The Wisconsin Governor’s endorsement of holiday trees with science ornaments continues to pay dividends here at Ethics Alarms. Here is Ethics Alarms veteran commenter luckyesteeyoreman‘s Comment of the Day on Michael West’s concise COTD, “Comment Of The Day: “High Noon Ethics Warm-Up, 11/12/2019: Laser Eyes And Science Trees.”
Lucky begins with a quote from my intro, but here is Michael’s full post:
What part of Christmas do they hate? The individual and spontaneous demonstrations of generosity, spawned entirely from personal choice free from central coordination and bestowed as private individuals see fit free from oversight? Or Christ?
Now heeeeere’s Lucky!
“But really, why would anyone in their right mind object to Christmas…?”
Because many are in their right mind who object. Most of us here at EA might not understand such people – even more likely do not even think like such people – but, that isn’t because the objectors aren’t in their right mind.
I assert the foregoing, coming from a history as a sibling who was the youngest of the brood. Much younger than all of my siblings. As a result, I had “multiple parents.” Also, as a consequence of that “virtual only child” status, I quickly deluded myself into thinking I was the center of the universe, the sole reason why any and all of the others existed. Any circumstance or appearance of a reality that in my perception was in conflict with that delusion, became a “trigger” for me to remind everyone, by any means necessary, that, “HEY!: THIS IS ALL ABOUT ME, here.”
Despite how my comments here might suggest otherwise, I really did out-grow that delusion. I thank the humbling influence of baseball for that, at least in part. In my case, learning about the example of Christ helped greatly, too.
My point is that there are many people who resent being reminded of a person or thing, or idea, that they do not think deserves so much attention, respect, etc. The really die-hard cases resent anyone or anything that, be it real or a mass fantasy, is “bigger than they are.” The “resenters” might be narcissists. They might be, or consider themselves, members of what they consider the Hive of Correctness. Or, they might be just thoughtful individuals, with no particular axe to grind but who have an abiding objection to something in their society that has mass appeal.
For example: am I in my right mind to object to “vaping?” Well, I think so…
Yesterday, I reminded myself, over and over, of my point above while I perused comments on…I think it was a site called Quora (or something), which popped up after I Googled, “Why does the left hate Christmas?” The website at least did not seem like a leftist echo chamber. The responses – although many if not almost all had carefully worded disclaimers (what Jack might call denials and even sly gaslighting) – seemed thoughtful, individualistic, and not like the “talking points” or “faith reflections” of some particular hive mind.
I don’t disagree with Jack on what he says about progressives and “natural” leftist antipathy to the American celebration of Christmas. I completely agree with the idea that “community RE-organizing,” in a revolutionary (and ethics-absent) way, is a motive of many who are hostile to the mass observation of the Christmas season. I feel encouraged – “emboldened,” even – by what really does look like (to me) a counter-countercultural movement that favors celebrating Christmas.
But, I also feel ethically obligated to give the benefit of doubt first, to people who seem clearly to be communicating simply that Christmas “just isn’t their thing.” And then, next, to be kind in a Golden Rule way, regardless of their views on Christmas and their reasons for those views.