Garner on Devoy


I’d almost forgotten about the ludicrous decision to appoint a squash player as the country’s race relations commissioner – till dropped another clanger.

And what a howler it was,  throwing her (insignificant) weight behind Auckland Regional Migrants Services’ plan to ditch the word Christmas and refer instead to  “happy holidays” and “season’s greetings”.  

Apparently Devoy, the service’s patron, wants to save the majority of Kiwis (who are not Christian) from feeling excluded at this time of year. Good grief.

If someone wishes me Happy Hanukkah, I don’t feel excluded.

Also Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Now followers of Islam and Judaism do not revere him as the Son of God, but they do greatly respect him as a prophet of God. So there is no reason they should feel offended by someone saying Happy Christmas.

It’s time to ditch her role and the entire office she heads. I know my position will be unpopular among the hand-wringers and do-gooders but let me explain.

We celebrate Christmas in New Zealand. It’s part of who we are, whether we are Christian or not. 

It’s a time for family, gifts, talking, laughing, over-eating, drinking, celebrating the end of the year and, if you so desire, church. No-one needs to worry about being excluded from the joys of the season. 

At the last census 42 per cent of Kiwis identified as non-Christian. But I have never felt excluded by the word “Christmas”. 

Indeed if atheists can live with Christmas, everyone can!

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