Is it just me, or does the Christian Right in this country just seem to go further and further out into the weeds with their “Oh, we’re so oppressed!” chicken dance? It really is sickening. With all the deference Christians get in this country, and it’s not enough? Christians already get their two biggest holidays as Federal holidays. Do the Jews? No. Is Kwanzaa a Federal Holiday? No.
Let’s look at the supposed battlefield, shall we?
Fans of such weed-eaters as Glenn Beck and Pat Robertson are out there complaining about how businesses and other people, who may or may not be Christian, wish people “Happy Holidays” in stead of “Merry Christmas”. Is that fair? While, statistically, you stand a better chance that the person you’re passing your season’s greetings to is Christian, as opposed to anything else, that margin of certainty is shrinking. Unless you know someone is a Christian, isn’t it sensible to refrain from assuming he or she is Christian, just because it’s the majority position?
If we’re going to “put the Christ back in Christmas”, shouldn’t we also put the “Democrat” back in “Democracy”? If you’re a Democrat, why not just automatically assume everyone else is a Democrat, and make some blanket statement about how cool it is to be a Democrat to everyone you meet around election time, as if they’re part of your club, and then gasp and recoil in horror, when they say that just because the White House, Senate and House of Representatives all have Democratic leadership doesn’t mean we’re all Democrats.
If Wal*Mart wants to alienate followers of other religions and the unaffiliated (over 20% of Americans, according to a Pew poll) that’s their choice. If you as a Christian (assuming you are one) choose to assume I’m a Christian (a big mistake, and you’ll hear about it, long form, in short order) that’s your business. It’s not the job of the US Government to proselytize for any faith. If the Federal Government of the United States of America is to offer any greetings making reference to religiously significant observances (and I think even that is going too far), it is Constitutionally bound to show no preference to any one religion. “Happy Holidays” and/or “Season’s Greetings” is as far as the US Government can go. For a Congressman or Senator to attempt to legislate anything else is an obvious breach of their Oath of Office, and, I think, grounds for impeachment and removal from office.
As far as what an individual says to another, I think it’s a matter of personal choice. If you are a Christian, It’s up to you whether you want to take the one in five chance of alienating a stranger by wishing them a Merry Christmas. If you’re not a Christian, it seems patently hypocritical to wish someone else Merry Christmas.
This group-offense-taking, which seems to have started in earnest with the Danish Mohammad cartoon lunacy is reaching new heights of idiocy. This “War on Christmas” thing has taken a totalitarian turn, with the notion that the Christians are entitled to force me to think a certain way about their religious observances, and, as a consequence, feel (or at least ape) reverence for their faith above others.
If then-Vice President Richard B. Cheney could tell US Senator from Vermont Patrick J. Leahy on the floor of the US Senate to “fuck himself” without any official retribution, reprisal, or censure, that response is obviously acceptable for use in civilized discourse among decent respectable people. As such, I offer it to these “War on Christmas” crybabies who insist that I, and you, and everyone else, use the phrase “Merry Christmas” as a greeting, irrespective of audience.
I think what I’m going to do from here on out is simply reject the notion that December is any more significant than, say, June, and just greet everyone with a, “Hi,” or, “Hello.”, leave them with a “See ya,” or “Fare well,” and reply to offerings of “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” or “Season’s Greetings” with a firm, but polite, “No, Thanks.”