When I was in
I recall saying, ‘what?’ out loud on the train.
Later that week, talking to my cousins, I mentioned this and they said, ‘oh yeah…you are also not supposed to say A.D. or B.C. any more either…it might offend the Islamic groups…’
I thought it was an English eccentricity but now I have seen quite a few
I’ve never been a great fan of the kind of political correctness which infects our society at present but I suppose you could argue that it is the lesser evil and perhaps it makes us think a moment before saying or doing something that would be offensive but this kind of idiocy makes us all much more aware of differences and stokes resentments.
I asked the Asian guy who runs our corner shop what he thought of Xmas.
‘Best time of the year,’ he said, ‘great for business!’
I said I meant whether he thought it offended his beliefs. He just gave me a funny look which I guess was the best answer.
It is a wonderful thing that we live in a society which tries to be tolerant. In fact I believe we should be tolerant of everything except intolerance (is this another example of Gödel’s incompleteness theory?) but tolerance is not a one-way street - it needs to be mutual.
When you look in from the outside, some religious practices can seem more than a little weird but if you think hard enough you can often find reasons for them. Take Christmas itself as an example. It is just the old pagan celebration of the winter solstice – the time of the year when the sun seems at its weakest and dark night time is winning its battle against the day. In the old days of superstition and fear I can see lots of reasons for having a big party to try and convince the sun to come back again…and to use the pine tree, which unlike the other bare, black and leafless deciduous trees, has retained its needles and remained green throughout the winter, as a symbol of eternal fertility and maybe decorate it…come to think of it, perhaps we should stop using this pagan symbol of the Xmas tree…it might offend the Christians.