Now that the holiday season has officially started, we are going to hear a lot more from Fox News about the “War on Christmas.” One of the first salvos has been fired in, surprise, Georgia. In Harris County, the sheriff decided that he needed to put up a sign outside his department.
The sign reads
WARNING: Harris County is politically incorrect. We say: Merry Christmas, God Bless America and In God We Trust. We salute our troops and our flag. If this offends you…LEAVE!
Which brings us to a phrase that is bandied about way too often by both sides. That phrase is “political correctness.” This may sound crazy to a lot of you, but I don’t care about the sign through the word “flag.” I mean that. I don’t care if you say Merry Christmas. I don’t care if you say God Bless America. I don’t care about any of that. What makes the sign offensive it the last part. “If this offends you…LEAVE!”
I have news for Sheriff Jolley. Once you put that phrase in your sign, you proved that you do not salute our troops or our flag. Our troops fight to defend the constitution which protects people from having follow your slanted views of the world. We fight to protect everyone’s right to be different.
Rather than being a sign that wants to “protect” aspects of life, this sign is intended to tell non-Christians that they are not welcome in Harris County. It is backed up by his statement in an interview on Fox News, “I’m not naive enough — and I hope they’re not naive enough — to think I can order anyone to leave the county. But if it offends someone, they’re more than welcome to leave.”
This is nothing more than trying to establish a “Christian” society in a county of America and for that matter the entire country. Jolley finished by noting that if the sign “offends them, truly offends them, maybe they’re in the wrong country.” See, he said “country” with an “r” not “county” without an “r”.
I have believed for a long time that “political correctness” may have gone too far. But, there is a difference between political correctness and trying to enforce a theology. When conservatives try to say that businesses don’t have to serve people because it violates the business’ civil rights, they are not being politically incorrect, they are be unlawful.
When a county official says if you are offended because someone says “Merry Christmas” you should “leave” he is not being politically incorrect, he is being unlawful. That is the major difference between “political correctness” and being “political”.
When someone offends people, they may be politically incorrect. When officials try to make that policy, they are being political. That is the major difference that conservatives don’t want you to see. The First Amendment clearly states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.
Signs like Sheriff Jolley’s clearly crosses that line. Look, this is known as the “Christmas Season.” That doesn’t mean everyone believes in that philosophy. There are other holidays being celebrated by other groups as well. The words you use as a greeting during holiday season don’t mean you are a good person or a bad person. They simply express beliefs. So, as the season goes along, I won’t be offended by someone saying “Merry Christmas”. Even though I don’t follow that belief system, as a courtesy I always respond using the same words. That is not political correctness, that is being polite.
On the other hand, I don’t expect anyone to be offended if I say “Happy Holidays” instead. Again, that is not being politically correct on their part, it is being polite. Both examples are not just being polite, they are being respectful. I respect your right to believe what you wish. I also expect that you will respect what I believe.
The Christmas season has always touted peace and love among mankind. During World War I the Germans and British climbed out of their trenches to get drunk together, talk, and play soccer. If they could put their hate aside during this season, why can’t we?
Maybe because people like Sheriff Jolley, who want to impose a Christian Theocracy on the rest of us won’t let the lies die. That is not being politically incorrect, it is being deceitful. How Christmassy of them.