Wednesday, November 30, 2005

O Holy Fight

House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) suggested earlier this month (in what I guess passes for pointed language in Washington, D.C.) that the tree set to adorn the west face of the Capitol Dome have the appropriate name of "Christmas tree" restored in lieu of the politically correct moniker of "holiday tree" that it was given during the Clinton years. Hastert says the following in his letter to the Architect of the Capitol:
I fully understand your desire to make all holiday displays as inclusive as
possible. There are many ways to accomplish this, and the Supreme Court has
ruled that such displays in public buildings are fully permissible under the
Constitution.
Other groups -- perhaps on their own, perhaps drawing strength from Hastert's front-and-center request -- have apparently lined up pro bono attorneys to challenge any such politically correct renamings elsewhere.

And at least one arboreal dispute threatens to rend two cities, separated by an international border and previously bound by the good will and good cheer of the Christmas season, apart.

What we are witnessing now is a rebellion of sorts. After years of being browbeaten into submission by the P.C. crowd in the proverbial public square, it appears that some people have sacked up enough to defend Christianity generally and the holiday of Christmas (and all of its seasonal accoutrements) specifically. Each of the above stories demonstrates there is increasing frustration with the myth that the concepts of inclusiveness and tolerance require a society to treat the majority as some band of unequal outcasts.

Jeff Jacoby, columnist for the Boston Globe (and a self-described "practicing Jew"), puts it perfectly in his recent piece on the matter of tolerance run amok and the need to give Christmas its due:
I think, this attempt to fade Christmas into a nondenominational winter
holiday stems from a twisted notion of courtesy -- from the idea that tolerance
and respect for minorities require intolerance and disrespect for the majority.
Better to call the company shindig a ''holiday" party, this line of thinking
goes, than to risk offending the few non-Christian employees by calling it a
Christmas party. Better to ban all Christmas carols from the school concert than
to take the chance that a Jew or Muslim or Hindu might feel excluded. Better to
remove the Christmas trees from all the dormitory dining halls because a single
student complained -- as happened last year at the University of Illinois --
than to politely inform the student that the trees will be removed after the
Christmas season ends.

''We're trying to be inclusive," says the Boston parks commissioner,
explaining why the white spruce that was sent from Nova Scotia under a giant
banner reading ''Merry Christmas, Boston" became a ''holiday tree" on her
department's website. But suppressing the language, symbols, or customs of
Christians in a predominantly Christian society is not inclusive. It's
insulting.

Amen, brother. Amen.

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