Thursday, December 15, 2005


The Holiday Kerfluffle

On Tuesday, wanda posted her opinion on a wide variety of things including what has been dubbed the "war on Christmas." While I agree whole-heartedly with wanda's view of the situation, I also believe that there is a much larger issue at play. That issue is autotheism.

For starters, I'd just like to say that there is NO war on Christmas. Are there people opposed to Christmas? I'm sure there are, but not in the numbers that Bill O'Reilly would like us to believe. What we're seeing instead is a theologically-based war on inclusiveness. Last Sunday, a member of my wife's Sunday School class remarked that he was offended when people wished him Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. His reason for taking offense? "Because it's Christmas." Apparently he's forgotten that it's also the season for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the lesser understood Boxing Day. However, this seems to be the root cause of the fight: the self-absorbing need to hear Merry Christmas. It's all about me, me, me. Which as I understand it, was not the mantra of Christ, himself. But I digress.

Last night as I watched the evening news with Brian Williams, I was told that a recent poll found that Americans prefer to hear the phrase "Merry Christmas" as opposed to "Happy Holidays" by about 20%. But once again, this measures what people want to hear. Considering that Christianity is the predominant faith among most Americans who claim a religion, that's really not surprising. But does that mean that it's okay to exclude the other Americans who aren't of the Christian faith? What's next? Excluding others because the country is predominantly caucasian? What about excluding those who are less educated than the majority? Or how about those that don't speak English? Including people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds is what makes America the great place that it is. Excluding any portion of the population, no matter how small, because of their faith is unacceptable. I don't care if your Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Aetheist...whatever. It's discriminatory and decidedly un-American.

And what about what those other Americans want to hear? Those of the Jewish faith would probably prefer to hear Happy Hanukkah, wouldn't you think? Shouldn't they have the right to hear what they want, as well? Maybe the country should start a religion ID card that could be shown upon entering a department store. That way, greeters would know what to say. Or, better yet, all people of the Jewish faith could wear some sort of symbol on their clothing identifying them as Jews. Oh wait, that's been done. We don't want to go down that path.

So if department stores want to be all inclusive and wish their customers a Happy Holidays, I say "good for them." It's the American way to be inclusive. It's why we were once called the "melting pot." Besides, exclusionary tactics are for lesser countries than us.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

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