November 25, 2015

Politically Incorrect? Or Just Rude?

Have you seen this one yet?

This is the sign that a the owner of a bakery in Springfield OH put up, alerting potential customers to his self-proclaimed politically incorrect beliefs.

Now, we all know that the store itself is not politically incorrect. It's just a bakery after all, with a nice tile floor and a pretty sign on the door. Stores don't have beliefs, after all.

And you know what? I don't think the owners are politically incorrect, either. They're just exercising their First Amendment rights, which would be politically correct, wouldn't it?

Now, some people are getting all up in arms about this, for example pointing out that there are 30-some-odd celebrations in December, and over 4000 religions in the world, and how being Christian is not the only one that matters or the best one, and so on -- keeping the focus on the religious aspect of this.

My first reaction?  Seems pretty rude to pretend that it's not possible to love our country and be thankful for those who serve without also being a Christian or having 'Merry Christmas' as the December greeting of choice. These are not mutually inclusive, or mutually exclusive; I presume the bakery owner knows that and opted for self-persecution and rudeness as way to express frustration with (or, in the case of some political candidates, support for) the current state of religion in general and (supposedly, per Fox News) on Christians in particular.

On the slim chance that he's truly unaware, I can assure him that people of many faiths (or without one) can and do love America, and serve in the military or as first responders; they die for our country on foreign soil and right here at home, right next to the Christians who do the same.

They buy doughnuts. They run for office, teach school, drive trucks, process insurance claims, bag groceries, wait tables, lead companies, build homes and skyscrapers, deliver babies, cure diseases, act in movies, sing their hearts out, own guns, vote, give to charity, write poetry, create great art, go into space, pay taxes, serve on school boards, take care of their homes, raise their families, and so on, right smack dab in the middle of all the Christians. They're Muslims and Buddhists and Satanists and Jews and atheists and Sikhs and tribalists and whatever else -  and they are Americans.

They pledge allegiance to the flag (maybe skipping the 'under God' part) and spend money just like Christians do - even when the money says In God We Trust, and when they don't believe a word of it.

Here, people can have religious beliefs, and can express them as they choose. They can also not have religious beliefs, and express or not express that, as they choose. Equally, people can choose to be rude, and can choose to think that there's only one way to love America.

Me? I'm a Happy Holidays kind of gal, for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which are that it's easier, and that I don't really think about it all that much. I'm not religious but I love America just as much as the guy who put up this sign wants us to believe he loves America.

I also respect those who currently serve, and those who have served in the military, and respect police and firemen and people in all different professions and religions, even though some folks, regardless of profession or faith, have shown they're not worthy of that respect. They -- as individuals -- no longer get mine, but I don't stop respecting the whole kit and caboodle of them.

The best part? As an American, I get to pick and choose where I'm going to buy baked goods -- and if I were in Springfield, I'd hope there was another bakery, because I would not patronize this one. Not because he appears to be a Christian and I'm not religious, but because I  think he doesn't want my business, and I don't want to offend him by patronizing his shop.

I do appreciate that he puts his attitude on the door, though -- that'll save me a trip.