Okay, so I have had this beef the last number of years that finally I’m going to get off my chest. I’ve never been one to fall into the ‘politically correct’ category, however on the same token, I do strongly believe in freedom of rights and expression. However, over the last 20 years or so, we’ve seen a huge increase on what we are allowed and not allowed to say anymore. Usually all it takes is one, just one person or employee these days to get offended by something, scream HUMAN RIGHTS, and boom, an entire system is changed. I don’t like it. Look, a few of you who read this may think that I’m going to go on a racist, Trump supporting rant, but I’m not. I don’t like racism, because if you cut all of us open, guess what? Our blood is all the same colour, which means, we’re ALL the same. I’ve never understood the bullshit of judging someone because they’re Black, Asian, Hispanic, or green alien from Mars. I don’t get it, and I’m glad that I don’t. I am also glad that my kids don’t get it either. I also have no problem with people’s religion, whether they’re knocking at my door, like Jehovah’s Witness, or they’re Muslim, Pagan, Catholic, whatever. It doesn’t matter to me what your religious background is. I don’t force my beliefs on you, and I should be handed the same respect back. Fair is fair, right? Also, I have no problem with someone being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transsexual. Although I will admit this non-binary garbage is confusing the hell out of me. It doesn’t affect me one bit. Once again, see the blood comment above. I’m an organ donor, which all of you should be as well. And when I die, I hope people in general get to use my organs to survive, no matter their race, religion or sexual preference. Two of my best and closest friends are gay. I have friends who are First Nations, Japanese, Black, East Indian, and you know what? I don’t judge them by what they are. I judge them by how they treat me and those around me. And that’s why we’re great friends. Sounds kind of fair and overly original, doesn’t it?
But, the one thing I can’t handle is ‘political correctness’. I think it’s laughable, and bullshit. And the fact that it is still happening and seemingly getting worse every year is terrible. I could delve extremely deep into this point, but for this blog, I’m going to keep my focus on Christmas. Yes, Christmas. Sure the commercialism has taken over from the true meaning of the celebration, where Santa Clause and the North Pole have overtaken the Nativity Scene and the birth of Jesus Christ. Look, I’m not a religious person. In fact, I have no problem going on record stating that I don’t like church, mainly because of the hypocrites inside. I think religion is man-made, whereas having a common core belief and personal relationship with God and Jesus is something I much prefer. The hypocrisy that surrounds most churches and the culture it has created is quite prejudice. Many church people tend to walk with an arrogance that almost seems like they are better than everyone else. Yet, growing up in a deeply religious community, too many times I would see people head to the bars, get drunk, pick fights, or pick up women/men, yet on Sunday, they had it in their minds that all was forgiven. It was a true shame to the message that I believe church is supposed to be about. I know people who’ve been fired from jobs over taking part and volunteering at my ghost hunt, if you can believe that! That being said, I have no issue with people who go to church, because there are many out there who find peace and love through their faith.
The way I see it, ‘political correctness’ isn’t about tolerance or treating everyone as equal. It’s just as much about hate speech and hate crime as picking on minorities, LBGT community people, and religious values. Yet, over time, as Canada, and the United States have become more inclusive of other cultures, we’ve seen a trend, that everything that was once of value or tradition is no longer acceptable. And once again, my focus is on Christmas. Christmas is a special time of year, where we celebrate times with family, friends, and all that is supposed to be good with life. We share dinners, give each other presents. Communities hold parades to welcome in the holiday spirit. Yet, over the years, with commercialism included, we’ve seen Christmas Trees become Holiday or Celebration Trees. We’re not allowed to say Merry Christmas to someone, because it may offend their traditions, roots and beliefs. We must now say the flavourless “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings”. I’ve had enough of it, to be honest. I don’t care whether you’re atheist, agnostic, Jehovah’s Witness, Muslim, Korean, Indian, First Nations, or whatever your culture is, I have never asked you to stop celebrating what your traditions are for, so stop asking me to shut down mine. Because I hate to remind you that Christmas was formed for Christian celebration.
Look, if you’re not a believer in God, or Jesus, that’s fine. That is your prerogative. That is your choice. I don’t bug you about it. Here in Canada, we have a large East Indian/Sikh population which invites all out to attend their Vaisakhi festivities. It’s a beautiful tradition and look into a long custom, dating back to 1699 and Guru Tegh Bahadur. It’s to celebrate the Sikh New Year. Tens of thousands of Sikh’s, Caucasians, and other cultures attend this celebration because it’s special to the one culture. We accept it, and take part. That’s all inclusive. The way it should be. It’s not a national holiday, but its steeped in tradition from the ‘old world’ that is beautifully recognized and respected today, without changing the aspects of the meaning for the culture that celebrates it. Christmas has never interfered with the Jewish culture celebrating Hanukkah. an eight day celebration that rededicates the Second Temple in Jerusalem. That dates back to the second century, B.C. No one screams ‘I’m Offended’ when Kwanzaa is celebrated between December 26th and January 1st, to honour African heritage and culture. Yet with Christmas, everything has to go. Why? Because we might offend someone. Someone is upset that they were wished a ‘Merry Christmas’ by someone trying to be kind. It’s the same kind of rhetoric or bullshit we get when trying to be courteous and someone gets pissed off, or ‘offended’ because you held the door open for them as courtesy. It’s crap.
When I worked in mainstream radio, our mother corp, Rogers, sent out a memo reminding on-air staff that it wasn’t prudent to say Merry Christmas on the air anymore. It wasn’t pragmatic nor ‘politically correct’ enough to do so. After all, we didn’t want to offend any listeners out there. Some of us, including myself, refused, and nothing was ever done about it, but the fact that the warning was out there; that this media company wanted to change what we said and how we said it was ridiculous at best. Christmas, I hate to tell you, is a Christian holiday, like it or not. It’s the celebration of life giving to the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Although December 25th isn’t the Son of God’s actual birthdate, which to this day, scholars have yet to figure out, it’s the day chosen by Pope Julius around 340 A.D. As time has gone on, and many families pulled away from the church, the word of Jesus in the 20th century became more the word of Santa Clause, elves, flying reindeer, and toys. It’s a simple lie that can easily be added to a holiday tradition while celebrating the real story of Christmas. Is it right? I’m not too sure, but it’s been so emblazoned on society, that I think the combination of both does work. It’s a way for many parents to get their children to behave and go to sleep on Christmas Eve.
So this then gets me wondering. If so many people are offended by Christmas, and celebrating the true meaning of the Holiday, why do they stand for the hypocrisy and take the time off then? I mean, if you’re not a fan of a Christian holiday, why not ignore it and just continue your daily routines? Why take the National holidays off? Why don’t you open your restaurant? Build your contruction projects? Open your gas stations or head to the office? Why do you sit down for a turkey dinner with family? Why do you put up your Christmas lights, (they’re not holiday lights)? Why do you put up a tree? Why is your store playing Christmas music, that isn’t edited, by throwing out songs like Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, or Silent Night? It’s terrible how you are scamming a tradition from people who choose to celebrate it. Look, I will tell you, as a spiritualist, we do NOT do a lot of the Christian traditions that many who go to church do. We don’t have Bible readings. We do though, thank Jesus, and we do pray at dinner. We do give thanks for our blessings. We have an angel at the top of our tree, as a sign of the Holy beauty of the Holiday. Thesea re just a couple of examples. In the SOR household, we also have Santa coming down the chimney at night. We put out a cookie plate and a glass of milk. Can’t forget some carrots for the reindeer. We try to blend the best of the old and new into our household. It works for us, and that’s the way we like to do it, because every family’s traditions are different.
But at no time have I ever taught my children to disrespect other cultures or traditions because they are different to ours. If we truly want and care for true inclusiveness in society, we must realize there is a huge difference between acceptance and ‘politicial correctness’ where being offended gets you what you want. If you dream of the utopia that many strive for where everyone is equal, then start with acceptance. If you’re white, and you can accept the cultures brought over from India as an example, then stop turning on your family’s roots, because I can guarantee I would find some level of Christian faith going back in your family heritage. But over the last couple of decades, it’s the cool thing to bash the Christian faith, and to revolt against their traditions. So the answer is simple. Stop celebrating it. Stop celebrating Christmas. Stop celebrating Easter. Those are the big two. If you’re that adamant against ‘Merry Christmas’, stop celebrating it. Stop taking advantage of the free, and sometimes paid, days off. Stop with the turkey dinners. Stop with the family gatherings. Just stop. If you’re going to take a stand, stop taken advantage. This may sound way off topic, but it’s quite similar actually. I have a conservative friend in the United States who proclaims to be anti-socialist. Saying socialism is evil, and needs to be washed from American soil. Yet, due to his health condition, he is not able to work, and relies on a socialist program called Disability to live. Being on disability means he still collects a government paycheque every month so he can survive. So I told him if he was so anti-socialist that he should hand back his monthly income from the Government. And every time he griped about socialism in a political sense, I reminded him to hand back his disability cheque. “Take a stand!” I’d say to him. If you’re that against it, don’t accept the money that comes from a socialist program that keeps you afloat! He refused, but still trumpeted the anti-socialist platform. Hypocrisy at its finest. But that’s how we, in today’s society, talk out of both sides of our mouth at the same time. It’s the hypocrisy of it all that drives me nuts.
So, the lesson here, if this even is one, is to show some respect, for your fellow people and their traditions. Just because they’re ‘white’ or ‘privileged’, in your mind doesn’t matter. It’s not political. The Holiday season which dates back almost 2,000 years now, is about love, family, caring and faith. Your choice of faith doesn’t matter, unless you choose it to be an issue. If you respect other cultures and their adopted traditions, then respect those of your parents, grandparents, great and great great grandparents who left a homeland to come here for a better and more prosperous opportunity in life, when all they had was their faith and belief in God in their pockets. Being Christian is not a bad thing. Apologizing to those who are offended by the tradition is. The corporations may have buckled a couple decades ago, but you don’t have to. Stick to your guns, metaphorically speaking my American friends, because the real disaster of today’s offended society is the evil of ‘political correctness’.
So from my family to yours, where ever you are, and whatever your background is, Merry Christmas. Enjoy! T’is the season! I mean that as a loving compliment to you!