(Un)Christmas Around the World

We are not alone in the political correctness universe. A quick trip across the pond reveals advanced stages of yuletide madness. (Hat tip to Christianity Today Weblog for the international links).

The Land of Scrooge

Welcome to Great Britain, the land of Ebenezer Scrooge, where “political correctness has strangled the festive spirit,” according to The Advertiser

Check these out:

–A number of key government departments issued edicts that references to “Christmas” be dropped from greetings cards so as not to offend non-Christians.

–In Clydach, on the outskirts of the Welsh city of Swansea, the local council has banned festive lights in case they electrocute vandals.

–Killjoys in Bellshill, Scotland, have scrapped a supermarket Christmas party because they didn’t want staff turning up for work with hangovers.

–A survey reveals eight in 10 British firms have decided not to have a party because bosses fear being sued by staff claiming injury or sexual harassment during drunken office knees-ups.

–At Tower Hamlets, a down-at-heel district in London’s east, council staff have been ordered to refer to their Christmas meal as a “festive lunch”.

–Some of London’s biggest department stores have abolished Santa’s grottos because of concerns they could act as magnets for pedophiles. In one shop, a webcam has been installed to ensure Santa does not abuse any of the children.

–Tinsel has been banned from a Gloucestershire school party because the principal fears pupils might strangle themselves if they drape it around their necks.

–And in perhaps the most bizarre anti-Christmas initiative, the Castleford Choral Society, a choir that has sung carols for more than 60 years, had to cancel its traditional concert because it was deemed a fire hazard.

–Meanwhile, Britain’s union movement has called for mistletoe to be banned to discourage unwanted sexual advances. The party-pooper missive from the Trades Union Congress also frowns on balloons because they can trigger an allergy to latex.

–Art historian Dr Tricia Cusack launched an attack on the snowman. She said the figure was not so much a source of innocent fun for children as a degrading symbol of racist and sexist bigotry. Dr Cusack branded the snowman a phallic symbol that helped condemn women to second-class status and threatened minorities. “Some members of cultural minorities in Britain find the central power relationship of Christmas threatening, not to speak of its whiteness – a white Christ, a white snowman,” she said.

Secular France

In the tradition of the French Revolution, which threw the priests out with the princes, France is going to great ends to secularize their society. This from Expatica, a publication for expatriates in France:

Last Saturday the headmaster of the Van Dongen lycee at Lagny-sur-Marne removed a fir tree that had been set up in the entrance-hall, after two girl pupils complained it was a breach of France’s new law banning religious insignia in schools.

However in a counter-offensive on Monday teachers circulated a text reminding students that “the use of a fir-tree as a symbol of life or rebirth after the winter solstice is much more ancient than Christianity.”

And the liberals want us to be more like the Europeans!

–James Jewell


About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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