Just under two weeks ago I realized that my normal article publication schedule had me posting an article on Christmas Eve, and I considered perhaps simply saying "Merry Christmas" to my readers. But then, recalling the recent discussion of the Radio Shack boycott, it occurred to me that I do not have any clear notion of the religious spectrum of my readership. Some I know to be Christians, but some are indifferent to religion and some hold to other faiths. Would some of my readers be offended were I to offer specifically Christmas greetings on Christmas eve, given that I have undoubtedly missed the chance to give similar greetings on other holidays? I can offer the excuse that not being of those faiths I was not aware of the dates of those holidays in advance, and support it with the observation that I am not publishing a special article specifically on Christmas Eve, but a regular Tuesday article that happens to fall on what for many of my readers is a special holiday.
Should I perhaps instead simply use this time to wish everyone a happy holiday, whatever yours is and whenever celebrated, and perhaps apologize to those for whom no days are holy? But again, my mind comes back to that Radio Shack boycott, and I do not wish to offend my Christian readers who may well be the majority of my perhaps meager readership (although as to that, I have no clear way to know). One expects the generic greeting to be the safer choice, but in today's polarized political world....
A story is told of a reporter during the (American) Civil War who wanted to get the real story of the war. To protect himself, he donned Confederate grey pants and a Union blue jacket. He was found dead the next day, shot through the jacket and the pants. In times of division, there is no safe quarter. That I cannot offer general holiday greetings without offending some is perhaps worse than that I cannot offer specific holiday greetings without offending others. The separation of church and state I can understand; the separation of church and life is something I have opposed for decades.
The publishers of TheExaminer will not have a policy on this. They do their best to attract good writing talent and then, perhaps very wisely, allow us to write what we think appropriate to our audiences. Whatever I do, it is only you, the reader, who will care.
Let me then wish a Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating that holy day this year, and to everyone else a joyous holiday season, and to all the promise to be back next week, on New Year's Eve, with another article.