Courtesy of The Daily Telegraph, I learned that Members of the US House of Representatives have been banned from using ‘Merry Christmas’ when they address their constituents. They may only use the ‘have a safe holiday’ type of bland, trite greetings that could possibly have the word ‘merry’ as in ‘Merry Holidays’, but certainly not…dare I type it…’Christmas’. The ruling does not prevent congressmen from using greetings per se – just greetings that mention Christ.
What would the punishment be for a member of the US House of Representatives if they did use the forbidden word? Would it be too unlike the cartoon above depicting children getting into trouble for cursing obscenities? The irony is that while the word ‘Christmas’ may not be used by the members of the House of Representatives in their official mail, for fear they insult a party who do not believe in Christmas, it actually offends the silent majority of Christians who may be affronted that the name for the-time-when-we-celebrate-Christ’s-birth has become a forbidden word, as though it were an obscenity.