Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Secret Snowman

At our school the PTSA has a Secret Pal program, wherein a parent "adopts" a teacher (or teachers) and provides gifts to that teacher all year long. It's a very generous thing to do, and I know all of us teachers enjoy getting gifts from our pals.

For the upcoming Christmas season, we teachers can participate in a "Secret Snowman" program with a fellow teacher. Those who wanted to participate filled out forms with likes/dislikes and these forms were distributed to other teachers who chose to participate. It's another great program.

You know what bothered me about it? The teacher who is running "Secret Snowman" chose that term instead of the more common "Secret Santa" because "Secret Snowman" is a non-sectarian term.

PC nonsense. Can anyone explain in which holy book a fat man with flying reindeer appears? And in which holy book we're commanded by the deity to cut down trees--the givers of oxygen!--to decorate?

This kind of foolishness is brought to us by the same people who don't want to acknowledge Christmas Break (even though Christmas is the name of the federal holiday) and don't want us to decorate our classrooms, even with trees or snowmen. I can understand having issues with displaying a creche, but not with non-sectarian decorations of the season--and Santa is certainly non-sectarian. Anyone who claims that Santa is religious because his name derives from St. Nicholaus should also complain about the word holiday itself, which is derived from holy day.

And then they should work on those "holy days", like Veterans Day, and Labor Day, and the 4th of July. Let them live up to their PC values.

And in doing so, they should not participate in the Secret Snowman activity--because the idea of giving gifts during this season derives from the gifts of the three wise men to the Christ child.


Downes said...

Sheesh, you want some cheese with that whine?

The whole world isn't out to get you. Sometimes the people who are doing the actual work (ie., not you) simply want to do something different.

And even if they want it to be non-sectarian, is that so bad? I mean, is it really a hardship for you is somebody else calls their program 'secret snowman'.

Get over it and quit crying.

Darren said...

Secret Santa would be non-sectarian. Calling it Secret Snowman--and stating on the form that it's called that in order to be non-sectarian--is BS PC nonsense.

Downes said...

First of all, you'd be whining even if the issue was about having a creche. So the argument about 'Santa' being non-sectarian is a red herring.

Second, the name 'Santa Clause' has the 'saint' part right in the name. It's not simply derviced for St. Nicholas, it *is* St. Nicholas. So there is at least some argument for it being sectarian.

Third, although it's less plausible that the word 'holiday' is sectarian, it is nonetheless plausible, precisely because of the derivation from 'holy day', which is why many people use the word 'festival'.

Fourth, you have not shown why it *matters* what it's called. If the person organizing it wants to call it 'secret snowman', how does that hurt you? What do you care? What business is it of yours? When you do the work, you can call it 'secret Santa'.

Fifth, the whole idea of what you lable 'BS PC' is to avoid offending people. What is so wrong about making what is in fact a very *monor* change in your life if it helps other people feel more comfortable in society. You you so petty you can't even use the work 'snowman' if it makes someone else feel better?

Brian Rude said...

While teaching college math in Minnesota a few years ago we had an interesting situation. Somebody complained about Christmas wreaths on campus. So down they came, immediately. As I recall, however, everyone backpedeled furiously and back up they came. It was all over in a day or so.

I think we should give careful thought to such things, however. The idea that government, or any part of government, should not promote any one religion, is important. But clearly separating the religious from the secular is also important. Neither Santa nor Frosty, nor Christmas wreaths, are religious.

Darren said...

Downes, you're wrong on just about every count.

A creche is clearly a religious icon, and would not be appropriate. So no, I would *not* be whining about it.

Talk to me about Santa Claus and its St. Nick derivation when you convince San Francisco and Corpus Christi to change their names.

I care about this because I care about liberals and their PC attitudes. Don't like it? Don't come here. You can disagree if you like, but you don't have to be a jerk about it. I will not post further comments from you in you persist in attacking me personally (you have no idea what I'd "whine" about) and don't contribute something worthwhile to the discussion. And *I* determine what's worthwhile, because it's my blog.

Whine about that.

Janet C said...

Uhh, the person whining on this thread isn't Darren.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh, Downes expects the minority to be able to dictate to the majority what our cultural holidays should be about, and then expect us to bend over and take it.
Maybe Downes shouldn't be a whiner about things that 95% of our population support.
I thought lefties were tolerant and accepting...

David said...

What is scary is the degree to which very small groups of people are able to dictate the language used by the whole society. A minor example: I'm a shareholder in a company that does food & animal health products. In their annual report, they refer to what most people would call "pets" as "companion animals."

Now, the executives of this company all look to be in their fifties. I doubt if any of them ever used the term "companion animal" in their lives. But they felt it necessary to adopt what is to them probably an alien speech form in order to placate the small minority of people who object to the term "pets."

KauaiMark said...

I'm just waiting for the day the Lib's start pushing for renaming every city California:

San Francisco
Santa Clara
San Jose
Los Angeles
Santa Maria
San Martin

Darren said...

And Los Angeles.

And on a related note, I've read that Berkeley, CA, was named after a slave-owning Anglican priest!

Ellen K said...

I find it interesting that they would use the Snowman motif, since our local gang unit cops said that the Snowman symbol is representing a particularly violent gang from the east coast that is known for its drug connections. Bring that up with the powers that be and see what happens.

Darren said...


It wasn't about gangs, but about snowmen and cocaine.

Anonymous said...

Downes Syndrome.

R. U. Sirius

rightwingprof said...

"What is so wrong about making what is in fact a very *monor* change in your life if it helps other people feel more comfortable in society."

Because we are raising a generation of thin-skinned, castrated, wimps who feel they have a right not to be offended. There's a great deal wrong with that -- look to your nearest university campus, and all the liberals who label everything they don't like as "hate speech" and insist that "hate speech" is not free speech. Or witness all of the little thugs on campus who feel entitled to physically assault speakers they disagree with, or shout them down.

Scott McCall said...


dadvocate said...

Exchanging gifts during Christmas time is based on a Christian tradition derived from the wise men bringing gifts to the baby Jesus.

The entire gift exchanging thing is sectarian. This teacher should be ashamed!!!! How dare this teacher introduce Christianity into school!!!!!