Tuesday, December 07, 2004

'Tis the Season for Religious Strife

Should I be offended that there was an announcement made in my office today that the Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony was starting on the third floor? It was an employee-initiated little event, and though my office mate nearly hit the roof, I couldn't be bothered. Would I be offended if there was an announcement for a Christmas-time prayer vigil? Not really. I don't really see why you'd want to celebrate your religious traditions in the conference room, but we have the luxury of having our day as a federal holiday, and others do not.

"What if I wanted to do an Orthodox celebration?" Irina was yelling. "Or some, I don't know, Indian thing. Do you know that Macy's has to take Christmas word down off their decoration? It is disgrace. I don't go to Israel and tell them they cannot have their holiday."

I told her that she's probably perfectly welcome to organize an Orthodox celebration, and we've got a few Slavs and Greeks that would be down. But that wasn't her point—for all the angst the woman is able to summon, she doesn't actually go to church. The point was, as we've all heard, that Jesus is in Danger. And, well, I guess this is very important to some people and there's probably good reason for that, but I just don't feel I really have a horse in that race. If your Christmas rites are somehow inextricably linked with the precise syntax of Macy's decorations, then that probably says something significant, but in that case it probably isn't political correctness that's undermining the True Spirit of Christmas. Irina thinks that the Hanukkah event meant that Judaism was receiving some special attention that Christianity is denied, despite the fact that Christianity gets a federal holiday. She wants everything to be equal, but if she'd prefer that we all come to work on the 25th and open presents in the 3rd floor conference room, I can't say I'm on board.

But it's dumb to replay my argument with Irina here where she's not able to argue back. Actually, strike that. It's very smart to argue with Irina without her participation. I'm just trying to say that I can't get worked into a fervor over all of this. Christianity ain't going anywhere, folks, although I can see why it seems like cherished traditions are being trampled. I'll let the people who feel more strongly about that duke it out. Me, I'm happy if Macy's says Christmas, Holiday, ChristmaHanaKwanzaakah, whatever, as long as it has a sale on knee-high boots this fall. It's not like they can take away my own cherished Christmas tradition of spending time with my family and loved ones. Yes, those very same loved ones that I'm totally ditching in order to spend Christmas with a bunch of surly miners in Donetsk. Fa la la, la la la, la la la!


Post a Comment

<< Home