the day when diversity meant the freedom to celebrate different traditions,
cultures and faiths. Ironically, the ‘politics
of inclusion’ have hatched an illegitimate ‘child.’ This
mutant can only be described as Secular Fundamentalism. What began
as a movement to include everyone has morphed into dogma that has us
all eating vanilla. I guess eating pistachio might remind us that these
people are nuts!”
I wrote these words just about this time last year in a column entitled “Tis
the Season Not to Offend Anyone”
The piece was a response
to the growing “War on Christmas” being
waged in other parts of the country. I remember thinking, thank the good
Lord this isn’t happening in Watertown. Oh, I knew we a handful
of idiosyncratic fruit loops that wanted to impose their Christ-a-phobic
worldview. But I figured their shrill voice was just a frustrated echo.
You know, geriatric flower children singing dissonant protest songs;
longing for the sixties.
Sadly, I was wrong. Hours after my last column hit the stands, I starting
receiving emails and phones calls from mothers whose children attended
the Lowell School. They all were very grateful that I had mentioned to
the outlawed Lowell School Christmas Bazaar.
As result of these
conversations, I came to realize just how absurd the School Department’s position is. To be honest, I only mentioned
the Christmas Bazaar as a caustic aside. My point was the School Department
had a “bizarre” set of priorities (yes Mr. Mirvis that’s
a pun; a tool sometimes used to highlight a point). I found it more than
a bit odd that our school officials were more concerned with political
correctness than they were in protecting the funds used for capital improvements.
I did not realize that my comment would give comfort to the dedicated
Lowell School moms. Nor did I dream their response would provide the
seed for a seasonally appropriate commentary.
To understand the lunacy surrounding this issue, we need to look at
the history and place the School Departments decision in context with
their policy towards other celebrations and activities.
In the year of Our
Lord 2004, the School Department cancelled a 50-year tradition. They
nixed the Lowell School’s annual Christmas Bazaar
because a small number people of felt it was offensive. Apparently a
handful of religious items were sold at some of the booths and the “Sensitivity
Stasi” felt that this would cause irreversible injury to young
Now, I’ve read most of the Constitution and all of the Bill of
Rights. Nowhere do I find a “right not to feel offended”.
Nevertheless the parents tried to appease this cacophonous minority with
an obvious (all be it unnecessary) comprise. They agreed to forbid the
sale of all paraphernalia that violated secular fundamentalist dogma
That wasn’t good enough for the “Secular Sandinistas”.
Next they objected to the bazaar being held during the school day. Using
that logic, we should do away with all field trips and any other kind
of experiential learning activities. After all why should kids learn
how to make decisions about how to spend money? They don’t need
to learn how to make change and engage in commerce. It’s not like
we live in a free market society. We can’t waste the school day
on such trivial pursuits. That takes away valuable time that could be
used indoctrinating children with politically correct psychobabble.
If this weren’t bad enough, the School Department’s “sensitivity” amounts
to pure hypocrisy. This past November, the Cunniff School hosted a traditional
Ramadan Celebration. During the school day no less! So a Ramadan Feast
is fine, but a Christmas Bazaar will somehow do permanent damage to children?
Give me a break! If that is not unmitigated anti-Christian bigotry, what
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the Ramadan Celebration.
But the same standard should apply to Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or Zoroastrian
celebrations for that matter. Needless to say, if parents don’t
want their kids to attend, let them opt out. What’s the big deal?
The irony is that
Watertown is naturally eclectic. Just walk the Streets. You’ll
see signs in many languages. Just as many tongues are spoken. Our religious
customs are equally wide-ranging. This ethnic and religious variety
is one of things that makes Watertown such a great place to live. Watertown
is a Mecca of diversity and it did not take a federal mandate to make
it so. Moreover, we were all good neighbors long before politically
correct prelates came along to enlighten us.
This past election proved that the common sense majority will no longer
School officials (especially
those holding elected office) should best take a cue and come their
senses. It’s time to respect everyone
traditions. Yes, even those celebrated by the majority of Watertown residents;
who happen to be Christians.
On that note. Merry Christmas to all -- To the Grinch who stole Christmas
Bazaar, Good Night!
Watertown Citizens for Common Sense Government