Politically Correct

I heard a couple of stories on my course last week:

In the first, a training organisation is running a three-day course, attended by delegates from several different companies, and two from a city council. At the start of day one, the trainer says to the group,
“Right: For the duration of this course, a manhole is a manhole and a chairman is a chairman. Anyone got a problem with that?” The two from the council said that they had a problem, they felt that language should be inclusive and non-offensive to all. They were told, “Right, get out, and we’ll refund your training fees. These other people are here to learn and I’m not going to waste their time pandering to that sort of nonsense.”

I don’t know who the council were in that story, but the council in the other story was Leicester: A well-known consultancy firm was asked to quote for some Health and Safety training, and sent along one of their consultants for a meeting with the client. After a few months it became obvious they hadn’t got the job, and someone in the office made a follow-up call to find out why. Apparently, in sending a white male consultant, they’d failed to demonstrate their commitment to inclusiveness.

According to this news story, in the London borough of Lambeth, Christmas tree lights are being referred to as either “Winter Lights” or “Celebrity Lights”, because some minor official was afraid of offending non-Christian faiths. It seems that this official – in common with an increasing number of other irritating little minor functionaries – is terrified of offending non-Christians, but is quite happy to offend Christians. I don’t have a universal answer to this – although a good first step would be for more Christians to make their mark and complain. But from now on, this blog has a “Policy regarding Political Correctness”:

It is not the intention of the author of this blog to cause offense to anyone, and his opinions are often moderated before publishing for this reason. If any offense is caused to any group, it is unintentional.

However, the author is a practising Christian and refuses to compromise his principles. In this blog, Christmas is Christmas and celebrates the birth of Jesus, who was, and is, the Son of God. If you believe otherwise, I respect your views and your right to hold them and express them, but I won’t pretend to believe differently to what I do.

I don’t blog about Christianity often, and when I do, I hope I do it non-offensively. And yes, I know all the stuff about the date of Christmas, and many of its traditions, being chosen to mirror the pagan midwinter festivals: The point is that for Christians it’s about Jesus, and I won’t pretend otherwise.

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