US ARMY “equal opportunity officer”: You can’t say “Christmas”

From Human Events:


Maybe it was about time to get the Army involved in the War On Christmas – a long march through every corner of American life by the anti-religious, collectivist Left, designed to scour this prime patch of emotional and intellectual real estate clean of all religious significance.  You’ll lose this holiday, Christians, even if they have to pry it from your trembling fingers.  [μολὼν λαβέ] The big year-end holiday season is too valuable to be left in your hands.

Todd Starnes at Fox News relates a bizarre outburst from an “equal opportunity officer” at a meeting of the 158th Infantry Brigade in Mississippi, at which the annual Christmas football tournament was discussed:

“Our equal opportunity representative stopped the briefing and told us that we can’t say Christmas,” the soldier told me. “Almost the entire room blew up. Everybody was frustrated. The equal opportunity rep told our commander that not everyone celebrates Christmas and we couldn’t say Christmas celebration. It had to be holiday celebration.”

The soldier said there was a brief, but heated discussion about political correctness. At one point, the equal opportunity representative tried to deflect the criticism by pointing out it was the Army’s rules – not hers.

“She said an individual can say Christmas, but as an organization in the Army you can’t say Christmas,” the soldier told me.

The Army said there was no such policy… right before they said well, yeah, there kinda is.

“There is no policy at the 158th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East or First Army that forbids using the word ‘Christmas’,” Public Affairs Chief Amanda Glenn told me.

She confirmed that there was a discussion in the meeting about the football tournament. She said it was meant to be a team building event and it had no tie to a specific religious event or holiday celebration.

“The Equal Opportunity advisor simply stated that it would be more appropriate to call it a holiday football event,” she said.


You can’t make this rubbish up.

Read the rest there.

Ah, the fruits of the administration of The First Gay President!

Merry Christmas!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. msc says:

    I propose that, sort of like a secret handshake, Catholics in such situations should simply say “Felix Dies Natalis”. After all, it’s not “Merry Christmas.”
    Felix Dies Natalis Christi omnibus!

  2. On the eve of the Battle of the Bulge, Gen. Patton ordered the Third Army’s chief chaplain (a) to compose a prayer for an end to the driving rains that threatened the Allied war effort, and (b) take steps to get the entire Third Army praying for the good weather they needed to beat the Germans. Contrary to how this was portrayed in the movie, the chaplain, Msgr. James O’Neill, was happy to comply, and we all know how the Battle of the Bulge turned out.

    Now we have the Army forbidding the use of the word “Christmas.” We could use General Patton today, rolling into D.C. at the head of a column of tanks.

  3. george says:

    “The Equal Opportunity advisor simply stated that it would be more appropriate to call it a holiday football event,” she said.

    So which “holiday” is it then?

  4. Wiktor says:

    Today I’m going to attend an extraordinary form Midnight Mass! Merry Christmas!

  5. danidunn says:

    Equal opportunity officer? Is that newspeak for political commissar?

    I too am going to Midnight Mass in the EF.

    Merry Christmas Happy Holidays

  6. msc says:

    Anita: Patton was too morally flawed for him to be a good choice for military dictator. Perhaps Pershing…
    You’re joking, of course?

  7. rtjl says:

    When invited to our office holiday party this year, I declined saying that I was going to be so busy celebrating Christmas, I wouldn’t have time to go to a holiday party.

  8. ASPM Sem says:

    Pretty soon they’ll realize that “holiday” is short for “Holy Day” and we won’t be able to say that either.

  9. Fr. Andrew says:

    “Equal Opportunity Officer?”

    Am I the only one who hears “Political Officer” from the Soviet army in Tom Clancy novels?

  10. Phil_NL says:

    Makes one wonder if, when deployed, an “equal opportunity representative” will object to the ruthless obliteration of the enemy, that is, without giving them an equal opportunity.

    I’m not normally in favor of defense cuts (at least among friends and allies), but here I see a golden opportunity to cut away some utterly unneeded positions. A military does not need an “equal opportunity representative “. They need “enemy destruction enablers”.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    If you remember, the communists and Nazis came up with the names of departments and terms which hid the real evil of their agendas. So, an “equal opportunity representative” is merely another name for a “suppression of Christianity officer”.

    What do people expect? They voted for the godless man in office and his lackeys twice….

    We get what we deserve.

  12. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    May your observances of the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord be most felicitous!

  13. nykash says:

    danidunn & Fr. Andrew, I was thinking the same thing.

    Viva Cristo Rey – Dieu Le Roi!

  14. robtbrown says:

    Miss Anita Moore, O.P. says:

    Now we have the Army forbidding the use of the word “Christmas.” We could use General Patton today, rolling into D.C. at the head of a column of tanks.

    Patton’s granddaughter is a nun at Regina Laudis Abbey in Connecticut. The Patton family was Episcopalian (although one of his daughters married a Catholic), but the general used to think he would have made a good Catholic priest.

  15. Bob B. says:

    Though I remember those “types” well, I always think of Vietnam in 1971 on this day.
    I had the Guard this night, but I was able to go to Mass around 7pm first. I remember it so vividly, as if it were yesterday. The quietness beforehand, then the drunks (it seemed almost everyone was), then the weapons going off at midnight. By 0200, all was quite – the drunks in their racks. I stayed wide awake, checking the positions, keeping the others awake and making my required comm checks. It would have been an ideal time for an assault on our positions, so I was weary.
    The highlight of this night/morning for me was saying the Rosary around 0400 in the very still of the night – a time I will always remember.
    When I was in the Army, there wasn’t a political assault on religion underway – it seems an Obama thing. I can’t help but think that many soldiers who went to Iraq and Afghanistan had similar things occur to them and it would be a rather stupid person to tell them to, in essence, forget what helped them through their time there.

  16. Priam1184 says:

    Christmas was done having any religious significance in the wider culture when we turned Advent into shopping season, and that happened ages ago. Why don’t we, each of us as individuals and families, learn to do things right ourselves in our own house again? Then it won’t matter what the President or the Army does.

  17. The Sicilian Woman says:

    The Army’s “equal opportunity officer” sounds akin to the “diversity officer” at universities and many corporations. In other words, these people are thought and speech police, and often more than that. “Political officer,” as Fr. Andrew mentioned from the Tom Clancy novels, would also apply.

    Make no mistake, Obama is doing his best to demoralize and weaken the military, particularly the Marines, including removing generals who disagree with him.

  18. cwillia1 says:

    Yes, these diversity officers are the exact counterparts of the political commissars that were attached to every Soviet institution. One of their goals is to suppress every public expression of Christianity so that a Christian culture can be remolded according to an alien and demonic ideology.

  19. gloriainexcelsis says:

    …and in Dallas, TX children were prevented from giving hand-made “Christmas” cards to wounded vets in the VA hospital. In Georgia a high school choir could not perform for the VA hospital unless they sang from an “approved” list of songs – none religious. They did not sing. When I read Equal Opportunity Officer from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute I got chills. Why not call him “commisar” and be done with it. The very name of the department sounds like something out of the USSR.

  20. Bob B. says:

    What I remember about these EOO types were that they were very self-righteous and in your face about what they think they know or were “taught.” Most of them, when I was in, hadn’t served in a combat zone and most were junior in rank.
    I remember one incident where one such EOO type was trying to crawl up one 20-years in service sergeant, who treated him like a gnat (which drove him crazy) – we’ve all run into these types who think they know everything, but know very little. The problem is anyone who doesn’t conform is reported up the chain and is immediately sacrificed on the altar of political correctness – particularly because the higher ups don’t want these kinds of problems and blemishes on their records.

  21. Peter in Canberra says:

    Firstly, this is appalling. It is happening increasingly in our country too.
    However, to be fair this isn’t a new phenomenon for your country is it? I would guess that is where the phrase ‘happy holidays’ was born, and quite a while ago.
    Is it due to the very large influence of adherents of another faith, one that has a significant influence on US domestic and foreign policy for example?

  22. Cantor says:

    Fr. Andrew – Just keep in mind that a Soviet Political Officer was in the same Geneva Convention category as a US Catholic Chaplain.

  23. Cantor says:

    And I say the rest of us should all do our part to really rid the military (and civilian) worlds of this creeping religious nemesis. We should demand the right not to work on any day “named” for a religious belief. Those who worship the sun and moon, or the gods Tiw, Wotan, Thor, Frige and, of course, Saturn, originated these names. The very nerve! We should simply do nothing on those days of the week named in their gods’ honor and say it’s in response to the Army’s clear-cut declaration that this is an equal opportunity world.

    Enjoy your weeks off.

  24. MAJ Tony says:

    @george According to the FEDERAL calendar, the “Holiday” in question is CHRISTMAS DAY. Last I checked, the Federal Government sactions ten (10) such “Federal Holidays.” They are specified in 5 USC 6103(c). I don’t know if anyone ever thought to bring this up as a rebuttal to such a policy, but I don’t think the Army is allowed to trump it’s higher command.

  25. Muv says:

    Why do people like this get away with such rubbish, even on a conversational level in the workplace? The best reply is to break into song. Everyone knows the Bing Crosby classic. Just hum the tune every time the Commissar passes by. If it is snowing at the time, so much the better.

  26. Angie Mcs says:

    During this past shopping season, many of the salespeople would say Happy Holidays to me as I left their store. I asked them if they celebrated Christmas. They invariably said they did, so I responded “then Merry Christmas!” . I was rewarded with a somewhat careful ” Merry Christmas “and a smile. I am sure they had been instructed by management but were happy to respond as they did.

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