CENSORING CHRISTMAS IN THE WORKPLACE
Catalyst January/February Issue 2005
Catholic League president William Donohue commented today on attempts to censor Christmas in the workplace:
“The University of Alabama’s Office of Cultural Diversity recommends that all nativity scenes should be banned because they are ‘religion-centered.’ The menorah, which is a Jewish religious symbol, is ‘fine’ because it is really a ‘secular’ symbol. Employees are also instructed to ‘avoid confronting others from different religions about their beliefs.’ Failure to do so may result in ‘unintentional oppression or hostilities.’ They actually said this.
“An attorney at Strauss & Troy in Cincinnati warns that ‘if the workplace is permeated with religious symbols—presumably of another religion—to the extent that the employee feels intimidated, ridiculed or insulted, he or she could make the claim that the company has allowed or created a hostile environment.’ The bottom line: the bigot is not the problem.
“Penelope Trunk, a columnist for a Virginia weekly, titled a recent piece, ‘Skipping Christmas: Erase Holiday from the Office.’ She says that ‘acting as if everyone has the ‘holiday spirit’ squelches the spirit of workplace diversity.’ She also objects that as a Jew she is forced to ‘take a holiday’ on Christmas. Why the anger? ‘No stores are open. There’s nothing on TV. Most restaurants are closed. It’s a boring day, a good day to be at work.’ Talk about oppression! Perhaps her boss could give her the keys to the office that day.
“What bothers these cultural fascists is traditional morality. For example, consider what the nation’s top labor law firm, San Francisco’s Littler Mendelson, said on December 10: ‘Renewed interest in moral values—as evidenced by the recent presidential election—and increased religious activity in the workplace can lead to clashes during the holiday season.’
“This may explain why New York’s Bar Building is featuring a menorah in the lobby but no Christmas decorations. But there is a big bundle of twigs shaped like a diamond with a red sash made out of what looks like pantyhose. No wonder those who work there call it a ‘Blair Witch Christmas.’ All this is courtesy of the high priests of tolerance.”