Modern holiday season too politically correct

Stephen Karst, Staff Writer

I went to my friends house to celebrate Hanukkah with his family one year. I’m so glad to have had that opportunity. Guess what, that experience would have been lost if I said “You’re so dumb. I don’t celebrate that.”

Allow me to digress, Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love everything from being with family and friends to tearing open gifts on Christmas Eve.

But once in a while it is also very frustrating.

No, not because parking lots are over-packed with shoppers or because I got underwear in my stocking.

It’s because when I tell someone “Merry Christmas,” they reply, “Why would you say that to me? I don’t celebrate that. Why are you being so insensitive towards my feelings?”

In other words, I am talking about political correctness run amok.

Some cities have passed laws that require public buildings to either take down Christmas trees and decorations or show equal representation of all winter holidays.

The president purchased “holiday trees” the last few years because Christmas has become such a buzzword.

Retail stores do not have Christmas signs but holiday signs.

The list goes on and on.

That’s just crazy to me, that some people are so self-sensitive that they take offense to another person’s expression of their beliefs. People created these laws with good intentions, to promote religious tolerance amongst the nation. This idea is good in theory, but bad in application.

For me, at least, the problem is tolerance. Tolerance by definition is the capacity to endure continued subjection to something.

This does not fill me with warm, fuzzy feelings. In my mind, tolerance means to simply put up with something, grin and bear it, and so on. Tolerance provides no room for respect or love.

If people take the mind-set that we have to tolerate others’ beliefs, then we’ll go about in our own selfish little bubble and not go out and learn about what others hold dear to them.

I am not saying you have to change your beliefs or celebrate some universal holiday (Christma-hanna-kwanza). What I am saying is to realize the world does not revolve around you.

Sorry, that’s the sun’s job.

So if you hear me tell you “Merry Christmas” this year, please don’t take it as this great personal offense. Believe it or not, my heart is in the right place when I say that.

I would never attack someone over his or her beliefs. So here’s an idea: go find out about some of the other festivities out there.

As we get closer to the end of December keep an open mind and love somebody this year.