Non-religious friends and associates often ask me if I’m offended when they express a lack of belief in traditional religion, usually with the tone of an apologizing diplomat. I assure them that such ideas are not inherently offensive. However, ironically, few people seem to worry about something which truly is offensive: the warping of traditional religious belief itself.
We’re trained to resist offense and be as accommodating as necessary so that nobody feels that their toes are stepped on. To that end, the public celebration of Christmas, enshrined for generations as a bedrock part of American culture, has been quietly stripped of religious significance. We’re now to the bizarre Orwellian point where we see many voices in the media complaining that the secular holiday of Christmas is being infringed upon by nosy Christians.
Glancing at the news this morning over my breakfast, I saw a local news channel announcing a contest: they’d be giving away a “holiday tree.” What? Why is Christmas picked on like this? (Have you ever heard of a “holiday menorah?”) Why are so many in our country desperate to preserve the commercial trappings of Christmas long after they’ve abandoned its spiritual significance?