Let me begin by saying, "Merry Christmas." And, by the way, "Merry Christmas." Oh, and did I mention, "Merry Christmas"?
Let's just say the "Merry Christmas" backlash has officially begun. After years of politically correct "Happy Holidays," and the annual assault on all things Christian in the public square, many Americans are declining to turn the other cheek.
The MC backlash isn't only for, by or about Christians. It is a quintessentially American revolt against absurdity, the inevitable result of narcissistic, nihilist ninnies pushing too far.
This spirit of mutual respect and generosity is also finding expression among Muslims. Waleed Aly, a lawyer in Melbourne, Australia, and member of the Islamic Council of Victoria, has written that he is more offended by efforts to restrain religious expression than he is by nativity scenes.
"This is where political correctness loses the plot," he wrote. "What purports to inspire tolerance instead inspires hostility and intolerance. ... Denying the Christianity in Christmas or, worse, doing away with it altogether helps no one. This is not multiculturalism. It is anti-culturalism."
Perhaps this yuletide backlash helps explain why I've been hearing "Merry Christmas" more in the past two weeks than I have the past 10 years. Suddenly everybody's saying it, and yes, I'm a perp.
In Washington earlier this month, I made a point of saying "Merry Christmas" to everyone, including cab drivers who were more often than not Muslim or Hindu. Without exception, they swiveled around, smiled and said, "Merry Christmas to you, too!"
Maybe it was just sugarplums doing the rumba in my head, but I could swear I detected appreciation and relief in these exchanges. Appreciation for the freedom that permits such expression and relief that somebody said it without apology.
Jonah Goldberg also chimes in with a nice column of his own.