Students singing in the choir at Arthur Bugler Primary School in Great Britain spent weeks practicing Christmas music only to be told that the songs weren’t appropriate for the Corringham "Winter Festival", an event undoubtedly once known as a Christmas Festival. The reason? The songs were "too religious". The decision was called ridiculous by parents who said, "It’s ridiculous that you can’t sing religious songs. It’s Christmas – when can you sing them?" and "I can’t see how the Christmas carols they were going to sing would have been offensive to anyone." If only the latter statement were true.
Hold my gifts, everyone. All I want for Christmas this year is for people to call it by its proper name.
To do that, people first have to recognize that it is in fact acceptable to not care if others are offended by their beliefs. That sounds uncaring, I know, but like so many things in life the real effect of that statement is the exact opposite of how it appears at first blush.
Tolerance is a broad brush. Ergo, it’s perfectly alright for you to hold views – and take actions – that offend me, so long as they’re within the confines of the law. The mechanisms of restraint have always been two-fold: the rigidity of the law and the flexible lines of common sense. Today’s third mechanism, political correctness, recognizes neither historically applied standard. The freedom to do as we please, regardless of race, religion, creed, or color, is the fundamental building block of democracy. Sacrificing it to placate groups of people who choose to take offense to traditional cultural mores is too high a price to pay to accommodate them.
In a country in which domestic and international policies can be turned on their ears by 2% of swing voters and a majority of 60% is an unassailable position of power, the right of children to sing Christmas carols during the Christmas holiday should be guaranteed in Thurrock, where self-described Christians number about 75% of the population.
That this was not the outcome for the Bugler students is a strong indication that Great Britain has lost her way and, perhaps, her soul.