Saturday, December 16, 2006

(Bleep) Rest You, Merry Gentlemen

Here in the Sissy Pants Nation, we dare not mention our religious beliefs. One wrong word that might conceivably be construed as proselytizing could get you in trouble.

Example: Several years ago, a co-worker of mine said to another co-worker who was about to undergo surgery: “I’ll be praying for you.” Nice words, under most circumstances. But, unbeknownst to her, the woman she said this to was an atheist and was offended. A formal complaint was made to the office supervisor, which led to the offending party being called on the carpet and sternly warned that she must never use such dreadful language again.

Such is life in the Sissy Pants Nation. We must we all carefully watch what we say, and daily consult the ever-growing list of words that are verboten, but most of all we should keep our religious beliefs hidden, lest someone who is "different from us" overhear and burst into tears, or explode in a fury—or, worse, file a lawsuit.

As a result, Christmas has become a particularly troublesome time of year in the Sissy Pants Nation, because there is no end of the things we might say or do that could offend someone. Therefore, we must always be careful to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” and we should never put a nativity scene where someone might actually see it. This goes for Christmas trees, too, even though they are secular symbols that pre-date Christianity by centuries, are mentioned nowhere in the Bible, and are displayed all over the world this time of year, even in non-Christian countries such as Japan. Millions of people enjoy them, but a few are offended by them, which in the Sissy Pants Nation is all it takes to cause their removal.

Consider this silly episode from last week: A rabbi was offended by the Christmas trees decorating the Seattle airport and threatened to sue unless Hannukah menorahs were also displayed. Which presented a problem for airport officials. They could either risk a long, drawn-out lawsuit that would involve trying to prove in court that a Christmas tree is a secular symbol, or they could give in to the rabbi's demand that the menorah, a blatantly religious symbol, be displayed. But, if they chose the latter, they would still be open to a lawsuit, because in order to legally display a religious symbol in a public place, symbols from other religions must also be displayed. Therefore, in addition to the Christmas trees and menorahs, they would also have to include Kwanzaa decorations, nativity scenes for Christians who do not regard the Christmas tree as a religious symbol, some other kind of decoration to keep the Wiccans happy, and who knows what else, and if they did not do it right—if they did not carefully research which symbols to display, how to give them equal prominence, and so forth—they could still be in legal hot water. Therefore, as there was not time to mount such an enormous undetaking, they decided to play it safe by removing the Christmas trees.

This was not such a safe course of action as they thought, however. The removal of the trees caused a huge public uproar. Airport officials then returned the trees to the airport, but only after the rabbi agreed to give them a year to figure out how in the hell they're going to decorate the airport next Christmas. Such is life in the Sissy Pants Nation.

A similar situation occurred recently in our fellow Sissy Pants Nation to the north, Canada, where Justice Marion Cohen ruled that a Christmas tree should be removed from the lobby of the Ontario Court of Justice—again, despite the fact that the Christmas tree is not a religious symbol.

Meanwhile, back in this Sissy Pants Nation, in Riverside, California, a childrens choir was ordered by a city employee and a police officer, to stop singing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” in the middle of a show, because they were afraid that a Jewish ice skater who was performing in the show might be offended.

Ridiculous—and what makes it even more ridiculous is that the skater, Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen, was not offended. In fact, she was “stunned” when the children were silenced. As her mother, Galina Cohen, said, “We both thought the voices were just lovely, they were doing such a wonderful job. Christmas carols are part of celebrating the holiday season."

Oh, what a pathetic bunch of Pansy-Wansies and politically-correct Prissy-Wissies we have become in the Sissy Pants Nation, oh what a bunch of hand-wringing Mamas we are these days, silly Ninnies tiptoeing about, prim Pollyanas shushing everyone, so fearful, so careful not to offend the delicate feelings of Daffodil Dan or pouty-faced Patty with the chip on her shoulder.

Sissy Pants Nation, Sissy Pants Nation, we all walk on egg shells in the Sissy Pants Nation …