Don’t Let Political Correctness Ruin Christmas
I’m here to tell you why it is that, during this Christmas Season… Err… holiday season, we deserve to have a little less of a politically correct approach as a nation and as a generation. There’s nothing more frustrating than writing about something I truly believe, then having to sit back and erase it because it might offend someone. If you appreciate answers that are straight from the hip, this column will hopefully ease some of the stress that comes from being true to yourself in a time where our culture asks us to be all-inclusive.
Recently, Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee decided that the state would have a “holiday tree” rather than a “Christmas tree.” It’s not the first time we’ve had to approach this topic, even at our institution. Usually non-secular decorations and anything not Christmas-related is well received, but we always tend to do a double take when Christ is thrown into the mix. Christians, and any Americans who see religious freedom as sacred, need to set up their Christmas tree and embrace it for what it really is: an expression of the Christian religion. Does this act deny other religions? Not at all.
For me Jesus is the reason for the season. Without him, this holiday season would be irrelevant, December 25th just another for a bowl game day and retailers wouldn’t be half as successful as they are today. By simply appreciating Jesus’ birth, we have made December 25th the most exciting day of the year, and one that will continue to define family, community and world relations for years to come. The giving spirit and the joy in our hearts that is driven through this day make Christmas such an integral part of world culture. Look at Toys for Tots, Angel Tree or Operation Christmas Child, and tell me that Christmas philanthropy for those in need is not something that is truly special.
Across the world, religious citizens are getting martyred because of their faith. They would give anything to obtain the freedom we have in the U.S., yet I feel like there’s often less freedom in modern America because of the consistent qualms with religion and state ever touching. Our country was founded on religious principles, and we have every right to make Christmas and Christ a part of our daily lives. I appreciate the diversity of other religions, and believe each and every holiday is also important to be able to observe as an American, but I’m just asking for more tolerance and acceptance for those of us who truly believe Christ deserves a spot in our campus life this Christmas season.
Across campus many students are afraid to say they don’t support a particular way of life, talk about where they come from or be confident in their views, in fear of being chastised because of it. Everyone has the right to his or her opinion, and my only worry is that we are losing sight of what it means to have freedom of speech, all in the name of political correctness. Peer influence is guiding much of our generation’s progress, and I believe it is that influence that is the source of much fear and doubt. Furthermore, it can be hard to develop the foundation of our beliefs because of the confidence it takes to speak up without fear.
Is this a matter of political correctness, or are we all simply terrified of appearing intolerant, even when we don’t care about the politics of the matter at hand? The Wall Street Journal said in 2008, as “of late we’ve noticed an interpersonal change: People are much more timid in offering seasonal greetings (i.e. ‘Merry Christmas’) as if they’re walking on eggshells for fear of giving offense.” Little did they know, “holiday” comes from the word “holy.” Take that, Scrooge.
Sure, “PC” is very important for someone like me, because my job requires me to take in the viewpoints of all students. But I think the primary quality most people appreciate is the ability to trust someone, the freedom to “be real” with someone in situations when it isn’t convenient. I challenge you to take that approach to situations, to have the confidence to be bold.
No matter what your beliefs are, a little political incorrectness could never hurt. There’s something about living in a supposedly tolerant age that, rather than foster understanding or civility, continually renders normally intelligent people utterly narrow-minded and thoughtless. When we can share our beliefs openly and without fear, then it will truly be a Merry Christmas.
Michael Dodd is the Associated Student Government president.