There is now no occasion into which political correctness does not intrude. Yet into none does it do so as self-righteously as Christmas. Every year, the puritanical pedants of political correctness mount their own irreligious crusade to make sure America is safe from crèches on courthouses squares, Christmas celebrations in schools, and religious-themed music at our malls.
Political correctness is a term worthy of Orwell himself. Assiduously political, and assuredly not correct, its followers seek to make this a season without substance, just as they effectively aim to create a society without values. Yet for how long can simply purging Christ from Christmas be sufficient for them? Even today’s popularized versions of Christmas reek with threats to their self-absorbed sensitivities.
This is especially apparent when you look at the short poem that began Christmas’ popularizing in America almost 200 years ago. Clement Moore’s Twas the Night Before Christmas is replete with items that should curl the hair of the shirts of the perpetually offended.
Moore makes his first PC faux pas in the very first verse with “in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.” The designation “saint” is a direct reference to religion – a historical one no less. Much better would be “Santa Claus,” which obscures his origins, thereby making him less threatening to them.
The second verse is no better. There we find children in bed, where “visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.” Today’s food police should have a field day with this one. These children certainly should have been dreaming of healthy snack alternatives.
That they were not, tells us a lot about their benighted parents (where are child protective services?), who obviously encouraged such unhealthy lifestyle choices. Properly indoctrinated children who dreamt of sugarplums should have awoken with nightmares and run screaming to have their BMIs recalculated.
Of course, the parents are mere PC scofflaws when compared to the main offender, who appears shortly in “a miniature sleigh” pulled by “eight tiny reindeer.” How this could not be animal abuse is impossible to imagine! I admit, that I do not know the draft capabilities of eight reindeer of any size, but using just eight (small ones at that), training them to fly, and then forcing them to pull an obviously dangerously overloaded vehicle, seems a very negligent disregard for their well-being.
To compound this, the driver verbally abuses them. As the author notes, “he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!” Nor does their hostile work environment end there. One of the names is nothing short of rank stereotyping. According to Webster’s, “Vixen” can mean a “shrewish ill-tempered woman.” It is not hard to see that in the male-dominated profession of pulling sleighs, this female reindeer had to be assertive merely to have earned her place. The result? She is immediately negatively labeled. Typical.
St. Nicholas then makes his entry in a particularly offensive fashion: “Down the chimney” he “came with a bound.” You can bet there were no sustainability studies done here – no mention being made of a scrubbing device. That St. Nick would avail himself of such a domestically environmentally unfriendly apparatus is not only shocking in itself, but encourages their further usage. For a denizen of the North Pole, he for one should be particularly attuned to shrinking polar caps.
It gets worse. We are told “He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot.” This makes him nothing less than PETA-bait. Obviously this character’s exploitation of animals goes well beyond removing reindeer from their indigenous regions. In good social consciousness, the homeowner should have shown him the door then and there.
The assault on liberal sensibilities only builds. “The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.” Of course, he is a smoker – and “chubby and plump” to boot (a man trafficking in sugarplums could hardly be otherwise). So we have a quick, but complete, portrait of an obese smoker. Moore could have only made him more off-putting to the politically correct had he placed a gunrack in the sleigh and affixed an NRA sticker to its bumper.
Moore saves his worst offense for last though. As St. Nick leaves he shouts “Happy Christmas to all,” insensitively injecting his own religious values on all within earshot. Liberals can only ask: What is he thinking? Yet, it is honestly quite clear with such studied non-inclusiveness.
And if there is one thing politically correct liberals can not abide this time of year it is the intrusion of Christmas on their celebration of “the season.” What exactly it is they are celebrating is unclear, because by claiming to celebrate everything, you in fact are celebrating nothing. And of course, that is really how the politically correct prefer it – to keep religion “in its place,” which to them really means, no place at all.
The politically correct are continually rewriting the answers for everything. So the simple human humility that is religion – the admission, that we do not have the answer to everything and need, and seek, help beyond ourselves – strikes at the very heart of their belief … in themselves. The politically correct dislike religion because they resent the competition.
To the PC police, Clement Moore has much to answer for these days. Fortunately he does not have to. And in that we should take yet another wonderful Christmas memory from him: neither do we.