the Season not to offend Anyone?
Kaeley Hay is your typical fifth grader from Garwood New Jersey. Kaeley
and her classmates were given the assignment of writing a Thanksgiving
have thought that such a traditional classroom exercise would trigger
a Constitutional Crisis? But, according the Newark Star-Ledger that’s
pretty much what happened.
verse was such a hit with her classmates that her rhyme was posted
on the hallway bulletin board.
arose when school officials decided that the literary work of a ten-year
old violated the sacrosanct “separation between Church
Kaeley had been so bold as to include an historical truth in her assignment.
Her poem cleverly concludes with the following verse: “ Pilgrims
thank God for what they were given, Everybody say… happy Thanksgiving!”
that, a fifth grader’s artistic expression and accurate
representation of history was deemed an offensive Constitutional threat.
Fortunately, rational minds eventually prevailed. The poetry was left
on display, but only after the School District’s lawyer was consulted.
say, this sophomoric wisdom does not exist in a vacuum. School districts
in Maplewood and South Orange NJ expanded the ban on certain types
of “holiday music”. For years the singing of religious
Christmas carols has been strictly verboten. But now the proscription
includes instrumental arrangements of these same pieces. The reasoning
behind this warped decision is that the melodies could evoke religious
thought. What’s next? Shall we forbid Beethoven’s 9th symphony?
After all several Christian hymns share the melody!
But the “Sensitivity Stasi” don’t
limit their inquisitorial reach to Christian expression.
From the Left coast we have the following report:
“City boosters in Roseburg, Oregon, are getting some flak about
plans to put up a statue of a Greek goddess in town, reports the Oregonian.
Apparently, some in town feel the image would foster goddess worship
and offend Christians.” (Fox News 11/28/04)
the day when diversity meant the freedom to celebrate different traditions,
cultures and faiths. Ironically, the “politics of inclusion” have
hatched an illegitimate “child”. This mutant can only be
described as Secular Fundamentalism. What began as a movement to include
everyone has morphed into dogma that has us all eating vanilla. I guess
eating pistachio might remind us that these people are nuts!
me in quandary. It’s December and Christmas and Chanukah
are upon us. Normally, I extend the appropriate religious greeting to
my Christian and Jewish friends. However, the Communication Commissars
have invented this new right not to “feel” offended. I now
fear “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Chanukah” may
qualify as hate-speech.
always say Happy Holidays. But that might offend those that get depressed
this time of year. I could say Season’s Greetings,
but what the heck does that mean? Sort of sounds like, “Hello,
it’s Tuesday”. I'm certainly not extending any blessing.
Besides, Christmas lasts twelve days and Chanukah only eight. They hardly
qualify as Seasons.
the people that celebrate Arbor Day? They don’t get
to elevate their holiday to a season. Nope. Just doesn’t seem fair,
This begs another question. Should we really use the term holiday?
After all, holiday is an abbreviation for Holy Day. Ah, but we might
be safe because the word holy is a translation of the Greek word haggia.
Haggia literally means separate, thus holiday can also mean separate
So I guess holiday is kosher for now. But, then again, there is the
ACLU to consider. They may file a lawsuit claiming the recognition of
separate but equal days violates the constitutional rights of ordinary
24-hour periods. Especially since the word day can be easily interpreted
as being non-inclusive of those hours also commonly referred to as, dawn,
dusk, evening or night.
it’s getting harder and harder to have a “Hallmark
moment”. But maybe that’s the problem. Long before the militant
secularists declared war on religion, consumerism reduced Christmas and
Chanukah to boilerplate verse. Sacred Observances were watered down to
a guy in a red hat and spinning dreidels. Rich traditions gave way to
bargain hunting. Time meant for family, Church and Synagogue was spent
in shopping malls; shrines built to the new god Consumer.
Chanukah is a Hebrew word literally meaning dedication or consecration.
In that spirit, let us refocus our thoughts on the true meaning of
both these deeply religious traditions.
second century BC Judas Maccabee, and his brothers moved by their faith
and against overwhelming odds, liberated Judah and cleansed the Temple.
Jews believe God displayed his approval with the “miracle
of the oil”.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of a Jewish boy born in the
most humble of circumstance. As a grown man, he would cleanse the very
same Temple. We Christians profess him as the Son of God, the Prince
As we celebrate these Holy Days, let us not be ashamed to share who
we are with those who are different. We offend no one when we share ourselves;
we only make each other richer for the experience.
Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas to all, and to all the Tyrants of
Terminology, good night!
Watertown Citizens for Common Sense Government