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Friday, December 21, 2007

What’s So Offensive About Christmas?


Why is it that every day I either receive an email or read a story about someone trying to take the word “Christmas” out of Christmas? Today, it was a rumor about the Attorney General of Oklahoma. Supposedly he issued an opinion that the state’s universities must refrain from using the word “Christmas.” He of course denies that this ever happened. You can read a good attempt at getting to the bottom of what happened here.

Even if it was not the Attorney General who made the decision, which for an Attorney General to issue an opinion such as that the use of the word would have to have been somehow unconstitutional or illegal, someone decided that the word “Christmas” would not be used by university personnel. It would certainly be hard to explain why one has the day off on this particular date without using the word “Christmas.” It’s the name of the day. 5 U.S.C. § 6103 sets forth the national holidays in the United States one of which is “Christmas Day.”

Since when is the name of a national holiday offensive to use? What if people started refusing to use the name of other national holidays: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Independence Day, or Labor Day. Labor Day is quite offensive, bringing to light all of the sweat and toil of those that labor on a daily basis. No such complain would ever be made; or at least it wouldn’t be taken seriously.

Why single out Christmas? Christmas is a religious holiday, right? Is Hanukkah, Quanza, or even Ramadan offensive? No, only Christmas. I though we were supposed to be tolerant. How tolerant are we as a society if we single out one religion and one holiday to change its name and forbid those who celebrate if from speaking about it at work? Now that, that’s offensive.

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