Back in the bigoted land of the United States, NPR's zealously patriotic and scrupulously tolerant liberal reporter Nina Totenberg committed an uncharacteristic yet unforgivable verbal infraction by incidentally alluding to "Christmas" in the context of her commentary. She said: "Well, these agencies, including the Defense Department, don't know how much money they've got and for what. And I was at -- forgive the expression -- a Christmas party at the Department of Justice, and people were actually really worried about this."
Excuse me? How can she expect us to forgive her for that, notwithstanding her lifetime record of devotion to worthy liberal causes? We simply must enforce a no-tolerance policy for such insensitivity, lest we risk making a small minority uncomfortable by mentioning an objectively offensive holiday instead of properly alienating the callous majority by dissing a celebration about their Savior.
Also this side of the border, federal bank regulators ordered the removal of a daily Bible verse from the bank's website, crosses from the teller counter and buttons from public display saying "Merry Christmas, God With Us." The gallant bureaucrats rightly understood these symbols "could be offensive." They warned that the bank's failure to comply would result in referral to the Justice Department for enforcement action. (At the time of the story, it could not be determined whether the referral could be made in time for Eric Holder's deputies to review it at Justice's own Christmas party -- the one insensitively referred to by Totenberg.)
Under what authority did the shrewd regulators purport to act? Not to worry; there's always a federal regulation to fall back on when the intolerant rubes among us need policing.
Indeed, such was the case here. "Specifically, the feds believed, these symbols violated the discouragement clause of Regulation B of the bank regulations," KOCO reported. "According to the clause, '...the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication ... express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion."
Yeah, that makes sense, and I'm a little embarrassed I needed to read the reg myself to be reminded. Of course the presence of Christmas symbols and the loving images they convey shout exclusion and discrimination. I'm a bit red-faced that we have to rely on government saints to perform such good works that ought to be ushering forth from private citizens and businesses as a matter of self-help.
That said, I applaud the regulators for tending to this urgent business when they could have easily allowed themselves to be distracted by less pressing problems.
Perhaps the next time you hear some conservatives complaining about these mythical assaults on Christmas and Christianity, you'll understand the back story and give thanks.