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Merry Christmas to all—To the Grinch Who Stole Christmas Bazaar, Goodnight!

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I remember 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 minds.

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 is?

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 remain silent.

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!

John DiMascio

Communications Director
Watertown Citizens for Common Sense Government


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