Mecca in. Christmas Out.

To get a good read on where we are nowadays, I want you to check out this news story and then read this letter from a high school student.

The AP (via Weasel Zippers) reports:

The federal government sued a suburban Chicago school district Monday for denying a Muslim middle school teacher unpaid leave to make a pilgrimage to Mecca that is a central part of her religion.

Compare that with this letter from a high school student to her local newspaper:

I am a Grade 11 student at North Delta Secondary school.

When I walked into school Monday morning, I couldn’t help but notice that the bulletin board just outside of our counselor’s office did not say Merry Christmas, but rather Happy Holidays.

This bothered me and I will tell you why. Earlier this year the global unity club, which is in charge of this board, had put up displays for Eid, a Muslim tradition, and Diwali, a Hindu and Sikh tradition.

That’s not the problem – the problem for me is that they are trying to support global unity and diversity, which I will admit our school is very good at.

However, they are not willing to recognize Christmas, a once religious holiday now celebrated world wide by every almost every culture.

Christmas is one of Canada’s national holidays and, may I remind you that without it, we wouldn’t be having “winter break” as it is now known.

Why are we allowed to have a Christmas tree in the foyer of our school but the board can’t post a simple message of “Merry Christmas?”

When I asked the sponsor teachers in charge of the group, I was given nothing but endless excuses such as “it is the students’ idea; there are many holidays around this time” and, my favourite one by far, “not everyone celebrates Christmas.”

If those really were the reasons, why can’t the bulletin board say “Happy Hanukkah” one week and “Merry Christmas” the next?

It is completely unfair to say, “not everyone celebrates Christmas” because I for one do not celebrate either Eid or Diwali.

I am not trying to start a war or create a struggle. I would appreciate it if we did not discriminate against anyone’s traditions or beliefs, including mine.

Chelsea Phelps, Delta

I guess Diwali is soooo much cooler than Christmas.