Merry War on Christmas, Heathens

I haven’t had much to write this week, mostly because I’ve been spending most of my time trying not to suck at my job, an effort which my neighbours seem intent on sabotaging with their incredibly loud voices and their unwillingness to go to bed at a decent hour and let me get some sleep. Mostly I’ve been consoling myself with reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation and constant reminders that I only have two more weeks of work before I get to run away to Ottawa to drink wine and hang out with my parents and their dog. My parents used to stress me out a lot, but generally speaking, the past few years have been good. They’ve retired, I’ve started my adult life (sort of), and we’ve all mellowed out quite a lot. The one thing I am dreading, though, is the inevitable annual debate about the evils of Political Correctness and the War on Christmas.

My parents have always been liberal and fairly open-minded. Generally speaking, our politics are fairly similar, although they’re not as into the whole feminist thing as I am (my father, in particular, always seems to take my rants about gender as a personal attack). There are moments, though, when I realize that despite their generally liberal rhetoric, in many ways they Just Don’t Get It. Every holiday season (see what I did there? Oh yes, I am a godless communist) one of them goes on some rant about how it’s so terrible that you’re not allowed to say “Merry Christmas” anymore, and don’t people realize that Canada is a Christian country, why are we letting political correctness destroy our culture, and so on. And despite my aversion to drama, I just can’t help but argue and tell them that no, actually, you’re allowed to say whatever you want, but Canada is not in fact a Christian country, and needless to say it all goes downhill from there. Last year, this ended with my mother being very upset because she had become convinced that I hated Christmas.

There are many things that I don’t understand about people’s obsession with this imaginary War on Christmas, but there’s one in particular that confuses the hell out of me. Because here’s the thing about using exclusionary language and refusing to acknowledge religious and cultural diversity: IT’S RUDE. It has broader social implications than, say, refusing to say “please” or “thank you”, but on a basic, individual level, it’s just rude. And so often the people who are so enraged about multiculturalism’s supposed assault on all things Christmas-related are the same people who constantly decry the decline of politeness among people of my generation. When I was growing up, my parents made sure that I always fulfilled the polite-Canadian stereotype, and I think they were right to do so. Politeness is important. Yet apparently for some people, it is only important when it doesn’t interfere with your ability to ignore your WASP privilege. It really saddens me to see otherwise reasonable people cling so tightly to privilege, as if acknowledging and respecting diversity were in some way a loss. As if validating other people’s cultural experiences in some way invalidated one’s own.

Well, I hate to break it to you, Mom and Dad, but there is no PC police. You can say whatever you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that if you do so with no regard for anyone else’s feelings, people will probably think you’re a bit of a douchebag. If your right to be a douche matters more to you than, say, respecting others, go right ahead. Personally, I think I’ll keep sending my non-denominational holiday cards, if that’s all right with you.

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Comments

  • K Rienke  On December 13, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Then are people being rude to me when they wish me Happy Ramadan? I always thought they were being nice.

  • Heina  On December 14, 2009 at 1:20 am

    I doubt anyone has wished you a happy Ramadan unless they knew you were a Muslim. Ramadan is NOT a holiday, it’s a time of fasting and penance akin to Lent.

  • Nunya  On December 14, 2009 at 9:08 am

    You can doubt all you want. I’ve muslim friends who know I am not muslim have have wished me well for their holy days (including other feast and fasting days besides Ramadan). They’ve also invited me to feast or fast with them,m, and I have.

    It’s not rude to wish anyone a happy “anything”. In countries where the vast majority are a particular culture, belief or religion, of course folks are going to celebrate those en masse.

    You’re just practicing the typical feminist bruahaha of complaining about anything so you can make something appear to be oppressive when it is not. Consider the oppressive atmospher you keep giving your mother in stressing her out all the time. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Brie  On December 14, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I strongly suspect that not only did you miss the point, you missed it on purpose. The point wasn’t “saying ‘Merry Christmas’ instead of ‘Happy holidays’ is RUDE RUDE RUDE and should never be done!!!”, it was that *refusing* to say “Happy holidays”, and throwing a shit-fit if someone else does, regardless of whether or not the person being addressed is a Christian, because *you* are and that’s all that matters, is just a little worthy of putting you on Santa’s naughty list.

    • Nunya  On December 15, 2009 at 11:43 pm

      I strong suspect you are full of shit, and you are full of shit on purpose. IF it IS *rude* to say merry christ mass, then it is as equally rude to invite non-members of your religion (paganism, islam you name your poison) to participate in your religion.

      It takes a liberal left wing feminist idioso to think that saying a NICE THING, is rude. Try getting out of the poop room sometimes and have some fun.

  • rt  On December 14, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Look, of course it’s not rude to wish someone a “happy something”. The point she’s making is that when you insist that the December month is *only* the Christmas Season and want people to exclusively say “Merry Christmas”, you are actively ignoring/excluding the fact that there are many other traditions celebrating at this time.

    When Christians are in the religious majority in North America, and they act like they are being oh, so *oppressed* because people wish to be polite by acknowledging those who celebrate other holidays during December, well, then there’s no reason not to call the behavior what it is. Rude.

    • Nunya  On December 15, 2009 at 11:49 pm

      You are as full of poopie shit as she is. The facts are christians do NOT insist that you ONLY say mery Christmas. Ive yet to have one say that I as a pagan cannot say Yuleful Yule To Yules and Yours! when I have. In fact ever feckin’ Christian I’ve ever said that shite to has been like “YO! Tanks be to you ya pagan bastardo!” And that’s that!

      So the only ones that are gettin’ all pissy up in this biatch are the dumb as feck liberal pagan feminists that need to get out of the pooper once in a while and have some fun.

  • Suslin  On December 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    So true. I don’t care what you say, but if you’re going to freak out that people are “preventing” you from saying Merry Xmas, you’re blind to your privilege.

    Happy Solstice, fuckers!

    • Nunya  On December 16, 2009 at 8:09 am

      Hey poopiehead it is WINTER Solstice! We must keep in mind followers of the winter solstice are true. Those Summer Pagans are full of fail! Oh and they are poopieheads. Kind of like the “OH” pressed whyman of this post.

      • Brett K  On December 17, 2009 at 8:56 am

        I realize that we don’t all agree, but your comments are starting to sound more like trolling than reasoned debate. Please either express your opinions respectfully, or keep them to yourself.

  • Nunya  On December 17, 2009 at 10:26 am

    “Please either express your opinions respectfully, or keep them to yourself.”

    Dumb opinions like those expressed by the poopieheads on this blog are not respectful, or reasoned debate. They are rather just a way for the author to antagonize her mother. So calling her a poopiehead dumb as poop feminist left wing righty is exactly what she deserves.

    And you are a poopiehead for challenging me.

  • Brett K  On December 17, 2009 at 10:54 am

    All right, that’s enough. Nunya has been banned. I don’t like to stifle discussion, but I draw the line at obvious trolling. The rest of you have clearly had the maturity to conduct this discussion without resorting to name-calling and personal attacks, and I appreciate it.

  • BrettPooPooHead  On December 17, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Name calling? You mean like you did to your mom driving her to tears because she just wants to say merry christmas? Check your privilege sister poo poo head. You need to treat your momma with kindness instead of abuse!

    • Brett K  On December 17, 2009 at 1:02 pm

      Please try actually reading the post before you start making accusations. I said my mother was upset, not that she was driven to tears. And our argument wasn’t because she said “Merry Christmas”, but because she and my father were claiming that so-called “political correctness” was ruining the holidays and “oppressing” people who celebrate Christmas. Which I disagreed with, hence the debate. And no name-calling was done; we just got a bit irritated with each other. My mother may be sensitive, but she’s also the toughest person I know, and she is more than capable of dealing with a simple argument.

      Please stop this. I understand that you disagree with me, but that’s no reason for trolling.

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