Saturday, March 28, 2009

Politically Correct or Common Courtesy

A fellow Twitterer and I had a bit of a discussion the other day regarding the reasoning behind Spring Break now being referred to as Spring Break and no longer being called Easter Break.

Whatever happened to "Easter Vacation"..*sigh* Remember that? Now it's "Spring Break".God forbid we insult somebody :(
And GOD forbid we say "Christmas Vacation" now it's Winter Holiday, or Winter Break.. ughhhhhhhhh
My reply:
it doesn't happen at "easter" anymore
I think our world has evolved enough that we no longer need to plan our schedules around the Christian calendar.
She:No, but sometimes tradition is tradition, history etc.This pc bullshit needs to stop (in my honest opinion).
Me: Who's tradition? Christian tradition? What about Jewish holidays or Muslim or Wiccan? Should all religions be granted as school/work holidays for Everyone?

At this point we just decided to agree to disagree and both go out and run our errands.

So why is one person's tradition more important than another's? This can be looked at two ways. First - If all the Christians jumped off a bridge should everyone else do it too? (remember your parents telling you that one?) Second - Have you never said to someone "If I do it for you I will have to do it for everyone"? So if we give school/work holidays to Christian's should we not respect ALL religious holidays no matter the denomination? We would be home evey single day of the year.

And please do not give me this crap about us being a Christian nation. No we are not. We are a nation of many many religions and faiths and even non-religions and non-faiths. And that is exactly how our forefathers wanted it.

"Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination."
-Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
I know some people have gotten their knickers in a bunch because they are chastised for saying Merry Christmas and asked to say Happy Holidays instead. Is that being PC or is that a common courtesy. Should you not be courteous to others and mindful and respectful of their traditions and celebrations.

To me it all reverts back to my favorite thing - logic.

Think about this with an open and completely unbiased mind.

On YOUR birthday, do you wish others a Happy Birthday? It is your Birthday, you are celebrating it as YOUR day ergo others say to you Happy Birthday.

Why then would you wish someone Merry Christmas or Happy Hanakuh (I know it's wrong) or Eid Mubarach if they don't celebrate that particular holiday?

Should we then ask someone what, if anything they are celebrating at that time of the year and then subsequently wish them that? You could if you were very sincere about your wish, heck if you were that sincere about your gesture, this wouldn't be an issue for you, you would KNOW what the other person celebrates already. But we as a race as a whole are lazy and insincere, therefore we have chosen to wish a Happy Holiday in general, whatever it is you happen to celebrate I hope you enjoy it. Why is that so hard and so offensive to some?

Is it being Politically Correct to be mindful of someone's feelings? When your parents taught you manners were they teaching you to be politically correct or were they simply teaching you common courtesy. Remember this? If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. That is what I think of with politically correctness.

Is it really a burden on you to refer to someone as African American instead of a derrogatory term? How about Latino or Hispanic instead of just "Mexican". This same Twitterer in an earlier conversation we had (she is a native Californian) proclaimed her ignorance in the fact that someone that is Hispanic is not necessarily Mexican but someone of Spanish heritage. Whether she never bothered to find out, or never had occasion to, I don't know. I appreciate that she was open to the revelation and I hope she embraces it.

In that same vein I hope one day everyone can embrace each other's differences. It is what makes us all who we are. How boring we would be to all be the same (unless you were each like me).


  1. Politically correct is so passé. The rule is be freakin' nice to each other. Be respectful and don't get upset when someone else means no harm.

    I have absolutely no issue with anyone wishing anyone else a Merry Christmas. I would have no issue with anyone saying Happy Birthday to me any day of the year. Why would that offend me? These wishes are not forcing anything on me; they are saying "I am happy about something, I want you to be happy too." I love that.

    The breaks? Who cares what they are called. But you are right "Easter Break" certainly does not happen at Easter anymore. I think it gave schools some freedom to do their break when it makes sense for them. As for days off, we have to fall back on tradition or we would be overrun. I could create my own religion tomorrow (and get a lot of followers) that believes working after 2pm is an abomination. Right now we have a system in place and you are (or should be) told the days off before you are hired, then it is up to you whether or not to take the job.

    I don't think using derogatory terms even compares in this discussion. It has to do with intention. I mean no harm when I say Merry Christmas or Happy Birthday. But if you are using a racial slur your intentions are completely different.

  2. What a fabulous post!
    I grew up never thinking twice about wishing someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Easter. I've since been introduced to a world where everyone celebrates their own holiday.
    I feel that the generic greetings are a special way of saying "I'm happy about something and I want to share that with you, but I'm not going to make a biased guess as to what you celebrate and I'm not going to put you on the spot by making you speak about your religious preference right this second." It's a polite way to not impose your beliefs on someone. Nothing more, nothing less.
    While I know a lot of people chafe at the notion that they shouldn't wish everyone a Happy Easter or a Merry Christmas I love the fact that it makes the holiday season more open to all - a lot less of a "It's our holiday, but we want to share it with you" and more of a "Isn't it great that we all have something to celebrate at this time of year." Now why that might be offensive to some is beyond me!

  3. What happens in other countries? Do they change their traditions to accommodate politically correct visitors? I would hate to see anyone change things because the differences are so much more intriguing. Easter is Easter, Christmas is Christmas and whatever holidays Wiccans have is a reality too. Politically correct peeps are okay because I feel they are trying to be nice but I prefer people to be loyal to what floats their boats and respect them for that.

  4. I agree that it is common courtesy...I could care less if it is Easter break or spring break (and I speak as a fairly conservative Christian when saying this). I do find the whole Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas a bit irritating because I've absentmindedly said Merry Christmas to someone once, and got my head chewed off (grrr down girl). I grew up in an agnostic home, and with Jewish relatives, and most of my Jewish relatives won't get completely out of sorts over a merry Christmas greeting, because, as my uncle Ed says, people are not trying to be offensive, they are just in a celebratory mood.

    In some ways I look on it with a sort of amusement because the stores fall over themselves trying to not offend anyone, and yet the whole point of the "Christmas Shopping Season" is really people who are celebrating they are promoting Christmas sales and decor and paraphenalia while trying not to say the word. I don't know why it makes me laugh but it does.

    I wish people on both sides of this could just chill out a little. No one is hurting my feelings by wishing me happy whatever day.

  5. As a long-time practicing Pagan, I notice the assumption on the part of a large number of people at holiday times that I'm a Christian and will celebrate the Christian holidays just as they do.

    It's aggravating.

    Really, would they like it if I said to them, "Happy Sabbat," on every seasonal change that I celebrate? Or "Merry Esbat" at every full moon? Probably not. I'd likely get a few dirty looks, or questioning glances. Maybe even the, "You're going to Hell you spawn of Satan!" that I've gotten so many times as a Tarot reader...

    When we make assumptions about another person's belief system, which is what happens when someone says, "Merry Christmas," we're ignoring the amazing cultural diversity that we have here!

    Saying, "Happy Holidays!" is, as you said, a way to acknowledge, in the dark of winter, that there is still something worth celebrating, no matter what our faith or differences.

  6. Riiiight, or you could just come to grips with the fact that you're not REALLY offended by "Merry Christmas" and maybe shut the hell up if you don't like it because over 95% of us actually DO. And calling blacks "African American" is racist because not all blacks are from Africa and not everyone in Africa is black. Do you call Dave Matthews an "African American"? PC is stupid.