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December 20, 2004

Christmas: "A blessing for all Americans"

Jeff Jacoby:
I enjoy Christmas decorations -- and Christmas music, and the upbeat Christmastime mood -- and I say that as a practicing Jew for whom Dec. 25 has no theological significance at all. I have never celebrated Christmas, but I like seeing my Christian neighbors celebrate it. I like living in a society that makes a big deal out of religious holidays. Far from feeling threatened when the sights and sounds of Christmas surround me each December, I find them reassuring. They reaffirm the importance of the Judeo-Christian culture that has made America so exceptional -- and such a safe and tolerant haven for a religious minority like mine.
I remember a couple of decades ago when one of the earliest rumblings of political correctness was advocacy for the disabled. It seemed to me at the time (and it still does) that disabled people weren't as sensitive about their disabilities as were their advocates.

We see a lot of the same kind of thing in the modern war against Christmas. There are many complex underlying issues, but in many cases the stated reason for cleansing the public square of anything Christmas is to protect the tender eyes and ears of various religious/ideological/philosophical minorities. Excluding in the name of inclusiveness. Well, people like Jacoby, supposed beneficiaries of said efforts, resent the attitude of arrogant condescension behind them.

The "secular fundamentalists" (as Rabbi Daniel Lapin describes these people) are on a roll right now, but I really don't think anybody would want to live in the kind of America that would result if Christianity was completely and forcibly divorced from the culture.

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