Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Who Exactly Are We Protecting?

Maybe I'm naive, and maybe I just grew up in the wrong part of the country to be able to understand this, but who exactly are the city officials in Boston thinking they'll offend by calling Christmas "Christmas"?

Boston’s Official Holiday Tree Lighting Coming December 1st
"The heart of the city will be illuminated with seasonal cheer as Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department host Boston’s 64th Official Holiday Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 1, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Boston Common."
Is there actually an ethnic of religious group out there that's offended by the word "Christmas"? I mean, besides Al Quaeda, etc. And why now, after all this time? Was there direct pressure put on the mayor by a powerful atheist campaign donor? Does Tom Cruise have a house on Martha's Vineyard?

And what, exactly, is "cheerful" about the season? I mean, without the actual holiday of Christmas (or the days of Hannukah, I suppose) the only definition of "season" is winter. I've never recalled winter being particularly cheery, and certainly nothing to celebrate by raising a dead tree in the city square.
The holiday decorations throughout Boston Common and The Public Garden will light up in sequence when Mayor Menino throws the switch with Santa Claus. The celebration on Boston Common will include entertainment featuring performers from Nova Scotia and New England with WCVB TV-5 providing live coverage of the festivities.
Ah, I see. There's always Santa Claus as a reason to be cheerful. But then the legend of Santa Claus came about from St. Nicholas, and all that religious imagery - not to mention the gift-giving being centered around the traditional date of Christ's birth.
Scheduled entertainers include Jordan Knight, Jon Secada, The Holy Tabernacle Church Choir, The Magic of Lyn, ParkARTS talent search winner Casey Pollard, vocalist Merle Perkins, The Boston Children’s Choir, an appearance by Santa Claus, and additional surprise guests.
Wait, wait, wait....The Holy Tabernacle Church Choir?? What's the point of inviting a choir who (oh please, don't let the city "gently suggest" they sing "Silver Bells") would presumably sing a couple of religious Christmas carols. After all, that's kind of what choirs do. So if you're not going to have a "Christmas tree" - so as not to offend all those imaginary offendablistas out there - why invite a church choir?
Immediately following the Common tree lighting, Mayor Menino will join Back Bay residents at Arlington Street for the lighting of Commonwealth Avenue Mall at 8:15 p.m.
Well, at least after the 64th Annual Lighting of the Holiday Tree, everyone can attend the really important ceremony, the traditional Lighting of the Mall.

Define your enemies, or your fears will create many, many of them for you.

UPDATE: Boston Mayor Thomas Menino says it wasn't on his orders....

No comments:

Post a Comment