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Hospital Insults Christians Everywhere, Ditches Christmas Eve as Paid Holiday for Juneteenth

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At its core, wokeness means sacrificing traditional Christian values to the new god of diversity, equity and inclusion.

The latest example occurred in Georgia, where officials from Emory Healthcare announced that beginning in 2024, Juneteenth will replace Christmas Eve as a paid holiday, The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday.

Emory Healthcare CEO Joon Sup Lee, in an Aug. 31 email to hospital system employees, touted the move as offering “more opportunities for celebration, reflection, and education.”

Of course, Lee also made the obligatory genuflection at the DEI altar.

He wrote that “diversity, equity, and inclusion at Emory Healthcare (EHC) is about creating an environment of true belonging for our patients and team members, while ensuring equitable outcomes for all.”

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Wokeness has so thoroughly consumed large U.S. organizations that administrators everywhere now use it as a substitute for serious thought. Lee’s nauseating email reads like a corporate template.

Meanwhile, employees in Georgia’s largest health care system greeted the change with dismay, though few would speak on the record. In fact, according to WANF-TV in Atlanta, a number of employees expressed their disappointment on condition of anonymity.

“You can’t replace one for the other. It’s completely inappropriate,” one health care provider said, according to the outlet. “It’s essentially pitting a Christian holiday against something that’s to be celebratory for everyone – but specifically for our Black colleagues.”

Another employee saw irony in the change.

“Something that should be an extremely joyful and collective celebration has become another reminder of how our Black colleagues can’t have anything without sacrifice,” the person said. “This is not what we have been pushing for. We thought Juneteenth was being added to the holiday calendar.”

NAACP DeKalb County President Edwina Clanton also expressed regret over the change.

“I don’t understand, why they can’t do both,” Clanton said, according to WANF.

“I’m sure it will put anger in some hearts,” she said. “Why do we have to do this? Why can’t we have our old holidays off? Some more consideration, even asking the employees which days you want to give up, that may have worked better.”

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Emory officials said they made the swap rather than add a new holiday because they did not want to inconvenience patients.

“For each observed holiday, our clinics and business offices close, which means our patients are unable to make clinic appointments for those days,” Lee told employees.

Beginning next year, employees must use paid time off for Christmas Eve.

At a minimum, choosing Juneteenth over Christmas Eve will cause hard feelings among Christians, as Clanton and the employees noted.

Hard feelings would be no great price to pay if this were a change for the good, but it is not. No serious person could make an argument for Juneteenth over Christmas Eve as an American holiday.

If you doubt my meaning, then try a mental exercise. Venture back in your mind to say, Christmas Eve 2019, and imagine someone telling you that in four years, the largest health care system in a populous Southern state would displace that holiday with something called Juneteenth.

Had you never heard of Juneteenth in December 2019, you would have had company.

Do you celebrate Juneteenth?

In June 2021, Congress established June 19 — Juneteenth — as an annual federal holiday, ostensibly to commemorate the end of slavery. On June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, with news of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, issued nearly two-and-a-half years earlier.

No one could object to a holiday commemorating emancipation. But Juneteenth does not do that.

The slapdash manner in which lawmakers adopted the holiday proves as much. 2020 gave us George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. Virtue-signaling politicians had to do something to signal their virtue. What better way to do so than to give federal employees another random day off work?

Make no mistake: Juneteenth is as random as it gets. Off the top of my head, I can think of half a dozen more appropriate choices:

Sept. 22, 1862: Lincoln announced his decision to issue an emancipation proclamation.

Jan. 1, 1863: The Emancipation Proclamation took effect.

Jan. 31, 1865: Congress passed the 13th Amendment.

Dec. 6, 1865: The 13th Amendment was ratified.

All of these dates mark the end of slavery with far more accuracy than does Juneteenth.

But if we really wanted to get creative and honor the right people, I have two additional proposals: Feb. 28 or 29 and March 1.

Neither date comes with a corresponding year. This would add to the solemnity of the holiday, for it would remind modern Americans of slavery’s dehumanizing history.

The escaped slave and legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass recalled his birth as sometime in February, either 1817 or 1818. He never knew for sure.

Another escaped slave-turned-abolitionist, Harriet Tubman, did not know her birth year. Different sources placed her birth sometime between 1815 and 1825. Based on surviving bits of evidence, recent biographies give March 1822 as the likely month and year of Tubman’s birth.

Why not a federal holiday that alternated between Feb. 28 and March 1 each year? It would commemorate two remarkable lives while highlighting the painful anonymity in which millions of others toiled.

A deliberative process could have led us to this conclusion. Or it could have led us to Juneteenth, in which case I would have no objection to it apart from its hitherto comparative insignificance in historical memory.

Instead, we got a holiday that everyone knows originated in post-2020 woke moralizing.

Now, we must suffer one more irritation as woke moralizers displace Christmas Eve in favor of their new god.

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Michael Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in History and has taught at multiple colleges and universities. He has published one book and numerous essays on Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Early U.S. Republic. He loves dogs, baseball, and freedom. After meandering spiritually through most of early adulthood, he has rediscovered his faith in midlife and is eager to continue learning about it from the great Christian thinkers.
Michael Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in History and has taught at multiple colleges and universities. He has published one book and numerous essays on Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Early U.S. Republic. He loves dogs, baseball, and freedom. After meandering spiritually through most of early adulthood, he has rediscovered his faith in midlife and is eager to continue learning about it from the great Christian thinkers.




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