I am done with the bitching and boycotting over “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays.” I actually have people nastily wishing me a Merry Christmas in some deranged attempt to offend me. Seriously. So let’s straighten this out once and for all.
For the sake of clarity, I am going to violate my normal rule and put each side in a basket. Conservatives are “War on Christmas” and liberals are “Happy Holidays”. I know there are exceptions, so don’t get all up in my comments. Thx.
Conservative Christians have invented a phony War on Christmas for some reason. When 70.6% of the nation identifies as Christian, I suppose it can be quite terrifying to feel like a minority. Walking into the mall and the office and seeing Christmas trees and nativity scenes will leave long-lasting scars that scorch the soul, so that having a stranger dare say “Happy Holidays” will be akin to being imprisoned and/or put to death in North Korea, Iraq, Syria, etc.
This war myth perpetuated by the far right as a means of getting attention is an insult not only to the founders of our country, who came here to escape religious intolerance, but also it is dreadfully dismissive of true persecution happening right now across the world. While Fox News and Aunt Betty bitch about coffee cups and Santas and season’s greetings:
Christian persecution is any hostility experienced from the world as a result of one’s identification as a Christian.
From verbal harassment to hostile feelings, attitudes and actions, Christians in areas with severe religious restrictions pay a heavy price for their faith. Beatings, physical torture, confinement, isolation, rape, severe punishment, imprisonment, slavery, discrimination in education and employment, and even death are just a few examples of the persecution they experience on a daily basis.
According to The Pew Research Center, over 75% of the world’s population lives in areas with severe religious restrictions (and many of these people are Christians). Also, according to the United States Department of State, Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Jesus Christ. (OpenDoors)
I am not at all offended by acknowledgement of any type of well-meaning good wishes. I also try to wish my Jewish friends a Happy Hanukah, my African-American friends a joyous Kwanza, and my Seinfeld friends a Happy Festivus. This is not some “politically correct” bullshit; it’s polite, thoughtful, and respectful.
It is the ultimate in hypocrisy to claim to be against PC culture, then demand everyone cave to your specific religious views. It’s not that Liberals have a problem with “Merry Christmas”; we just pay attention to everyone and attempt to be inclusive.
At what point did Christians decide demanding everyone treat them a certain way or else was the best way to spread their message? When did it become preferable to lobby their beliefs into law rather than live by example? I ask this question all the time, and I never get an answer. My guess, though, is it is the easy way out. Why, Conservative Christians, would you put Christ back into Christmas when you can simply pitch a toddleresque tantrum to get it instead? The problem, however, is this is not sustainable. It breeds contempt and resentment, and that will do nothing but grow exponentially.
The biggest difference between the two sides? I do not mind your wishing me a happy whichever holiday. I’m just grateful you took the time and were thoughtful enough to do it at all. And I will smile and reciprocate.
Happy Holidays…all of them!