Bah, Humbug to Politically Correct Christmas

Has political correctness run amok? Consider the secular battle cry over Yuletide expressions; ‘Christmas tree’ or ‘holiday tree’; robust ‘merry Christmas’ or neutered ‘happy holidays’? Folks are cussing, not kissing, under the mistletoe over nomenclature, caught in a wintry cultural war swirling around innocent holiday semantics.

Call this a tyranny of the minority as, tellingly, 84% of Americans are Christian and 96% celebrate Christmas. Mr. Retailer, freely call your trees whatever. That’s your merchandising right. It’s also my consumer right to take my business to a vendor unembarrassed by the word Christmas. Pointedly, what elitist would likely drag a pine to the top of their ivory tower? Heaven forbid, the act might interrupt their incessant whining and cause a dreaded momentary spell of light heartedness.

As for calling out happy holidays, Hannukah, Kwanza or Ramadan, be my guest; indulge me my ‘merry Christmas!’ I’m also continuing with ‘happy New Year.’ Following the Roman tradition isn’t affronting the Babylonian, Baha’i, Balinese, Chinese, Coptic, Islamic, Mayan, Persian or, for that matter, Sports Illustrated calendar. Graciously, then, spare the sanctimonious indignation. My cultural links, family roots, and even plain common sense, scream bah humbug! to toasting an emotionally productive, disease free, economically advantageous, environmentally conscious, gender, race, religion and ethnicity neutral passing of the winter solstice.

Amidst shrill secularism, we forget Harry Truman’s words to Pope Pius XII in 1947; “this is a Christian nation”. America was, in truth, founded on Biblical principles. The genesis of the Bill of Rights is found in the teachings inspired by Exodus, Saint Matthew, Isaaha and Saint Paul. The Ten Commandments still rest on the wall behind the sitting Supreme Court Justices. Our coins still display the motto, “In God we trust”. The President still swears his oath of office on a Bible. Congress is still convened with prayer.

Though nobody is imposing a public religion, that doesn’t exclude faith from our resplendent national tapestry.

Friends, appropriate parting sentiments from Charles Dickens ‘Christmas Carol’; “I don’t know what to do! cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath. I am as light as a feather. I am happy as an angel. I am as merry as a school boy. A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy New Year to all the world.”

Walter Ruehlig

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