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Happy Whatever

2004-12-28

Category: philosophies

One holiday is over and we start in on the last few. Kwanzaa is going on since last Sunday (December 26th) and will continue until January first. New Years Day happens the same day. Soon, we will only have holidays like Presidents Day and Ground Hog Day and then, finally, people can stop whining about political correctness.

That's right; I'm sick of it. No body is ever really offended because you wished them a happy holiday of which ever type you celebrate. You can wish me a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Kwanzaa, or a Funky Ramadan and I'm not going to be offended. Most other people won't be offended either.

You see, when someone gives you one of those holiday expressions, they are wishing something pleasant for you. Maybe you don't celebrate Christmas and wishing you a Merry Christmas doesn't really apply. Does that mean they were trying to offend you? Nope. To you it's just the twenty-fifth day of December. To them, they are celebrating Jesus' birthday. How can that offend you? To the non-Christian it has the same affect as saying, "I hope you have a good time on Larry's birthday." To the Christian it means a little more.

I have a theory about the two groups of people who are truly offended by all of this well wishing. The first group is composed of malcontents who are going to be offended no matter what you say. The appropriate way to deal with these people is to smack them. Since this is usually illegal you have to tell them to get over themselves. Oh, and wish them a Merry Christmas as they leave.

The second group are more numerous and far more dangerous. They are do-gooders. They are the well intentioned. They are the ones who care. They are the overly sensitive who fantasize about the oppression of everyone "less fortunate" than themselves. They are bigots who feel for the plight (real or imagined) of "those people". You know the ones; they are always there to assume something you've said may be offensive to everybody else on the planet.

It is this second group that tells store managers to avoid mentioning specific holidays because you'll offend people who don't celebrate that particular holiday. They just know that one or two potential customer will have their self-esteem crushed by the mention of a different religion. I've got news for these busybodies: those potential offendees live in a predominantly Christian country. There is nothing you can do to change that.

It's not a bad thing, per se. If you have a religion, you would probably prefer to live in an environment where everyone else believes what you believe. That doesn't always happen. How do you handle it? You become a grown-up and cope. Hopefully your religion gives you guidance to help you deal with your situation. After dealing with an entire nation of Christians, are you really going to have an easier time because the pre-Christmas sale is labeled "holiday sale" instead? Probably not.

The second point is that stores are having sales. I don't care why they are having sales. If it is a Christmas sale and I can get a good bargain, I will make the purchase. If the sale marks the time of year to sacrifice children to your Volcano Goddess and your prices are good, I'll probably call the police on you? after I make a purchase. You'll wish me a "happy child sacrifice" as I leave. I'll wave back and say, "You too."

The point is, we have to get along on this planet. To do that we implement rules to prevent harm to one another. Some of us have different ideas of harm. When you interfere to prevent harm to one group or individual, you can't cause greater harm to another group or individual. (Before anyone goes off about law enforcement shooting or incarcerating people, read this.) While trying to protect the religious sensibilities of some people, this holiday censorship traipses gaily through the sensibilities of a whole other group.

So, feel free to wish anybody a happy whatever and then smile politely when they wish you a happy something else. Just be happy that they are wishing you some kind of pleasantness rather than death to the infidels.


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