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  • 25


     
    News Flash: Honoring Santa Claus Is anti-Semitic
    Political Correctness; Posted on: 2010-12-14 17:29:11 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    This leads directly to the covert, and mainly accidental, anti-Semitism exhibited during Christmas time.

    by Stephanie Silberstein

    I saw on the news this afternoon that a Jewish woman in Wilmington objected to her child being made to sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The song makes references to Santa and Christmas, and the woman did not want her child to sing the song. Apparently the school initially took the song off the holiday concert list, but a superintendent reversed that decision because the other childrens' parents complained that their children "love" the song and that Santa is a "secular" figure. Besides, the superintendent argued, the non-believing child could always not participate in the concert.

    Surely there are more important battles to be fought than this one. In Winter's Silence, Emily becomes embroiled in a perpetual battle not to sing songs glorifying Jesus when her family doesn't believe in him.

    But while the mother's concern may not have been, in the scheme of things, particularly important, the school district's response to it is disturbing.


    Surely there are more important battles to be fought than this one. In Winter's Silence, Emily becomes embroiled in a perpetual battle not to sing songs glorifying Jesus when her family doesn't believe in him.

    But while the mother's concern may not have been, in the scheme of things, particularly important, the school district's response to it is disturbing.

    First of all, let's look at the claim that Santa is a secular figure. This concerns me because Santa is a figure associated primarily with Christmas. As a Jewish child, I was never told that "Santa" brought ME presents; that was something my non-Jewish friends believed in. Other Jews I know felt excluded because Santa visited their friends' houses but never theirs.

    The Santa legend does not really have to do with Christmas either*, but it has become ASSOCIATED with Christmas--NOT winter holidays in general, NOT Kwanzaa, NOT Chanukah. Christmas.

    The message behind Santa being a "secular" figure is that Christmas is a "secular" holiday--i.e. one that everyone celebrates regardless of religion. This leads directly to the covert, and mainly accidental, anti-Semitism exhibited during Christmas time. It is assumed that everyone celebrates Christmas... therefore there is no need to devote equal time to non-Christian hoildays in the public schools,  no need to have Chanukah decorations or items in holiday displays at stores, no need to grant consideration to anyone who doesn't celebrate.

    This is why I take issue with the superintendent's second point, which is that the individual parent can choose to remove hir child from the concert. On paper, this seems like a fair solution. The parent's concerns are addressed, the child is not forced to sing songs that go against hir family's beliefs, and the other children's parents are appeased. However, in reality, the Jewish (or other non-celebrating) child's needs are not fully addressed.

    During the holiday season, Jewish children are bound to feel excluded, especially if they live in mainly non-Jewish neighborhoods. Their friends are putting up Christmas trees and getting ready for visits from Santa, who never visits the Jewish child's home. Even if the family is making preparations for Chanukah, it isn't the same as what everyone else is doing, so the child may still feel left out.
    To be the only child not singing in the holiday concert will deepen the feeling of isolation. The child may resent the parent for pulling hir out of the concert or wish s/he was not Jewish.

    It is for this reason that the father in Winter's Silence tries his best to avoid Emily being removed from the concert. "You know," he says to the school principal, "my kid is the only one who doesn't celebrate Christmas. It would be nice if she could at least participate in the concert like everyone else."

    If the solution isn't to remove individual children from holiday concerts at their parents' discretion, then what is it? I think that a true solution goes deeper than deciding whether to sing Christmas songs or not.  School administrators--and everyone else--would have to realize that Christmas is not a "secular" nor an "American" holiday**. It is a religious holiday, even if many families celebrate it in a purely secular way.

    Armed with this knowledge, school administrators could feel secure in allowing teachers to teach an inclusive curriculum during the Christmas season, one in which children study MANY religions' winter celebrations. They also could feel secure in requiring that holiday concerts cover many winter celebrations if they are held at all.

    Public schools are supposed to be places where children of ALL backgrounds can learn. Children should not be made to feel uncomfortable or isolated because they do not celebrate a particular religion's holiday.

    The only way to do this is for Christmas to become part of a multicultural study and celebration rather than the main holiday celebrated in public schools during the holiday season.

    Source

    News Source: authorsden

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