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Taking back our country — one way to begin

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2003

One of the most common questions I am asked is, “What can I, a simple citizen, do to make our country better?”

The answer: Change the little things first. Most people who are worried about the direction of our country think that all the battles are big ones. But we cannot win any of the big ones if we keep losing the small ones.

Here is a seemingly small project that any American who works at almost any company can initiate. If successful, it will send shockwaves through the country: Rename your company’s “holiday” party a Christmas party.

Nothing is quite as symbolic of the narcissism at the heart of contemporary “progressive” policies than the belief that because there are non-Christian employees at a company, its Christmas party may not be called one. Who do 5 percent of the employees think they are that they feel empowered to demand that the other 95 percent not celebrate their party with the name that they want? And what kind of mindset denies a company the right to celebrate a national holiday?

“Ah, but we want to be inclusive,” the professional sensitivity staff will reply.

But, dear sensitivity trainer, how is inviting me, a Jew who does not celebrate Christmas, to the company’s Christmas party not inclusive? Isn’t inviting me by definition inclusive? And if it isn’t, perhaps to be really inclusive, given that I keep kosher, you’ll have to refrain from serving shellfish or pork products. And you better not serve tea or any other caffeinated products because of the Mormons at your company.

In fact, to be really inclusive, you better drop the word “holiday.” One company employee told me that a fellow worker, a Jehovah’s Witness, had mentioned that because he is forbidden from celebrating holidays, he could attend the holiday party only if the company dropped the word “holiday.” So maybe the sensitivity crowd should just call it “a party”?

But even that might not be inclusive enough. What about those who are forbidden to party (e.g., certain fundamentalists and Jews who are in mourning)? For their sakes, let’s not even call it a party.

I was raised to believe that unless the majority is engaged in evil, one honors the majority’s will. If a religious, racial or atheist minority member can’t abide the name “Christmas,” it is entirely his or her problem, not the majority’s. Demanding that the vast majority of one’s fellow workers deny the holiday they all celebrate just to make a few people more comfortable (especially when their discomfort is only a sign of narcissism) is morally indefensible.

It is also dishonest. What December holiday is it, after all, if not Christmas? The winter solstice? Martin Van Buren’s birthday? Rosh Chodesh Tevet? Constitution Day in Uzbekistan?

Fight back calmly and politely. But fight back. Do not be deterred by being a called a bigot. Wanting a Christmas party hardly makes you a bigot. It is the minority member who wants “Christmas” dropped who is the bigot. Furthermore few minority members actually do object. The vast majority of Jews, whether or not they celebrate Chanukah, honor Christmas, as do the vast majority of blacks, whether or not they celebrate Kwanzaa.

Demand a vote. It will smoke out the progressives’ contempt for democracy. And ask why a Halloween party is permitted at the company. That will reveal the great American secret: Conservatives (such as Christians who do not celebrate Halloween) are usually far more tolerant of things they disagree with than their liberal opponents are.

And know that diversity professionals can support this. When I spoke on this subject at the national headquarters of Toyota, the company’s head of diversity told me that he supported my call to rename the “holiday” party a Christmas party. I would love to give that talk at every company in America. As that is impossible, I am making the lecture available (on audio and video through my Web site, www.dennisprager.com). Furthermore I will publicize the name of every company where workers are attempting to bring back the name “Christmas” for their December party. Please let me know about your efforts. This is a fight worth making.

Do not be intimidated by anti-Christian animosity that masquerades as “sensitivity” or “inclusiveness.” And when someone asks you whose idea it was, tell them it came from a Jew who doesn’t observe Christmas, but who loves and honors the fact that the vast majority of his fellow Americans do.

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