Thursday, December 24, 2015

Killing Christmas

For me, growing up in New York City, even as a non-Christian, the best time of year was always the festive, colorful Christmas season. And it wasn't some amorphous commemoration of the winter solstice that lit up and energized the town. December weather in New York does not inspire festivity. What does is Christians celebrating the birth of their savior. Or it did until the joyless dictates of the gods of "political correctness", "diversity", and "inclusion" took over.

The massive store windows along 5th Avenue were once alive this time of year with imaginative Christmas-themed displays. No more, writes the Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger. 

For many, December required a pilgrimage to Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Bergdorf Goodman. No matter the weather, people walked the mile from 38th Street to 59th Street and jammed sidewalks to see these stores’ joyful Christmas windows.

Stay home. This year Fifth Avenue in December is about . . . pretty much nothing, or worse.

To be sure, the magnificent Rockefeller Center Christmas tree still stands, and directly across on Fifth Avenue is St. Patrick’s Cathedral, its facade washed and hung with a big green wreath. But walk up or down the famous avenue this week and what you and your children will see is not merely Christmas scrubbed, but what one can only describe as the anti-Christmas.

Forget public Nativity scenes, as court fiat commanded us to do years ago. On Fifth Avenue this year you can’t even find dear old Santa Claus. Or his elves. Christmas past has become Christmas gone.

Henninger concludes with a pointed message to the 5th Avenue merchants --

As for Saks and the other Fifth-Avenue sellouts, I have two words this season. They aren’t Merry Christmas.

Putting an exclamation point on Henninger's lament, the Journal published on the same page the following --

From Cornell University’s “Fire Safety Guidelines For Holiday Displays”:

University members are reminded to be respectful of the religious diversity of our students and colleagues and are encouraged to use an inclusive approach in celebrating the holiday season. Individuals and units demonstrate this inclusive approach by:
• Focusing on the winter season rather than a particular holiday
• Displaying symbols that visually represent holidays of several religions in combination with secular decorations of the season.


Winter Holiday Displays/Decorations that are Consistent with Cornell’s Commitment to Diversity and the University Assembly Guidelines:
• Snowflakes
• Trees (in accordance with Fire Safety Guidelines) decorated with snowflakes and other non-religious symbols

Winter Holiday Displays/Decorations that are Consistent with University Assembly Guidelines But Should be Basis of Dialogue Within Unit or Living Area

• Trees decorated with bows, garland and lights (in accordance with Fire Safety Guidelines)
• Wreaths with bows (in accordance with Fire Safety Guidelines)
• Combination of snowflakes, (in accordance with Fire Safety Guidelines), Santa Claus figure, and dreidel
• Holly

Winter Holiday Displays/Decorations that are NOT Consistent with Either University Assembly Guidelines or the University’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusiveness

• Nativity scene
• Menorah
• Angels
• Mistletoe
• Stars at the top of trees
• Crosses
• Star of David

(I put the absolutely verboten items in bold face).

Some of this stuff is downright mystifying. Bows, garland, lights, wreaths, and holly might be sort of OK but mistletoe and stars on top of trees are definitely not?? What about stars partway down the tree?
By snowflakes, I assume Cornell means images of students in distress after viewing an offensive nativity scene.
No crosses, of course. Unless they're immersed in jars of urine. Then they become eligible for a government subsidy.
Note that there are no warnings to exclude displays celebrating Kwanzaa.

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