Ok, I'd like to address an issue that's really been bugging me.
As I mentioned early in the fall, we put our daughters in public school for the first time after homeschooling them from the get-go. We knew it would be a different world in a variety of ways... they'd have less freedom to come and go as they pleased, they would be subject to someone else's schedule, there would be no sleeping in, and the list goes on and on.
But the thing that really gets me (and still does) is the way public schools now handle Christmas. First, the teachers are not supposed to wish the students "Merry Christmas." Second, the school break that stretches from December 23 to January 5 is no longer called "Christmas Break," but rather, "Winter Break" or "Holiday Break" or some such thing. Third, my daughter is in the school choir and they had a special concert right before Christmas. Yet, it was called a "Winter Concert" and not one Christmas song was sung. At all. Of course, there were a HUGE number of people in the audience wearing red and green, and many even had on Christmas sweaters. I ask you, was THAT allowed? And how long will it be? How long until family members are told not to come to the winter concert wearing anything that will suggest Christmas?
Sound far-fetched? I'm not so sure.
Look, I'm all for being tolerant of other religions, other ethnic groups, other races, or what-have-you. In fact, I applaud it. Those are the things our country was founded on. But I don't imagine the Founding Fathers had in mind to squash out every mention of a religious holiday, just so a very few won't be offended.
And yes, at least here in Maine, it is a very few. Sure, we have Jewish families who celebrated Hanukkah, and I love that. In fact, why didn't the kids sing any songs at the Winter Concert that celebrated Hanukkah? Or Kwanzaa? Or whatever else anyone is celebrating at this time of the year? The thing is, MOST Americans still celebrate Christmas. Don't believe me? Turn on the radio in December. Look at any magazine, catalog or store decor. Can we really pretend it isn't there?
This is all because there are a select few who think that since they claim no religion, the rest of us should clam up, shut up, and let them enjoy their nothingness. Don't get me wrong, they have every right to their nothingness (for lack of a better term - I'm sure I'll offend someone - sorry in advance)... but now we are all being subject to it. Do you see what has happened? It isn't enough that they have their nothingness. Rather than majority rule, which is another thing this country was founded upon, a very vocal few are imposing their nothingness on the rest of us, and every song at that Winter Concert was one of THEIR songs.
How is that fair? How does that show tolerance and diversity?
Look, when I go somewhere and someone wishes me a Happy Holiday because they are not allowed to say Merry Christmas, I don't fault them or feel annoyed - I THANK them and wish them the same in return - with a smile. I happen to be a Christian who celebrates Christmas, but if someone wished me a Happy Hanukkah, I'd thank them and wish them the same in return - happily. Same goes for Kwanzaa. Even if someone wished me a Happy Winter, because they are anti-holiday in general, I'd thank them for that and wish them the same in return.
In fact, now that I think of it, living here in Maine with all our snow, we would do well to wish each other a Happy Winter... quite often.
Not that that was what I was getting at, but it seems like a good place to close.
Happy Winter, Friends.
Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes