Friday, December 22, 2006

War on X-mas

Some describe a so-called "War on Christmas" in which individuals, corporations, and even the government (specifically the White House) have been less likely to say "Merry Christmas" as the more generic and inclusive "Happy Holidays." Apparently, this is seen as some type of threat to Christmas and/or Christians.

To put it indelicately, I think it's a crock.

Feel free to correct me if I'm missing something, but this seems a ridiculous notion largely born of the hyper-sensitivity of the spoiled religious majority. To me, it speaks very forcefully to an ironic ignorance of what America is supposed to be all about - tolerance, inclusiveness, and diversity. This includes political, ethnic, and religious diversity.

Inclusiveness and the idea that our government should not endorse any religion or religions over others are long-standing American ideals. That ideal doesn't have to be implemented to the exclusion of Christmas. In fact, saying "Happy Holidays" is highly inclusive... of EVERYone who celebrates the holidays of the season.

It's a catch-all that honors everyone.

It's hard to take seriously those who claim that there's an attack upon Christianity, when the court system makes us put our hands on the Bible to be sworn in, the Pledge of Allegiance to this country includes the words "under God," and our money says "In God We Trust."

Having all of that, whining because the White House, some department stores, and certain individuals wish us "Happy Holidays" instead of your holiday (and mine, actually) is another example of the arrogant, spoiled, ungrateful, and ignorant attitude that Americans are known for.

I say "Happy Holidays" to people because it includes New Year's and whatever holidays the individual may recognize. I don't have to know a lot about the individual or say a mouthful of greetings before departing.

Recently, I said "Happy Holidays" to someone and she responded with "Merry Christmas." Then I said, "Merry Christmas" back to her.

No biggie. (Although she said it with an almost combative tone.)

Personally, I'm not going to be too offended, but I'd rather that a Jewish person not wish me a happy Hannukah or Chanukah. By the Golden Rule, it might be a good idea if I didn't wish that person a "Merry Christmas."

Since we don't know everyone else's religion, "Happy Holidays" covers almost all the bases.

Assuming that everyone's like you is another common example of our collective arrogance. It's the kind of thinking that, I believe, isn't all that far from that of racists, sexists, and all the other negative "ists" we complain about in society.

5 comments:

chele said...

No edits necessary. I understood your point and you make a good argument.

I don't think I ever viewed it as a war on Christmas but a war on Christ. Which in and of itself is a contradiction because Christmas is the most commercialized and selfish holiday there is.

I'm not offended nor do I feel attacked when someone wishes me "Happy Holidays". I think its thoughtful.

TDJ said...

I don't mind the "Happy Holidays", but I do miss hearing "Merry Christmas".

West said...

I guess most folks I want to hear that from are likely to say "Merry Christmas," to me, so I haven't felt the loss.

I'm very fond of Christmas, although for purely secular reasons, so I certainly don't want it going the way of the do-do (sp?).

Anonymous said...

I like to say/hear Merry Christmas, but I send out holiday cards, because I am usually sending them out to late to make it to my friends homes before Christmas. LOL

Anonymous said...

But JESUS is the REASON for the SEASON. So say the 'Christians' who attend their mega churches and spend all their money on presents to put under their pagan tree. Nothing says JESUS like going in to debt over consumer goods. Meh. Christians should be worried about issues like poverty, global warming, overconsumption, injustice not whether you can say Merry Christmas. That is such a non-issue.