Renaming the 'Holidays'

Although the Pacific Northwest is one of the last parts of our country to see the sunrise, it has led the rest of us in institutionalizing progressive ideas such as the legalization of abortion, suicide, and marijuana. It scored another first last week, when the Seattle City Council voted to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day. Obviously, we have been remiss in reconsidering the names of our special days so as to expunge any trace of bigotry or noninclusiveness.

We have a long way to go. In a few days, we shall be faced with Halloween, with its unsavory religious connotations and judgmental condemnation of creatures, such as vampires or zombies, who look or eat differently than we do. I propose that we rename it Creatures Day and use it to celebrate all beings, living or dead, regardless of appearance, perceived hostility, or nutritional preferences.

Thanksgiving, will have to be radically changed. If religious concepts are taboo and we are all equal, then we have nobody to thank. Perhaps we could call it Cordiality Day and thank each other.

Christmas has already been sanitized of its connection with Jesus Christ, largely by replacing him with other icons, such as Santa Claus and Rudolph, and by carefully replacing the word “Christmas” with the more inclusive “the Holidays”. However, the later term still has religious overtones and should be replaced by “the Festivities”.

New Year’s Day is exclusively European and might offend peoples of other calendar preferences, such as the Chinese. Perhaps someone can think up a suitably inclusive and inoffensive name.

Martin Luther King Day is flagrantly noninclusive in that it celebrates a single person from one particular ethnic group. I have proposed elsewhere that its name be changed to Equality Day, when all champions of human rights and equality would be equally honored.

I may be nitpicking, but isn’t Ground Hog Day rather speciesist? Perhaps Animal Day would be better. But then, that would discriminate against the vegetable kingdom.

The combining of Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays into a single Presidents’ Day has evolved into a public perception of it as a celebration of all presidents. But the current name might offend monarchists and people with other governmental preferences. I propose that, in the interest of global amity, we change the name to Executives’ Day. For the same reason, we should designate July 4 as Democracy Day.

The name of Labor Day may seem inoffensive but nonetheless might be resented by people who are retired or out of work. It also might be misconstrued as honoring mothers. It would be better to change it to Leisure Day.

We have now come full circle back to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. And here we hit a snag. The people that we once naively called American Indians are not true autochthons (I have waited for years for an occasion to use that word.) at all. They came over here from Siberia, via the Bering land bridge, and supplanted an earlier people. They’re immigrants, just like the rest of us, and have no more right to the term “indigenous” than the Italian-Americans who protested the name change. The proper name should be Immigrants’ Day.

Would somebody please petition the Seattle City Council to enact these changes? If the petition is backed up with a few dozen demonstrators, it will probably receive serious consideration. The ensuing battles between rival protestors should provide an amusing circus of PC inconsistencies.

 The one thing that will assuredly be absent will be any hint of religion, which is now the PC equivalent of obscenity and unmentionable in polite society. The irony is that the very word “holiday” derives from “holy days”, which were instituted by the Church, with the dual motive of giving reverence to God and giving people days off from work. The two are related in that a belief in a just and compassionate god is the only logical basis for a belief in human rights.

As our Founders well understood, religion is the mortar that has held our diverse society together. Now that mortar is crumbling and our society is collapsing. Soon, the question of names for holidays may be moot; we shall have no holidays except those imposed on us by our conquerors.