Tuesday, December 24, 2013
I've just finished a rather intensive semester, followed by a grueling drive across the Great American Desert to Montana. My route took me through Madison Wisconsin. I happened to be listening to Michael Medved's radio program, and as I approached Madison he began interviewing two students from U. Wisconsin-Madison who are officers in some sort of atheist group at the university. They'd managed to get an icon or somesuch devoted to the Flying Spaghetti Monster included among the holiday displays at the State Capitol. Medved was pestering them to explain themselves, which they sort of did -- it wasn't a very enlightening discussion. They were essentially trying to defend separation of Church and State -- on which I agree with them -- and Medved was trying to point out that displaying a nativity scene is not establishment of a state religion -- on which I also agree. My conclusion was that if these guys win and no religious symbols are allowed to appear on state property, they've accomplished essentially nothing important. The debate was just sufficiently non-boring to keep me awake and on the road, which was the whole point of listening.
But the "war on Christmas" kept coming up in their discussion, and that raises something interesting. It's undeniable that Christmas is politically incorrect, at least for the more radical of the progressives. One U.S. Post Office worker said he'd received an official memo banning the expression "Merry Christmas." And attempts to convert "Christmas" to "generic holiday," especially in schools, are pretty well documented. But in my drive across country I noticed something new. It's been a very long time since I heard so many people -- checkout clerks in stores, fast food workers, strangers walking their dogs, pretty much everyone I encountered, saying "Merry Christmas!" In addition, several Jewish friends have wished me "Merry Christmas," as did an atheist friend, several times, with no sense of irony. As he then continued, "this has become one of the most subversive things you can say."
Great! I hope this indicates that people are fed up with PC thought police. Political correctness is not about avoiding offense -- it is about teaching people to self-censor so that they can be controlled. Free thinking, free speaking people are beyond control of the State. Those who would rule need to convince those whom they would govern to be docile and accepting of control. Wilson and Shea made this point in their Illuminatus! trilogy -- to enslave people you have to convince them to enslave themselves. "Can I say this? Can I think this? Is it proper? Am I out of line?" So dies free thought, and freedom.
I'm rather skeptical of the "someone might be offended" argument. Anyone offended by a friendly greeting of "Merry Christmas" is in need of psychological counseling, not protection of their feelings. To wish someone "Merry Christmas" is to wish them happiness; it's a very positive thing. Conversely, it would be koo-koo to imagine and take offense at all the possible theological implications of such a greeting. I suspect very few opponents of Christmas actually do -- instead, the "offense' is pretended in order to enforce Mrs. Grundy's Law: this you must not think, that you must not do, and make certain you scare yourself into compliance with what we say you should think and do. G.L.A.D. was not offended by Phil Robertson's very straightforward and explicitly non-judgmental recounting of standard Christian doctrine on homosexuality and sin. It was simply necessary for them and the MSM to throw fits in support of PC and self-censorship. People simply cannot be allowed to express opinions contrary to the progressive-liberal-left dogma. Note that no one accuses Robertson of pushing his beliefs on anyone, nor expressing them on his show. It was simply an offense to even harbor such beliefs, an offense that required he be fired.
Well, "we" at Unforeseen Contingencies have no sympathy for this sort of PC-bigotry. So for this reason, and many others, we wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Liberty-Filled New Year!