It is such a broad term with so many different interpretations. As such, I wasn’t sure how to tackle this subject until I caught Mark Steyn on The Hour last week. He called human rights a marshmallow term. I have to agree with him. He had a lot of good things to say about how we need to behave to live in this modern-day multicultural age.
Steyn believes that we need to learn how to develop a thicker skin. He says that he sees stuff all the time that offends him. The key to living in this day and age is to develop an insensitivity. I wholeheartedly believe that we all need to do this.
A good case in point is the lighted sign that used to adorn the Hamilton Escarpment every Christmas. This sign was put up every single year for as long as I could remember. The sign was simple and read “Merry Christmas.” For many people this was a great sign of the season. They enjoyed seeing the sign lighting up the mountain, as we call it in the city.
Of course, this simple sign became a matter of some controversy years ago. People claimed that the sign showed an intolerance for other religions. The city bowed into the complaints and changed the sign to read “Season Greetings.”
I don’t think people should have been so offended at a sign. I don’t think it should have become a controversy. And I think the city has lost something here. Season Greetings doesn’t really mean anything. And it doesn’t show that we are sensitive to other religions. It just shows that we can’t celebrate Christianity on any sort of a wide scale.
I would not be offended to see a sign celebrating a holy day for any religion. I think that we really need to choose our battles. We can’t let everything offend us so easily. I am tired of people being outraged at something everyday.
I realize that there are some serious problems in the world that need to be addressed. But there are many problems that simply aren’t problems. If we all let things slide that we could let slide, maybe the world would be a better place. In fact, I’m sure it would be.