Yes, I know it’s old news now. Frosty the Snowman nixed as a white “male icon” that helps “to substantiate an ideology upholding a gendered spatial/social system.” NPR’s Nina Totenberg apologizing for uttering the word “Christmas” (think of all she had to apologize for and she picks Christmas!). The preposterous, pre-fabricated holiday of “Kwanzaa.” The greeting “Merry Christmas” banned at sundry companies and municipalities throughout the domain formerly known as Christendom. All in a day’s work for those wishing to target Christianity in the name of political correctness.
And yet we must not let familiarity inure us to preposterousness. Nor should we make the common mistake of assuming that because something is preposterous it is not therefore seriously harmful. It is sometimes difficult to get our minds around that fact that something can be both preposterous and malevolent. And yet history is full of examples, from Nero and Caligula on down. How silly they seemed — until, of course, their silliness turned toxic.
With that in mind, I offer the following exchange of emails to readers. It was sent to me by one of the parties to the exchange, a doctor who has suffered through the increasingly intolerant and politically correct atmosphere of a large Midwestern medical practice. Our story opens with a seemingly innocuous invitation to a “holiday party” a couple of days ago:
Sent: Monday, December 20, 2010 11:56 AM
To: MED STF ALL
Subject: REMINDER: LUNCH in the Lounge!
You’re invited to celebrate the season at the Med Staff HOLIDAY LUNCH!
When: TOMORROW! Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Time: 11:30am – 1:30pm
Where: Physician Lounge
Ho, ho, ho, right? But my friend thought he would ask the obvious question.
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 8:43 AM
Subject: RE: REMINDER: LUNCH in the Lounge!
I have a question. What holiday is it that you are celebrating? Could it be Christmas?
Heaven forfend! Anything but Christ-mas! But here is the response, res ipsa loquitur:
We don’t celebrate one specific holiday. We honor all holidays celebrated by the members of the medical staff with this one non-specific holiday lunch. I hope you can join us.
And here is the response:
Interesting. So this is the only holiday lunch you have all year. Then why have it 4 days from Christmas. What other holiday is there this time of year?
I just tried ringing you, but got your assistant’s voicemail. I would be happy to talk via phone with you about our robust physician event schedule. Do call when you get a chance.
Also, since we are talking, we noticed you do not have a professional photo up on our website. I invite you to have that taken during our monthly photo sessions in the Physician Lounge. The next one is taking place tomorrow, Wednesday, December 22 from 7:15 – 8:15am. If you are unable to attend, I will alert you to the next session in January.
Have a wonderful day!