Stephen G. Bloom[email him] has a 4,000 word piece in the Atlantic about the unbearable whiteness of Iowa, a state that whose caucuses may give victory to Ron Paul, causing GOP insiders to consider having the state abolished.
In the middle of this piece, he comes out with this
“After years and years of in-your-face religion,[Bloom moved to Iowa in 1992] I decided to give what has become an annual lecture, in which I urge my students not to bid strangers `Merry Christmas` or `Happy Easter,` `Have you gotten all your Christmas shopping done?` or `Are you going to the Easter egg hunt?` Such well-wishes are not appropriate for everyone, I tell my charges gently. A cheery `Happy holidays!` will suffice. Small potatoes, I know, but did everyone have to proclaim their Christianity so loud and clear?”
James Lileks answers him like this:
“Reminder: this is a journalism class. He lives in a place that is culturally Christian, and he’s telling his students to knock off “Merry Christmas” and other “in-your-face” manifestations of their culture. Fine; he’s welcome to do so. If I was paying for this fellow to teach me journalism I would ask that he confine himself to the subject, just as a student might think it would be inapt to turn in a series of Bible verses as a substitute for a reporting assignment.”
And, in fact, one of his students answered him the same way:
“Maybe it wasn`t such a good idea. One gutsy, red-in-the-face student told me in no uncertain terms that for the rest of her life, she would continue offering Merry Christmas and Happy Easter tidings to strangers, no matter what I, or anyone else, said, because, “That`s just who I am and I`m not about to change. Ever!” Score one for sticking it to the ethnic interloper.”
Bloom has apparently received enough unpleaant emails from people who hate him as much as he hates them, that he has, in Lileks`s words “fled Iowa in terror”, although it`s probable that few of the emails came from actual Iowans.