How should Christians cope with ‘Christmas wars?’

By Douglas A. Hicks Welcome back to the “December dilemma” death match — the 2010 edition. In this corner are … Continued

By Douglas A. Hicks

Welcome back to the “December dilemma” death match — the 2010 edition. In this corner are the self-proclaimed defenders of Christmas, ready and organized to denounce anyone who says “Happy Holidays.” In the other corner are a more motley crew of retailers, secularists and religiously diverse citizens who communicate an inclusive holiday message but still decorate in red and green.

Christmas is loaded — indeed, overloaded — with symbolic power. It is a religious holy day; a national holiday; a sentimental family day; and a commercial event. No other day in the calendar has as much cultural significance, and no day has as much potential to fuel the culture wars.

This year, reports Natalie Zmuda on MSNBC.com, “Christmas is winning.” The American Family Association and other conservative groups have pressured retailers to advertize their consumer products with “Merry Christmas” campaigns instead of the more generic “Happy Holidays.” They threatened to organize boycotts against companies that they determined to be anti-Christmas. And, it seems, many national retailers have feared such economic reprisals by would-be Christmas shoppers.

Never mind that saying “Happy Holidays” was meant as a moral stand, an effort to be inclusive of the non-Christians who prefer not to celebrate Christmas as a religious holy day. Retailers desperate to keep their Christmas customers have decided to follow majoritarian pressure to recognize Christmas.

What is Christian about coercing retailers, by threat of economic boycott, to use the word Christmas in their quest to sell their products? What view of Christmas, or of Christian faith, is operating in this campaign?

Christians have allowed their holy day to be nearly completely co-opted by a consumer culture willing to exploit any symbols or stories in order to increase profitability. Indeed, it is rational for retailers to employ whatever slogans they believe will maximize their sales. For that matter, defenders of Christmas have every legal right to pressure companies as they see fit. But what is a legal right is not necessarily the morally or theologically right thing to do.

The American founding fathers emphasized the importance of individual conscience, not coercion, in matters of faith. The Constitution of Virginia (1776) states: “That religion or the duty which we owe to our creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction; not by force or violence.” Virginia luminaries such as James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry knew better than to force religious ideas or holy days onto citizens.

Yet, don’t tell that to the late Jerry Falwell, who famously told his followers that, “We are winning the Christmas war.” His son Jonathan continues to stoke his congregation’s fire to fight and defeat those who would eliminate Christmas. They have condemned retailers and also threatened to bring suit against any school or other public entity seeking to ban talk of Christmas.

I hope that this year, the December dilemma won’t turn into an all-out death match. If retailers are going to decorate exclusively in red and green, they might as well call it Christmas retailing. Although businesses should create respectful settings for their employees and customers alike, we citizens should not expect retailers to lead the way in creating an inclusive, good society. Companies, after all, have a legitimate right to pursue profits as long as they are just in how they go about it.

Christians who wish to acknowledge the religious roots of the season — the birth of the Christ child –would be well-advised to uncouple the celebration of faith from excessive retail spending. Rather than complain that retailers have failed to sanctify consumerism with the name of Christmas, Christians should consider resisting the commercialization of their holy day.

Douglas A. Hicks is professor of leadership studies and religion in the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond and author of With God on All Sides: Leadership in a Devout and Diverse America and Money Enough: Everyday Practices for Living Faithfully in the Global Economy.

  • areyousaying

    Not only have Christians allowed the commercialization of Christmas, a good number of them have facilitated it by exploiting poor old Jesus in advertising.Their boycott during their buying frenzy is something that would be entertaining to see.Happy Holidays!

  • Sara121

    This whole war on Christmas bit seems a bit silly to me. Is there really nothing better to do than argue about whether not not I say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays (which encompasses New Years) or whether or I call the five foot Douglas Fir in my living room a Christmas Tree or a Germanic, Pagan, Winter Solstice Holiday tree? Seems to me that these over zealous folks would do well to remember two things. First many symbols in Christmas, like the Christmas tree, were adapted and adopted by early Christians as they spread beyond the Levant to help win converts and have no intrinsic meaning to the birth of Christ. Coniferous trees don’t grow in the Middle East. Second, they would do well to remember the lesson from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Christmas is what you make it, and it doesn’t “come” or “not come” just because some people may not like it or just simply refuse to be presumptuous in their holiday greetings. It comes regardless of the consumerism and retail spending, and it comes even for, and for the purely religious regardless of, families that simply want to spend some quality time together while they get a break.

  • slowe111

    “Merry Christmas” should be said by one Christian to another. If one does not know the religion of the other, one should not presume and just simply say Hello, or Happy Holidays. Religion should stay in the home or in churches. It should not contaminate our secular society and government.

  • rambollini-1

    “Atheist billboard: Christmas is a myth”Said conclusion is supported by the studies of many NT and historic Jesus exegetes.e.g.Professor JD Crossan with great thoroughness examined all the existing scriptural writings from the first and second centuries AD/CE. If you do not have his 505 page book, The Historical Jesus, see Using these documents plus the conclusions of the major NT exegetes in the past two hundred years, he compared Jesus’ reported acts and sayings to when they were reported and how many reports were made. Those acts and sayings with single or later attestations along with the current biblical scholarship negativity, were judged not to be done or said by the historical Jesus. Approximately 67% of the NT was judged to be in that category, i.e. embellishments of the facts typically made to compete with the “Caesar”, “Alexander” and Egyptian gods. See faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtfUse this latter site to analyze your NT references for “Crossan” acceptance, e.g. Matt 1:23These same passages also are in direct conflict with(!6) Luke 2:27,33,41,48where Joseph is reported to be the father of Jesus.”In Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000), Bruce Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a ma-mzer; someone whose irregular birth circu-mstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural pat-ernity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus’ life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus’ self-identity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest.”"John P,Meier [Marginal Jew I,220-22] discusses the vi-rginal conception as part of his larger chapter on Jesus’ origins. He earlier notes that both infancy narratives “seem to be largely the product of Christian reflection on the salvific meaning of Jesus Christ in the light of OT prophecies (p. 213). At the end of his examination, Meier concludes:”The ends result of this survey must remain meager and disappointing to both defenders and opponents of the doctrine of the virginal conception. Taken by itself, historical-critical research simply does not have the sources and tools available to reach a final decision on the historicity of the virginal conception as narrated by Matthew and Luke. One’s acceptance or rejection of the doctrine will be largely influenced by one’s own philosophical and theological presuppositions, as well as the weight one gives to Church teaching.”

  • lepidopteryx

    I really don’t get why AFA claims a victory for Jesus every time a retailer puts the word “Christmas” on an advertisement. When retailers use the word “Christmas” in their ads, they’re using the name of a holy man as a marketing tool. I don’t get why Christians don’t consider such use of their holy guy’s name blasphemous. Face it, you’re not buying that plasma tv, that Wii, that blood diamond, or that plastic action figure toy made in a Third World sweatshop as a way of acknowledging the birth of a holy man or as a way of spreading his teachings.

  • Sajanas

    I think we would all be happier if the “War on Christmas” people stopped giving gifts, put up only Nativity Scenes, and treated the birth of their human sacrifice as the solemn occasion that it actually is. They should rid their house of Santa, snowmen, and any and all adopted pagan symbols.And we’ll see how their children cry as they’re left out of one of the most fun holidays of the year, and they eventually cave in, and come back to the party chagrined, but hopefully more willing to enjoy themselves.

  • Carstonio

    I really don’t get why AFA claims a victory for Jesus every time a retailer puts the word “Christmas” on an advertisement. Your post makes excellent points. To answer your question, the issue is not about religion but about cultural hegemony. AFA is part of the subset of Christianity that wants to believe that America is one step away from sending Christians to gulags. They wrongly characterize the naming of Christmas as an act of righteous defiance, while simultaneously insisting that most of America shares their religious and cultural beliefs.

  • lepidopteryx

    Observer, I have yet to see any tv station air a “Happy Chanukah” greeting.And since the term “holidays” INCLUDES Christmas (along with Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Divali, Yule, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Day, and several others), I fail to see how including Xians is dissing them. Or is anything that doesn’t specifically point to them as the default religion disrespectful?

  • Skowronek

    Observer, I have yet to see any tv station air a “Happy Chanukah” greeting.And since the term “holidays” INCLUDES Christmas (along with Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Divali, Yule, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Day, and several others), I fail to see how including Xians is dissing them. Or is anything that doesn’t specifically point to them as the default religion disrespectful?Posted by: lepidopteryx I

    In addition, isn’t the use of the word “war” in conjunction with the Christmas holiday a contradiction in terms for Christians? If you are going to wage a “Christmas war”, shouldn’t it be against rampant materialism and the co-opting of spiritual meaning by greed?

  • Carstonio

    Saying “Merry Christmas” acknowledges the culture of the majority of Americans. What is wrong with that? In most cases one doesn’t know the religious affiliation of strangers, and one shouldn’t assume that a stranger is Christian. If one is a Christian and one wishes Merry Christmas to strangers, one is essentially making the issue about one’s self and one’s own religion. One should extend well wishes for a specific religious holiday to a specific person only if one knows for a fact that the other person belongs to that religion, or knows for a fact that the person celebrates that holiday. “Happy holidays” therefore disrespects a majority of Americans by not acknowledging their cultural and religious traditions. Wrong. No religion deserves more respect than others simply by being more prevalent than others. That’s the same mistake that many people make in assuming that secularism is hostility to all religion instead of neutrality among all religions. “Happy Holidays” is religion-neutral. Minorities don’t have a responsibility to make the majority comfortable. Instead, the majority has a responsibility to respect the equality of minorities.Observe, that at the same time, TV stations never forget to proclaim “Happy Hanukah” .But they also do Merry Christmas as well, because they broadcast all the time and they can target specific messages to specific days on the calendar. Also because they’re speaking to a broad audience instead of a specific person. The tone of your sentence carries the ugly implication that Jews are unfairly getting special treatment and that Christians are being discriminated against.

  • Skowronek

    Hey! WaPo axed my nice words to and about Lepidoteryx! It was supposed to look like a little heart–or maybe an ice cream cone. Your choice and Happy Holidays, L.

  • JDL8338

    It is far simpler.Christmas should not be a Federal holiday. It baffles me as to why we continue to have ONE religious holiday observed as a Federal holiday. It is a RELIGIOUS holiday and therefore should not be observed by the Federal government. Take that away and most of the issues go away.As a Jew, I’m far more offended that the Federal government observes this religious holiday than some random Christian wishing me a merry Christmas. Take the holiday out of the political arena (ie, no local/state/federal gov’t observances).

  • akhtarman

    These Christians fanatics are proof perfect of why no Christmas trees should be permitted, no Christmas carols should be sung and no Nativity scenes should be displayed, ever. This is not about freedom of religion, Christians have all that and some. This is about Christian Dominionism and their desire to eventually force the Bible down our throats, to destroy the Constitution and dominate the world. The Christmas tree is serving the same purpose as the gun did to natives centuries ago. It is time to ban, yes ban, the term “Merry Christmas” and stop the fanatic Dominionism. Happy Kwanza, Happy Holidays, Eid Mubarak etc. Just no “Merry you know what ;-)”

  • Muddy_Buddy_2000

    I am for tradition, Happy Winter Solstice which what the December holiday is all about, since Jesus not born in December, a quick check of internet suggest spring or fall, but December would have been a very poor and unlikely time for a census. In addition, there were winter solstice celebrations for at least 4000 years before Christ was born.

  • slim21

    Were Christians to accurately practice their faith, they would avoid all forms of commercial activity during this most holy holiday season. Let the heathens knock themselves out in their pursuit of material possessions and the chips fall where they may. They would also ignore trollish articles like this that always can be counted on to gin up controversy around this time of year.

  • fmjk

    There is nothing remotely disrespectful to Christians about someone saying “Happy Holidays.” Why should a shop keeper — who is speaking to ALL shoppers and not just the Christians, even if they are the majority — have to mention one particular holiday above all others? If you only want to hear about Christmas, then go to church. Stay home. Celebrate Christmas. It never ceases to amaze me how Christians think they have to dominate the public square — make EVERYONE celebrate Christmas! That’s not respecting Christians, it’s disregarding everyone else. And when you talk about politicians and governmental entities, what the AFA wants is completely antithetical to the very first clause of the very first amendment to the Constitution. It’s there for a reason — how would Christians feel if everywhere they went, everyone said Chag Samaeach (that’s Hebrew, you guys) and your religion was left out altogether?

  • Carstonio

    Christmas should not be a Federal holiday. It baffles me as to why we continue to have ONE religious holiday observed as a Federal holiday. The government isn’t “observing” the holiday. I suspect it’s largely for the convenience of both offices and employees. If it wasn’t designated as a workforce holiday, numerous employees would probably take vacation days. Some school systems that serve sizable religious minorities find it practical to close schools on some of those religions’ holidays. One alternative would be to do away with official workforce holidays and give employees 10 extra holidays a year that they can use however they wish.The Christmas tree is serving the same purpose as the gun did to natives centuries ago. Whoa, let’s keep some perspective. The mentality we’re talking about involves only a small but vocal minority of Christians. Groups like the AFA are first and foremost political. Why punish all Christians for the actions of the fanatics?

  • CHAOTICIAN101

    LOL So Christmas references a Mass to celebrate Christ! Few Christians have Mass and Christ presumably can not be born so the whole thing is a comic farce… Christian theology wise. Add in their Jesus, if he actually existed, was not born anytime near the winter solstice according to the very, very brief mention in their Holy book and you have just a typical religious business transaction like all the rest of the “church” holidays. Presumably the priests are mostly upset with someone else getting the monies that could have been given to them!

  • abu_ibrahim

    O Douglas, quit your griping! Here, Tom Lehrer, who is not even Christian, said it best:«Christmas time is here, by golly«On Christmas day you can’t get sore

  • JDL8338

    Carstonio wrote: “If it wasn’t designated as a workforce holiday, numerous employees would probably take vacation days.”Pardon me while I wipe the tear from my eye. The thought of people taking a vacation day to observe their religious holiday certainly is a sad event. Something I do EVERY YEAR for Rosh Hashanah and/or Yom Kippur.

  • Carstonio

    The thought of people taking a vacation day to observe their religious holiday certainly is a sad event. Something I do EVERY YEAR for Rosh Hashanah and/or Yom Kippur.That’s exactly why I suggested the alternative of having all employees do this. The current situation in most jurisdictions benefits only those employees who belong to the majority religion. My original point was to acknowledge that government had a secular purpose for doing so.

  • Greent

    Happy Festivus!

  • roboturkey

    Christmas tree, misletoe, the whole year/end solstice location of the holiday on the calendar, Santa Claus, the “mash up” of the gospels into one narrative, all the maudlin CHristmas “miracles”, so forth.We beat the holiday into the shape we wanted and now some people want to call the whole deal sacred instead of “convenient”. Ho hum.Festivus for the Rest of Us.

  • lufrank1

    Hey…Come on…have a heart!As a complete Agnostic (who believes that NO human actually knows Who, what or If God is, and that No Human can speak for God), I love the Christmas Pageantry, Caroling, and Santa Clause Christmas Packaging Opening with our grand children. I also believe that Hanukkah and other religious events and holidays (Islam, Buddhism, etc. should be played up for ALL of us to enjoy!Why interfere with celebrations of Santa (Now THERE is a happy, worthwhile convention (Spirit?).Why should us Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, have to RUIN other peoples’ most joyful, introspective festivals.It doesn’t bother me to see a Nativity Scene or Happy Buddha statue on PUBLIC display. I KNOW what I believe and don’t believe. Come on – Narrow minded Neanderthals – Evolve into Loving Human beings.Hey –“I love a parade” – why don’t you?

  • Carstonio

    Why should us Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, have to RUIN other peoples’ most joyful, introspective festivals.That’s a straw man – despite the comments of a few extremists here, those groups generally DON’T seek to ruin anyone’s holiday. What those groups DO object to is being otherized by groups like the AFA who insist that their religion be given privileged status.It doesn’t bother me to see a Nativity Scene or Happy Buddha statue on PUBLIC display.Depends on what you mean by “public.” Courthouses or other government buildings aren’t for sectarian displays from any religion. But for town squares, any religious group should be able to put up its own holiday display with its own money and labor.

  • terry_rudolph

    C’mon – it’s simple. It makes a buck for these preachers and that’s all it’s about. Oh, and masturbating their egos with some publicity too.

  • practica1

    The first European-American Christians actually forbade the celebration of Christmas, and most merriness.And the date for Christmas is a fiction.AND Christ’s Mass is a popish pre-Reformation abomination.WHY can’t these fundamentalists get their history straight?????

  • Sara121

    It is well researched that early Christians adopted (stole?) customs and rituals from the pagans they tried to convert so as to make conversion more palatable. All of these things were taken from around the Middle East and Europe and then spliced back together, which is why Christianity tends to be a bit of a hodgepodge of paganistic ideas. It is also why stories contradict each other, and how new myths started, like the virgin birth story. Stolen from the Greeks. Christmas tree – stolen from Germanic pagans. Adoption of winter solstice – stolen from probably lots of different groups. Winter Solstice is about celebrating life in the middle of winter when most plants are dead, so it probably seemed like an easy shift to celebrate the birth of a prophet instead. Makes you wonder though, what if all that happened in the southern hemisphere? Christmas would be in July! Because that’s when THEY have winter……

  • Catken1

    “Why should us Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, have to RUIN other peoples’ most joyful, introspective festivals.”Why should it ruin someone else’s festival to give them a generic good-will wish? Do Christians have to have all the attention, all the time, from everyone, specifically just for THEM, to enjoy their festival? Is it really so awful that some random store clerk or other perfect stranger doesn’t automatically know your faith and wish you the proper specific holiday greeting, but gives you a polite and cheerful wish for a happy holiday, whatever one or ones you celebrate? Heck, why can’t Christians, even those touchy enough to be mortally offended that a store clerk didn’t KNOW they were Christian or didn’t give priority to THEIR religion over all their other customers’ religion, just assume that said clerk wanted them to have a Merry Christmas _and_ a Happy New Year? Surely it’s OK for Christians to celebrate the New Year too?Please. Christmas is in NO danger, and NO one is ruining it for anyone, except for people who can’t possibly celebrate a religious holiday and worship as they please without requiring everyone else around them to worship and celebrate the same holiday just as they do. Christians worship all they want on and around Christmas, put up Nativity scenes and other religious decorations on their property and their church’s property to their heart’s content, sing carols out loud with gusto, pray openly and frequently, exchange religiously significant presents, even, yes, say “Merry Christmas!” That’s great. That’s fine. What gets my goat is when some Christian decides to throw a stompy, pouty, whiny hissy fit and claim that they’re being PERSECUTED and OPPRESSED because other people’s holidays got a modicum of acknowledgement, too. Say “Merry Christmas” all you like, celebrate all you like, honor the religious aspects of the holiday with reverence and faith, by all means – just don’t have a tantrum when someone else says “Happy Holidays,” or when your local mall has a tiny Hanukkah display in the corner to compete with the huge Christmas display all over the rest of the mall, or when your kids have to sing one Hanukkah song and a couple of secular winter songs along with 20 or so Christmas carols at their holiday pageant. Please. You have 96% of the culturally-acknowledged winter holiday pie, along with full rights to celebrate fully as you please in your own life – don’t claim that you’re a martyred, tortured victim of oppression because EVERYBODY doesn’t place you EXCLUSIVELY at center stage, with NO one else allowed a look in, ALL winter long.

  • Sara121

    “Why should it ruin someone else’s festival to give them a generic good-will wish? Do Christians have to have all the attention, all the time, from everyone, specifically just for THEM, to enjoy their festival? Is it really so awful that some random store clerk or other perfect stranger doesn’t automatically know your faith and wish you the proper specific holiday greeting, but gives you a polite and cheerful wish for a happy holiday, whatever one or ones you celebrate?”

  • lepidopteryx

    Carstonio, I’ve maed a similar suggestion to your to every employer I’ve had for the past decade – to no avail.

  • di89

    There are people who endure true religious persecution around the world. They face loss of political rights, property, liberty, even life. If the worst offense you ever experience against your religion (or non-religion) is people bickering about whether to say “Merry Christmas” or not, you’ve got it pretty good. Go find a different nit to pick.

  • hared

    If I see two stores next to each other, and one has Happy Holidays in the window, and the other has Merry Christmas in its window, I’m walking into the Merry Christmas store first, and probably last. When I see commercials that fraudelently use Christmas Carols to sell their wares, I change the channel. If you can’t acknowledge the Christmas Season, then don’t expect your advertisement to sell during the Christmas Season. Merry Christmas.

  • judithclaire1939

    I guess the tree with presents under it is to thank those 3 guys who brought presents to the Baby Jesus. They were not that expensive…so, in order to encourage black Friday…Merry Christ baby mass!

  • segeny

    Heh heh heh.Perhaps the politically-correct cabal has their heads too deep in the dirt to recognize that their anti-Christmas (Christ Mass) term is a contraction for “Happy HolYday”. Merry Christ Mass to all (even the ACLU).

  • Catken1

    “Perhaps the politically-correct cabal has their heads too deep in the dirt to recognize that their anti-Christmas (Christ Mass) term is a contraction for “Happy HolYday”. Interesting how including members of other faiths (who have holy days as well as Christians do) in a polite holiday greeting becomes “anti-Christmas” actions by a “politically-correct cabal”. I guess some Christians really are egotistical enough to believe that if they and their faith aren’t the center of the universe in someone else’s eyes, that person must be a hateful persecutor.

  • eezmamata

    That people who worship a bleeding corpse on a torture device would think they have anything to say about people who don’t shows a startling lack of self-awareness.

  • joe_allen_doty

    The shepherds did see Jesus on the night he was born; but, no gifts are even mentioned in the Gospel of Luke.Jesus wasn’t even seen by the Magi (astrologers/astronomers) until he was around 2 years old and they saw him in a HOUSE IN BETHLEHEM. THREE different types of gifts were given but the number of Magi was not given.The 1st Century AD church, called “The Way” in the Book of Acts, didn’t celebrate the birth or resurrection of Jesus as a special day at all. But, they celebrated his resurrection every Sunday evening when they worshiped together and had pot-luck meal as a part of the service.

  • onthejourney

    To be upset when the sales clerk who put your sweater neatly in a bag and kindly offered you a gift box and then with a warm smile says “have a good holiday” doesn’t seem very christian. It’s not her place to determine your faith.Spend your energy smiling at strangers and working for peace – and maybe wish those on the other side of the counter to have a wonderful day too.

  • veerle1

    Since Christ never existed, what is all the fuss about?

  • OBXCrabby

    If there remains the remotest doubt as to the wisdom of meticulous separation of church and state one has but to read this thread.

  • rambollini-1

    Merry Mess of Myths!!!

  • Chops2

    Welcome to the American version of christianity, where greed and consumerism are all prevailing from the mega churches to the department stores, it is a shallow doctrine of selfishness touted by the right as being righteous. It makes me wanna puke

  • dmblum

    Don’t you people realize that if you’re not Christian you’re not an American! Jews get a day pass as America is a “Judeo-Christian” country.We decide who are real Americans!

  • wmpowellfan

    Are holidays and events tied to other religions given the same politically correct treatment as Christmas? Do people come up with general euphemisms for “Happy Hannukah” or “Happy Eid” to avoid offending non-Jews or non-Muslims, respectively?I didn’t think so.Merry Christmas.

  • Carstonio

    Do people come up with general euphemisms for “Happy Hannukah” or “Happy Eid” to avoid offending non-Jews or non-Muslims, respectively?The point is that “Happy Holidays” isn’t a euphemism for Christmas but a neutral reference to all the holidays in December, including the ones you mentioned. The term isn’t about avoiding offense non-Christians but refusing to assume that people are Christian unless specifically identified otherwise. In principle, someone’s religious affiliation is no one else’s business.Again, it’s simply wrong and misguided to treat this issue as if Christmas and Christians are being treated worse than non-Christians and their holidays. It doesn’t reflect the demographic reality that Christians have major advantages over their fellow citizens of other faiths simply because they’re in the majority. One might have a point if holiday schedules in workplaces were based on non-Christian ones and Christians had to take vacation days for Christmas.

  • ggwalt

    Why does this come up every year? It’s just fricken stupid.

  • monel7191

    Let’s all keep the “schism” in Christmas. And have a wonderful Winter Solstice!

  • Channah

    I much prefer HAPPY HOLIDAYS—it it the season of Chanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa——-why not include all of them in one greeting?

  • limpscomb

    I have a new mantra and regardless of what anyone says to me at this time I year, I smile, look them in the eyes, and say “May we have peace on earth this season” and I walk away.If it were not for people of any faith having the ability to turn every incident into a form of victimhood, they would not have a happy holiday.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    When I was a little kid, we all said “Merry Christmas” to each other on Christmas Day. By “we,” I mean my family and the friends and neighbors that we saw on Christmas Day. In those days, people did not say “Merry Christmas” the day after Thanksgiving. As for Christmas being a Federal Holiday, and a very comercial season, well let’s face it, pragmatically, it is entrenched as a great Winter celebration which goes far, far beyond the celebration of Christ’s birth. It is entrenched and rooted in Western culture; Christians by their actions, acknowlege all of the many pagan tradiations of Northern Europe, the wreaths on their doors, and the Christmas trees, and the buying and exchanging of expensive gifts; these customs do not relate the the celebration of Christ’s birthday; nevertheless, they are integrated into the Winter celebration, and that is simply how it is.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    When I was a little kid, people DID say “Happy Holidays.” It is not new. If you watch old movies, you will note that people said it long ago.Since there were no religions in my region but Protestants, we did not know anything about Jews or Hannakah. No one ever said what “Happy Holidays” really meant, but I assumed that it referred to Christmas and New Years, which are two holidays close together.

  • dpfiumara

    I was going to post my own thoughts on this one but Catken1 said it all for me. Thanks.

  • US-conscience

    In my neighborhood, there are more ethnic stripes than a zebra. We have lots of Muslim, Hindu, Budhist, Jew, and secular americans and even one Christian – and everyone smiles and cheerfully says “Merry Christmas”

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    To be honest, the problem at Christmas time is the increased activity in stores and traffic, and all the social events, parties, and concerts that people try to attend. The pace of life is accerlerated, and it is often hard to keep up. People must decide just how much they really want to do. And then, if they cut out some things, they feel deprived. How to greet people is not a problem. I have never had a problem with “Merry Chritmas” versus “Happy Holidays.” This is just a problem for maladjusted misantropes. Big Deal!

  • mjcc1987

    joe_allen_doty | December 13, 2010 8:25 PMCan’t be true, sounds to socialist and we all know Christ was an all American gun-toting, anti-gay, anti-muslim, anti-illegal immigration, white capitalist who always went shopping on Sundays because only J..E..W..S.. worked that day.

  • chet_brewer

    The desperation that so many christians show to support and vocalize their religion reminds me of the answer a priest gave a parishoner who complained that not enough members of the congregation carried bibles with them every day and he told her that “it was more important that everyone knew she was carrying her bible when she left it on the table by the door” Another way of saying “you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk” To many of our offended christian brothers and sisters seem to have a problem with this

  • areyousaying

    Only the hostile, uncompromising followers of Abraham would use the words “Christmas” and “war” in the same breath when discussing freedom of religion.

  • Carstonio

    “Greeting should reflect TO WHOM they are being said, not what you want people to say to you!” Well said, Schnauzer21.

  • areyousaying

    This reminds me of the Mormons I grew up with in Utah who were taught to recite the mantra, “Yes, I know this is true” in testimony meeting because they weren’t really sure about their faith.

  • Please_Fix_VAs_Roads

    I’m surprised the Christian Taliban hasn’t sicked their gunmen on retailers like they have with abortion doctors.

  • andyinbethesda

    The net result of this “war” is that it removes the true meaning of Christmas, and moves it even more towards a hyper-commercialized secular holiday for the vast majority, regardless of religion.

  • areyousaying

    Another ugly manifestation of this season is crazed soccer moms who push, shove and fight over parking spaces at the mall as if they were “Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war”In Nordstroms the only year my wife dragged me out of bed at 5AM on Black Friday, I stood in an aisle looking at sweaters when one these Christmas demons came running full speed and crashed into me. Begin much larger, I stood my ground as she fell backwards on the floor screaming obscenities at me. I wished the b!tch “Happy Holidays” which made her even angrier.Poor old Jesus can’t even have a happy birthday thanks to his followers.

  • wireman65

    Who cares?

  • hared

    Listening to jews, one would think that someone was trying to make them say Heil Hitler. No one is making anyone say anything; and if they did say Merry Christmas, they said it for their own reasons. Merry Christmas.

  • 1911a1

    ‘happily holidays’ is merely more scum from the left.2012. No liberals. No exceptions.

  • Chip_M

    Those Christians who become incensed that someone uses the more inclusive Happy Holidays instead of saying Merry Christmas are really expressing outrage that they have to share the country with people who are not like them. It’s a reminder to the rest of us that we non-Christians are only tolerated as long as we know our place. It’s a demand that we bow respectfully in recognition of our second class status and their superior stature. These are the same folks who proclaim “This is a Christian nation!” It’s a repugnant attitude born from equal parts arrogance and fear. As with all bullies they’re overcompensating for deep insecurities. Fear of the “others” and fear of losing their cultural primacy. It’s the same ugly dynamic that fuels racism and homophobia. It’s ugly, petty, and sad.

  • folder9633

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster has asked me to inform the human race that He is getting increasingly annoyed by all this attention being given to the supposed birthday of the fictional son of an imaginary deity. Be warned.

  • stevie7

    How DARE someone say Happy Holidays to me when I’m trying to buy commercial items to shove under my pagan tree during this winter solstice season!

  • jaxas70

    Look. Conservatives of all stripes, whether they be Christian, libertarian, cultural or their latest movement craze, Tea Party, are all walking around with this great big cow chip on their shoulders, getting in people’s faces daring them to knock it off. Until someone courageously stands up to this obnoxious bunch of self righteous zealots and tells them to go p*ss up a rope, they will continue this odious habit of running around the country pretending to be put upon because people just don’t want to hear the nonsense they are constantly blabbering at us.Jesus, you can’t even go to a sporting or cultural or a holiday celebration anymore event without this barfy bunch of fundamentalist malcontents stinking everything up with their fanatical religious hokum. We’re tired of hearing it!

  • hared

    Those Christians who become incensed that someone uses the more inclusive Happy Holidays instead of saying Merry Christmas are really expressing outrage that they have to share the country with people who are not like them. It’s a reminder to the rest of us that we non-Christians are only tolerated as long as we know our place. It’s a demand that we bow respectfully in recognition of our second class status and their superior stature. These are the same folks who proclaim “This is a Christian nation!” It’s a repugnant attitude born from equal parts arrogance and fear. As with all bullies they’re overcompensating for deep insecurities. Fear of the “others” and fear of losing their cultural primacy. It’s the same ugly dynamic that fuels racism and homophobia. It’s ugly, petty, and sad.

  • jaxas70

    I find it amusing that Jerry Falwell’s son is carrying on his father’s addled mission to force everyone into celebrating Christmas in accordance with his asinine fundamentalist viewpoints.Look. The war that Falwell said they were winning is so much like all of these other culture related wars. It is a war being fought on the outside fringes of American society. Every year at this time most of us shop and entertain ourselves at a mixed variety of shops, theaters, cultural halls and fairgrounds some of which have MERRY CHRISTMAS emblazoned on their public ads, others cheerfully wishing HAPPY HOLIDAYS to us without even the slightest notion that they are expressing some political, religious or cultural opinion. This is an imaginary war, on an imaginary, against an imaginary enemy, fought by a tiny, narrow band of characters with imaginary brains. The vast majority of us just want them to get the hell out of our way and let us enjoy the holidays in our own way. Just get out of our faces O’Reilly before I punch that silly red nose of yours.

  • handbelllady

    Christmas wars stem, at least for me, from seeing our Christian faith consistently eroded by non-Christians. Everything Christians say, do, think in today’s world has to be geared to not “offending” someone. I am a Christian and should have the freedom to express my religion which is what our founding fathers established in this country. So I say “Merry Christmas.” If this offends someone, then they can work on Christmas Day rather than having the day off, since they are not able or willing to recognize why we have Christmas Day to begin with. Jesus was born to save our sins, not to provide a day that pushes people to buy and give gifts!

  • stevie7

    “The Flying Spaghetti Monster has asked me to inform the human race that He is getting increasingly annoyed by all this attention being given to the supposed birthday of the fictional son of an imaginary deity. Be warned.”POSTED BY: FOLDER9633—-What do you think His Noodleage would want us to say this holiday season? Is it close to Ramendan? Is Happy Ramendan or Merry Ramendan more appropriate? Perhaps we should wage war against all of the anti-Pastafanarianism out there.

  • jaxas70

    Well, I’ll tell you right now Hared. You don’t live in a Christian nation. Our nation is grounded in a Constitution that makes no mention of Christ or even God. The very reason the Founders opted for the more inclusive term Creator should be a writ large hint to even that that disorganized glob of snot in your head you call your brain that they intended the United States of America to be an inclusive nation organized along secular lines, dealing with secular issues and not some silly, humdrum, fundamentalist revival tent where the government must pass some religious test before it can be allowed to proceed. There is even a specific restriction in the Constitution about applying such a religious test to anyone who wishes to be a public servant.If you so desire such a nation built on such primitive fundamentalist beliefs, I suggest that you and Sarah Failin and Mike Hickabee and Rush Limbloat get together and find yourself a small, uninhabited island somewhere and go right ahead and establish your dumb little fundie Christian nation. I suspect that you won’t have any illegal immigration problems there because no one would want to come to such a foul place.

  • rhalter3633

    Barf. I am so sick of people who misuse the power of social media to claim false injustices and take up metaphorical arms against anyone who offends their worldview. You know what, those of you who do this, you offend me. Boo hoo! I guess I should go cry and gnash my teeth and organize a boycott of narcissistic jerks.

  • hared

    These jews, atheists, agnostics and other flesh and earth worshipping people feel so left out during this time of year, that they try to destroy it for the rest of the majority. Especially these jews, like the case of the jewish fool in the Minneapolis airport a few years ago threatening to sue, because a Menorah wasn’t sitting next to a Christmas tree. These jews never get why they always end up on the business end of other people’s anger, and why their subversion( aclu, adl, jdl, etc.. ) has always brought them the same results throughout their sordid history.

  • hared

    …If you so desire such a nation built on such primitive fundamentalist beliefs, I suggest that you and Sarah Failin and Mike Hickabee and Rush Limbloat get together and find yourself a small, uninhabited island somewhere and go right ahead and establish your dumb little fundie Christian nation. I suspect that you won’t have any illegal immigration problems there because no one would want to come to such a foul place. *******************************************Is this island called Israel by chance…

  • rhalter3633

    Wow, Hared, whoever you are, you should change your screen name to more accurately reflect your worldview. I suggest:FLAMINGANTI-SEMITEDude, how can you take up arms about Christianity when you post such mindless hate? Another clue for you: YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN. Go back into the Bible and tell me where Jesus suggests that his followers spew hatred? Oh yeah, it ain’t in there, bud.

  • jaxas70

    Handbelllady, you conservative Christians always frame arguments in this manner. Look. Nobody cares if you prefer to use the phrase MERRY CHRISTMAS. On the contrary, it is people like you who take umbrage at those who prefer HAPPY HOLIDAYS. You seem to be the ones who are perpetually offended when others do not share your particular religious view. Look. If the Founding Fathers had intended this to be a government grounded on Christian religious principles exclusively, don’t you think they would have been at pains to specifically say that in the Founding documents? Yet, any rational reading of the founding documents would lead one to conclude that the Founders were at pains to avoid setting up any one particular religion above another.”We hold these truths to be self evident: That all men are created equal, and endowed by their “Creator”…” It does not say “endowed by God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ” or “Jehovah”, or “Allah” or “Elohim” or any one of a myriad of Deities that man has worshiped at one time or another in the history of the world. And it doesn’t say “endowed by Nature” or “endowed by evolution”. It uses the generic term “Creator” for a good reason: That term covers all of the other possible means of Creation.

  • jaxas70

    Hared says bedeeyup, bedeeyup, bedeeyup, is this island called Israel by chance. No. Even the Israelis would not want to share a bed with this ornery clatch of dumbed down zealots. They are not believers in Jesus Christ. They might light a Menora for you.

  • pcpatterson

    Hey, Hared,your opinion of Jews seems to be quite low. Are you forgetting that Jesus was Jewish?

  • Chip_M

    handbelllady wrote: “Christmas wars stem, at least for me, from seeing our Christian faith consistently eroded by non-Christians.”Your Christian faith is between you and God so how can anyone outside of that relationship erode it? “Everything Christians say, do, think in today’s world has to be geared to not “offending” someone. I am a Christian and should have the freedom to express my religion which is what our founding fathers established in this country.”Many of the founding fathers were not Christian and were in fact quite hostile towards Christianity. While it’s true that the very first settlers in the “new world” were Christian Puritans, the actual founding of the country was based on Enlightenment values of secularism, reason, and pluralism. Our system of laws is based on Saxon Common Law which has nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity. You absolutely have the freedom to express whatever you wish and to offend as many people as you like. Just don’t expect anyone to thank you for it.Incidentally, Christmas wasn’t celebrated by the Puritans because they considered it a pagan holiday and it was in fact illegal in places like Boston. While other parts of the country did celebrate it, it fell out of favor after the Revolution because people considered it “too English.” It didn’t become popular again until the mid 1800′s and that had almost nothing to do with Christianity and instead was more about about what was fashionable. It didn’t become a federal holiday until 1870.”So I say “Merry Christmas.” If this offends someone, then they can work on Christmas Day rather than having the day off, since they are not able or willing to recognize why we have Christmas Day to begin with.”Why bother to wish anyone anything? Clearly for you it’s all about you and what you want. You make it quite plain that you really not very interested in the happiness of anyone who’s not like you during the holiday season. Bah humbug to you!

  • lepidopteryx

    Hared, what exactly does a Christmas tree have to do with the birth of your holy guy? The practice of hanging shiny baubles on evergreen trees originated with the Pagans – it was done during the winter solstice to attract the sun’s attention and bring it back. If you want to put a decorated evergreen inyour living room, and call it a Christmas tree, I can’t stop you. But don’t get all pissy when I refuse to call it that, or when I remind you that religion stole the idea from mine.

  • jaxas70

    Heavens! What next? Will they burn Bing Crosby’s classic “Happy Holidays” Christmas song claiming it to be anti-Christian, thus anti-American. Well. this must be the end times. Cats and dogs living together,, democrats supporting tax cuts for the wealthy and Bing Crosby is anti-American! Shouldn’t der Bingle and his buddy Bob Hope be emerging from their graves soon to be judged by Jesus and Falwell at this right hand?

  • hared

    Wow, Hared, whoever you are, you should change your screen name to more accurately reflect your worldview. I suggest:*******************************************I don’t hate jews, but their holier, lawyerlier and victimerlier than thou crappola dosn’t cut it here. So they need to spend more time in their own bibles, before they start flinging it under the noses of others, that’s why others end of sinking the shiv into them. Call me what you wish, because coming from a dishonest jew, it’s probably a badge of honor, bud.

  • hared

    Hey, Hared,******************************************Not the honest jews, just the kahane types.

  • SubRosa2

    Here are some excellent ways to put the “Christ” back into Christmas:1) Give away your belongings to the poor.Slapping the Lord’s name on greed and relentless acquisition does not a Christian make.

  • stevie7

    I don’t hate [Christians], but their holier, lawyerlier and victimerlier than thou crappola dosn’t cut it here. So they need to spend more time in their own bibles, before they start flinging it under the noses of others, that’s why others end of sinking the shiv into them. Call me what you wish, because coming from a dishonest [Christian], it’s probably a badge of honor, bud.This seems to work pretty well, too, I should think. But then you’d have to pay attention to that whole remove-the-beam-from-your-own-eye first thing.

  • hared

    Hared, what exactly does a Christmas tree have to do with the birth of your holy guy? The practice of hanging shiny baubles on evergreen trees originated with the Pagans – it was done during the winter solstice to attract the sun’s attention and bring it back. *******************************************Tell you what, you leave me and mine alone to our acquired Christmas Season, and you and yours can keep your Hannukkah and whatever else, then things should be a bit more kosher, gut.

  • UnPatriotic

    Saying the “war on Christmas” is getting old, would be an understatement. It’s gone beyond laughable, and just downright pathetic.

  • koolkat_1960

    Interesting how many of the nastiest, most bigoted, close-minded comments on here come from self-proclaimed “Christians.”

  • koolkat_1960

    “Not the honest jews, just the kahane types.”Educate us, please. What is a “kahane type” Jew? If you’re referring to extremist terrorist Meir Kahane, that covers about 0.000001 percent of Jews, so your posts seem to be quite odd considering you’re targeting such a small group.

  • UnPatriotic

    Not only have Christians allowed the commercialization of Christmas, a good number of them have facilitated it by exploiting poor old Jesus in advertising.Their boycott during their buying frenzy is something that would be entertaining to see.Happy Holidays!Posted by: areyousaying | December 13, 2010 8:36 AM=========================================This is an excellent point: buy as little as possible between Thanksgiving and New Years. Obviously this does not apply to food or necessary medical care. Organizing a boycott to not join the herd on Black Friday–don’t buy stuff you really don’t nee–would do wonders to mitigate the commercialization of Christmas.

  • hared

    I don’t hate [Christians], but their holier, lawyerlier and victimerlier than thou crappola dosn’t cut it here. So they need to spend more time in their own bibles, before they start flinging it under the noses of others, that’s why others end of sinking the shiv into them. Call me what you wish, because coming from a dishonest [Christian], it’s probably a badge of honor, bud.*******************************************Liked that, didn’t you.

  • hared

    I’m one of those earth-worshippers you seem to find as bothersome as you do Jews. As I said, if you want to celebrate your holy guy’s birth months after the correct date, using symbols stolen from another religion, go for it. But don’t get your panties in a wad when other religions refuse to relinquish their rights to celebrate their winter holy days or when other people’s seasonal greeting reflect the existnece of holy days other than yours. *******************************************I could care less as to how other faiths, religions and whatever celebrate their holy days and months, but seems that you and the rest can’t seem to leave us to our ways of celebrating how and when we want. So try leaving us alone with our whatever, and we’ll have a Merry Christmas. Kosher.

  • koolkat_1960

    “seems that you and the rest can’t seem to leave us to our ways of celebrating how and when we want.”And how has this been impinged in any way? Sorry, but you’re fighting a battle that doesn’t exist.

  • stevie7

    “I could care less as to how other faiths, religions and whatever celebrate their holy days and months, but seems that you and the rest can’t seem to leave us to our ways of celebrating how and when we want. So try leaving us alone with our whatever, and we’ll have a Merry Christmas. Kosher.”Your posts here would seem to fly directly in the face of your first claim, but can you please explaint to the rest of us exactly HOW Christmas is under attack? Who is complaining about people saying ‘Merry Christmas’? It seems to be only the Christians complaining about people saying ‘Happy Holidays’ – which, again, your first claim tells us that you have no problem with.

  • garoth

    It’s amazing that these idiots find Happy Holidays so troubling, but not the exploitation of Jesus for commercial ends, or the gross overindulgence of those celebrating it somehow at odds with the one who called Christians to share with the poor and defend them. I’d rather have it be a secualr holiday, and leave me to a quiet celebration of Christmas, doing what Jesus called me to do – worshipping God and helping the poor. but these idiots don’t get it – just as they have never gotten Jesus’ message.Christmas is a “newcomer” in the church’s celebration anyway – his death and resurrectin were central to the early church, not his birth. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth celebrating – the “incarnation” is important to Christian theology, keeping it rooted in the real world. But these idiots are also heretics, not believing that embodiment is important, that all that is important is getting into heaven. They haven’t a clue.

  • hared

    Your posts here would seem to fly directly in the face of your first claim, but can you please explaint to the rest of us exactly HOW Christmas is under attack? Who is complaining about people saying ‘Merry Christmas’? It seems to be only the Christians complaining about people saying ‘Happy Holidays’ – which, again, your first claim tells us that you have no problem with.*******************************************People can say what they want, I will trade with the merchant who celebrates the Christmas Season, and I will say Merry Christmas to all. And those who say Happy Holidays to me, I will say Merry Christmas to them.

  • stevie7

    People can say what they want, I will trade with the merchant who celebrates the Christmas Season, and I will say Merry Christmas to all. And those who say Happy Holidays to me, I will say Merry Christmas to them.POSTED BY: HARED | DECEMBER 14, 2010 12:13 PM***********************So … where is the attach on Christianity in that? I guess I’m not seeing the problem.

  • fran12567

    The Christians in Iraq are fleeing for their lives while the Christians in the US feel persecuted when wished a happy holiday. What a strange world.

  • Carstonio

    Handbelllady, this isn’t about whether “Merry Christmas” offends anyone. The offensive part is when you wrongly treat the issue as if it’s about you and your religious beliefs. Please stop framing the issue as Christian versus non-Christians, as if every position either supports Christianity or opposes it. Groups like the AFA do not speak for the majority of Christians in America, and there are plenty of Christians who object to the martyr mentality of such groups. To repeat, when one wishes well to others during this time of year, is is NOT about one’s OWN religion.

  • GabrielRockman

    I’m not offended when people say “Happy Holidays”. I am offended when people use Christmas to push materialistic desires and lusts on us.

  • jinnyhann

    Lep: Re: “But don’t get all pissy when I…remind you that religion stole the idea from mine.” No one stole anything; ever hear that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Or in this case, we could say that pagan practices related to light in the depth of earth’s winter were adapted to celebrate what Christians considered to be the ultimate Light in humanity’s darkness? “Incarnation” refers to flesh (to meat, to be more precise)…a union of flesh with more-than-flesh, to reconcile and redeem, to make new. Stealing, no…sharing, yes!

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Snarling at strangers because you don’t appove of their greeting is weird. I have never had such an experience, and I do not know of anyone who has.I suspect that the Christmas Wars are pretty much imaginary. People say, “if someone says Happy Holidays to me, I’ll set’em straight.” But then, they don’t. They just smile, with a friendly reply.The other day, I was watching Glen Beck on the Fox Channel, and he actually said, “I wish everyone a joyous Holiday Season,” and he didn’t even realize that he had said the thing that he is not supposed to so.Big Deal.

  • lepidopteryx

    Jinny, the early Christian church’s choice of dates to celebrate their holy days was not a form of imitative flattery. It was a way of co-opting existing Pagan holy days and overlaying Pagan symbolism with Christian names and meanings in an attempt to convert Pagans to Christianity. Funny thing – it backfired as far as actual conversion went.

  • areyousaying

    ‘happily holidays’ is merely more scum from the left.————————————-Would you prefer, “Shove your hijacked pagan holiday and your theocon agenda for a “Christian Nation” where education and health care are abolished as socialism and more than half of your taxes are spent on endless war up you hateful Fox News addled butt?Would that be better?

  • Catken1

    “People can say what they want, I will trade with the merchant who celebrates the Christmas Season, and I will say Merry Christmas to all. And those who say Happy Holidays to me, I will say Merry Christmas to them.’So let me get this straight. You will only trade with people who favor your religion above all others, and you think anything else is making war on you?I guess my son is right when he claims we’ve “ruined his life” because we don’t give him everything he wants all the time. At least, that’s what the “War on Christmas” folks are saying – if we don’t give you ALL the holiday recognition and celebration and shut out everyone else, we’re abusing you. At least my son has the excuse of being 4.

  • Catken1

    “If this offends someone, then they can work on Christmas Day rather than having the day off, since they are not able or willing to recognize why we have Christmas Day to begin with. “And maybe they should get their holy days off as a matter of course instead of having to take a vacation day for them. Sounds fair to me.

  • jennas27

    To the point: Christmas is a federal holiday. Yet first and foremost it is a Christian Holy Day. For back history on how Christmas was calculated by the early Christians as far back as the 2nd & 3rd centuries (which gives more credence pagans attempted to paganize Christmas more than the other way around): http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-10-012-vRegardless what is thought in an environment of multiculturalism, political correctness, and whatnot, it won’t change what actually Christmas is: A celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth who, as both Man and God Himself, kept the Law perfectly, died for all of Mankind’s sins on a cross, rose from the died to declare us forgiven. That by grace, through faith in Him we have eternal life.And it will remain the same regardless who tries to place it’s true meaning behind closed doors.

  • Catken1

    “And it will remain the same regardless who tries to place it’s true meaning behind closed doors.”You will forgive, I hope, a bit of a snicker here, given the number of open-air Nativity scenes, church bulletin boards, house decorations, and other wide-open declarations of Christian faith and religious celebrations of Christmas that I’ve seen lately. Oh, but unless we non-Christians pay for your celebrations, participate in them, and shove our own celebrations under barrels so that NOTHING else is permitted EVER to compete in ANYONE’s mind with YOUR holiday, we’re censoring, abusing and persecuting you. Poor babies.But regardless of what is thought by Christian fundamentalist, they won’t change what Christmas is:One of many winter holidays, celebrated by most but not all Americans quite freely and openly, with both Christian and pagan aspects, and celebrated in a range of religious perspectives from devout to secular. My secular holiday and my friends’ religious Solstices and Hanukkahs and Eids and whatnot do not take any of the meaning of your religious Christmas away from you, any more than your (or my) driving on Saturday takes away from the devotion and reverence of my Orthodox Jewish friends’ Shabbos. We are both free to worship as we please, or not, and to enjoy the winter festivities as we please. Neither of us are free to coerce other taxpayers into paying for celebrations specific to our faith unless they also do so for others, or into advertising our faith on public property, unless they also do so for others. Neither of us should throw a fit if wished a polite holiday greeting that does not quite match what we actually happen to celebrate – good wishes should be taken in the spirit in which they are given, and (for the giver) should be offered as a means of sharing goodwill and not to brag about or push one’s own religion. That aside, in America, Christians and non-Christians alike have holidays, and celebrate them with gusto and in many cases deep piety. That is as it should be, and will continue to be.

  • eezmamata

    Christians telling everybody else that they can’t celebrate christmas if we don’t believe in their gods is like drunks telling the rest of us we can’t celebrate new year’s because we don’t get drunk.I mean, it’s just like that.

  • greenstheman

    posted by monel17191Let’s all keep the “schism” in Christmas. ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;You have something in common with my neighbor, they celebrate the winter solstice as well.They know I’m Christian I know they are not, and we wlike each other dearly and I would not trade them for other neighbors at all.Merry Winter Solstice to you.

  • schnauzer21

    If this “commercialization of Christmas” offends you, then don’t buy gift for your family, don’t get a chrsitmas tree and don’t sing carols. After all those are part of the pagan holidays that the early christans butted into. The original observances of jesus’s birthday (which didn’t even exist on the christian calendar until around the year 350) were solem church holy days, “celebrated” with long hours of prayer and many services. Please keep your christmas out of my Winter Solstice family gathering, gift giving and merriment.

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