Last night, while watching TV from a Maritime Channel, I saw a "News Update" during the commercials. The anchor mentioned that [don't remember the public building] had a Christmas tree standing in it. People apparently complained saying they were offended by the tree.
Hello? What are you smoking? What is offensive about a Christmas Tree? In my opinion, the two most abused phrases in our language are:
1. That's Racist
2. That's Offensive
The racist one is a separate issue and I won't get into that now.
Let's look at the meaning of Offensive. (from dictionary.com)
1. causing resentful displeasure; highly irritating, angering, or annoying: offensive television commercials.
2. unpleasant or disagreeable to the sense: an offensive odor.
3. repugnant to the moral sense, good taste, or the like; insulting: an offensive remark; an offensive joke.
4. pertaining to offense or attack: the offensive movements of their troops.
5. characterized by attack; aggressive: offensive warfare.
Let's pick apart the meaning of offensive.
First, a coniferous tree doesn't give off an offensive odor, and if it did then people should complain about the species of tree in an urban area, not the decoration on said tree. So that rules out number 2
As for the repugnant, insulting etc. I didn't see the tree look at somebody and say to them, "an Islamic and a Jewish guy went for a walk...." so no offensive jokes or bad taste. That rules out number 3.
I don't know about you, but I've sure as hell never seen a Christmas tree roundhouse kick a passer by with Ninja precision. Nor have I never seen a Christmas tree Commando roll into the room and kill people with an assault Rifle, so Number 5's out too.
Since we know Ninja trees don't exist, there's no need for them to advance across a battle field, so nope, number 4's right out!
That leaves #1; Causing resentful displeasure; highly irritating, angering, or annoying. Okay. this must be what people complain about. Let me tell you what's annoying. Being cut off in traffic is annoying. Let me tell you what's irritating. People that need to make themselves feel better by attempting to oppress others. A Christmas tree is not either of these. Let's look at a Christmas tree as a religious symbol. How is a Christmas tree any more or less offensive than The following.
1. A Statue of Shiva, the Hindu God
2. A Statue of Buddha Shakyamuni (Not the belly rubbing Buddha)
3. The Islamic Symbol of the Crescent moon and star.
Is it the fact that a person has a different point of view what makes it offensive? If so, does that mean that the other items on this list are offensive to if the person being offended is of none of these faiths? Does this "offended" person give any thought to how they may be offending other hyper-sensitive people with their religion/believe structure? this is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. I ask each of my readers to tell me how can a tree be offensive and not the other items shown above? careful how you answer that, 'cause I may call bullshit and then call you a hypocrite. If anybody out there believes in a Flying Spaghetti moster, cool, but I tell you a 50 foot statue of the spaghetti moster would prompt me to take a photo, not issue a public out cry that I was offended.
Heck, when I see and of these symbols of people's faith; I think about how these religious influences help people lead a better life. I don't say, "Hey I don't believe in Buddha, it's offensive get rid of it" It's the most ridiculous thing to think. Each religion has it's own values, and they're own symbols and statues etc. Unless any of these items undoubtedly imply the persecution or destruction of others, I see absolutely no offensive meaning to them. I say undoubtedly because the swastika is recognized as a sign of evil, but is actually a very sacred symbol in Hindu belief (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika); therefore, people need to use something called "the brain" before they fly off the rocker and claim Offensive. Yes a swastika is offensive, IF and ONLY IF used in the context that refers back to the Third Reich.
There's an age old saying. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. You won't see a 25 Metre tall Christmas tree in Tiananmen Square, and you won't see a huge Menorah lighting up this weekend in New Delhi. Why not? Simple the foundation of those countries values are not based on these religions. In North America, we are much more accepting than many nations in the world. People of different faiths are told to be proud and should be. All peoples human rights are observed and they may practise their religion. That right doesn't just include non-Christian religions, It includes Christians too... Hmmm.. I guess therefore, the Christmas tree is just as protected as other symbols. :-)
These people need to give their head a shake, isn't there something better to spend your energy on? If you have that much energy to bitch and complain, go and help out at a homeless shelter; Do something that will better the life of others. There's nothing "Offensive" in a Christmas tree. Quit trying to fill your own personal agenda and look at the bigger picture..