Friday, December 15, 2006

Land of the Loonies!

I know you've heard or read about the crazy Christmas controversies that have been brewing in the USA this season. It sometimes seems that controversy has acquired the status of a cherished Christmas tradition in these parts.

Today, an AOL headline announced that Sasha Cohen was stunned when city officials asked carolers in her vicinity to stop singing so that she would not be offended. After all, Sasha's half-Jewish, she's gotta hate Christmas carols, right? Apparently, Sasha's family celebrates Christian and Jewish holidays, since the half of her that is not Jewish is Christian (if Christianity can be regarded as an ethnicity). Sasha's mother thought the carolers sounded lovely and said that carols are part of the season.

A couple of weeks ago there was a controversy in Colorado when someone hung a wreath in the shape of a peace symbol. Some neighbor(s) felt it was an inappropriate display of opposition to the war in Iraq! The homeowner said it wasn't, but that's beside the point. My public school indoctrination - oops, education - taught me that free speech is a Constitutionally protected right in the USA. Says so right there in Article I of the Bill of Rights! The last I heard, after some really bad publicity and the realization that they were likely to lose a lawsuit, the homeowners' association withdrew its request for the wreath's removal.

Then there was the Christmas tree removal at the SEATAC airport in Washington (the state, not DC, thank God - we have enough of our own lunacy to deal with here without importing more!). Apparently, a Jewish fellow asked that a menorah be displayed too. Airport officials decided that displaying Christian and Jewish holiday symbols would lead to requests from other religious adherents, so they removed the trees! Well, that didn't last long. The trees are back up. I don't know about the menorah.

Once we've thoroughly mangled Christmas, we'll move on to the next item on the agenda:

New Year's!

I don't know whether I should laugh, cry or inhale a bag of M&Ms!

Whatever happened to "Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men?"

Maybe that should read, "Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men & Women?"


Barbara said...

Tis the time of year for bringing out the worse in our fellow man (and woman). I think I'll join you in that bag of M and Ms ... make that Smarties, because I am in Canada you know, and I've got to be politically correct.

Jenn said...

it's great to live where you can say what you want - even if it offends someone. when i was in zimbabwe i wasn't even allowed to hint that i thought that robert mugabe was the devil incarniate and should be put to death - or even that i don't like him. i would have been thrown in jail, beaten and who knows what else.

Evie Sears said...

Barb, I will join you in a transnational, multicultural mix of M&Ms/Smarties. My love for chocolate respects no boundaries.

Jenn, I completely agree with you, free speech is a blessing. The right to argue over wreaths, Christmas trees and so on is precious, even if it descends into the ridiculous sometimes. Enduring the ridiculous and farout fringe arguments is a small price to pay for the ability to debate important issues and ideas.

As I write, I'm watching the McLaughlin Group as they debate the Iraq fiasco and other items. Their right to publicly criticize our government is precious.

Catharine said...

We have a similar controversy here in Toronto. A judge ordered a Christmas tree in the court house lobby (it may have been the offices, I'm not sure) to be placed around a corner or in the back where it can't be seen so people who do not celebrate Christmas would not be offended. That judge's decision sure stirred up the water and people are tired on giving up their rights for the sake of being politically correct. That decision has offended almost everyone, even non-Christians who believe that since we live in a country of inclusion that a Christmas tree is an appropriate symbol and therefore politically correct!