Started this post a month ago or so...
I feel somewhat convicted. I've never much been into political-correctness. Most of the advocating I've done has been for orphans and sometimes I've sided with various movements related to Christian values.
I know a lot of minorities in America have felt "unsafe" lately, and as a white Christian I realize that I don't have much experience with being discriminated against. So I don't even really know what to say! (sidenote: some friends of ours just commented that a swastika was painted on their lawn on Christmas Eve! Devastating...)
(another sidenote: I've never gotten into the politics of holidays in Russia...not sure minorities have even really started to make their voices heard. Western Christmas falls during the Orthodox pre-Christmas fasting period.)
In U.S. culture, I have often appreciated efforts to put the "Christ" back in Christmas. I dislike the mish-mash that the holiday season has morphed into. December/January contains several DIFFERENT holidays, and I like to call them by name. When I was very young, school music programs would still contain selections from various holidays, including Christmas, etc....instead of removing everything except the most secular of songs/traditions.
Anyway, a Jewish acquaintance recently made a comment online, asking people how he should reply when wished a "Merry Christmas." Meaning, how should he keep his feelings under control. While we fight for the right to keep Christ in our holiday greetings, it literally causes others pain (being kicked in the gut was basically how he described it). I hate the word "offended" and I'm usually the one to say that Jesus wouldn't care about offending people. But really I think that boldness is more appopriate when you need to confront some hard truths. Different context.
There's a controversy going on now (that was a month or two ago), related to some Pro-Life ads featuring some people with Down's Syndrome, and that might offend women who've had abortions, or something. Again I think...who cares about offending when the cause (saving babies' lives) is so important? But...sometimes there is a third option that would better protect all involved...and in a good way, not justifying controversial actions. That's what I've been pondering.
As another example, I have never much thought about whether or not I'm offending Muslims. Please don't get me wrong, as it's not like I've been called out for doing something offensive and chosen to just keep on doing it. It's more that I have not examined my own behavior to see how it looks to people in various demographics.
When "it" happens to someone close to you, that's often the point when you change your mind. So the fact that this person on FB was putting himself out there made me stop and think. Maybe when generalizations are made about people groups, I tend to ignore it, but when a person shares about personal experience, that's when I take it seriously. I wonder if it would work for sharing about the causes that are important to me, too. Instead of sharing articles written by someone else, coming out and saying "I'm a ____ and I feel sad about _____." Maybe those memes and things that are passed around are just too passive-aggressive. What if instead of quoting a Bible verse, I shared about how it makes me feel when my own faith is mocked, or a health condition that affects me is made fun of? And of course it depends on your audience, too!
I want the Gospel message to be heard and not silenced. And if I say Merry Christmas...well, I'm really wishing that to Christians first, and secular Christmas-celebrators second, not really addressing those who DON'T celebrate. BUT I don't want to go around "kicking" people in the gut. Hmmmmm. Makes you think...