For the sixth year in a row, a Conservative MP has warned that the forces of political correctness may dilute the celebration of the Christmas season.
Nina Grewal, a Sikh who has represented the Vancouver-area riding of Fleetwood-Port Kells since 2004, rose in the House of Commons Wednesday to say it is a "shame that many feel the need to abandon their traditions to appease the sensibilities of non-Christians."
Grewal said being respectful of other beliefs needn't mean Canadians must "water down" their own out of fear of upsetting others.
"Mr. Speaker, I’m a Sikh and I’m not offended by people celebrating Christmas in a traditional way," she said. "So instead of silly political correctness, all of us should feel proud in our traditions and beliefs, and rejoice in this season of joy, peace and good will. Merry Christmas everyone."
Grewal received big applause from Conservatives and some congratulations from her colleagues. But Grewal addressing this topic in the House has become something of a tradition in itself.
Last December, Grewal rose in the House to say Christmas can't be celebrated without Christ in it.
"In an effort to be inclusive and to avoid causing offence, some Canadians are trying to dampen its spirit," she said. "Political correctness and commercialization dilute the true meaning and the spirit of Christmas."
In 2012, Grewal warned political correctness was weakening the holiday in a "well-intentioned but unnecessary attempt to be inclusive."
"How can we as a society join together to celebrate Diwali, the Chinese New Year, Hanukkah or Vaisakhi but, at the same time, rob Christians of the true meaning of Christmas?" she wondered.
In 2011, Grewal provided examples of what she called a "relentless attack" on the holiday.
"Judges remove Christmas trees from the court houses, school concerts are postponed to take away the Christmas theme, the lyrics of Christmas carols are changed, the distribution of candy canes is banned," she said. "And all the references to God, Christ and the Lord are removed."
Grewal painted much the same gloomy picture in 2010, suggesting forces were at work to "remove all that is Christian" from Christmas.
"Nativity scenes are banned, holiday trees replace Christmas trees and references to God, Christ and the Lord are cast aside, leaving us with just another meaningless, consumer-oriented holiday," she said.
And, back in 2009, she took issue that "the 12 days of giving" is, for some Canadians, replacing "the 12 days of Christmas."
"The spirit of the season is often bruised by unnecessary political correctness," she said at the time.
Those words were similar to ones years earlier used by her husband, Gurmant Grewal, a former Reform, Canadian Alliance and Conservative MP who represented a neighbouring B.C. riding from 1997 to 2006.
In 2002, Gurmant Grewal spoke in the House about the need for cultural tolerance and said Christians should celebrate Christmas proudly.
"It is a time for giving and helping those less fortunate, but the spirit of the season has been bruised by unnecessary political correctness," he said.
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