Friday, December 10, 2004

"Happy Holidays" and Other Stupid Phrases

Lately, there has been a trend to make Christmas more politically correct and it makes me want to yak. In the retail industry, management is pushing for the employees to say "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" instead of the tried and true "Merry Christmas". This pisses me off. Have you ever been able to say "Seasons Greetings" to someone without them looking at you wierd because you sound like a tool? No, because the only time that phrase sounds even remotely nice is when it is on a greeting card. So why all of the commotion about saying "Merry Christmas"? I will tell you why.

The big trend in the US is to make sure that Christians do not offend Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, Atheists, etc etc. This drives me up a wall because Christians make up the vast majority of the population. I am not saying that we should not respect other religions, I just don't think I should have to sacrifice mine to do it. Take the New York City public school system for example. Kids there cannot promote Christmas in any way other than acknowledging it is a holiday. No Christmas songs with the words "Christmas or Christ", no crosses, no trees, nothing even remotely religious or Christmas-like at all. I would not have a problem with this except, Star of Davids, Cresents, and Menorahs are allowed to be displayed. What in the hell is up with that?

This is my very un-PC reply to this trend. I know Jewish people and Buddhists and none of them are offended by Christmas. If Christmas is not your bag because your Jewish or Muslim or whatever, that is fine. But, I would expect you to politely let me celebrate and express my Christian tradition just as I would politely let you observe your traditions. Everyone is getting too freaked out over what the ACLU and their ilk will think if someone so much as whispers the word "Christmas" but other religions can freely and openly express themselves in public. This is not right. If Christmas offends you, I am sorry. But please be respectful of the fact that the vast majority of the United States celebrates it. I welcome all people of all religions to come to the United States, but come here knowing that between 80-90% of the population is Christian whether you are or not and we should freely be able to celebrate our holidays as you should be able to celebrate yours.

To the non-Christians out there: If someone tells you "Merry Christmas" go with it and take it for the general message that the phrase encompasses, goodwill and peace to all of mankind. Is that such a bad ideal? Show Christians respect and let them have their holiday season and traditions.

To the Christians out there: Feel free to celebrate the birth of your savior. Sing songs, go to parties, give gifts, be with family and friends, and decorate your houses. This is a time to be happy. Also keep in mind that there are other religions out there and show them the same respect that they should show you when their holiday season arrives.

All of us can get along and all of us can express ourselves. People need to learn to be respectful of others and that does not just apply to Christians. Everyone needs to be respectful to each other, regardless of your religious beliefs. If we can all do this, I think the world will be a better place.

Oh yeah, Merry Christmas!


At 1:22 PM, Blogger Theodora said...

As a pagan I have no problem with people saying "Merry Christmas" to me. In fact a lot of early Christianity was stolen whole-cloth from the mystery religions of the time -- I have some fascinating books on this, at least they would be fascinating if they weren't so bloody dry -- and Christmas is one of those bits. It's actually Mithras' birthday everyone celebrates in December -- albeit it's more of a remembrance of Mithras' birth and an excuse for rampant commercialism these days -- and, again, as a pagan, that amuses me greatly. :) There are lots of places to confirm it, including a number of Christian websites -- just do a Google for 'mithras christmas' and you'll see.

The truly hilarious thing is that I have some nutty Southern Baptist cousins (the sort that read the Bible in Greek and Aramaic) that feel Christmas and a bunch of other holidays are sinful for this reason.

Go figure.


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