Sunday, 9 December 2007

I wish you a very Christian Christmas

[...] In Britain we're well-rehearsed in the "Winterval v Christmas" debate. We welcome the school Nativity play that has morphed into a hybrid celebration of Diwali, Hannukah, or Russian Orthodoxy. We may balk when we read that children's choirs are banned from singing traditional carols in shopping malls, and that Santa has been replaced by a "more inclusive pixie" in a school in Brighton. But if the end result is a multicultural society at ease with itself, then so be it.

The galling reality is that the practitioners of other faiths don't care how we celebrate. They accept the Christmas story as just that, an entertaining story. They consider the bank holidays that mark it to be a bonus, and think we're mad to neuter our celebrations in the way we do. But we remain consumed by fear of causing offence, and the unthinking, politically correct, "Christianophobic" jobsworths who run our institutions are to blame.

And so we have the ludicrous situation reported this week whereby travellers to Bahrain - an Islamic country - find the airport fulsomely decorated for Christmas, with Santas in abundance, while O Come All Ye Faithful blasts from the duty-free electronics store. At Heathrow, there are minimal decorations and no carols in case Muslim passengers or airport employees are offended. Read more
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