Brian Pallister is the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba — kind of like a Canadian version of John Boehner.
He recently offered some holiday greetings to interviewer Natalie Pollock, and his comments took a strange turn when he began to talk about atheists:
… I wanted to wish everyone a really really Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, all the holiday… all you infidel atheists out there, I want to wish you the very best, also. I don’t know what you celebrate during the holiday season — I myself celebrate the birth of Christ — but it’s your choice, and I respect your choice. If you wish to celebrate nothing and just get together with friends, that’s good, too. All the best.
I watched that clip several times and it strikes me as a sincere-though-somewhat-sarcastic greeting to atheists. I wasn’t offended by his use of “infidel” even though it probably one of those words *we* can call ourselves but *you* shouldn’t use. And I don’t take offense at his ignorance of what we do around this time of year — he just doesn’t know that we celebrate the holidays pretty much the same way everyone else does, minus the Jesus bit.
But I don’t know Canadian politics and I may be missing the subtext here.
Canadians, feel free to set me straight here.
(Thanks to Dorothy and Kevin for the link!)