Stanley Hudson from NBC’s “The Office” appears to have lightened up this year’s battle over being politically correct during the Christmas season in a recent episode that many, including Christian leaders, are giving a thumbs up.
The episode “Christmas Wishes,” that aired Dec. 8, begins in typical style of the program, a staff meeting with employees. It then evolves into a rant by Stanley.
“The Office” is described by its producers as a fly-on-the-wall "docu-reality" parody about modern American office life. The show delves into the lives of the workers at Dunder Mifflin, a paper supply company in Scranton, Pa.
Andy Bernard, played by Ed Helms, declares himself as the “first office Santa ever to make holiday wishes come true.”
Andy, dressed in a Santa costume and facing everyone at the front of the room asks, “Who’s excited to get their holiday wishes?”
Stanley, played by Leslie David Baker, interrupts from the back of the room to say, “Holiday wishes. We know exactly what holiday you are referring to.”
To which Andy replies, “It is important to be mindful of all belief systems at our holiday party.”
Stanley responds, “I’ve been here 18 years and have suffered through some weird thematic Christmases. A Honolulu Christmas, a Pulp Fiction Christmas, a Muslim Christmas, Moroccan Christmas, Mo Rocca Christmas … I don’t want it. Christmas is Christmas. It’s Christmas, it’s Christmas.
“I don’t want no Kwanza wreath. I don’t need a dreidel in my face ... that’s its own thing...,” he says with anger rising in his voice.
“I want Christmas. Just give me plain, baby Jesus, lying in a manger Christmas,” he concludes, finishing his rant as co-workers look stunned.
“The Office” humor was welcomed by pastors such as Ron Edmondson of Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tenn., who tweeted Wednesday, “This is hilarious ... take 1 minute and laugh” with a link to the video clip.
Many in the Christian community on Twitter then re-tweeted Edmondson’s post with comments such as, “I’m with Stanley.”
Some of the comic relief may be much needed this year as the “War on Christmas” appeared to be as intense as ever. The Christian Post recently reported that members of the House of Representatives were told they are not allowed to wish their constituents “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year” via the mail.
The Congressional Franking Commission, which reviews congressional mail to determine if it can be paid for with tax dollars, issued a rule saying that no holiday greetings, including the traditional Christmas greeting, may be stated in official mail.
Atheist groups continued this year seeking the removal of Christmas and Christian symbolism, including Nativity scenes from the public square. Open-air preacher Ray Comfort said he will purposefully begin evangelistic campaigns in areas of the U.S. where atheist organizations file or threaten lawsuits in their attempt to remove Christian references from public property.
"Some of us, as believers, simply want to pull a Stanley [and say] 'Just give me Jesus,'" Edmonson told The Christian Post. "[The Office video clip] is a humorous way to address a very serious debate. Remaining politically correct is a tension felt in many offices today."