Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Who Won the War on Christmas?

One friend's comment on the above question was, "Even to ask this silly question is to concede the answer." But I'm conceding nothing. I am convinced that liberals can step into the cultural debate, stand our ground and even find common ground at times. I agree with Jim Wallis, who writes in The Soul of Politics, "Again, the best way to common ground, is the path to higher ground."
We discussed the so-called war on Christmas on WDEL for two hours yesterday. Liberals as well as conservatives called in, and guess what? Liberals have values too, and we shouldn't hesitate to talk about them.
I didn't hold back in calling the war on Christmas a phony war. But neither did I dismiss the importance of religion in people's lives. When someone called in saying he didn't like it that kids in a local school couldn't celebrate Christmas by name, I listened, appreciated his point of view, asked what he thought about Jewish and Muslim students in the school and pointed out that there is still a creche in Rodney Square after all these years. Somehow, for two hours we had a civil discussion on Christmas and the role of religion in our lives. At one point, I found myself wondering if I wan't getting people riled up enough. This is talk radio, after all.
One theme that I heard from a number of callers is that in our society we all can live out our beliefs in our homes and places of worship, and that we don't need others to observe our religious holidays on our behalf.
Thanks to everyone who listened and called in, and thanks to Rick Jensen for giving me run of his studio for two hours. Merry Christmas, or whatever.


Blogger Jeff Allen said...

Hey Tom,

Glad to see you tackled this issue on the air, and I'm not surprised to hear you and your Blue Hen audience managed to keep it civil.

I was discussing this subject just the other day with a friend who thought that we're too worried about political correctness, and that saying "merry Christmas" to someone in a store is essentially the seasonal equivalent of telling them to "have a nice day." She grew up in Colorado and never heard anyone say "happy holidays."

I agreed that we are worrying too much about non-issues like this, but I asked her how people would look at me if I walked around her mother's small town telling people to have a happy Hannukah. I'm sure I'd get a lot of funny looks and awkward replies.

If I said "salaam alaikum" up and down Main Street long enough I bet someone would notify athorities. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking about adopting it as my standard greeting--I can't wait to explain to a nervous police officer the insidious meaning of my Arabic greeting.

3:52 PM, December 27, 2005  

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