*Warning, possibly controversial rant*
On other matters, and I hope that any co-workers who read this won't mention this to me at work because I don't feel like being called out as "that" person, but I'm really really irritated that my work has decided to call our winter party our "Christmas" party. I work at a medium sized company, maybe 40-50 employees in my office with other branches elsewhere, you'd think we'd have some sort of political correctness or some consideration? But no, I also work in a company where, so it seems from my observation, 80-90% are Christians, and many are Very devout Christians. Now, I won't get into my views on religions or my spiritual beliefs, but I can easily say that I am in the minority here. I guess you could say I celebrate the "secular" version of Christmas, but growing up I had no idea it had any religious connotations and felt that it was a celebration of family and giving, and to me it still is. My office manager, a Very Catholic man (you can tell by his six children!) and a very nice man acted very offended that I suggested calling it a Holiday party. He stated that doing so would "erase" the traditions of Christmas (and he threw in Hanukkah and Kwanza for a tiny bit of political correctness because if you don't celebrate Christmas than you Have to at least celebrate one of those, right?) How is that erasing the traditions of those holidays? I really don't understand his perspective. One of our practice managers whom I first brought up the issue to stated in an email "as much as I would'’ve liked to make this Christian -– I really wasn'’t trying to. I was referring to the secular Christian holiday -– Santa etc." Hmm, I think intention sometimes leads to action. Who Doesn't call that time of year Holidays? Don't all the stores now-a-days say "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas"? My office manager even made a comment about how the government has "Christmas" listed as a government employee holiday, I suppose to prove that it's okay to use the word since the government does. Hmm, I believe he's talking about the same government that still has "In God We Trust" on our distributed money. Yeah, so they're a really good frame of reference.
I get really emotional on this topic and get very frustrated how easily some Christians forget about being considerate to other religions and spiritual points of view. It's fine if you believe that your religion is the Only right one, but to disrespect others' beliefs is very upsetting to me. In the same manner that my office manager was offended by the idea of using "Holidays" instead of "Christmas" I often hear Christians get Very mad if I suggest taking "In God We Trust" off the money. They start ranting and raving about that being an American tradition even though that was only added to our money during the Communism scare. However, I don't suggest putting "In Buddha we trust" or "There is no god" or anything like that. I simply suggest taking it off and having nothing there, or having a non-religious related statement on there like "Go America, We Rock" or something, right? But no, it's Offensive to some Christians whom I've talked to take "In God We Trust" off our money. Now does that make sense? In the same way that calling our winter party "Holiday Party" does not erase the meaning of Christmas to true believers since it really isn't related at all, they will still celebrate Christmas with their family and friends, taking "In God We Trust" off our money will not erase people's belief or trust in their god, so why are people so afraid of it? I truly don't understand, if taking it off won't alter your faith whatsoever, what do you have against it? And if taking it off Does alter your beliefs and faith, then perhaps you need to reconsider your beliefs. It is not invalidating your faith if you Truly believe, and do you truly need validation from our money?
I know this is a hot topic, and I'm not dissing anyone's beliefs, I'm just frustrated at the lack of consideration Some Christians display to other people's beliefs. And I'm sure other religions show lack of respect to different beliefs other than just Christianity, but I, as a citizen of the United States, encounter this mostly from Christians so that is my frame of reference. I hope I didn't offend any of my readers and if I did, let me know how so I can be more careful in the future!
So, again, if you work with me and are reading this and wish to discuss anything with me on this subject matter, please do so privately since I do work with mostly Christians and do not feel comfortable possibly pissing off most of my office with my different beliefs and opinions. :)
Update: Hah, to further my point of Some Christians being afraid or offended by Not using Christian terminology for situations and items intended for the general public, my office manager has included this paragraph in a response to my feelings on the matter:
The problem is that there are people on both sides of this issue who feel that their beliefs are being infringed upon - a rather sticky situation. As you saw in the media last year, there is a growing contingent who celebrate these December traditions that believe the imposition of "
Holiday" is an attempt to suppress their beliefs. This is clearly evidenced by the controversy with the Sears & Target stores (do a Google search on "Christmas controversy").
Of course I was aware of this controversy headed by our favorite conservative O'Reilly, but I feel that this elaborates on my point and confusion as to why people are offended by not announcing Christian proclamations and holidays in public forums. I Really don't get it and I feel this "contingent" my office manager is mentioning is an extremist contingent and may not represent the general public of Christians. Argh, I know I should let it drop and I will not respond to his most recent email because I obviously don't want to get him all fired up over it since it's obvious where he stands, but it baffles me the way he views suppressing people's beliefs. I feel that his view of suppressing beliefs is so entitled. You can't say Praise Buddha on our money but we HAVE to be able to say "In God We Trust" on our money otherwise our rights and beliefs are being infringed on and suppressed as Christians. Just like they HAVE to be able to see "Merry Christmas" everywhere otherwise their beliefs are being trampled on and discredited. When did it become neccassary to have Your own personal religious beliefs attached to every public forum possible? I don't see any of my beliefs on a banner in stores around my cultural or spiritual holidays. Isn't it enough for you to believe your beliefs personally and privately? Why Must it be displayed everywhere publically? To me, that reads as insecurity or lack of faith, or perhaps that entitlement I mentioned before. Why is it okay to have religious statements attached to public non-religious businesses?
Am I the only one that this doesn't make sense to or am I in crazy land?