Is Christmas a dirty word?

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By Haley Verre
Staff Writer

As the holiday season approaches, the school has to ensure its staff members will remain politically correct as not to offend any students. I understand that it is important to recognize various religions and holidays, but why is a Christian holiday like Christmas considered so taboo?

The school has no problem mentioning December holidays like Hanukah and Kwanza, but when it comes to Christmas, everyone is all up in arms.

What I fail to understand is when a teacher makes a slip of the tongue and says “Christmas” instead of “the holiday season”, then proceeds to apologize profusely to the class for aforementioned mistake. I am not personally offended by this, but perhaps I missed the memo that Christmas is really a shameful and unethical religious practice.

I remember one incident of a teacher saying that she avoids recognizing any religious holiday so she does not offend the atheists in the class. Again, I do not understand how this would be offensive or demeaning to atheists in any way.

One student told me that Christians trying to form a group in school would be unfair to the rest of the students. When I asked the student if she would find a Jewish group offensive, she said “of course not”. I fail to see the logic behind this.

I understand why students have an issue with Christianity being too closely linked to the government. We see the word “God” everyday in our dollar bills and in the Pledge of Allegiance (which has yet to be challenged at Westford Academy).

But I do not believe the key to being inclusive is ignoring religion altogether.

Although I am not a particularly religious person, I feel that religious expression should not be repressed in a school setting.

As most students already know, Christmas has become less of a religious observance and more of a money-making holiday in modern society. Even as it loses its religious connotation, it still is deemed an offensive word to people of other faiths.

Worrying about saying words like “Christmas” brings a larger issue to the table. People of Western society are becoming more accepting of people of different faiths, but have become so concerned with being politically correct that certain values are being thrown out the window.

When I say “values” I do not mean Christian values, but rather the meaning behind religious holidays like Christmas. Sometimes we forget the purpose of being inclusive of all religions in the first place. Saying “Happy Hanukah” or “Merry Christmas” should not be considered offensive to any party involved, regardless of religious values, or lack thereof.

Instead of demonizing Christmas and the Christian religion as a whole, we should include it in the holidays we recognize.

When I or anyone else says “Merry Christmas,” it is not meant to discriminate nor oppress any ethnic or religious group. Neither does it imply that Christianity is superior to other religions. What it means is good will towards all people, so just relax and enjoy the “holiday” season.