If you’re insulted by this image then you need to do some serious thinking about where you live. This is Canada, Ontario and we have a history of white, anglo Protestantism. Today our society has developed and grown even more in its recognition and respect for other faiths. But does that mean we should abandon what we once honoured and respected for the sake of being politically correct?
Just look at the greeting card the RTO (Retired Teachers of Ontario) sent out.
Notice the French…duh, why wouldn’t we have French there…oops, Fetes, I missed it.
Notice the German…duh, ask the people in Berlin, Ontario why German is omitted.
Notice the Italian…duh, as if these people haven’t made enough contribution to Ontario’s infrastructures to warrant a short Buon Natale?
Notice the Polish, Ukrainian, Greek, Hungarian, Latvian, and Lithuanian…OK, OK…we can’t cover all the bases, but surely the basic ones should be included along with the Arab, Pilipino, etc., etc.
But more importantly, our provincial history was dominated by English and French-speaking people for 200 years. People who went to churches, Protestant-Catholic churches. Not Hindi, Sikh, Muslim places of worship. “Merry Christmas” has been our traditional, historical greeting at this time of the year. By saying “Merry Christmas,” only a bigot would see it as a message of offence. “Merry Christmas,” says I am honouring the Protestant-Catholic traditions in which I was raised. In using that greeting. I mean no disrespect to any other faith. I am not belittling any other. I am not trying to offend any other. I am simply saying I was brought up in this tradition and I am honouring my forefathers by maintaining it.
In the light of an old Christmas story about how the angel got to be the top of the Christmas tree: Santa was having a rough rough day…many bad things happened through the day and he was exasperated, stressed and really upset when there was a knock at his door. He opened it and saw an angel who said, “I brought the Christmas tree. Where do you want me to stick it?” May I suggest RTO do the same with this HAPPY HOLIDAYS greeting card.
I am not angry with RTO over this greeting card, just sadly disappointed. Disappointed in what it shows about our teachers and what they likely no longer teach our children. In teaching respect for all cultures and all religions, they do a disservice to all of them. None is honoured; none is cherished; none is treasured; our own is tossed into this grey melange of neutrality. Ignoring all the historical legacies of our past means we’re watering down our own cultural past. Unreservedly, I believe “Happy Holidays” lacks the meaning, honour, and religious tone inherent in “Merry Christmas,” something we should preserve and something we should be teaching our children about.
In honour of my parents, of people who helped build this province, and of the people who make it the great place it is today,…
Also read Toronto Star commentator, Emma Teitel
Current opinion summarized in TorStar article: Christmases past