(I’m donning my flame-retardant PJs before hitting the publish button, with great fear and trembling!)
Heard about this and I’m pulling my hair out.
Where do you even start? Atheists and agnostics are ticked off because they feel left out of a holiday that celebrates something they don’t believe. So someone is actually spending money to make them feel better about themselves because of their unbelief?
Ya know, I don’t believe in Allah. What if I decide that all the fuss over Ramadan leaves me out? I wanna fast all day and party all night too! I could do that, regardless of my lack of Islamic faith. But I’d rather make sure the Muslim community knows I feel left out, so I put up flyers outside the local Mosque. What would happen?
How about this: if you don’t believe it, don’t celebrate it. Celebrate something you do believe, have a Wonderful Winter Solstice, or whatever.
Or, shut up and celebrate your whatever and leave everyone else’s whatevers alone.
Harsh, I know. But how far does this go?
When I was in high school there was a guy in my homeroom from Iran. Every day, first thing, we said the Pledge of Allegiance and, every day, he sat at his desk. Fine. He wasn’t an American citizen; we were, enough said.
Now we have this. Who’s being inconvenienced here? The American children in an elementary school, in America, who want to say the pledge. Why? So the children who don’t want to say the pledge won’t be uncomfortable. Is this really about those kids, or is it something else?
Sometimes I wonder what’s happening to our country. When did the feelings of the few take precedence over those of any and all others? Or over common sense, for that matter??
Or how about this? Son wrote a paper in English class (college Freshman) about tolerance and bigotry in America. He was supposed to make an observation and then support it with factual evidence. His observation was that American society had become more tolerant of ethnic and cultural differences over the past 100 years. One item he used to support his observation was the advancement of women’s rights. His professor failed him on the paper. She said his observation was unsupportable.
Did you catch that? SHE said. What were her odds of being a college professor 100 years ago? Could she vote?
He discussed this with her. He pointed out that we have an African-American president-elect, and asked the question, “Isn’t Obama’s election proof of a decline in racial intolerance?” Her answer was no, because bigotry only occurs when the majority of people hold a negative opinion of a minority group. That means that if a WASP in America holds a negative opinion of a person of another race in America, that’s bigotry, at least for now, because there’s a larger number of WASPs than any other racial group. It’s changing.
But if, say, a Martian (certainly a minority in our society in terms of numbers; I don’t know many Martians) has a negative opinion of, well, most anyone, he or she isn’t a bigot.
That means that it’s ok for citizens who want to say the Pledge to be made to feel uncomfortable, to be inconvenienced by those, citizens or not, who don’t want to.
It just makes my head spin around backwards and my stomach want to spew forth split pea soup!
We looked up the word “bigotry” in the old Webster’s collegiate, and gosh-darned, it didn’t say a thing about numbers. No “majority” vs. “minority” in numbers. One social group vs. another, period.
How does my son deal with this?
How do any of us deal with it?
I’m reminded of a fairy tale: The Emporer’s New Clothes.