New Line Cinema wanted to sponsor the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest’s Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza in Chicago with their movie “The Nativity Story“. They were to give $12,000 to the presenters and play clips from the movie on some TVs set up at the Christkindlmarket. The City of Chicago felt that that would be too much Nativity at the Christmas Market. You see, there is already Nativity scene at Daley Plaza, as well as a Christmas tree. And vendors at the Christkindlmarket sell items that relate to the Nativity. Sure, there’s also a Star and Crescent and a Menorah, but the City didn’t want to seem to endorse one religion over another. They also didn’t want to “… be insensitive to to the many people of different faiths who come to enjoy the market for its food and unique gifts…(Jim Law, City of Chicago, Mayor’s Office of Special Events)”
This is a Christmas Market. The Christmas Market takes place from Thanksgiving until Christmas. The vendors sell Christmas items. If it wasn’t for Christmas, there wouldn’t be a market. If it wasn’t for the Nativity of Christ, there wouldn’t be a Christmas. “The many people of different faiths who come to enjoy the market for its food and unique gifts” are aware that it is a Christmas Market. If they were easily offended by Christmas, if they felt ‘excluded’, they probably wouldn’t be there.
Is Mr. Law aware that some food vendors at the Christkindlmarket are selling pork products? Should those be banned because they might offend someone’s religious dietary requirements? No. The vendor should just be aware that he or she could be losing some sales to those who keep Kosher or Halal.
Every day sushi bars are losing sales to me. But that’s because I am just not interested in sushi. I wouldn’t be patronizing the ‘All Liver, All The Time’ restaurant. (funny though, I like braunschweiger liverwurst, I just can’t stand regular liver-and-onions type liver).
We can’t expect to be all things to all people. We can’t even be all things to some people.
There’s talk that non-believers could feel excluded from the market if there’s too much Christ in it.
You know, when my Jewish friends wish me a Happy Hanukkah, I don’t feel excluded at all. I feel included instead. I feel happy that they wish to include me in their celebration of the Festival of Lights.
People sort themselves into all sorts of groupings every day. They sort themselves according to many different criteria. Some criteria may be related to religion, some criteria may be related to ethnicity, some criteria by ancestry, some by education level or income level or political affiliation.
Each and every one of us is different. We have different interest, talents, skills, and beliefs. Even within major religious groups there are many different sub-groups, each with its own particular belief set. We can not include everyone in everything. It is not possible. We can’t make everyone the same see Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut it just won’t work.
How do you decide which “same” to pick? Do you disable everyone equally to “even things out”, or do you euthanize everyone who isn’t “perfect”? Who decides what’s “perfect”?
Can you imagine a world where everyone has the same things, the same income, the same job, the same family, the same looks, the same everything? Even subdivisions try to alleviate some of the sameness of their house plans by not putting two of the same plan on adjacent lots. They also offer different “elevations” or facades so that all the houses built from Plan A won’t look exactly the same…
It’s definitely a delusion to think that multi-culti and inclusion are the cure all of all that’s wrong with the world. Trying to make everyone the same won’t cure anything at all. And it never would happen. Some would always end up staying out of it. “Someone has to run things”, they’d say, “someone has to be in charge.” Those who bitterly complain about the differences between the “haves” and “have nots” will be quite surprised when the middle goes away. When the High comprises 1% and the Low comprises 99% and there is no middle at all…