusive.” But it isn’t. It is meaningless mush.
It does not make me feel “included” to be wished “Happy Holidays” when Hanukkah has been over for weeks. I lit my candles and ate my potato pancakes and doughnuts and had a grand time. Except for three unwanted pounds that are sticking around in a festive manner, that holiday is gone. Now the calendar has moved on and it’s Christmas.
My best Christian friend always sends me lovely greeting cards for specific Jewish holidays – Hanukkah, Passover and Rosh Hashanah – and I send her Christmas and Easter cards. She has to put some effort into it as such cards are not occupying much shelf space in our Dusty Little Village’s emporia. We don’t do “Happy Holidays.” See, we TRULY acknowledge our cultural differences and respect them. We don’t paper them over with generic twaddle.
How did it hurt me in any way when, as I left the office last week, my dentist’s new receptionist wished me a “Merry Christmas”? I now had a couple of choices. 1) I could smile as graciously as one can with Novocaine and say “Thank you, and same to you!” or, 2) I could sigh heavily and make a big, stinking issue out of it in front of everybody in the reception area. Which would force her to apologize abjectly. Cripes, in some quarters it might cost her her job! Social Justice Warriors just plain LOVE it when someone loses his or her job. “Cel-e-brate good times, c’mon!”
Of course, I could tell myself that it was a “teachable moment,” a chance to explain that it isn’t my holiday. But what is that, really, but a smug opportunity to lecture and embarrass a perfectly nice human being who wished me only joy? The Torah is quite adamant and repetitive about not humiliating others.
“Ah,” say the complainers, “Don’t you think it’s offensive when everyone just assumes that you are a Christian?” No, I don’t. I know who I am. And I am secure in that knowledge. Inadvertently glimpsing a manger or having a flyer for Easter Ham put in my grocery sack at Byerly’s will not threaten my beliefs. Though it did make me laugh – out loud, even – because the whole bag was filled with matzo and many other Kosher for Passover items. That’s what’s called a “clue.”
Today is Christmas. In the last month, many good-hearted strangers have expressed the wish to me that this day be a “Merry” one and I intend to make it so. I advise all my fellow Americans to do the same. I will also light my traditional Sabbath candles 18 minutes before sunset. That will be merry, too. A little more light and a lot less emotional heat in the world is a good thing. God Bless Us Every One.