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It's Not Merry Christmas Anymore: Say Happy Holidays!
Image © Austin Cline
Original Poster: Northwestern University

The biggest issue for Christian Nationalists today is surely the use of the generic greeting "Happy Holidays" instead of the Christmas-specific greeting "Merry Christmas." A few years ago noone was claiming that "Happy Holidays" is designed to undermine Christianity or even that it excluded Christmas and Christians. Today, however, people like apologists for Christian Nationalism complain that "Happy Holidays" is nothing more than a deliberate attempt to exclude Christians.

Read Article: Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays: Not Saying Merry Christmas is like Denying Christ, Christianity

Comments
December 9, 2007 at 3:18 pm
(1) socrates says:

Just a quick comment. Maybe Christmas and Christians are feeling under attack because for so very long they treated other beliefs like crap by imposing themselves on the world like they really were the only “WAY” to know God or a God or Many Gods or no God at all. Get over yourselves, Your God still loves you if you still love your god.

December 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm
(2) C.P says:

Its just the beginning of the new world order.This is barely a tactic for the new generation to not acknowledge Christ.

December 10, 2007 at 7:47 am
(3) Rick says:

Perhaps someone should explain to the Christians that their holiday is not real and are traditions that have been stolen from other cultures and made their own.
They could start with the god Mithras whom was born on December 25th, hundreds of years before a supposed Jesus was even born.

November 29, 2011 at 6:58 am
(4) Georgia says:

We in Australia accept other cultural customs/celebrations. When you come to Australia you have to accept OUR customs/celebrations. We approve and embrace so many other celebrations if it is Greek Easter or Eid. We embrace it. Christmas is once a year and we expect people to embrace and appreciate our celebration. Christmas is one of our main events and for someone to come along and decide that it’s wrong to force our celebration on to people and rather than call it Christmas, lets just call it a Holiday. When an Eid festival is on we do not go and call it a holiday, we do not try and change what doesn’t even need to be changed. It has been christmas for a long time. Even if it is changed Christmas will always be Christmas and never will it be call “holiday”.

December 2, 2011 at 8:38 am
(5) Austin Cline says:

Even if it is changed Christmas will always be Christmas and never will it be call “holiday”.

I hate to break the news to you, but Christmas IS a holiday. Maybe instead of being so self-centered and so focused on what’s “ours” you should pay a bit more attention to common English.

December 15, 2008 at 6:23 pm
(6) Darwin Finch says:

This is a relatively sensitive issue where I live. Say “Happy Holidays” to the wrong person and you get ye Merry Ol’ Stink Eye! What does it say about a person who is offended by the gift of generality?

It’s like buying a vegetarian a grocery store gift card and then listening to him/her whine about how they are offended by meat products.

December 15, 2008 at 6:27 pm
(7) MikeC says:

What people like Lou Dobbs and Bill “Papa Bear” O’Reilly need to understand (and perhaps they do) is that saying Merry Christmas is a deliberate attempt to exclude everyone else.

Join the white, Christian, pissed-off-because-things-constantly-change club!

“Constant change is here to stay.” Neil Peart, (Rush) 1982

“Plus ça change,
Plus c’est la meme chose
The more that things change,
The more they stay the same.” Neil Peart, (Rush) 1978

December 15, 2008 at 11:01 pm
(8) Darwin Finch says:

NOTE: I don’t have a beef with vegetarians. :)

December 16, 2008 at 3:10 am
(9) Blunderov says:

At the risk of being hideously obvious, isn’t it the case that when someone says “happy holidays” they should be, in due charity, assumed to be deliberately attempting to avoid giving possible offence? What if the person being greeted is not a Christian? They might be, for instance, Jewish. (Or,even heaven forbid, Muslim.)Does one go about wishing the world happy Wodin’s Day on the assumption that everybody is a Viking?

Happy holidays to y’all – irrespective of hue or stripe.

December 24, 2011 at 12:41 pm
(10) seventhson says:

I really don’t think its anyones business what I say — I grew up saying merry Christmas and I always say it– never hurt anybody back then and the world is still here — I think some people don’t have anything to do but sat back and think up crap like this and seems like they are winning because retailers seem to be afraid to say merry Christmas I don’t see the hurt in saying that if thats what I want to say what about in a few years from now other people say that happt holidays is wrong what will we be saying then I wonder–happy December lol

December 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm
(11) Austin Cline says:

I really don’t think its anyones business what I say

So long as you are saying it to someone, it becomes their business. If you don’t want it to be anyone else’s business, don’t speak out loud. By speaking out loud, you are communicating your desire to be heard and for others to become involved.

I grew up saying merry Christmas and I always say it- never hurt anybody back then and the world is still here

So if something was accepted at one time in the past, it should always be acceptable? No one is stupid enough to believe that.

I think some people don’t have anything to do but sat back and think up crap like this

Like what – the idea that the interests and perspective of others don’t matter? The idea that egotistical, self-centered Christians should just say whatever they want?

and seems like they are winning because retailers seem to be afraid to say merry Christmas

Yeah, how dare retailers make any effort to appeal to all customers equally! They should single out Christians for special, favorable treatment just like they did when you were a kid!

I don’t see the hurt in saying that if thats what I want to say

Yeah, say what you want and who cares how others feel about it? Of course, that attitude completely undermines the usual point of saying “Merry Christmas” – you know, to wish others well. But I guess that isn’t really your purpose, is it?

December 16, 2008 at 1:47 pm
(12) vernie dixon says:

Christmas is about Christ birth. I believe we should still say Merry Christmas. I refuse to shop where a company does not allow the employees to say Merry Christmas. Vernie Dixon, Midway GA

December 16, 2008 at 9:25 pm
(13) Amerist says:

I say, trademark dilution. Christmas succeeded too well. To the point where the name and presence of the holiday was taken over by gift-giving and became a juggernaut for the retail industry. At that point it became surely as secular as anything.

Surely as long as there’s a big, fat, red Sans Claus appearing on TV, handing out bottles of Coke, bellowing, “Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas!” the religiosity of this holiday has exsanguinated to the point that it is a pale shadow of what Christianity wishes it was.

I suppose it’s easy to feel trepidation of mis-stepping and finding someone who doesn’t celebrate but the retail Christmas, or actually celebrates Hanukah, Yule, Solstice, Saturnalia, or what-have-thee; but it strikes me that the hissing rebuttal, “It’s Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays,” is simply trollish and probably a person in a bad mood already.

December 18, 2008 at 11:38 am
(14) mixmasterb says:

I love how everyone generalizes us Christians as hateful and selfish people. There are Christians out there (like me) who understand that the bible says to love your neighbor
and friends but to love you enemies even more. I respect all of everyones beliefs, even if they aren’t what I believe, but you don’t see me generalizing atheists as ignorant, rude, and demoting. And I understand that there are Christians who make me seem like a bad person, but just remember that not everyone falls into stereotypes.
Thanks guys

December 18, 2008 at 6:26 pm
(15) Blunderov says:

It seems to me possible that there are also some atheists who might make Mixmasterb feel like a bad person – presenting a good example is not the exclusive prerogative of the theistically inclined! Au contraire…just look around…

December 20, 2008 at 4:03 pm
(16) david says:

do the math….holiday shopping…minus…christmas shopping…equals…bankrupcy for retailers………………………….

December 21, 2008 at 10:09 am
(17) jhamann says:

I think telling people they don’t have to say Merry Christmas is a little like telling a muslin women they don’t have to wear head scarfs. Christmas is a time when everybody comes together, goes shopping, has a holiday and spends time with family. I think other religions just want to feel more like there a part of it all and I have no problem saying both! Merry Christmas, happy holidays and happy “eid,” (Arabic for Festival/holidays!)

December 25, 2008 at 11:52 am
(18) Kristin says:

I don’t celebrate Halloween (and least not in the secular sense) but I don’t go into a tizzy if someone wishes me “Happy Halloween.” We can say wish our Jewish brothers and sisters Happy Roshashana during their season. If we can call “Halloween” “Halloween” and “Yum Kipper” “Yum Kipper” and “Id” “Id” Why can’t we call “Christmas” “Christmas”? I feel that some feel my holiday is so offensive that it cannot be mentioned by its proper name. This isn’t about religous bigotry, it is about respect, for Christians! :)

December 25, 2008 at 12:41 pm
(19) Austin Cline says:

I feel that some feel my holiday is so offensive that it cannot be mentioned by its proper name.  

That would only be the case if someone knows you celebrate Christmas and refuses to wish you a Merry Christmas. Has that happened? If no, what exactly are you complaining about?

This isn’t about religous bigotry,  it is about respect, for Christians!

No, it’s about Christians’ insistence on being treated with deference in a way which they refuse to reciprocate to anyone else.

December 25, 2008 at 2:40 pm
(20) Kristin says:

There are people who know I celebrate Christmas and still wish me a “Happy Holiday.” Sometimes, tho, they probably are just sputtering a standard greeting and they are not really thinking. My point is, though, that it is Christmas that we are celebrating right now…although I do say “Happy Hannuaka” to my friends who are Jewish, Hannauka is not a major holiday in the Jewish faith, it is not a “Jewish Christmas” ask any Jew. I teach in school with a large Muslim population, and I honor their holiday with respect but wishing them a “Happy EID.” I think it is wonderful that we live in a country where so many religous people can leave in peace. We also live in a country where the majority of people celebrate Christmas, so those who choose not to–for whatever reason–also need to show a little tolerance. They should be bothered if we are living up our holiday to the fullest.

Furthermore, I’m still having a difficult time understanding why it is socially acceptable to use Christ’s name in vain when you are angry, but it is very unPC to wish someone a Merry Christmas? Can you please explain to me why that is?

December 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm
(21) Austin Cline says:

There are people who know I celebrate Christmas and still wish me a “Happy Holiday.”

Unless, you celebrate nothing else — not even New Year’s — isn’t is possible that they are trying to wish you well on all the days you’re celebrating?

Or is it simply that you object to being wished well generally for all the holidays you might celebrate because you want just one holiday singled out for special, privileged treatment?

My point is, though, that it is Christmas that we are celebrating right now…

Who is this “we” speak of?

We also live in a country where the majority of people celebrate Christmas, so those who choose not to–for whatever reason–also need to show a little tolerance.

And wishing you well on all the days you are celebrating, no matter what they are, is “intolerant” to you?

Furthermore, I’m still having a difficult time understanding why it is socially acceptable to use Christ’s name in vain when you are angry, but it is very unPC to wish someone a Merry Christmas?

It is disrespectful and intolerant to simply assume that the person you are speaking to is celebrating Christmas and nothing else. It is “unPC” because it is rude, arrogant, and presumptuous.

Can you please explain to me why that is?

It’s difficult to explain such things to a person if they have grown up having their beliefs constantly deferred to and are now faced with those beliefs, traditions, and ideas being treated as no better than or more privileged than any other beliefs, traditions, and ideas.

That wouldn’t include you, would it?

December 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm
(22) Me says:

How is it RUDE to wish someone Merry Christmas? Wow….

December 27, 2011 at 7:32 am
(23) Austin Cline says:

How is it RUDE to wish someone Merry Christmas? Wow….

Depends on the context and intention.

December 25, 2008 at 3:11 pm
(24) Kristin says:

Unless, you celebrate nothing else — not even New Year’s — isn’t is possible that they are trying to wish you well on all the days you’re celebrating?

Or is it simply that you object to being wished well generally for all the holidays you might celebrate because you want just one holiday singled out for special, privileged treatment?

Special, priviledged, treatment? Christmas is a FEDERAL holiday. Who is this “we” speak of? Polls vary but at least 70% of the American population, and that is a very conservative estimate. This is crazy, if I lived in Isreal, I would not object to ppl wishing me Happy Hanauka, in Jordan, Happy EID, I would expect it. I would not want people to change their religious customs for me. I love to see people celebrating their religious traditions with fervency, even if they are not mine.

but it is not UNPC to use Christ’s name in vain, often times in front of people who you know are Christians?

With all the foul mouthed speech going on, someone really need to grow thicker skin if they go into a tizzy if someone wishes them a “Merry Christmas.” Honestly, I have recieved Hanauka and EID well wishes and have accepted them with great honor and love. I don’t get upset in the least.

December 25, 2008 at 3:16 pm
(25) Kristin says:

you still not tell me why it is acceptable to use Christ’s name in a derogatory way, but not in the positive greeting, Merry Christmas?

December 25, 2008 at 3:37 pm
(26) Austin Cline says:

Special, priviledged, treatment?  Christmas is a FEDERAL holiday.

Yes, it is. Now what does that have to do with my comment: what’s your problem with people wishing you well on any and all holidays you might celebrate, unless it’s that you want them to single out just one holiday for special, privileged treatment?

Who is this “we” speak of?  Polls vary but at least 70% of the American population, and that is a very conservative estimate.  

And you think that’s enough to generalize about everyone?

This is crazy,  if I lived in Isreal, I would not object to ppl wishing me Happy Hanauka,  in Jordan,  Happy EID, I would expect it.  

And you think America should treat Christianity as the official religion in the way that Israel treats Judaism? That’s the only justification for the analogy you’re trying to draw there.

but it is not UNPC to use Christ’s name in vain,  often times in front of people who you know are Christians?

Christians do it as well, so no.

With all the foul mouthed speech going on, someone really need to grow thicker skin if they go into a tizzy if someone wishes them a “Merry Christmas.”  

Why do you consider a vulgar word to be so much worse than rude, arrogant assumptions about others’ beliefs and behavior?

Honestly,  I have recieved Hanauka and EID well wishes and have accepted them with great honor and love.  I don’t get upset in the least.

And, therefore, it is “intolerant” for others not to single out one other holiday to wish you well on?

you still not tell me why it is acceptable to use Christ’s name in a derogatory way, but not in the positive greeting, Merry Christmas?

Yes, I did. I’ll repeat it again: “It is disrespectful and intolerant to simply assume that the person you are speaking to is celebrating Christmas and nothing else. It is “unPC” because it is rude, arrogant, and presumptuous.” If you didn’t understand it the first time or the second time, feel free to say so. However, I’ll suspect that the following does include you: “It’s difficult to explain such things to a person if they have grown up having their beliefs constantly deferred to and are now faced with those beliefs, traditions, and ideas being treated as no better than or more privileged than any other beliefs, traditions, and ideas.”

December 25, 2008 at 4:29 pm
(27) Kristin says:

Yes, it is. Now what does that have to do with my comment: what’s your problem with people wishing you well on any and all holidays you might celebrate, unless it’s that you want them to single out just one holiday for special, privileged treatment?

It is proper to recognize all holidays deemed national holidays by the Federal government, and refer to them by name. Observant Christians do not typically think about New Years until after Christmas. And the Christmas season, liturgically speaking, begins on Christmas day and extends until January.

And you think America should treat Christianity as the official religion in the way that Israel treats Judaism? That’s the only justification for the analogy you’re trying to draw there.

No, but our country was founded under Christian principles. Regardless, if you live in a country where the overwhelming number of people celebrate a particular holiday of a particular faith then you should expect, you should not expect them to change or water down their customs for you. That, my friend, is intolerant. If Christmas bothers you that much, take a vacation somewhere this week or bunker down in your home. But let the rest of us party and say the name of Jesus!

Why do you consider a vulgar word to be so much worse than rude, arrogant assumptions about others’ beliefs and behavior?

Greetings from different faiths are well-wishes. They are examples of positive speech. Vulgar speech is degrades the dignity of the human person. If someone wheather they be Jewish, athiest, or Muslim, are that bothered by well intentioned “Merry Christmas” then they need to learn patience and tolerance. But again, if I know someone is of another faith, I am sensitive and I usually say whatever greeting is appropriate. Heck, my Islamic friend helped put up my Christmas tree and loved our gift!

Peace to you,

Kristin

December 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm
(28) Kristin says:

another point, those who hold pacifist views might take offense to Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and the 4th of July? Should we refrain from mentioning these holidays by name as well?

December 25, 2008 at 5:26 pm
(29) Austin Cline says:

It is proper to recognize all holidays deemed national holidays by the Federal government, and refer to them by name.

Proper how? Why? Says who? You’re really grasping at straws if you expect people to believe that Christmas should be singled out for a special greeting and not included in general greeting simply because it’s a federal holiday.

Observant Christians do not typically think about New Years until after Christmas.

And this is supposed to be a reason why it’s wrong or intolerant to wish you well on more than just Christmas?

And the Christmas season, liturgically speaking, begins on Christmas day and extends until January.

In American culture, the “Christmas season” begins with Thanksgiving. Why should people privilege your religious perspective — and what does it have to do with your insistence that it’s intolerant or insulting for people not to single out Christmas when wishing you well?

No, but our country was founded under Christian principles.

1. Then the analogy is invalid.

2. What Christian principles can be found in the Constitution, which is the founding document of our government?

Regardless, if you live in a country where the overwhelming number of people celebrate a particular holiday of a particular faith then you should expect, you should not expect them to change or water down their customs for you.

I suspect that a similar percentage — or higher — celebrate New Year’s. So once again we’re left with the fact that the only “problem” you can point to is the fact that people aren’t singling out Christmas for special deference.

It really looks silly to say “it’s intolerant for you to wish me well with a greeting that merely encompasses one particular holiday rather than singling that day out for special mention.”

That, my friend, is intolerant.

So, it’s intolerant to expect you to not be rude, arrogant, and presumptuous in your treatment of others. And that’s why you’re in a position to instruct others on their need to be more patient.

Greetings from different faiths are well-wishes. They are examples of positive speech.

But “Happy Holidays” isn’t an example of wishing someone well?

I’d call “Happy Holidays” an example of positive speech, but according to you it’s “intolerant” speech because it’s not singling out Christmas for special deference.

Vulgar speech is degrades the dignity of the human person.

Some people feel that their dignity is degraded when Christians simply assume that others partake in traditional Christian practices, beliefs, and behaviors. Treating someone else with dignity arguably requires not privileging your own perspective — not treating them as if they simply reflected your own assumptions back at you.

If someone wheather they be Jewish, athiest, or Muslim, are that bothered by well intentioned “Merry Christmas” then they need to learn patience and tolerance.

And a Christian who simply assumes that others celebrate Christmas doesn’t need to learn to be less rude, arrogant, and presumptuous?

How is a Christian practicing “patience and tolerance” by not wishing a stranger well for any and all holidays they might celebrate, whatever they might happen to be?

another point, those who hold pacifist views might take offense to Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and the 4th of July? Should we refrain from mentioning these holidays by name as well?

If someone does express a problem, then it would be rude of me to say “Happy X” and wouldn’t do so. I wouldn’t presume to instruct them that they need to “learn patience and tolerance” or accuse them of “intolerance” simply because they don’t approve of me being presumptuous in assuming that they spend the day like I or others do. Moreover, if it turned out that there were a lot of such people, I would be more careful in how I addressed strangers because to do otherwise you be a refusal to treat them with dignity. They are individuals with their own perspectives and beliefs, not blank canvases that I can fill with my own expectations and assumptions about how they should behave or should view the world.

December 25, 2008 at 6:07 pm
(30) Kristin says:

We all know that people are afraid to say “Merry Christmas” these days, and the reason is because the word “Christmas” has become akin to a 4-letter word. If someone says “Happy Holidays” to me in reference to New Years, then fine, although I’d rather they say “Merry Christmas/Happy New Year. It’s just a few extra words and it’s inclusive.

Our nation’s documents and symbols contain numerous references to the almighty. Our course, we have no offical religion, but the geneneral premise has been that the US has always been a religious country, tolerant of various faiths.

Again, isn’t equally intolerant to wish me a Happy Halloween, when I don’t celebrate Halloween. I think more people have a problem with Halloween than they do with Christmas. But again, I don’t go into a tizzy.

Look, sir, I just think people should be who they are. Should restaurants not advertise meat entrees’ on TV in fear of offending vegetarians? How do you know someone is not a pacifist? Should you not wish them a Happy 4th of July?

If you are Jew, go ahead celebrate your holidays in full force, invite me to join you and I will, if your a Muslim, go ahead and worship God in your own way, if you are an athiest, I respect your right to believe what you wish (or not believe) and I respect your personhood. But give my holiday the respect it deserves and call it Christmas.

December 25, 2008 at 7:51 pm
(31) Austin Cline says:

We all know that people are afraid to say “Merry Christmas” these days

Maybe you “know” it, but I won’t assent to that assertion. If anything, I hope that people are being more sensitive and are less willing to privilege Christianity, Christian traditions, and Christian expectations.

the reason is because the word “Christmas” has become akin to a 4-letter word.  

Prove it.

If someone says “Happy Holidays” to me in reference to New Years,  then fine

So how will you know if they aren’t thinking of New Year’s?

What if someone says it because they don’t know what holidays you celebrate? It sounds like you aren’t “fine” with that.

I’d rather they say “Merry Christmas/Happy New Year.  It’s just a few extra words and it’s inclusive.  

It’s not “inclusive” of any other holidays you might celebrate: Michaelmas, Childermas, etc.

Our nation’s documents and symbols contain numerous references to the almighty.  

I asked about the Constitution. I notice that you can’t answer the actual question.

Our course, we have no offical religion,  but the geneneral premise has been that the US has always been a religious country, tolerant of various faiths.

But tolerant doesn’t include treating other religions equal to Christianity?

Look, sir, I just think people should be who they are.

And how is that not happening now?

How do you know someone is not a pacifist? Should you not wish them a Happy 4th of July?

I can’t, and I avoid making assumptions.

Maybe you should try doing the same?

But give my holiday the respect it deserves and call it Christmas.

You don’t merely want people to “call” your holiday Christmas, you want them to assume that you celebrate it and single it out for special treatment. That’s been clear, because the alternative is to make no assumptions and single out no holidays for special treatment and this is precisely what you call “intolerant.”

So according to you, inclusiveness and not making assumptions is intolerant, which I find laughably absurd. Indeed, I have argued that this is precisely what’s wrong with Christianity in America: Christians are losing their traditionally expected cultural, political, and social privileges. Those privileges have existed for so long that they have come to be treated as “rights,” and so the loss of unjust privileges is perceived as a loss of basic rights. Men reacted the same when women gained the right to vote. Whites reacted the same in the wake of desegregation. Heterosexuals have been reacting the same as gays have been gaining equal rights and dignity.

December 25, 2008 at 8:59 pm
(32) Kristin says:

If someone knows me, then they know I’m a Christian, therefore, I would like them to wish me a Merry Christmas. It should be obvious to strangers anyway because I wear a crucifix around my neck. I don’t get angry if someone says HH, I just say Merry Christmas back, usually they quickly say Merry Christmas in return, as if that is the greeting they truely want to give.

The preamble to the constitution talks about the “blessings of liberty” (which refers to a higher power) and of course the first ammendment which states that while the government cannot establish an official state religion (something I support) it cannot prevent the free exercise therof. America has a long history of being a Christian (largely Protestant) nation. America has a long tradition of celebrating Christmas in the public square. Today we celebrate Christmas. Again, if you are so bent on not offending people, why don’t you lead a crusade against saying “Happy Halloween” because far more people (strict Protestants, some Catholics, Muslims, and people who just don’t like the “scary” aspect don’t like it. Why is about Christmas that annoys you so much? Perhaps it is the name of Christ?

Bottom line: If you don’t want to celebrate Christmas, then don’t. But most of America does, so don’t try to sanitize our holiday.

December 25, 2008 at 9:09 pm
(33) Austin Cline says:

If someone knows me, then they know I’m a Christian

Not everyone who greets you knows you, and even those who know you’re a Christian won’t necessarily know that you have this need to have Christmas get special attention from them.

I would like them to wish me a Merry Christmas.

…because it’s just not enough for Christmas to be merely “included” in a more inclusive greeting. You need it singled out for special recognition from others.

That strikes me as insecure.

The preamble to the constitution talks about the “blessings of liberty” (which refers to a higher power)

No, that’s not a reference to your religion.

and of course the first ammendment which states that while the government cannot establish an official state religion

That’s also not a reference to your religion.

America has a long history of being a Christian (largely Protestant) nation.

America is a “Christian” nation in the same way that it’s a “white” ntion.

America has a long tradition of celebrating Christmas in the public square.

A secular Christmas, yes.

Again, if you are so bent on not offending people, why don’t you lead a crusade against saying “Happy Halloween”

I’m not leading a “crusade” against people saying “Merry Christmas”. I’m just pointing out how silly and insecure it is for people to treat “Happy Holidays” as an expression of intolerance.

Why is about Christmas that annoys you so much?

It doesn’t annoy me.

Perhaps it is the name of Christ?

Perhaps you shouldn’t make assumptions about people you don’t know and have never met.

Oh, but that’s the entire theme of this: Christians who insist on making arrogant, rude assumptions about others. Funny how we ended up right back there again.

I’m detecting a pattern…

Bottom line: If you don’t want to celebrate Christmas, then don’t. But most of America does, so don’t try to sanitize our holiday.

No one is “sanitizing” your holiday by refusing to treat your holiday as deserving of any extra privileges and deference. No one is “sanitizing” your holiday by using a greeting which refers to any holiday rather than singling out your holiday alone.

Only a very insecure person would get upset when strangers or even friends fail to treat their religion as special.

December 25, 2008 at 10:15 pm
(34) Kristin says:

Only a very insecure person would get upset when strangers or even friends fail to treat their religion as special.

A person’s spiritual aspect is a very important part of who they are. So yeah, if someone knows that I’m a devout Catholic and fails to wish me a Merry Christmas, I do get a little perturbed. I always make it a point to acknowledge the holidays of my non-Christian friends, because I love them and I know how important it is to them. I would like them to show me the same respect.

Again, I’m not advocating for a theocratic government here. All I want is Christmas to be mentioned by it’s name, not as a generic “holiday.” And again, I wonder why is only the Christian holidays that are getting the generic “holiday” label. Thanksgiving has become a “holiday” (although most Jews celebrate it) Christmas, of course, and now even Easter. No one says Happy Holiday on Halloween, please tell me why that is? (And don’t tell me that Halloween is Christian holiday, although it has a mixture of pagan and Christian roots, the secular celebration of it is pagan). If your premise is that no holiday should be singled out to received special in fear of offending people, then you must deem that every holiday should be called simply, “a holiday.” Don’t just pick on Christmas!

If anything, I think the minority that doesn’t celebrate Christmas wants “special treatment,” they want the religious meaning of Christmas toned down because they don’t like it.

December 25, 2008 at 10:28 pm
(35) Kristin says:

Again, I don’t follow how you can say that Christmas is being given “special status” when it is called by its name “Christmas.” I just want Christmas to be callled “Christmas” just like you want to be called “Austin” instead of “yo dude!”

December 26, 2008 at 6:40 am
(36) Austin Cline says:

A person’s spiritual aspect is a very important part of who they are.  

So is their gender, but you’d have to be awfully insecure if you got upset over people failing to single out your gender as more important than another gender.

All I want is Christmas to be mentioned by it’s name, not as a generic “holiday.”

You’re very insecure if you need people to single out Christmas for special mention, no matter how important Christmas is to you. The insecurity arises from the fact that others aren’t treating it as special for you. A secure person doesn’t care if others don’t treat something as special as they themselves treat it. A secure person doesn’t need themselves or their beliefs to be validated by others in such a manner.

And again, I wonder why is only the Christian holidays that are getting the generic “holiday” label.

Uhhh…. you’re missing the constantly repeated fact that “Happy Holidays” is used to cover all holidays this time of year, religious and secular. So religious holidays like Hanukkah are also being referenced in the exact same way, if the person being addressed happens to celebrate Hanukkah rather than Christmas.

No one says Happy Holiday on Halloween, please tell me why that is?

Maybe because it’s the only holiday that time of year that people celebrate, therefore there is no need to use a more general label to cover multiple possible and unknown holidays?

If anything, I think the minority that doesn’t celebrate Christmas wants “special treatment,”  they want the religious meaning of Christmas toned down because they don’t like it.

Since no one is telling you that you can’t celebrate Christmas in a religious manner, you know that this accusation is false.

It’s not “special treatment” to suggest that maybe you shouldn’t behave in a rude, arrogant, and presumptuous manner by assuming that everyone you encounter celebrates Christmas or, if they do, are so insecure as to need Christmas singled out for special treatment.

Again, I don’t follow how you can say that Christmas is being given “special status” when it is called by its name “Christmas.”

Of course you can’t follow that, because that’s not what I said. No one has ever said that “Christmas” should be referred to by any other name. Instead, you shouldn’t simply assume that others around you are celebrating Christmas and you certainly shouldn’t expect others to make such assumptions as well. You shouldn’t treat as “intolerant” a refusal to single out one holiday out of many for special treatment, deference, or recognition.

December 26, 2008 at 9:01 am
(37) Kristin says:

you cannot compare a person’s spirituality with gender. Although, gender identity is being distorted by liberals now also, but that’s another issue.

And are you not making presumptions about my internal sense of security? You never met me. That is an insult that should not come into this discussion. If I was that “insecure” I wouldn’t take stands on issues that are counter-cultural, I would just go along with the crowd…whatever way the wind blows, instead of speaking my mind and sticking to principle.

No one says Happy Holiday on Halloween, please tell me why that is?

Maybe because it’s the only holiday that time of year that people celebrate, therefore there is no need to use a more general label to cover multiple possible and unknown holidays

Then why is Thanksgiving being called a “holiday” now. Around Christmas time, “holiday” is being used to describe things that are distinctly “Christmas” that will be used for “Christmas purposes”…”holiday trees, holiday lights, holiday decorations”..

It’s not “special treatment” to suggest that maybe you shouldn’t behave in a rude, arrogant, and presumptuous manner by assuming that everyone you encounter celebrates Christmas or, if they do, are so insecure as to need Christmas singled out for special treatment…

it’s only natural that the holiday that overwhelming majority of the people celebrate should get the most attention.

December 26, 2008 at 10:46 am
(38) Austin Cline says:

you cannot compare a person’s spirituality with gender.

Feel free to explain why.

And are you not making presumptions about my internal sense of security?

No, I’m reaching a conclusion based upon behavior. A secure person doesn’t need others to validate whatever holiday they are celebrating.

If I was that “insecure” I wouldn’t take stands on issues that are counter-cultural, I would just go along with the crowd…

Being insecure isn’t a matter of “going along with the crowd,” but about needing others to validate who you are, what you believe, your choices, your decisions, etc. Secure people don’t care if others agree them and don’t need anyone else to validate their positions.

Then why is Thanksgiving being called a “holiday” now.

Uhhh… because it’s a holiday. What else would you call Thanksgiving, a car?

Perhaps you intended to ask why people are saying “Happy Holidays” around Thanksgiving time? I’ve not encountered this personally, but I’ll go along with the premise that it’s happening some times. Fortunately, I already answered that: Thanksgiving is part of the general/secular end-of-the-year holiday season. People start saying “Happy Holidays” around Thanksgiving to encompass not only Thanksgiving, but a wide variety of holidays that start popping up from the end of November through the beginning of January.

Around Christmas time, “holiday” is being used to describe things that are distinctly “Christmas” that will be used for “Christmas purposes”…”holiday trees, holiday lights, holiday decorations”..

People put up lights, decorations, and so forth without celebrating Christmas. Jews do it with Hanukkah. Hindus do it with Diwali. Pagans do it with Winter Solstice. You are trying to privilege Christmas by insisting that only it be associated with such practices, but that’s just not the case anymore.

I think you’ll also find that adjective “holiday” is most often used with such practices in the context of government institutions which will naturally want to try to respect/honor/recognize all holidays on an equal basis. So while some of the customs originate with secular Christmas celebrations, they are being used to encompass all holidays as much as possible. This is appropriate because government has an obligation to treat all religions equally, not singling out any religion, religious tradition, or religious belief for special privileges, support, endorsement, or encouragement.

it’s only natural that the holiday that overwhelming majority of the people celebrate should get the most attention.

It does get a lot of attention, but “getting attention” isn’t the issue. I know that you know that it isn’t the issue because I described the real issue in what you quoted and purported to be responding to: “It’s not “special treatment” to suggest that maybe you shouldn’t behave in a rude, arrogant, and presumptuous manner by assuming that everyone you encounter celebrates Christmas or, if they do, are so insecure as to need Christmas singled out for special treatment…”

So, to repeat, people are saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” because they aren’t so rude, arrogant, intolerant, and presumptuous as to assume that everyone they meet must be celebrating Christmas or, if they are, that they are so insecure as to need Christmas singled out for special recognition.

Oh, and if New Year’s is celebrated by more people, wouldn’t that mean that it should get more attention than Christmas? Since the only people who are very likely to not celebrate it are those who object to celebrating anything and people whose religious calendars are different, I suspect that the number of likely celebrants is higher than for Christmas. I don’t know that for sure and don’t know if anyone has any reliable figures on how many people celebrate what, but there’s enough of a risk there for you that you might not want to rely too much on that “argument.”

December 26, 2008 at 11:34 am
(39) Kristin says:

A person’s gender is biological. Spirituality/cultural/religious traditions encompasses a whole other realm.

I am offended by the word “holiday” because it has replaced the word “Christmas.” Sure other faiths may use lights, but other decorations are distinctly Christmas. Christmas is a time of evangelization, because it is the only time Christianity is brought into the secular arena. And that’s why the secular humanists despise it so much. Everyone tries to purport their belief system into the public square to a certain degree. Could you not be described as an evangelical Athiest? Are you not following a religion, a set of beliefs? If we strip the world of all religiosity, we limit freedom of expression. Christians have the right to have our voice heard in the public square. We also have freedom of speech. I can turn the same argument back at you, if someone is that offended by “Merry Christmas,” they are probably not very secure in their own beliefs. A mature person recognizes good will when they see it.

December 26, 2008 at 12:07 pm
(40) Austin Cline says:

A person’s gender is biological.  Spirituality/cultural/religious traditions encompasses a whole other realm.

And why does that make the above comparison wrong or irrelevant?

I am offended by the word “holiday” because it has replaced the word “Christmas.”  

It would be more accurate to say that the greeting “Merry Christmas” has been replaced by “Happy Holidays.” This has been done because more and more people are celebrating more than Christmas or are not celebrating Christmas at all. In other words, the more inclusive greeting is used because it’s becoming more and more rude, arrogant, and presumptuous to do otherwise.

So what you’re saying is that you are insulted when people don’t behave in a rude, arrogant, and presumptuous manner.

Sure other faiths may use lights,  but other decorations are distinctly Christmas.  

There’s nothing “distinctly” Christmas about secular decorations except through use over time; as these same types of decorations get used in non-Christmas contexts, the connection between them and Christmas is eliminated.

You’re used to seeing things a certain way and now that American culture is changing to accord Christianity fewer privileges, you don’t see to like it.

Christmas is a time of evangelization, because it is the only time Christianity is brought into the secular arena.

So, you’re annoyed because the broader culture is no longer reinforcing, endorsing, or supporting your evangelization agenda? I’m even less sympathetic to that than I have been to all your other complaints.

 And that’s why the secular humanists despise it so much.  

Feel free to prove that “secular humanists” as a class so “despise” Christmas

Everyone tries to purport their belief system into the public square to a certain degree.  

And Christians aren’t prevented from expressing themselves publicly, are they?

Could you not be described as an evangelical Athiest?  

1. No.

2. Atheist is not a proper noun and so shouldn’t be capitalized except at the start of sentence.

Are you not following a religion,  a set of beliefs?  

No, I am not following a religion. Yes, I have a set of beliefs. No, “atheism” is not a label which describes my beliefs. Atheism is simply the absence of belief in gods.

If we strip the world of all religiosity,  we limit freedom of expression.  

Nice hyperbole, but such obvious falsehoods undermine any case you might want to make.

The world isn’t being “stripped” of religiosity and I think you know it.

Christians have the right to have our voice heard in the public square.  

And you Christians constantly make your voices heard very loudly and obnoxiously.

I can turn the same argument back at you, if someone is that offended by “Merry Christmas,” they are probably not very secure in their own beliefs.  

Perhaps, but you can’t pretend to not realize that it isn’t the phrase “Merry Christmas” which offends some but rather than rude, arrogant, and presumptuous attitude of Christians who insist on behaving as if American culture were defined and controlled by Christian traditions. What offends some is the attitude that it’s reasonable to simply assume that everyone celebrates Christmas, only Christmas, or that they want Christmas singled out over above whatever else they might celebrate.

No one is telling Christians that they can’t express themselves, but Christians are being criticized when they express themselves rudely and arrogantly. Christians are also being told that while they have as much right as anyone to be in the public square, they can no long act like they own and control the public square.

Some Christians find this insulting and intolerant — they have for so long enjoyed unjust cultural and social privileges that they have come to see those privileges as rights. So, when informed that their arrogant, presumptuous behavior is no longer welcome, they regard that as “intolerant” — as if “tolerance” included letting a traditionally privileged class walk all over others.

A mature person recognizes good will when they see it.

Well, since you act all insulted to the greeting “Happy Holidays” despite the good will behind it, by your own definition you aren’t a mature person.

December 26, 2008 at 2:55 pm
(41) kristin says:

Merry Christmas, Austin.

December 26, 2008 at 3:41 pm
(42) Austin Cline says:

Merry Christmas, Austin.

Even if someone celebrates it, the day is past and that makes the greeting irrelevant — including from your own perspective. So I can’t treat it as a genuine effort to wish me well; instead, it sounds suspiciously like a conscious attempt at a passive-aggressive insult. This is merely reinforced by the deliberate exclusion of a holiday you could guess that I might celebrate: New Year’s. You yourself said you’d rather say “Merry Christmas/Happy New Year’s,” so you made a conscious choice to single out the wrong holiday at the wrong time for the wrong person. How can that be treated as anything but a linguistic middle finger in lieu of serious, substantive arguments (or, maybe, answering the many questions that have been put to you)?

December 26, 2008 at 5:13 pm
(43) Kristin says:

The Christmas season lasts until the feast of the three kings (or “little Christmas”) as it is called in some cultures. Poles celebrate the season until Feb 1st. Christmas just started.

And so, I wish you, out of goodwill and kindness, a very Merry Christmas. God love you! :) –Kristin

December 26, 2008 at 5:39 pm
(44) Drew says:

Kristin, I wish you, out of contempt and smug superiority, a very pissy Happy Holiday. Thor love you!

You see? Translating from Christian double-speak isn’t really that hard. This is what you intended to say, and nobody reading your post really needed me to translate. I just did that for your benefit, in case you had any doubt at all that people couldn’t see through your lies. As you raise your middle finger to Austin, you confirm the stereotype of the Christian as a hypocrite, incapable of learning how others think and feel even when they patiently explain themselves at great length.

Up yours!

December 26, 2008 at 5:50 pm
(45) Todd says:

Most Americans, and prolly most English speakers say “Happy Holidays” because it is all encompassing and non-exclusive. Happy Holidays includes ALL the holidays of the holiday season. If Jewish folk went around saying “Happy Hanukkah” to everyone, chances are, most of the people hearing wouldn’t be Jewish, Unless we’re talking about Israel.

Kristen, you’ve made Austin your straw man to attack. If you have a problem with people saying “Happy Holidays”, take it up with them. You’re looking for someone to attack over an imaginary loss of your privilege. You think everyone around you should be just like you, or if they are not, that they should shut up or pretend. Sorry, honey… we’re done with that. No more hiding and lip service. There are non-Xians around you. Get over it.

People aren’t afraid to say Merry Xmas, they are just grown up enough to realize that some people around them aren’t Xian. They have the politeness to not push their imaginary friends on others.

The term PC is almost always misused. People took the good intentions behind it and either took them too far, or misused the ideals. Those on the outside cynically hold up the “too far” crowd as representatives of the whole. PC isn’t about calling blacks “African Americans”, it’s about not calling them the N-word. It’s about showing respect, or at least not being a jerk.

Besides, Xmas is a rip off of Yule, one of the many Holly Days (not ‘holy days’, as many assume) used to assimilate European pagans into the church. The reason there are so many holidays in winter is that Europe was cold, dark and depressing. They made up reasons to party. Most of the historical evidence about Jesus point to a birth in Summer.

December 26, 2008 at 7:07 pm
(46) Kristin says:

There is something really wrong with you, if you think a “Merry Christmas” greeting is equivalent to the F-expletive. If anyone is being presumptuous, it’s you, who are you to say what is in my heart? For someone who is non-spiritual, you are acting as if you have the ability to read souls (just like I’m a ‘homophobe’ right?). My “Merry Christmas” greeting was genuine, and only I can determine that.

I really don’t want this discussion to get nasty. That was non my intent. If you want to discuss civally, without personal attacks, fine, if not, I do not wish to continue. Peace be with you, Kristin

December 26, 2008 at 7:24 pm
(47) Austin Cline says:

The Christmas season lasts until the feast of the three kings (or “little Christmas”) as it is called in some cultures.   

There you go again, assuming that others celebrate Christmas as you think it should be celebrated. You’re merely investing others with assumptions derived from your ideology rather than treating them as independent individuals.

And that’s why a “Merry Christmas” from you might be regarded as little more than an expletive.

If anyone is being presumptuous,  it’s you,  who are you to say what is in my heart?

I haven’t made any comments about what is “in your heart,” I have formed conclusions about your attitude based on your behavior. How you behave says far more about who you really are than what you profess to believe.

I notice you didn’t address any of my explanation for why one might legitimately read your comment as an attack and insult. Forgive me if I can’t take your objections seriously when you ignore the very reasons for why I said what I said. If you had serious, substantive objections, then you’d have directly addressed my comments. Instead, you just acted wounded as if that should be enough — but I have to regard that as more passive-aggressive behavior.

My “Merry Christmas” greeting was genuine, and only I can determine that.

Genuine… but a genuine what is the issue. I think it’s a genuine attempt to express condescension, privilege, and superiority — especially given the context of your previous comments. You want the season to be referred to as “Christmas” specifically because you need it for evangelization and feelings of cultural dominance. So saying “Merry Christmas” in that context has to be treated as just that: expressions of evangelization and dominance.

When I created this poster, I was thinking of behavior like yours.

I really don’t want this discussion to get nasty.  That was non my intent.

Right, telling people that it’s insulting and intolerant when they wish you well on any and all holidays you might celebrate isn’t at all nasty.

If you want to discuss civally, without personal attacks, fine, if not, I do not wish to continue.

I think you need to expand your understanding of “personal attacks” to include some of your own passive-aggressive behavior. Nastiness comes in many forms.

December 26, 2008 at 7:53 pm
(48) Tom Edgar says:

Merry Santa Claus everyone.

December 26, 2008 at 7:55 pm
(49) Kristin says:

It doesn’t matter if Jesus was born in the summer, not to me anyway. You are right that most Christian holidays were spefically marked on the pagan celebrations. The liturgical calandar does not match the actual timeline of Christ’s life, but that is really no big deal. Don’t really see where you are going with that.

As I said before, Hanaukah and Christmas are not eqivalent. It is not a major celebration in the Jewish faith, so this idea that it has to included or compared somehow with Christmas is unwarranted.

December 26, 2008 at 8:05 pm
(50) Kristn says:

Up yours! –is an example of a personal attack.

December 26, 2008 at 11:50 pm
(51) Austin Cline says:

Up yours! –is an example of a personal attack.

It’s only a personal attack if a certain sentiment is behind it. It’s possible to express the same sentiment in entirely different words. If you focus solely on the words and not on the attitudes or ideas behind the words, you’re making a grave error.

December 27, 2008 at 8:29 am
(52) kristin says:

“It’s only a personal attack if a certain sentiment is behind it. It’s possible to express the same sentiment in entirely different words. If you focus solely on the words and not on the attitudes or ideas behind the words, you’re making a grave error.”

Words carry meaning. Sure you might not like someone and really want to curse them out, but if you can muster up a smile and “good morning!” that is a more peaceful approach. Our speech can be positive or negative, uplifting or degrading. I don’t know how many times I have said this but I did not wish you a “Merry Christmas” with an attitude. You are misreading my behavior. I just saw that our discussion/debate was going around in circles and instead of repeating myself, I might as well wish you a “Merry Christmas” which is my way of expressing goodwill during this season.

Peace be with you,

Kristin

December 27, 2008 at 10:02 am
(53) Austin Cline says:

Words carry meaning.  

And that meaning varies depending on context and intention.

Sure you might not like someone and really want to curse them out, but if you can muster up a smile and “good morning!” that is a more peaceful approach.  

A “good morning” from one person might come with more hostility than an “up yours” said by a friend with a smile.

I don’t know how many times I have said this but I did not wish you a “Merry Christmas” with an attitude.  You are misreading my behavior.

I am reading your behavior based on the full context of the attitudes you expressed here so far. No “Merry Christmas” from you can be interpreted without taking into account things like the fact that you see references to “Christmas” as necessary for evangelization.

December 27, 2008 at 10:30 am
(54) Kristin says:

A “good morning” from one person might come with more hostility than an “up yours” said by a friend with a smile.

I understand the point you are trying to make, although I personally think we should refrain from really negative speech altogether, even when we are being sarcastic. Again, I say that I meant no ill itention when I greeted you.

Yes, Christmas is a time for evangalization. There is nothing offensive in that statement. Are you not promoting atheism? Does not the secular media send messages–a value and belief system–to us constantly?

December 27, 2008 at 12:22 pm
(55) Austin Cline says:

Yes, Christmas is a time for evangalization.  

For you, I accept that it is. Others, though, treat it differently — and there are definitely others who do not welcome being evangelized to at any time, especially this one.

There is nothing offensive in that statement.

As a factual statement about your own position, no.

As an overall approach, though, some will regard such behavior as offensive. You shouldn’t simply assume that your evangelization will be welcomed by anyone who happens to be in the line of fire.

It’s easy to treat as rude and arrogant the belief that “Christmas” should be mentioned more by non-Christians simply so that Christians can have an easier time at evangelization. This is what I was talking about in the link I gave you above.

Are you not promoting atheism?  

No. You already asked this and I answered it in comment #33 — a comment which you ignored everything I wrote.

Does not the secular media send messages–a value and belief system–to us constantly?

The secular media conveys a variety of messages, values, and belief systems all the time.

December 27, 2008 at 2:13 pm
(56) Kristin says:

Austin,

please let me explain what I mean by “evangelization.” I do not mean to imply that this is a time when Christians should try to force our beliefs down everyone’s throat…but it is a time for us to reflect on what it means to be a Christian, and for us to rejoice in the birth of our savior. This means that we “celebrate Christmas.” Should we damper our celebration, or change it in some way, so that other’s don’t feel left out? No. We are to give reason for the hope that is within us, we are to give reason for our joy. Others are welcome to participate, or not participate, but that does change the fact that we are who we are. Given your logic of “not offending” I don’t see how one could justify celebrating any holidays.

I don’t quite understand how you can assert that you are not promoting atheism. You have an atheism blog and have written books. You have an ideology, a belief system, a religion–loosely defined as it may be, but it can accurately be called a religion.

I think the problem that we are having is that I believe in objective truth (i.e. “Merry Christmas” is a positive statement of goodwill) whereas you believe there is no objective truth–no line between good and evil (i.e. “Merry Christmas” is just as offensive as the F word if I deem it so…”that is not a chair, it just has the appearance of a chair”).

God Bless,

Kristin

December 27, 2008 at 2:21 pm
(57) Austin Cline says:

please let me explain what I mean by “evangelization.” I do not mean to imply that this is a time when Christians should try to force our beliefs down everyone’s throat…

I didn’t say it was.

but it is a time for us to reflect on what it means to be a Christian, and for us to rejoice in the birth of our savior.

This is not what the word “evangelization” means.

Should we damper our celebration, or change it in some way, so that other’s don’t feel left out? No.

And no one said you should, so that’s just a Straw Man.

Given your logic of “not offending” I don’t see how one could justify celebrating any holidays.

Feel free to show how, but please try to do so on the basis of what I actually wrote and the real definitions of words, not made-up definitions and straw man arguments.

I don’t quite understand how you can assert that you are not promoting atheism.

Simple: I don’t promote it. If you disagree, find a single place where I specifically do so.

You have an atheism blog and have written books.

I have a blog.

I have not written any books.

The blog and various articles, though, do not promote atheism.

You have an ideology, a belief system, a religion–loosely defined as it may be, but it can accurately be called a religion.

No, I do not have a religion. Not even atheism is a religion.

You should consider learning something about atheism before presuming to tell atheists about it.

I think the problem that we are having is that I believe in objective truth (i.e. “Merry Christmas” is a positive statement of goodwill) whereas you believe there is no objective truth–no line between good and evil

You should also consider asking people what they think instead of presuming to tell them what they think as if you can read minds.

Allow me to let you in on a secret: No, you can’t read mind. But, yes, you are quite presumptuous in your treatment of others. It’s a pattern you’ve been reinforcing from your first comment. No matter what the topic, you do it.

December 27, 2008 at 2:29 pm
(58) Kristin says:

There are different ways to evangalize. One way is to directly talk about Christ and the need for salvation. Another way is to authentically be who you are, clarify your beliefs when asked, and love them. As Christians, specifically as Catholic Christians, our goal is to become so closely untied to Christ that others will want to know how we can love to such a heroic degree. There were athiests (yes, atheists! :) who instantly converted to Christianity upon meeting Mother Theresa. She didn’t have to say a word. Her presence radiated God’s love. Anyway, my reason for debating is not to try to convert you, but rather to defend the right for Christmas to be called by it’s proper name.

December 27, 2008 at 2:40 pm
(59) Kristin says:

Allow me to let you in on a secret: No, you can’t read mind. But, yes, you are quite presumptuous in your treatment of others. It’s a pattern you’ve been reinforcing from your first comment. No matter what the topic, you do it.

I think you are being a bit presumptuous by saying that I’m presumptous when you have never met me. It’s really difficult to read someone’s intentions over the net, often times one needs to observe one’s intonation and facial expressions to grasp the full meaning of a statement. Nevertheless, “Merry Christmas” is a positive statement. I’m expressing goodwill towards you according to my cultural and religious tradition.

I disagree with your assessment that athiesm is not a religion. Of course, it depends on how you define “religion”…but a lack of belief is a belief. We are all “religous” in the sense that we all worship something…it’s a human need.

December 27, 2008 at 2:51 pm
(60) Kristin says:

One final point: the reason why assumed that you do not believe in objective truth is because you do not believe in a higher power. If one believes in an objective truth (i.e. natural law) then it follows that there must be someone who determined or created that truth. To believe in a created order of things, is in essense to believe in God. If I assumed incorrectly, please explain.

December 27, 2008 at 2:54 pm
(61) Austin Cline says:

Another way is to authentically be who you are, clarify your beliefs when asked,  and love them.  

By that “reasoning,” everyone is always evangelizing whatever they believe. When a word comes to mean everything, it ultimately means nothing.

Anyway, my reason for debating is not to try to convert you, but rather to defend the right for Christmas to be called by it’s proper name.

Since no one has tried to call Christmas anything else, you’re defending against a Straw Man. Again.

I think you are being a bit presumptuous by saying that I’m presumptous when you have never met me.

I was describing behavior which you have exhibited here. I don’t need to meet you in order to call presumptuous treatment of others “presumptuous.”

It’s really difficult to read someone’s intentions over the net

It’s not necessary to do so in order to recognize presumptuous behavior.

Nevertheless, “Merry Christmas” is a positive statement.  

Depends upon context and intent.

I disagree with your assessment that athiesm is not a religion.  

You can also disagree that the planet is round, but disagreeing with facts doesn’t change facts.

If you have a substantive counter-argument — a real argument based on facts and reasoning — then feel free to present it after reading the article I linked to. Merely saying that you “disagree,” though, doesn’t mean much — especially after you just got done trying to tell me that you “believe in objective truth” while I believe “believe there is no objective truth.”

Of course, it depends on how you define “religion”…but a lack of belief is a belief.   

Only insofar as not collecting stamps is still a “hobby” or baldness is still a “hair color.”

We are all “religous” in the sense that we all worship something…it’s a human need.

That’s a popular Christian myth, but it’s false too.

December 27, 2008 at 2:59 pm
(62) Kristin says:

So let me ask you, “do you believe in an objective truth?”

December 27, 2008 at 3:04 pm
(63) Krisitn says:

You cannot compare collecting stamps to a belief in God. Collecting stamps is an activity, a belief in God is something an assertion in something which is unseen with an accompanying corresponding worldview.

I don’t expect you to fully understand the evangalization statement…many Christians don’t seem to get it. As St. Francis said, “Preach the Gospel and if you must, use words!” Have you studied Christianity (Catholicism in particular) and/or read any writings of the saints?

December 27, 2008 at 3:11 pm
(64) Kristin says:

Some of the posters you created are OFFENSIVE. As I said, you do not have to believe, but are you not, as part of your human code, called to show respect for other faiths. I would never think of making a poster that poked fun at athiests. I respect your humanity too much.

December 27, 2008 at 3:23 pm
(65) Austin Cline says:

One final point:  the reason why assumed that you do not believe in objective truth is because you do not believe in a higher power.  If one believes in an objective truth (i.e. natural law) then it follows that there must be someone who determined or created that truth.

1. You’ll need to support your assertion that “objective truth” is the same as “natural law.”

2. You’ll also need to provide an argument which shows that belief in “objective truth” logically requires that there be some “higher power” which created that truth.

To believe in a created order of things, is in essense to believe in God. If I assumed incorrectly, please explain.

I think you have reasoned incorrectly; in particular, I don’t think that you have a sound reason for concluding that objective truth presumes a higher power. You’re welcome to demonstrate otherwise, though.

So let me ask you,  ”do you believe in an objective truth?”

Yes. It is objectively true, for example, that you just asked me if I believe in objective truth.

You cannot compare collecting stamps to a belief in God.  

I didn’t. I used it as an example to demonstrate how silly it is to claim that the absence of a thing (belief, hobby) is the same as the presence of the same thing.

I don’t expect you to fully understand the evangalization statement…many Christians don’t seem to get it.

Or maybe you’re just using “evangelization” in a manner that is so broad as to be meaningless.

Have you studied Christianity (Catholicism in particular) and/or read any writings of the saints?

I’ve studied Christianity extensively. I used to be a Christian. My wife used to be Catholic.

Some of the posters you created are OFFENSIVE.

Some people are easily offended. I’ve been told that the very existence of this site is offensive and insulting.

All of the posters I created make important, serious, and even vital points or critiques. Sometimes it’s easier to get people to recognize the value of some criticism through images and shocking statements than through sober, academic arguments. A picture can be worth a thousand words.

As I said, you do not have to believe, but are you not, as part of your human code, called to show respect for other faiths.

No faith, belief, or opinion deserves automatic respect. Such respect must be earned.

I would never think of making a poster that poked fun at athiests. I respect your humanity too much.

You may benefit from distinguishing between poking fun at ideas/ideologies and poking fun at people.

There are no opinions, ideas, or ideologies which deserve to be immune from criticism, attack, or even ridicule.

December 27, 2008 at 3:57 pm
(66) Kristin says:

do you believe in an objective moral code?

December 27, 2008 at 3:59 pm
(67) Kristin says:

No faith, belief, or opinion deserves automatic respect. Such respect must be earned.

And who determines which beliefs deserve respect? you?

December 27, 2008 at 4:16 pm
(68) Austin Cline says:

do you believe in an objective moral code?

That depends on what is meant by “objective.”

And who determines which beliefs deserve respect? you?

Respect is always relative to some person who does the respecting. Ergo, everyone has to determine on their own whether they should respect any given belief or not and why. No one can determine for you what you do or do not respect.

December 27, 2008 at 4:45 pm
(69) Kristin says:

There are certain laws of respect and human decency we all should live by.

Objective means that a certain action is an objective moral evil. (i.e. stealing your wallet is an objective moral evil)…do you believe that?

December 27, 2008 at 4:53 pm
(70) Austin Cline says:

There are certain laws of respect and human decency we all should live by.

When it comes to the treatment of people, sure. Opinions, however, don’t deserve automatic respect.

Objective means that a certain action is an objective moral evil. (i.e. stealing your wallet is an objective moral evil)…do you believe that?

You don’t say what you mean by “objective.” You’ve simply restated the original question in new words, but without any new information as to what the word “objective” is supposed to signify.

December 27, 2008 at 4:55 pm
(71) Kristi says:

You don’t think those posters are offensive to the people who espouse those beliefs? If you attack a person’s religion, you are attacking the person.

By objective, I mean absolute. Do you believe there is such a thing as good and evil? Yes or no?

December 27, 2008 at 5:18 pm
(72) Austin Cline says:

You don’t think those posters are offensive to the people who espouse those beliefs? If you attack a person’s religion, you are attacking the person.

It’s frankly not my problem if a person is so sensitive that they are unable to distinguish between criticism of an opinion and a personal attack. If we were to refrain from any sort of intellectual or ideological criticism which anyone might take personally, there would be no criticism at all.

Of course, no one actually believes in such standards — I’ve never seen, met, or even heard of a person who actually thought it was wrong to criticize or attack any opinions at all. Everyone feels free to be critical of opinions they disagree with, but many seem to think that their own opinions should be someone immune from the standards which others’ beliefs are subjected to. Coincidence? I don’t think so — objecting to criticism of opinions by saying “that’s attacking me personally” is merely a way to avoid having one’s beliefs subjected to critical scrutiny, and maybe having it revealed that one’s opinions are ill-founded, irrational, or just plain dumb.

Obviously no one likes having their opinions subjected to criticism, skeptical scrutiny, or even ridicule. That’s because no one likes the idea of being wrong or irrational. What one likes, though, just isn’t very relevant here because once you make your opinions public, you give others implicit permission to say whatever they like about them. You can’t insist that the only public reactions to your opinions be reactions that you personally approve of.

There is nothing so special about any opinion, including religious opinions, that they should be exempted from the same sort of treatment which every other opinion — political, aesthetic, ideological, economic, moral, culinary, philosophical, scientific, etc. — is routinely subjected to. If some opinion is true and good, it can’t be harmed by even the most unjustified attacks; if anything it will come out stronger and more secure for it. If some opinion is false or bad, exempting it from critique will merely allow it to propagate and do harm.

By objective, I mean absolute.

Sorry, you still aren’t clear. Instead of synonyms or changing words around, how about provide a definition and examples? If your concept is really so strong and well-founded, you shouldn’t have a lot of trouble explaining what you mean.

December 27, 2008 at 6:22 pm
(73) John Hanks says:

This silly semantic conflict was deliberately created to fill church pews.

December 27, 2008 at 6:48 pm
(74) Kristin says:

I can’t believe you think “Merry Christmas” is offensive, but a poster mocking the Eucharist is not?

It’s clear by your statements that morality is completeley subjective to you.

God Bless,

Kristin

December 27, 2008 at 6:53 pm
(75) Kristin says:

Let me explain to this to you, although I’m not sure you are able to understand the workings of the human heart, but when you attack mock Jesus, it is the same as if you were to mock my mother. He is someone I love. It is not that my faith is weakened, not in the least, it’s just that is offensive.

December 27, 2008 at 7:37 pm
(76) Austin Cline says:

I can’t believe you think “Merry Christmas” is offensive, but a poster mocking the Eucharist is not?

I never said that no one could ever be offended by an image, poster, or article that criticizes, attacks, or ridicules some religious opinion, institution, or practice. Quite the contrary, in fact.

It’s clear by your statements that morality is completeley subjective to you.  

Your “clarity” is based entirely on misrepresenting me.

Let me explain to this to you, although I’m not sure you are able to understand the workings of the human heart,

This is another example of the sort of passive-aggressive behavior which I have pointed out before is just the sort of “nastiness” you purport to eschew.

but when you attack mock Jesus, it is the same as if you were to mock my mother.

If your mother were a public figure, like a politician, she would be fair game for criticism, attack, or being mocked. I’m sure you wouldn’t like it, but no one in any position of power or responsibility is exempt from such treatment. In fact, I think it’s an important that such happen because it helps prevent people in power from becoming too self-righteous and self-important. You’d have no justification to complain to political cartoonists or late-night comedians that they should leave your mother alone because you take their commentary “personally.”

Now, Jesus isn’t exactly like a politician but Jesus is arguably in an analogous position. Jesus is also analogous to an institution as well as a symbol, depending on what aspects of Jesus role in Christianity one wants to focus on. All of them, though, are equally fair game for criticism, attack, and even ridicule. No symbol or institution is any more exempt from such treatment than any belief, opinion, or ideology.

So no matter how important Jesus is to you personally, Jesus is fair game for criticism, attack, and even ridicule. If someone ridicules Jesus merely for the sake of hurting your feelings, then you’d be well within your rights to ask them to stop. But if the ridicule is part of a criticism of Christianity, Christians’ behavior, Christian ideology, etc., then it’s up to you to get over your hurt feelings because it’s clearly not all about you.

I’ve been told — today — that my being an atheist is itself an insult to Christ and therefore an insult to them (the writer). They are as insulted and offended by my atheism as you are by my posters. Their offense is no less genuine or sincere. Should I, then, stop being an atheist just so they won’t be offended? Of course not. Why? As I just pointed out: it’s not about them. They are experiencing feelings of offense due to something that has nothing to do with them and which certainly isn’t occurring simply for the sake of causing them distress. They have to learn to get over it.

Your situation is no different. You’ll find lots of things out there that have nothing directly to do with you and, so, if they cause you offense it’s your responsibility to get over it on your own. No one is obliged to limit their lives to only that which never causes any offense to anyone. No one is obliged to limit their reactions to ideologies, opinions, institutions, leaders, traditions, etc. to just that which never causes any offense to anyone.

It is not that my faith is weakened, not in the least, it’s just that is offensive.

There is nothing that, if criticized, attacked, or ridiculed, would not lead to someone, somewhere, being offended. I’ve already explained why that’s not a reason for people to refrain from their critiques and I’ll just note that you don’t even try to disagree with what I wrote, never mind offer anything like a substantive rebuttal.

December 27, 2008 at 8:34 pm
(77) Kristinr978 says:

You can be an athiest without mocking religion. I know athiests and agnostics who are respectful of other cultures, and (religion is apart of culture). You are not one of them.

December 27, 2008 at 8:38 pm
(78) Kristin says:

“Your situation is no different. You’ll find lots of things out there that have nothing directly to do with you and, so, if they cause you offense it’s your responsibility to get over it on your own. No one is obliged to limit their lives to only that which never causes any offense to anyone. No one is obliged to limit their reactions to ideologies, opinions, institutions, leaders, traditions, etc. to just that which never causes any offense to anyone.”

Exactly. So I can say “Merry Christmas!”

December 27, 2008 at 9:17 pm
(79) Tom Edgar says:

Kristin.

When you end your letters with God Bless and God Love you. Addressed to a person you definitely know is not a believer you are being deliberately offensive.

When I read some of the letters,and particularly from people such as yourself then I am pleased I had enough sense to settle
in Australia after WW2 instead of the U S A.
With less than 20% of our population attending churches on a regular basis and many of those not taking it too seriously. We non believers have it, relatively speaking,easy. Somebody wishes to greet you with different words, So What? Some of my friends say “Merry Christmas,” I reply “Merry Santa Claus.” They smile, knowing me, and also that the commercialised festivities actually deserves the latter accolade more than the former.

Does the word in the greeting “Christ” nark me. Yep! Insults my intelligence, it narks me that our flag has three Christian crosses, and I look towards having it changed to match our national anthem which, uniquely, does not mention Gods nor Supremacy and doesn’t beat to a martial air. So you keep on believing in your Gods without evidence, Keep on deliberately insulting the non believers with your religious incantations, and then tell us WHY do you visit an atheist site trying to sell Christianity? We don’t turn up at St Peter’s flogging Richard Dawkins books.

A “G W Bush”less New Year to y’all. I can’t think of a more magnanimous gift to mankind.

December 27, 2008 at 9:40 pm
(80) Austin Cline says:

You can be an athiest without mocking religion.  

Of course. And you can be a theist who does mock religion.

I know athiests and agnostics who are respectful of other cultures, and (religion is apart of culture).  You are not one of them.

That is also true. I do not respect nonsense, injustice, or anti-intellectualism.

December 27, 2008 at 9:57 pm
(81) Austin Cline says:

Exactly.  So I can say “Merry Christmas!”

What a curious conclusion.

I’ll point to a portion of my comment which you quoted: “You’ll find lots of things out there that have nothing directly to do with you and, so, if they cause you offense it’s your responsibility to get over it on your own.” Your statement above, though, does have something directly to do with me. If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t have said it to me. My posters, though, would exist even without you. They have nothing to do with you.

Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize the difference between things which have nothing to do with a random bystander who takes offense and things which are directed at that person who is offended. Yet, you protest that you recognize no difference. Why do you imagine that the two are comparable?

Anyway, you can say “Merry Christmas,” even to those who are offended. No one is forcing you to be a decent person. It’s your choice to direct arrogant, rude, offensive, and presumptuous comments to people you claim to be wishing goodwill. You have done it constantly here and I imagine you’ll do it quite a lot more in the future. It says a great deal about your character, that you use rudeness and arrogant behavior as a way of measuring “goodwill.”

In contrast, my posters ridiculing religion, religious beliefs, and religious institutions say no more about my character than political cartoons ridiculing politics, political beliefs, and political institutions say something about the character of the cartoonists. Those cartoons undoubtedly offend various people, but since they are not aimed specifically at anyone in particular, they are part of an entirely different category.

Like I said, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to comprehend such basic distinctions. You do, however, have to care about more than just your own ideology and interests.

December 27, 2008 at 10:10 pm
(82) Kristin says:

How can you say they are not aimed at anyone in particular? It’s worse, they are aimed at an entire group of people. Who is your intended audience? Not merely, atheists I’m sure.

December 27, 2008 at 10:24 pm
(83) Austin Cline says:

How can you say they are not aimed at anyone in particular?

Because I’m the one who created them and I am aiming the criticism at ideologies, practices, traditions, opinions, institutions, etc. No person in particular is targeted in anything remotely like the way a particular person has to be the targeted recipient of some greeting.

It’s worse, they are aimed at an entire group of people.

Notice that “groups of people” isn’t in the list above.

Who is your intended audience? Not merely, atheists I’m sure.

Atheists are indeed the primary audience, but I expect theists to see them from time to time. As a matter of fact, a theist was instrumental in helping me create those posters — not just from a technical perspective, but also in refining the images and text in order to make the criticism as direct, pointed, and clear as possible. The posters are much better because of her help and she not only agrees with most of them, but finds many of them quite funny.

December 28, 2008 at 1:59 pm
(84) Marc says:

Would someone please inform Miss Smugness that most of her beloved “Christmas” rituals, symbols, etc., are of pagan origin! Oh, by the way, most accurate historical research indicates any “Jesus” as being born sometime around June! Her “Christmas” is in December because of the pagan celebration of winter solstice! And she wonders why we might possibly get annoyed?

January 21, 2009 at 2:03 pm
(85) Heather says:

I think that Christmas has been around for too long to be taken away. People don’t say happy holiday for the Halloween day. The day before that is Hallows Eve, the day of the devil… Whats the difference?

January 21, 2009 at 2:05 pm
(86) Heather says:

If it shouldn’t offend us Christians then it shouldn’t offend the non-believers

December 8, 2009 at 8:56 pm
(87) Martin OBrien says:

Happy holidays greeting is for occasions like Memorial Day merry christmas is just that merry christmas please do’nt offend me by greeting in any other manner at this time of year MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

December 8, 2009 at 9:56 pm
(88) Austin Cline says:

Happy holidays greeting is for occasions like Memorial Day

Why?

merry christmas is just that merry christmas

So, that’s the only holiday you celebrate?

please do’nt offend me by greeting in any other manner at this time of year

So, you’re offended by being wished happiness on all holidays you celebrfate?

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

This is a good example of how “Merry Christmas” can be used as a substitute for “f*ck you.”

December 15, 2009 at 2:40 pm
(89) Marc says:

@80 – And don’t offend me by assuming you may wish me a merry xmas, since I don’t celebrate the holiday!

Austin, your reference to the implied f*ck you reminds me of a recent incident I experienced. I sit on a board that was hearing a complaint from a member. After yelling and screaming, and referring to me in various derogatory terms, he left the meeting in anger. He then returned and handed me a letter which continued the barrage. At the bottom of the letter he wrote “Have a Blessed Day”.

Can you say hypocritical jackass?

December 15, 2009 at 3:10 pm
(90) Helena says:

Quite frankly, I don’t understand why so many Christians insist on being wished a Merry Christmas. My religion, or lack thereof, since I am an atheist, is nobody’s business. I don’t want special treatment, I don’t feel the need to spread it to others, and I don’t care one way or another if people wish me Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays.
I do, however, work in retail for the holiday season, and I am simply wishing people “a nice day” as usual. For those that wish me Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, I simply say “Same to you.”

December 15, 2009 at 3:48 pm
(91) Todd says:

And Good Merlinpeen to you too!

December 15, 2009 at 4:56 pm
(92) Jordan says:

Kristin

you say in #53 that there is an Objective Truth that was created by some higher power…if such a thing existed, I would know about it, right? I exist and am, by your belief system, created in “God’s image”; therefore I should be BORN knowing “God’s” plan…..and yet I know (by the definition of the word) nothing of the sort. It seems the only truth here is that there is no “God”. If there were, I would KNOW he existed and wouldn’t have to argue the point with someone whose parents corrupted them with misinformation and indoctrination…..what kind of god would have to resort to whether you believed in him or not was a function of your zip code or whether or not your parents took you to the mosque or temple? You would KNOW…not believe….see the difference?

December 16, 2009 at 11:02 am
(93) Zayla says:

happy fing xmas and a merry fing new fing year to all!!!

ho! ho! ho! i love ho’s

merrrrrry xmas!!!!

f christmas

i’d like to think i normally have something of substance to add, but this is about all i could come up with after reading most of the posts on here. sorry.

November 27, 2011 at 4:10 pm
(94) Liz says:

As I post this comment, Kristin is long gone and will probably not come back to see what I write, but I feel compelled to make a comment because I see her attitude in so many places. I think it stems from a lack of understanding of what is happening and an ignorance about the privilege she expects.

First, no one has truly outlawed “Merry Christmas” as a greeting. Everyone is free to use this if they choose. It could even be said to be appropriate among family, friends and acquaintances when you know that the other person celebrates Christmas (religiously or secularly). My family celebrates a non-religious form, but many of my friends and relatives attend mass, have advent calendars and wreaths, etc. I feel comfortable greeting them this way.

Other people, who knows what they celebrate?! That’s why stores prefer to give a generic greeting. It technically is supposed to make everyone feel included. Sure, maybe most non-Christians are accustomed to being in a Western tradition that privileges Christianity, and they may shrug “Merry Christmas” off. I think you almost have to be like that. However, a store is reaching out to any group with a greeting like “Happy Holidays”. It tells the minority groups that someone understands that they don’t celebrate Christmas and it’s okay. It also should tell Christians that it is understood that they have a holiday too. Why is it offensive that your religion isn’t singled out by someone you don’t know?

People like Christian seem to want it recognized that they are Christians and celebrate Christmas and the *only* appropriate greeting is Merry Christmas. Does she assume that she “looks” Christian? It makes me wonder if she buys into racial stereotypes in which you can tell someone is Jewish, Muslim, etc. I certainly have heard many people associate Christianity with being American, as if other groups didn’t live here.

December 6, 2011 at 2:03 am
(95) Sue says:

I also wish Kristin would be able to see my comment. I completely understand her and agree with everything she said.
I know that Christains adopted some of the pagan tratditions and the particular day to celebrate the birth of Christ. So what…. I know several people who are non-christian who have NO problem using the phrase Merry Christmas and they just focus on family, relationships, and so forth. I think that is great. If other non-christian people want to say Happy Holidays, then fine. But, there is NO reason to have stores, and so forth change the signs from Merry Christmas to Happy holidays. Like the other people have said about the other holidays being identifed on their prospective days, like Halloween, Thanksgiving, ect…, each of those days were identifed and those that wanted to wish a happy halloween or happy Thanksgiving did so. There was no “happy holidays”. It is ONLY Christmas that it is changed, and I do not think that is right. I personally do not “celebrate” halloween, but I do’t mind if I am wished happy halloween and if someone actually wished me happy hanukkah, I really would not be OFFENDED, I am Christian, but I am not going to get bent out of shape if someone wishes me a salutation for the particular “holiday” that I don’t celebrate.

Plus, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, no one is trying to offend you if they wish you a Merry Christmas, they are most likley doing that the same reason anyone wishes anyone anything from any holiday.

And, whoever said Up yours, to Kristin…..the same to you!

And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

December 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm
(96) James says:

The problem I have with “Merry Christmas” is that the person saying it assumes me to be a Christian. If I were to celebrate my heritage which was hijacked by Christianity and said, “Happy Yule” or something like that, tha average Kool-Aid drinker would be confused at the least.

December 13, 2011 at 3:20 pm
(97) John Thomson says:

#90 Sue:

Happy Holidays and up yours as well.

F*ck you and your stores should only wish Merry Christmas as well. Why do Christians feel this constant need for their beliefs to be enforced and privileged by everyone?

Austin, once again your patience amazes me. Have a great solstice.

December 13, 2011 at 5:35 pm
(98) Tom Edgar says:

My children know me well enough. I never buy cards Christmas or birthdays. I write personal letters.

Gifts? Once again my kids have always known I, because I tell them, not to buy presents. The rotten buggers . The one time they do actually obey me.

Most people say Happy Christmas. I am not offended. It is similar to the shop assistants saying Have a Good Day, no harm meant even if no genuine feeling of partiality was intended. I usually return a quizzical look and a rejoinder of either “You too” or “Have a good one.”

Christmas won’t disappear, not because there is anything religious about it, but because there are a lot of big bucks involved. Then there are so many similarities to the
religion. e.g. If you are good the rewards are there, and if not you are in strife, it serves as a reinforcing act in the indoctrination of little children.

Shalom

December 15, 2011 at 11:36 am
(99) Marvin says:

(25) Kristin says:
We all know that people are afraid to say “Merry Christmas” these days . . .

Have you actually seen or heard someone scolded for saying Merry Christmas, or are you going by the content of some sermon or a Fox News rant? In my experience the opposite has been the case.

I had the unpleasant experience of seeing someone scolded for saying “Happy Holidays,” during last year’s holiday season, but I haven’t yet seen anyone called out for saying “Merry Christmas.” I get emails calling for boycots of business that say “Happy Holidays,” but so far I haven’t had one in regard to those saying “Merry Christmas.”

Religion is a funny thing. Its importance to its believers tends to fade in day to day life. But if these believers can be made to believe their way of life is in some way threatened, they’re almost certain to rise in its defense. Could it be there’s a group or party that could profit from just such a perception, especially if it drew the believers’ attention away from more egregious policies of that same group or party?

FWIW: “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Romans 14.45 (KJV)

December 15, 2011 at 5:49 pm
(100) Marvin says:

Sorry. That’s Romans 14.5. Glad I checked!

December 16, 2011 at 8:46 am
(101) Rudolph says:

It is utter rubbish to say that if you do not say Merry Christmas that you are denying Christ. Not all Christians believe that Jesus was born on this day. Also some Christians actually find Christmas offensive because so much hub bub is made for just ONE day and the rest of the year (except Easter) it is kept hush hush. While Christ’s birth was necessary for His existence, it is His death that was the event that “saved mankind”. Per the Bible THAT is to be celebrated ALWAYS with particular attention to the “the first day of the week”, which is the example for the day the early Christians met to worship (Book of Acts).

The rest is just a bunch of TRADITION the catholic church pressed on the world due to paganism (like most of what they do… man made-up tradition… not biblical worship or teachings)

December 19, 2011 at 3:39 am
(102) Seriadh says:

I’m sure Kristin is long gone and therefore won’t see this, but I have a suggestion for her and others like her that are intolerant of having their privilege removed. She says that others should automatically know she only accepts “Merry Christmas” as a greeting in part because she wears a crucifix. Maybe that’s not enough. I know I certainly don’t pay quite that much attention to jewelry, unless I’m the one buying it.

Perhaps those that can’t accept the more respectful and generalized “Happy Holidays” and insist on being singled out from all others who might be celebrating during this period of many celebrations need to wear a sandwich board that states, “I only accept ‘Merry Christmas’”.

In addition to showing their intolerance of others faiths, or lack thereof, it would cater to their egos and need to control others. I’d add that they could decorate it, but that would secularize it…

December 23, 2011 at 3:48 pm
(103) Joan says:

The Salvation Army worker at Wally World said, “Merry Christmas” to me the other day, to which I replied. “Happy Festivus”. He looked at me like I had two heads! Today is Festivus. Get out your aluminum poles and air your grievances!

December 24, 2011 at 1:56 am
(104) OZAtheist says:

Going shopping is very tedious now as one is subjected to a barrage of Christmas carols as soon as one enters the shopping centers. The strains of “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger”, intermingled with “Jingle Bells”, “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer”, and all the other carols creating a chaotic mixture of messages. In spite of the bleating of the Christians that : “Jesus is the reason for the season”, Father Christmas is way out in front leaving the Christians floundering in a pile of reindeer shit. What fun!

As soon as we get clear of Christmas Easter will be on the horizon and we will be hearing the Christians complaining about the Easter Bunny usurping Easter, when they, (the Christians), hijacked this celebration also.

December 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm
(105) Just an opinion... says:

This may be completely off track but…I can’t believe that people spend so much time arguing with a complete stranger.

Co-exist people. If you don’t like Merry Christmas, don’t say it. If someone wishes you “Merry Christmas”, accept it as someone saying something nice to you…not PUSHING their religions on you….heck, most people who partake in Christmas celebrations aren’t Christians and don’t know the “true meaning”. And if you don’t agree with Merry Christmas, then don’t say it back.

If someone said “Happy Hanukkah” to me, do you think I would be super offended? No. Someone took the time to say something nice.

Anyways. That’s all I have to say. And no, I will not be back should someone (Aka this infamous “Austin”) come back with a rebuttal all the while quoting me and inputting his own replies. BLAH. I have much better things to do.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! :)

December 27, 2011 at 7:31 am
(106) Austin Cline says:

This may be completely off track but…I can’t believe that people spend so much time arguing with a complete stranger.

Says a person who comes here to argue with complete strangers.

Co-exist people.

Why is it the minorities are the ones who always have to change in order to achieve that?

If you don’t like Merry Christmas, don’t say it. If someone wishes you “Merry Christmas”, accept it as someone saying something nice to you…not PUSHING their religions on you….

Even though it’s clear that that’s precisely what’s going on in some cases?

heck, most people who partake in Christmas celebrations aren’t Christians and don’t know the “true meaning”.

Interesting that you assume that there is a “true” meaning out there.

If someone said “Happy Hanukkah” to me, do you think I would be super offended? No.

Nor should it – Jews aren’t trying to impose their dominance on American society. It’s a completely different situation and thus not remotely comparable. The fact that you would try to make a comparison indicates that you have no clue that the problems really are.

Anyways. That’s all I have to say. And no, I will not be back

Of course not. You wouldn’t want to take a chance of learning that you could be mistaken. It’s far better to push through in your ignorance and pretend that you already know everything.

November 28, 2012 at 2:55 am
(107) harvard says:

- – - Solstice has been with us since the beginning of the planet Earth, over 4.5 billion years ago. Because the earth tilts, we have the shortest day of the year in our part of the world around December 22. This day is called the winter Solstice, and has been a natural holiday for many tens of thousands of years. During autumn and early winter, for weeks and weeks the days get shorter, with fewer and fewer hours of sunlight.
Then . . .
On Dec 22, we hit the shortest day of the year.
After Dec 22 the days begin to lengthen, more sunlight each day. We have lived through the darkest days, and summer is on its way. This is a cause for celebration.

November 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm
(108) Austin Cline says:

Solstice has been with us since the beginning of the planet Earth, over 4.5 billion years ago. Because the earth tilts, we have the shortest day of the year in our part of the world around December 22.

Not really, because the tilt and rotation of the Earth have changed over time.

December 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm
(109) Dean J. Smith says:

I usually take greetings in the spirit in which they’re intended. If someone says Merry Christmas to me, I’ll usually say Merry Christmas back to them, especially if it’s Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. Not always. Sometimes I’ll say Happy Holidays. Sometimes I’ll say Merry Chrismahannakwanzika!

I have had the experience of saying Happy Holidays to someone and getthing a response like ‘Merry CHRISTmas!’ Someone like that may as well have said ‘screw you!’. I wasn’t making some kind of statement by saying Happy Holidays, and I don’t need to be corrected. It was good enough for Bing Crosby, I don’t get why suddenly it’s a bad thing to say…around the holidays.

December 14, 2013 at 1:20 am
(110) azmildman1 says:

I think it is high time that Christianity is reminded who they really are by being forced to concede that if one religion isn’t allowed to do something, then, NONE OF THEM SHOULD.

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