In what I think may be one of the most idiotic controversial debates to come out of America thus far, the issue of “Merry Christmas” being too religious has been raised over the past few days leading up to the holiday. Some say “happy holidays” should become the new norm. The battle is being conducted by the religous Christian right and the secular left in the U.S. (for the most part)
Walmart retail stories chose to replace “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” from its signs and even the clerks who now wish you a “Happy Holiday” upon purchase. Even small church groups have protested.
A recent poll (yes they actually spent money on this) showed that of 1,013 adults 62 percent of Americans say that generic greetings such as “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” are a “change for the worse.” 24 percent say it is a “change for the better.”
32 percent of adults say they are bothered when stores use generic holiday greetings on their displays; 68 percent say they are not bothered. By contrast, only 3 percent of adults say they are irked when stores use “Merry Christmas.” The overwhelming majority — 97 percent — says the reference to Christmas doesn’t trouble them [source]
The American Family Association has managed to pressure many retailers to change their lingo back to pro-Christianity including Target, Lowes, and Walmart.
The Concerned Women for America made a “naughty and nice” list. Stores which are “embracing the spirit of christmas” are nice and those that are not are naughty. The latter includes the U.S. Postal Service.
…the Alliance Defense Fund got involved when teachers in Jackson County, Ga., allegedly were told not to wear “any pins, angels, crosses, or clothing” related to Christmas. The school denied there was any censorship.
Liberty Counsel intervened when employees at the Indiana State Department of Health allegedly were told that any celebrations during lunch hours had to be “holiday parties” and not “Christmas parties” and could have no religious content. The department backed off.
The controversy goes on and on and on in op-eds and news shows from the Chris Mathews to the Daily Show. There are too many events such as those mentioned above.
I really have no particular say on that matter. I grew up for the most part of my life in Toronto so Christmas has never really bothered me in the religious context of the holiday. My parents raised me as a Muslim to respect the religions of others during my early school days so I managed not to blab to all my friends that Santa wasn’t real when I was 7, and participated in school events and activities but excused myself when it got too religious for my taste (such as religious Christmas carols). Hanukah seems to be merging nowadays with Christmas. Rarely do I go to a mall or a public place where there is a Christmas tree without a Jewish menorah nearby. On TV it is the norm to hear “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah”.
Though America is having a civil war when it comes to religion and secularism, this happens to be one of the by-products: silly little controversies.
This is where I think the Arabic language stands out as we say Kul 3am wa inta be5eir (happy new year) on almost every occasion. Christians say it to Muslims; Muslims say it to Christians, Christians to Christians, Muslims to Muslims et cetera.
You’re right, they’re idiots. It’s like these people want to enjoy life during a holiday season (ie. they want to have a holiday), but don’t really want to acknowledge the real reason they have holidays to begin with.
The line between secularism and theophobia is a fine line.
I liked the cartoon really expressive. Its true: why just not name it the way it is? I mean “Happy holidays” and “seasons greetings” is so general and so unpersonal in my opinion. Reminded me somehow of newspeak:p a new dictionary is about to evolve
its Christmas guys, its the spirit of christmas how can we say happy holiday or smthing in general , this is the day that god maid to whole world to save them how can we say its holiday .
wishing you a merry christmas and happy new year.
Hope this encourages you that it isn’t just Muslim believers the secular world is scared of.
95% of the visible display of Christmas has nothing to do with Christ anyway. I’m happy to get back to a simple celebration of Christ’s birth without all the materialistic hoopla.
I wonder how they would secularize “Ramadan Kareem”?
Yeah, it is a bit naff. Jewish and Muslim groups here in the USA have come out in support of Christmas. There has been a move for sometime by secularists to remove religion from the people. It is something all people of faith need to support, this battle against secular extremists.
Forecast for today: mostly cloudy with a big chance of recurring bouts of pessimism. ItÃ¢??s only a matter of time before we just say Ã¢??HAPPY!Ã¢?Â and leave it at that.
Well, I think they have a point in protesting! Imagine you go to a shop in Jordan during Eid and buy something, and the guy says: Ã¢??Happy HolidayÃ¢?Â, as a Muslim, wonÃ¢??t you find it odd and wonder why he didnÃ¢??t say the Ã¢??commonÃ¢?Â statement; Kol 3am o enta bikhairÃ¢?Â¦
After all, Merry Christmas is a common thing to be said in this season, for Christian communities that is.
Abu Sinan, secular extremists? LOL that is a great term to add to the vocab here!
BTW, I didn’t make my point strong enough that I think anyone who is offended by a greeting, even if it isn’t your religion, is a bit too touchy. I love hearing “Ramadan Mubarak”. Maybe people would rather be ignored?
Hi. Here in Canada the spirit of Christmas is stronger than any force i have ever seen. people start shopping since november to get ready.. office parties costing ..starting from 40 thousand dollars.. and the employee bonuses… bazaars.. with fudge and Christmas cakes to no end.. the festival of lights and the winter dreams holiday festival.. the ice rink at dundas square.. it is a SEASON. Every other house has lights on the outside.. the roof even..the radio station plays carols since december… but also remember that there are jews here and they have the holiday of hanukkah. so they are somewhat over looked with the giantness of Christmas. this does make them bitter but they are used to it. so they end up saying to us ‘happy holidays’. plus jahova’s witnesses.. who are also ‘Christians’ dont believe in Christmas, Easter.. or birthdays. i wont judge.. just laying out the facts here. Hope you can all some day experience a Canada Christmas. It is kind of heavy on comsumerism.. but it a beautiful white Christmas.
I was seeking permission to reprint the cartoon in the entry “The War on Christmas: a Politically Correct Holiday
19Dec05” in a highschool newspaper.
If you could please let me know who to contact, I’d be indebted. To a certain extent.