Funny, but the founders called it a “right”

It is so hard to focus with Christmas break right around the corner. I really just want to play Christmas music and draw cartoons until it’s time to go home. Finals are really cramping my Christmastime, man.

Another thing that was kind of a downer was the display board inside Wright Cafeteria. You might have seen it. At first glance, it looks pretty harmless. It’s entitled “The Holidays,” and has a bunch of different holidays including Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and a little blurb about each. It also asks the reader what can be done to allow people to learn more about different holidays. Like I said, it sounds pretty harmless.

However, included alongside all of this are two sheets of paper on “Christian Privilege.” “Christian Privilege” is defined on the board as “a system of benefits that confers dominance on Christians while subordinating members of other faith communities as well as non-believers.” So apparently by merely having a majority, we are inherently oppressing others. The board went on to list some examples of “privilege” that Christians receive, such as “Federal and State Holidays are often built close to or during Christian holidays” and “terms like ‘Merry Christmas’ are highly popularized in the media.” So closing federal buildings on days where roughly 70% of the country wouldn’t be using them, or using a seasonal greeting for a holiday that roughly 70% of the country celebrates, is “oppressive.”

In addition, it says “Christian billboards are commonplace, but atheist billboards (?) are typically met with vandalism, protests, and calls to the billboard owner.” I assume by “atheist billboards” it was meant billboards that are meant to ridicule or denounce religion or those that follow a religion (instead of billboards that are merely secular). You don’t think that people would be angered by this? If a Christian group were to post a billboard where the message was essentially “atheists are morons,” I can see atheists getting upset, too.

Oh, and “It affects you!” Yes, you!

“Christian cultural markers alienate those from non-Christian faith traditions and those who are agnostic or atheist, subtly designating them as ‘other.'” Well, I certainly don’t want to imply that you believe something “other” than what I do (wait, what?), and I apologize that we are not a country of primarily agnostics or primarily atheists or primarily those of “non Christian faith traditions.” Do you feel better now?

“Christian privilege shortchanges the learning of Christians as they are not asked to critically examine the beliefs that are so thoroughly represented in formal and informal aspects in campus life.” That’s like demanding that someone be interrogated on their life choices while they’re trying to have their birthday party. Christmas is about celebration. We have all year to “critically examine our beliefs.”  Plus, I don’t think that Jews have any doubts about their beliefs just because they see a Salvation Army Santa in front of Wal-Mart.

Why couldn’t the board be left at listing the different holdays? Why did it have to attack the way we celebrate Christmas? I’m not really sure. I’m not going to let it get me down, though; finals are obnoxious enough. Merry Christmas, everyone!

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