Incorrect, insensitive season’s wishes

Dave Richardson's picture

Warning: I am about to say something very offensive. You should either stop reading now or get ready to be outraged. But I am going to do it anyway, so here it comes:

Merry Christmas!!

I do not wish you “Happy Holidays,” (Happy Holy Days ... hmm ... mmm ... maybe I ought to reconsider the offensive value of that phrase, too), but I want you to have a very, merry Christmas.

There ... I said it. Are you ready to call the Sheriff’s Office to come get me? This one word — Christmas — seems to have the power to irritate, enrage, revile, and repulse more people than any other. It is more powerful than fire to Frankenstein’s monster, a silver bullet to a werewolf, or a crucifix to a vampire.

Why do apparently so many people refuse to say that hateful word? Why does any mention of that dreadful day seem to be slinking for the shadows like a shameful expression of some bygone bigotry?

We are told that because it is religious, we must expunge every vestige of Christmas from our public life. School children can’t sing Christmas carols any more, and they no longer have a Christmas holiday. It is now a semester break.

The management of some senior apartments in Newhall, Calif., has banned menorahs and a Christmas tree from the complex common area. Rhode Island governor, Lincoln Chafee, recently declared the big evergreen tree in his capitol rotunda is a “holiday tree,” not a Christmas tree.

Never mind that Christmas has been approved as a legal national holiday since President Grant. The logic is the government is not allowed to promote anything religious.

Even a church in Little Rock, Ark., canceled its production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” after local public elementary schools refused to take their students to matinee performances. The religious connotation in the play could be inappropriate, harmful, or offensive.

Now that I have you thoroughly infuriated, I want you to calm down and engage your brain for a second.

We are told the reason for purging Christmas from the public square is that it is religious, and the government is not allowed to promote religion. I am here to tell you unequivocally that is a lie.

The government promotes religion every day! They can’t help it. They can’t not do it. No one can. Every business, every government, and, yes, every school, EVERY DAY teaches and promotes religion. It’s just not CHRISTIAN religion.

Well, if it’s not Christian religion, then what is it? It goes by many names like secularism, atheism, naturalism, humanism, and materialism. This religion’s basic doctrines are these:

There is no God. All there is is the natural, material world which came into being by natural laws. The world is run by random interactions of matter and energy which produce complex organization and complex organisms.

When I die, I cease to exist, and one day the whole universe will stop because all usable energy will be gone. Humans are highly evolved animals who can create knowledge themselves.

We decide who is valuable and who is not. We decide what is right and what is not. We, therefore, are all naturally good because we follow our own moral standards.

Since we are all good, then the basic problem with human society can’t be that we are bad. It must be inequality.

None of these beliefs are really scientific, but are, in fact, metaphysical and religious. No, there is no deity (except ourselves). There is no place of worship (except in front of a full-length mirror).

Yet, these basic doctrines comprise the official religion of today’s government, media, law, and education. They are accepted with as much faith as the Christian religion. They are promoted by journalists, teachers, and lawyers with the surety and fervor of an evangelist.

When these secular clergy assert that public institutions cannot promote religion, what they are REALLY saying is they want to be free to promote their religion with no competition!

It is time for us to say, “Enough!” There is no religion-free government, school, or business. If you want to bow to Mecca in the courthouse square, then you should be free to do so. You should be able to put up a menorah or a nativity WITH public dollars.

Don’t tell me we can’t promote a religion with public funds. We do it every day.

I don’t hate anyone. I’m just tired of secular missionaries shoving their religion down my throat. The alternative is not religious neutrality. That can’t be done. A religion is always promoted, so let’s just admit it.

What is really in danger is our freedom to believe, follow, and promote the religion we choose.

So again, I say (while I still can) “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and all your family!”

I wholeheartedly celebrate that Jesus, the Savior of all mankind, was born (even if it wasn’t really on Dec. 25). The God who made us loved us all so much that He became a man. He lived with us and died for us that we may live forever with Him if we want to.

[David Richardson of Peachtree City is the executive director of The Assumptions Project. He has a master’s degree from Oxford University, and is a university consultant in education and culture. He is a recognized expert on the religious attitudes and beliefs of university professors. He, his wife and children have lived in Fayette County for over 22 years.]

Larry Sussberg
Larry Sussberg's picture
Joined: 02/12/2009
Dave Richardson & Happy Holidays

Mr. Richardson

Did you know that in the month of December, Buddhists celebrate Bodhi, Muslims celebrate Ashura and Jews celebrate Hanukkah....3 different religions, celebrating 3 different religious holidays.

So, maybe, as we criticize people for saying "Happy Holidays" as being "politically correct" and/or assuming they are trying to take "Christ out of Christmas", they might actually be "religious correct" in accepting that others worship God in different ways.

So, in that spirit, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Bodhi and a Peaceful Ashura.

As I celebrate Hanukkah, God's miracle of the oil to keep the eternal light burning at the temple, I wish you a Merry Christmas.

birdman's picture
Joined: 10/28/2005
Happy Holidays Y'all

Come on... REALLY!? Dave Richardson and most of you have it all wrong. NO ONE is saying YOU can't wish someone a Merry Christmas. NO ONE is trying to take "Christ out of Christmas." The only people getting upset and angry are... go figure...."Christians." I have never, ever seen a post, letter, blog, poster, or comment that says "If you wish me Merry Christmas, I won't shop in your store." Every year... EVERY year there are posts, letters, blogs, posters, and comments saying (or some deriviative) "If you don't wish me Merry Christmas, I won't shop in your store." It's the "loving, tolerant, forgiving Christians" who are always hateful, intolerant, and unforgiving. Just read S. Lindsay's post.
So get a grip. If you want to bow east to Mecca on public land, go ahead, do so. If you want to fall on your knees and pray on public land, go ahead, do so. Just don't ask me to pay for it with my tax dollars. You, especially Christians, have never had your right to worship ever interfered with. However when the Mosque in Fayetteville was opened there were many "Christians" in this blog and the Citizen calling for it's elimination. So here is some "Christmas History" for you directly from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

"Christmas has its origin in two ancient pagan festivals, the great Yule-feast of the Norsemen and the Roman Saturnalia. Extending from Advent, which begins on 30 November or the Sunday nearest to it, to Candlemas Day on 2 February, it was close enough to the winter solstice to acquire many of the associations of the Norse ceremony: the Yule-log, the evergreen decorations in houses and churches, even the Christmas feast itself. These elements were combined with the Saturnalia of the Romans to provide the basis for the early Christian festival.
"During the Saturnalia, gifts were made by the wealthy to the poor in honour of the golden age of liberty when Saturn ruled the known world, and slaves were allowed to change places and clothing with their masters. They even elected their own mock king who, for the period of the festival, ruled as a despot. The Saturnalia involved the wildest debauchery, and was a festival worthy of Pan himself.
"Naturally it came under heavy censure from the early Church and despite the fact that Jesus Christ and the saints gradually replaced the pagan deities it was long considered completely out of character with the Christian ideal. However, the festival was far too strongly entrenched in popular favour to be abolished, and the [Catholic] Church finally granted the necessary recognition, believing that if Christmas could not be suppressed it should be preserved in honour of the Christian God" (1995, Vol. 3, p. 418)."

By the way, notice the yule log, evergreen trees being decorated in houses and churches, gift exchange, the Christmas feast, were all derived from these Pagan celebrations. So I guess, if you celebrate Christmas with a tree, gift exchange, decorating your house, lighting yule-logs, and a Christmas feast, you are really celebrating Pagan traditions. So ...... Happy Saturnalia. Happy Yule Feast of the Norseman. Or maybe "Happy Holidays" is more appropriate. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey's picture
Joined: 12/31/2008
You're offended? Couldn't care less...

MERRY CHRISTMAS.. don't like my CHRIST mas tree too bad. Suck it up put you big girl atheist panties on and go sit in a corner for all I care. I won't bother you... you don't want to bother me.. believe me.

Hows that for Politically Incorrect insensitive comments....

RKS's picture
Joined: 07/23/2009
Lindsey - that's the Xmas Spirit
S. Lindsey wrote:

MERRY CHRISTMAS.. don't like my CHRIST mas tree too bad. Suck it up put you big girl atheist panties on and go sit in a corner for all I care. I won't bother you... you don't want to bother me.. believe me.

Hows that for Politically Incorrect insensitive comments....

Yep, that's the Christmas spirit and that's exactly how Jesus would react. Spread some more of that good Christian love, will ya?

S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey's picture
Joined: 12/31/2008
Ok RKS..I won't lower my standards... up yours.

And have a Merry Christmas.

btw-Never claimed to be Christ-Like there RKS..

RKS's picture
Joined: 07/23/2009
Happy Holidays, S. Lindsey
S. Lindsey wrote: up yours.

And have a Merry Christmas.

btw-Never claimed to be Christ-Like there RKS..

Merry Christmas back atcha, you happy fella!

Shareholder's picture
Joined: 04/25/2012

Let's call it what it is. Maintaining one religion as superior to all other beliefs and advocating that superiority with public funds. The fact is that those who were offended, overlooked or left out were not well enough connected in the past century to call the advocates out on it. Now they are and will continue to band together.

my_choice's picture
Joined: 04/17/2012
My personal opinion is that

My personal opinion is that you can believe whatever you want, just don't expect me to believe it. If my tax dollars pay for a nativity, I am being forced to pay for something I don't believe in.

And I'm sorry, but I don't believe that not believing in something constitutes a religion either. At the end of the day, id we are in such a debt crisis, why are we wasting money on nativity scenes, ten commandments monuments and all that other crap?

I personally don't believe in any religion, but if you do, that's great for you. Just don't expect me to be complicit by agreeing to have all that religious crap shoved in my face and come out of my tax dollars.

Davids mom
Davids mom's picture
Joined: 10/30/2005
Merry Christmas !

No one's tax dollars pays for my expressing my joy at this season. Happy New Year, Sorry if anyone is offended - but I think it's called 'freedom of speech'.

RKS's picture
Joined: 07/23/2009
Merry Christmas

I think all this media attention about people being offended is a bunch of crap. I have been saying it and have been hearing people say it for a good week and I haven't run into a single person yet who was offended.

pandora's picture
Joined: 11/16/2005
Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings

Oh, joy. We get to have our own, localized diatribe from one suffering from persecution syndrome about the mythical "War on Christmas." How originally quaint.

Here's the thing. I celebrate Christmas. And Thanksgiving. And New Years. I may wish someone whom I know celebrates Christmas a Merry Christmas, depending on my mood. But with the aforementioned string of holidays, Happy Holidays covers the spectrum this time of year. It also covers the seasonal holidays celebrated by those of other faiths, which is especially nice when I'm trying to convey a pleasant greeting upon someone whose faith I don't know. No matter what the words are, and now matter wo is saying them, they are meant to convey a wish of happiness and joy to the person receiving the greeting. So sorry that offends your "Christian" sensibilities.

I'm personally not offended if someone wishes me a Happy Hannukah, Wonderful Kwanza, an Advantageous Ashura, or a Salubrious Solstice, even though I don't celebrate those holidays. I take it in the spirit given. Same thing with Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays. The horror.

It's sad that good wishes are taken as an insult because they weren't cloaked in your terms. And it is a weak faith that must have the constant visual reminders everywhere to justify belief. Because, without someone saying Merry Christmas to me or seeing a nativity and Christmas tree on the courthouse lawn, there's no other way I could possibly realize what time of year it is, right?

Tell you what, save the martyr act for when the country starts passing laws about how you pray in your own home, or when you face death for attending your chosen church. Till then, just try to appreciate that people are trying to be kind, rather than wishing you a Dismal December.

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