Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The War on Hanukkah

Question: when you greet a stranger, which language do you use?

English, right?

But why is that? Why would you assume they speak English? As a pluralistic society, should we greet each new person in (in alphabetical order) Cantonese, English, French, Malaysian, and Spanish, followed by a catch-all Esperanto apology for skipping so many? So we don't make minorities feel like minorities?

That sounds crazy to you, huh? I AGREE. So, as a minority in a country whose majority celebrates Christmas (which, I'll add, is a secular holiday as well as a religious one; sorry, Fox News), I eagerly wish one and all a MERRY CHRISTMAS, for chrissake.

Isn’t it odd that it’s considered offensive to go “¡Hola!” to anyone Hispanic-looking, but everyone gauges potential Jewiness before going “Happy Holidays”?  The former is considered exclusionary, while the latter is inclusive. We must assume you share our language, but not our holidays. 

I will never understand the Left’s view of race/ethnicity (the Right’s is much easier to understand….and to shudder at).


PZ said...

Do you actually know any Jews, or anyone else for that matter who take offense at being wished a merry Christmas? Even my chasidic friend Rabbi Rubin, who's more obviously Jewish than most people, takes it in good spirit. For warriors-on-Christmas, we Jews are doing a piss-poor job carrying on our side of the battle. Maybe we don't want our kids celebrating Christian religiousness in school; maybe we don't want our neighbors in our faces about whether Christ is our personal savior or not, but we actually do want to have a merry Christmas, like we want to have a merry (insert any festive day here.) Merry Christmas works well for me, and these days when we drive around looking at the lights, we look for nativity scenes, to try to remember what all the fuss is about. Aren't any, in my (really Christian and really Republican) neck of the woods. Feliz, friend.

Jim Leff said...

Do you actually know any Jews... who take offense at being wished a merry Christmas?

Yes, multiple.

or anyone else for that matter

Yes, multiple. Mostly atheists.

I don't think many/most are warriors on Christmas, i.e. have some sick interest in Christians enjoying it less (well, some atheists can be awfully feisty). It's more "your presumption that I hew to your majority disrespects and disempowers my proud minority identity."

In, say, the 16th century, circa Inquisition, majoritarianism was a far more vexing concern. I get that. So, yes, I grant that it can be tough to figure out where to draw the line on this slippery slope. However I'm confident that for the moment we're on the other side of that line (check in with me in a couple years).

Personally, I want to bellow at people who mentally survey my schnozz contour and choose "Happy Holidays!" that WE WROTE ALL YOUR CHRISTMAS SONGS (at least the good ones). But, sigh, whatever.

Feliz seasonals back at you, PZ!

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