Dec 072006
Authors: Hilary Davis

It’s the week before finals and all through the school, the Rammies are sleeping, trying not to drool.

The papers were turned in, written with care, in hopes that the teachers would grade nice and fair.

The students were nestled all snug in their beds after hours at the library, cramming their heads.

With one week to go they just had to get through, but in their excitement for Christmas, they offend someone – you?

Yes, it’s that time of year again: time to watch what you say and time to sidestep around any mention of words that offend. What? You thought this time of year was about peace, love and generosity to others? Well it might be, unless someone else is offended by such things, in which case you’re not allowed to talk about them either.

With the snow falling and the smell of hot chocolate and religious oversensitivity in the air, I have to wonder if all the focus on being politically correct has led us to make some decisions that are incorrect. Have we taken political correctness too far?

I used to work at the InfoToo desk, a place where political correctness reigned supreme. Paper chains counting down the days until finals week had to be removed, as they were too similar to paper chains that count down the days until Christmas. We also were not allowed to listen to Christmas music or wish one another Merry Christmas without verbal reprimand. And every year, the whole staff gets together for a non-denominational, non-religious winter gathering. I’m not even kidding – that’s what it said on the invitation. They believe that any mention of any holiday whatsoever might be offensive to someone.

I hear they’re having another winter gathering this year. I wasn’t invited.

This might all sound like I’m pro-Christmas and anti-everything else, but I’m not. In fact, I’m very much pro-other religious holidays. But I am very much against the trend that seems to favor eliminating the recognizing of any religious holidays, and instead pretending like they don’t exist.

For example, the Fort Collins City Council has decided that Christmas trees will be allowed on public property because they can be considered a secular symbol. I agree that trees are most definitely secular. A nice Aspen, shimmering in the wind? The epitome of secularity. But trees with ornaments and lights on them? Not so much. And calling it a “holiday tree” is just a bit ridiculous. Unless you know of any other religious holiday where the followers celebrate by decorating a native plant and then sitting under it and singing songs and trading gifts. But I enjoy walking around Fort Collins and seeing the trees wrapped in lights. I only wish that other city residents were able to see their religious symbols as well.

City Council members say Menorahs or any other religious symbols will not be allowed – after all, if one religion’s symbols are allowed, then you have to allow all religious symbols. My question is: What’s wrong with that? It seems as though the spirit of political correctness is trampling the spirit of the holiday season, no matter what religion you happen to be.

This time of year means something different for everyone. Some are celebrating the festival of lights, others rejoice in the birth of Christ, and some study the seven principles. But at the core of the holiday season, there is a message of love, purpose and peace in the world. And I just can’t see what is so offensive about that.

Hilary Davis is a senior technical journalism major. Her column appears on Fridays in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to

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