Thursday, November 15, 2007

Political Correctness Run Amok

Personally, I find the blatant commercialism around religious holidays somewhat disturbing. Not so much because of the commercialism, but because how much it reveals our consumerist nature. The old American Ideal of creativity and creation has been replaced with 'buy now, but more'. Now, if you pushed me to identify my religion, I'd say 'none' - and if you REALLY pressed for 'where I stand', I might tell you either Pagan or Humanist, depending on my mood.

On a basic level, I do think it's proper to at least respect other people's beliefs though.

And hence, as one of the non-Christian variety (well, maybe less Christian, depending on the time of day and phase of the moon), might I just say that I find the actions of stores like Lowe's, well, .... stupid?

What am I talking about? Take a look at Enter on the page "Christmas" for a product search... Now, see anything other than relatively decent priced items?

Wait for it...

Look closer...

You will discover, that the vast majority of items do not contain the word "Christmas". Now, to be fair to Lowes, I would wager that this very possibly is a reflection of the brand of trees/items they are selling and not of Lowes management (unless these are all House brands).

Even on days when I want to throw away all semblance of religion/faith in my life, I still find the idea of Holidays and celebrating past culture of inherent value. Christmas, if nothing else, can be a time of remembering the good of giving, the joy of family, the perils of overeating turkey, the annoyance of spoiled children, and the fact that family best belongs within at least a 2 hour driving distance...

At one point, my religious beliefs held that Christmas was not to be celebrated as it was an evil pagan holiday, which resulted in the deaths of many puppies and other small furry animals. I grimaced every time someone said Happy Christmas. I grew annoyed at the constant holiday songs and cheer.

Now, I welcome the Holiday, even if I am not a vanilla Christian. At what point do we stop asking for reason and become unreasonable ourselves? I'd argue it's the point at which we start trying to rewire culture for the sake of rewiring culture. I don't see people trying to rename the months of the year or the names of the planets to not reflect their cultural origins.

And, at this point, I really must ask, who exactly are retailers trying to cater to by calling it a "Holiday Tree"? What market share is gained? What stops me as a pagan, or follower of Cthulhu, or the flying spaghetti monster, from buying a Christmas tree and calling it what I want? Answer: nothing.

The real thing that's gained by calling it a "Holiday Tree"? Another cause for Christian idiots to point to about the 'War Against Christianity'. Not to overly cliched, but can't we all just get along?

Though, I will admit, part of me wants to put out an ad selling "Winter Solstice Trees", and see what type of replies I get...

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