Non-Christian terms about being inclusive

Over the last couple of weeks, I have watched with interest the discussion around political correctness and holiday celebrations.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have watched with interest the discussion around political correctness and holiday celebrations.

Terms like Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings and Winter Break are an attempt to be inclusive, to not assume that everybody one meets celebrates the holiday we or our families celebrate. These are catch-all phrases that leave no one out, including those who celebrate Christmas.

Being sensitive in the way one speaks is not about denigrating Christmas or communicating that Christmas should mean any less than before to those who celebrate this holiday. It is about ensuring that all Canadians, from any one of the multitude of backgrounds from which we come, feel welcome, feel as though they belong, and feel that their traditions are welcome here.

If we were to continue Christian traditions in public schools, and say only Christian terms like Merry Christmas and Christmas break, we would be excluding and marginalizing, via our language, those who are not Christians.

Anyone who takes a trip to the local big box stores, or downtown shops knows that menorahs and symbols of diwali or other cultural holidays will not be found.

In society at large, Christmas trees, Christmas songs, and other symbols of the Christian tradition are ubiquitous.

Those who are not Christian already feel largely left out at this time of year due to the lack of public presence of their symbols.

Let us at least be welcoming in our use of language — in the community, in our public schools, in our stores: welcoming of all, including those Christians among us, and those non-Christians among us.

Canada is an inclusive, tolerant country, and we should be proud to uphold our national values here in the Cowichan Valley.

 

Kathy Evans

Maple Bay

Just Posted

Caps improve to 3-0

Lynn and Arquiett score two each as Caps double up Chiefs

Carving in Cowichan provided road to recovery for stroke victim

“I didn’t know if I’d be able to get out of bed or walk, let alone carve”

Sarah Simpson Column: Use your smarts to slow down early holidays

It’s Friday the 13th. There’s a full moon. A rabid bat is… Continue reading

Island pair helps BC to baseball title

Cowichan’s Ella Duncan-Reda and Oak Bay’s Tess Sawkins integral to provincial success

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Nanaimo company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

VIDEO: Seniors at B.C. assisted living facility shocked by Oct. 1 eviction notice

Building owners terminate lease for McGuire Lake Congregate Living in Salmon Arm

Most Read