DECEMBER DILEMMA REMEDIED: CENSOR CHRISTMAS

Catalyst January/February Issue 2004

When people say there is a December Dilemma, what they mean is that school officials are in a bind: how can they allow the celebration of Christmas without offending others? The answer? Censor Christmas.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is so worried about Christmas that it issues an annual document, “The December Dilemma,” on how to deal with this problem. (In response, the Catholic League offers, “The December Celebration.”) In a Q&A section, the ADL comments on what is excessive when it comes to Christmas decorations. After admitting that the courts have said Santas and Christmas trees are secular symbols, it warns, “Nevertheless, their inordinate usage is inappropriate.” It does not say what constitutes an inordinate number, nor does it say why secular symbols of any kind should be censored, regardless of their volume. But it does tell us a lot about how the ADL views Christmas.

Unfortunately, many school officials have been picking up on the ADL’s fear mongering. For example, Janet Jones is Principal of Adler Elementary in Southfield, Michigan. Scott Finnegan is Principal of Memorial and Burke Elementary in Medway, Massachusetts. Michael Ransaw is Principal of Powell Middle School in Spring Hill, Florida. All three resolved the “December Dilemma” in 2003 by taking a page from the ADL—they censored it.

In every instance, school officials say they must censor Christmas because the holiday is not inclusive. But if they were advised to censor Martin Luther King Day celebrations—on the grounds that it is not inclusive (it represents only a small minority)—they would respond by saying that white kids who feel left out should respect diversity. Why, then, should not those who are not Christian (a small minority) be told to respect the diversity that Christmas offers?

There is a game being played here: in one instance, those who complain are rewarded; in the other, they are denied. Such is the game of multicultural madness.


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Written by Bill