Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Whatever Day

Serious/angry post warning. I'm going to try to be as gentle as I can about this, because I have friends who do this and don't want to get personal, but this is something I'm really sick of.

To everyone who does the 'long-list of holidays' joke. You know, where you say things like "Merry Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza/Winter Solstice/Holiday of your choice."

You're not funny. It wasn't funny the first thousand times you did it, and it's not funny now.

You're not being 'inclusive' or celebrating 'diversity.' You're being crass and insulting.

Let me tell you what I hear whenever you do that. I hear: "All these silly holidays/religions are basically the same, and it's all a matter of personal choice, so enjoy whatever silly celebration you like."

I hear someone who not only doesn't have any particular cultural or religious heritage of his own, but someone who finds the very idea quaint and even ridiculous.

I hear the smarmy, self-satisfied, pompous tone of someone who thinks he's open-minded because he checks off a list of things that he doesn't actually give a damn about.

What I'm trying to say is, this kind of thing; this 'check-list diversity' doesn't show respect. It shows contempt. It says that the subject is beneath your notice or care. The great flaw in the modern Liberal concept of 'diversity' is that it fails to understand that disagreeing with someone is not an insult, but telling him that a key aspect of his life doesn't matter is.

You want to be inclusive or celebrate diversity? Here's an idea. Do some damn research and find out what these holidays actually are. Hannukah does not equal Christmas, which is not Winter Solstice, which isn't Kwanza. The fact that they happen to occur within a six-week period of each other doesn't make them the same thing! Find out when the actual dates are and whether anyone you know celebrates them, and wish them well on or around that day. In short, at least act like the days mean something.

Two more points: One, it's not an insult to wish someone a happy holiday-they-don't-celebrate. It's especially not an insult when you're speaking to a broad audience, as on the internet. How about starting to be open-minded by embracing your own cultural heritage?

Second, I want to make clear that I am not accusing anyone of being purposefully dismissive or pompous. I doubt very much that is the case. What I'm saying is that's how you sound. If you really care about being open-minded or inclusive at all, that'll matter to you.

Vive Christus Rex!

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