18th Century Santa Poem Made Politically Correct
The famous children’s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” has fallen victim to political correctness.
The image commonly associated with the poem has ever featured Santa Claus with his pipe. However, in a day and age of bias towards smokers due to the health risks, the pipe is now omitted from the picture.
Perhaps that would be enough but the political correctness struck at the poem itself by removing both lines from the poem which make reference to the pipe. Those now omitted lines are:
* “The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth”
* “The smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath”
The person who made the changes is Pamela McColl, a Canadian author who says the lines were omitted to save lives.
Pamela McColl says she “just really [doesn’t] think Santa should be smoking in the 21st century,” and the advocate who has worked to remove smoking from several films elaborates:
“Santa is the most powerful character in the world … I thought this was a great project … The omission of these few words do not change the material intent of the author nor do they infringe on the reader’s understanding or enjoyment of this historically-rich story, but by removing these words we may save lives and avoid influencing new smokers.”
However, no proof was offered to show that the 18th century poem contributed to anyone’s death as a result of smoking.
According to her website, McColl is the publisher of seven books, including Pacific Spirit: The Forest Reborn, which United States Senator Frank Murkowski, the chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, labeled as “one of the most important works on forest management” in recent years. She has been featured in Maclean’s magazine, CBC Radio, and National Canada AM-TV.