Tolerance is fast becoming extinct and being replaced by political correctness which is simply a term used to rationalize and /or justify intolerance.
At what point do we recognize that political correctness is just that… a politically motivated bastardization of whom we are, what we believe, and what we do? When did we become so ultra-sensitive that we cannot tolerate anotherâ€™s opinion or beliefs as long as they are not harmful and do not infringe upon the rights or freedoms of another?
Every year the situation seems to worsen. One or two more things that have always been accepted as the norm become forbidden territory.
Every year at this time, various Christmas tree farms donate large and somewhat spectacular trees to the various state capitals and to our nationâ€™s capital. These trees are usually accepted and displayed as part of the traditional Christmas season. Somewhere along the line, someone (probably a politician) decided to placate the few individuals who were unhappy that the beliefs or practices of the many disagreed with their beliefs or practices.
Maybe what is happening this year seems particularly abrasive to me because it involves the state of R.I.? The State (and one time colony) of R.I. was founded and based on religious tolerance and on the belief that government and religion should be kept separate. This year, the governor of R.I. decided to call the tree donated by Big John Leydenâ€™s Christmas Tree Farm in West Greenwich, R.I. a holiday tree rather than a Christmas Tree. What puzzles me is why he accepted the Christmas tree to begin with. What is next? Will we begin insisting a Menorah be called a candlestick holder, the Koran a Muslim guidebook, or the Bible a Christian storybook? Yes, in essence, that is what these things are but why should anyone feel offended by the names those who choose to use them, have given them? For anyone to take offense that someone chooses to either worship or not worship their chosen Deity in their own way is ludicrous at best. If a Christian celebrates Christmas, a Jew Chanukah, or a Muslim Ramadan and chooses to do so openly, what harm are they doing to others regardless of what the others may or may not believe?