I try to stay away from posts about politics or religion. It’s a hot iron and I’m totally aware of it. Today I read something that made me think. And it has a lot to do with so called political correctness and religion: A principal bans the word “Easter” form the schools annual Easter hat parade. The reason: He wanted to make the event more inclusive.
Now first of all: How can you possibly have an Easter parade without the word Easter in it? It’s turning into a simple parade! But this just as a side note…
Here are my thoughts, and please get me right: It’s only an opinion. I’m not telling you what you have to think or do. I’m simply sharing my thoughts on this subject and I think I’ve never been that open about it so far…
I get it. I get that you want to make everyone feel accepted and welcome. I get that there are different religions, different lifestyles, different philosophies out there and that as a principal you have to consider the well-being of everyone. You do want to make everyone feel comfortable. Totally get it.
And he is not alone.
Things like this happen everywhere. We are told not to wish a Merry Christmas anymore but rather Happy Holidays. Words like “Easter” and “Merry” and even “Christmas” suddenly are no longer acceptable. The principal is only one of the examples of people trying to do the right thing but end up basically doing the wrong thing. At least in my opinion.
As I pointed out before on many occasions, I’m not religious. I do have my believes but I consider myself really open minded. This, though, goes too far. And here is why I think it goes too far:
I believe that a culture has a certain lifestyle, certain rules. Religion and law are a big part of this. It’s what the culture lives by and why it works the way it works. As someone that has traveled a fair bit and also moved country I feel that if you visit a country, a culture, it’s up to you to accept their rules, their law, their religion, their lifestyle, their way of sorting things. It’s not up to you to change what they feel is right. You have to adjust, not the other way around.
Now, in cases like this, I feel this adjusting gets forced on the culture, the locals if you want to use this word. Although it is born out of a good thought it creates massive issues. You read something like the article mentioned above on Facebook or any other social platform and the comments suddenly turn mean. Instead of blaming the fact that we bend in all sort of directions the frustrations is focused on other religions, other political ideas.
So by being so called political correct, what we trigger is racial issues, religious issues and hate.
I have to admit that it makes me angry too, when I read about another one of those attempts to make everyone happy or make everyone feel included. And the thought crosses my mind, that it’s not okay. That if we move to a country we have to apply to its rules, its lifestyle and its main religion. If I don’t like it then I should choose another place to move to. Same with traveling. I would never expect a Muslim country to change its rules just because I travel there and as a woman want to be able to move around the way I’m used to. I inform myself and then follow the rules. Or I decide not to go there. Same with the move.
I understand that sometimes you have no option in choosing where you move to. But even then: You adjust. Not the place you move to.
I do see the issue we have in multicultural places. I see the issues we have, living in cultural melting points. There are many different lifestyles to be considered. What it all comes down to in my eyes, is what the original foundation is. What is this culture based on?
I see that you have some leeway if the constitution says that you have freedom of speech, freedom of religion and so on. That doesn’t mean, though, that we have to bend our values and our lifestyle to the point where it simply doesn’t make any sense anymore. It simply means acceptance.
Acceptance of the fact that people might dress differently. Acceptance of the fact that they might pray differently. Acceptance that things might be done slightly different.
As long as we stay open and accept those things, we follow our constitution. There is no need to change our way of life to conform every one. And the interesting fact is, that the groups that are used to excuse changes like this are not comfortable with it either. Nobody asked for it. It’s all in our head!
I find it dangerous to bend our values. We start with “silly” things that still are so important in our life, in our thinking. But where will it stop? When will we decide that we need to change the way we dress in order to make everyone feel included? And how will it look like? Will we have to wrap ourselves up head to toes or shave our heads? Where will it stop, this urge for political correctness, that in my eyes is so totally silly and honestly not only wrong but also dangerous.
There is so much hate triggered by a silly decision like this. So many people now full of hate because they blame a certain religion for it, although it had nothing to do with it.
Why can we not just stand up for our values, for our lifestyle, for our religion and stand behind it. This is the way we live. It’s the way we organize our community. It’s the way we make things work. Accept it and deal with it, because we will not ask you to change your values as long as they are not against our laws.
I find that we live in a very accepting culture, generally speaking. And I don’t understand why we have to prove it over and over again by divulging our roots. I’m all for being political correct. But it has to stay real. Unfortunately it turns into a farce far too often…