Posted on December 4, 2005
Well. Sort of:
(T)his story, which helpfully outlines—albeit in very broad strokes—the way grievance cultures attempt to neuter majoritarian impulses using a step-by-step approach that begins with idea that certain traditional terms are “offensive” to the minority, and that “tolerance” dictates that the minority has the right not to be offended…
At base, the idea here—like the idea behind suppressing “under God” in the US Pledge or “in God We Trust” on our currency—is that to be subjected to (or, if you are of another mind, “bombarded” with) such offensive notions as the public acknowledgment of the country’s founding principle (namely, that inalienable rights proceed from a higher power than man, which prevents man, in the form of government, from taking away those rights [emphasis mine]) is “coercive” and injurious. That is, merely being confronted by the words or ideas, insofar as it gives offense to some, creates the appropriate grounds for suppressing the cause of that offense—forever in the name of “tolerance”; often in the name of “multiculturalism”; and always proceeding from an idea of language that gives the receiver control over meaning, and over authenticity of emotional reaction.
As for myself, I have determined to answer every “Happy Holidays” that I receive this year with a sincere and cheerful, “Merry Christmas!” I will do this in the hopes that those who don’t share my faith or celebration of the season will nevertheless understand that I am sincere in my desire that the 25th of December, broadly known around the parts I frequent as Christmas Day, be a merry day for them. The only exceptions would be my my Jewish neighbors, friends and family members, except for the fact that these folks unfailingly wish me a Merry Christmas anyway, and get a Happy Hannukah in return. (And yes, I know Hannukah isn’t that big a deal as these things go, but anyway.)
Anyone who chooses to take offense at this has my permission.