Holiday season is time for celebrating, not ignoring cultures
American educators insist on broadening the minds of their charges. Students must be exposed, they argue, to various cultures and foreign ideas. In order to succeed, our young people must learn as much as they can about cultures -- except for the Christian culture which must be hidden from students.
As the end of the calendar year approaches, many people begin celebrating a variety of holidays. Hanukkah, Kwaanza, New Year's Day, the Winter Solstice and the evil Christmas all occur at the same time of the year.
Many communities, fearing the effects of the "Christmas Spirit," have taken extraordinary means to protect the innocent from this joyous holiday.
Public schools are often at the center of these anti-culture sentiments. Some school bus drivers are warned not to wish their passengers "Merry Christmas" (but are not issued decrees about Hanukkah or any other celebration). Many schools have banned religious Christmas songs from choir performances or allow only instrumental versions of popular carols.
Even the Christmas tree -- which actually is more Druid than Christian -- endures careful scrutiny. Some schools only allow the pines if the are labeled "Giving Trees," "Unity Trees" or some other "innocuous" term.
Here at A&M, the Student Senate dubbed a new committee the "Winter Spirit of Aggieland" because they feared any name which included the word "Christmas" or even "holiday" might cause problems. They pray before every meeting, but worry that students might be offended by the word "holiday"?
At the extreme end of cultural sanitation is a Nebraska school that banned Santa Claus because of his ties to Saint Nicholas. The school invented a replacement -- Leon, a mystical space traveler who brings presents to girls and boys everywhere.
Oddly enough, this crusade to erase all vestiges of Christianity does not stop at Christmas. A New Jersey school this year banned Halloween. Not because witches, demons and zombies caused nightmares or hinted at association with pagan religious rituals, but rather because the holiday originates from All Hallow's Eve, a horridly Christian event.
Christmas is observed by over 90% of the American population, so it makes no sense to remove it from our schools.
The Supreme Court has said Christmas activities and celebrations are permissible. As long as a religion is only discussed and not promoted, there are no rights being violated. No court has ever questioned the legality of carols, and Christmas trees have yet to cause major harm or scandal.
The attempts to ignore this major Christian holiday make no sense. Educators hope their students will be familiar with various cultures, but neglect the prevalent culture in the United States.
These recent moves are not in response to law or complaints, but are a result of fear and political correctness.
The removal of Christmas decorations or carols from public schools serves no beneficial purpose. Years from now students will not credit their success to the absence of Christmas trees from their classrooms.
This is a time of year to celebrate various cultures. The proximity of so many celebrations creates a great opportunity to learn about and contrast different backgrounds and traditions. In the meantime, all Aggies should go out and have a Merry Glitter Season!
Dave Johnston is a senior mathematics major.