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Front Page » January 3, 2006 » Opinion » Tradition trumps political correctness
Published 3,222 days ago

Tradition trumps political correctness


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate general manager

This holiday season has been full of joy and happiness for many people, but over the festivities has hung the latest the political correctness wars.

The cries for many retail outlets to not call anything surrounding the holidays Christmas flies in the face of tradition and good sense.

Now before those of you who want Christmas out of the holidays start to send me letters or give me nasty calls, I am one of the strongest supporters of church and state separation. Growing up not as a part of the usual religion in Utah tends to make you that way. But this idea of not allowing people to call a holiday what they want it to be for them is ridiculous, particularly when we are talking about private business.

Personally I didn't care how our employees greeted customers of the newspaper before and during the holidays, as long as they were courteous. I said "Merry Christmas" to many a soul that came into our office doors or that I visited. If an employee had wished someone "Happy Kwanza" or "Happy Hanukkah" or even "Have a happy life" I would not have had a problem with that either.

However, if any business were to decide to just say "Happy Holidays" I would defend their right to do that too. After all they are the ones that have to decide how to treat their customers and what to say to them. And certainly their customers have the right to decide whether they like that or not and whether they want to do business with such an organization.

But anyone who worries more about how they are greeted during any holiday period than they do about what a businesses overall ethics are, whether that business has been good for the community or if that business supports suppliers who take disproportionate advantage of their work force by paying sweat shop wages seems a hell of a lot more important to me than what they have their employees mutter during the holiday season.

As for government, the idea that there should be no reference to religion at all, anywhere, is just a little too tight in my book. No I don't want people teaching my kids creationism in school; I think that should be left for the church to do. But I also don't think that taking "In God we trust" off money or removing the Ten Commandments from parks and court houses makes much sense either. Most of us look at money as a tool, something we use on a daily basis to run our businesses and private lives. If someone printed "God is good" on the hammer in my tool box I don't think that would affect it's use all anymore than using a dollar bill with words about God would keep me from buying something on the dollar menu at McDonalds.

I just think the people who are pushing these kinds of things need to get real. They need to expend their energy on real problems in the world; things like poverty, injustice and famine.

They need to get a life.


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January 3, 2006
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