You have to love that “Have a wonderful day!”

My friend was right on this communiqué with the obvious response:

I would love to see a copy of your 2010 robust physician event schedule.

Thank you.

That request apparently put a spanner into the works. For  the next installment in this little drama comes not from the perky administrator but from a chap identified as “Vice President of Medical Affairs/ Chief Medical Officer”:

Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:02 PM
Subject: recent emails

—— , I hope all is well. The physician relations office told me that you had some issues with the announcements for the Medical Staff Holiday party, I told them I thought your comments were joking and that you were not one to complain about anything. They took your comments seriously so I hope I am right and your comments were not really directed towards them. They are a great group that have the sometimes difficult task of keeping 1,000 docs happy.

I certainly hope the note describing the lunch  was not offensive, I am sure you realize how important it is to be politically correct these days. . . .

To which missive my friend replied:

Dear ------,

I cannot even begin to imagine what I said in my email that would have disturbed your staff.  It was a simple question and it was serious.  I have had a ten year, ten dollar wager to anyone who can find the word “Christmas” on any poster, announcement, etc., etc. at [Name Withheld to Protect the Preposterous]. So far, I have not had to pay anyone.  They do celebrate Diwali, Iranian New Year, Black History month, etc. etc. (No St. Pat’s, . . . although they used to).  If we cannot defend our culture, we are doomed to lose it.

The response from your staff is, however, typical.  Afraid of the word “Christmas.”  Prove me wrong and send me the robust 2010 physician event calendar.

I won’t bother to print the response to that, because it was a non-response, an effort to deflect the question, and the request for the “robust physician event calendar” with a faux-chummy inquiry after mutual friends.

My friend ended on a note of resignation:

So I guess I can’t expect the robust physician event calendar for my article: The Hospitals that stole Christmas.

Right he is, but even more to the point is his observation that “if we cannot defend our culture, we are doomed to lose it.”  What happened to this country that we are no longer able to celebrate its core founding values and spiritual markers?  It may seem like a small, a silly, thing that bureaucrats enforce a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it comes to the Judeo-Christian values and rituals that formed America. But my friend is right. Unless we as a civilization band together to acknowledge and defend who we are as a culture we will in effect be committing cultural suicide. This is part of what the great political philosopher James Burnham meant when he observed that “civilizations die, in truth, only by suicide.” Keep it in mind as you swill the egg nog. Merry Christmas.