Tuesday, December 23, 2003


A reader of World Magazine's Blog wrote in on the topic Where Does It End?, which dealt with the continued de-Christmasing - or rather - the de-CHRISTIANing - of Christmas. Evidently, he had written an e-mail to Google noting that they failed to celebrate the Christmas season with religious symbols. Here is Google's response: Thank you for your note about our holiday logo [which ignores Christmas]. At Google, we do not celebrate religious holidays in our homepage doodles. Our logos generally focus on national holidays (U.S. Independence Day, Bastille Day, Thanksgiving) or on commonly observed holidays without a concrete religious linkage (Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Groundhog Day, Mother's Day, Chinese New Year, and Shichi-go-san). Some of these holidays may have roots in religious beliefs but have become essentially secular celebrations. Please feel free to view our doodle archive page at http://www.google.com/holidaylogos.html to see a history of our logos. In the past year, Google has not offered logos with strong religious associations. This is mostly a matter of practicality and fairness, as celebrating one such occasion would lead to the obvious and irrefutable expectation that we should celebrate all such holidays. Thus, instead of celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Ramadan in December, we observed the season with animals exchanging gifts. We hope that this communicated a feeling of joyousness to all our users, regardless of their specific beliefs. We are committed to celebrating the diversity of our users worldwide and appreciate any suggestions of holidays that we may be able to celebrate in the future. Regards, The Google Team (emphasis added) Simple Minds. The idea of inclusivism, especially that espoused by The Google Team, is certainly refutable. If, as they claim, one can not recognize the Christian celebration without giving recognition to all religious celebrations, then why mention a celebration at all? ...because it has become "secularized?" It behooves us to ask them the question, "By who's authority are you claiming that we must recognize all faiths, or none at all?" Yet perhaps, because we may be dealing with simple minds, a simpler form of logic is in order. Why not agree, in principle, with their psuedo-reasoning? Consider the following excerpt from Richard John Neuhas in First Things, October 2001, titled One Nation Under Many Gods: "But, of course, numbers do matter, and the number of Americans who are not Christians or Jews is very much less than 10 percent, which would mean close to thirty million people. If we allow the generous estimate of four million Muslims, there are probably less than 10 million Americans whose religion is other than Christian or Jewish. That is less than 5 percent of the population. Apart from a significant number of non-Christian Asian Americans (Japanese-Americans, for instance), these minorities are socially marginal; moreover, apart from some Muslims, the non-Christian sector of the population is not inclined to make a public issue of their religious difference. A minaret on a cityĆ¢€™s skyline is not to be equated with an imprint on its culture." (emphasis added) If The Google Team, and others who preach inclusivism, follow their own logic, then why not dole out recognition of religious holidays based on the percentage of the population who are identified with said religions? Why let the overwhelming minority rule? Wouldn't that be the most practical and fairest approach? Don't hold your breath though. It won't happen. Why? Because, at its core, the issue has nothing to do with inclusivism.

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