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The War on Christmas

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Mortal Moon, Dec 21, 2009.

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  1. Mortal Moon

    Mortal Moon Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] (Img tag doesn't work, apparently.)

    You know what? I'm one of the most godless, liberal, anti-tradition motherfuckers out there, and even I'm sick to death of people pussyfooting around such delicate issues as how to greet each other during the month of December, or what to call an indoor tree with lights on it.

    When did Christmas suddenly become such a problem for non-Christians? It's never bothered me. I love Christmas. Hardly anyone I know even thinks of it as a Christian holiday anyhow, and if you look at history, it wasn't even one to begin with. I can't even begin to comprehend the mindset of someone who becomes righteously offended at being wished a "Merry Christmas". Do these people have no lives? Aren't there some bigger issues in the world, just possibly?

    Suppose you don't do anything for Halloween. No candy, no pumpkins, no costumes, nothing. On October 31, you turn off your porch light and sit around watching TV. Suppose you're this kind of person, yes? Now, do you get deeply offended when someone, during the month of October, wishes you a "Happy Halloween"? Do you demand that businesses greet you with a hearty "Pleasant Fall Festivities!" and that Jack-o-lanterns be called Autumn Gourds? Of course not, because that's completely stupid. So why do we turn around and do this to Christmas?

    Anyway, if you couldn't tell, this whole "controversy" just rubs me the wrong way. Merry Christmas, everyone.
  2. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    I'm personally pretty close to ripping someone's head off if they wish me a merry Christmas, but that has nothing to do with political correctness... I just hate this season :p
  3. morning rush

    morning rush Well-Known Member

    I agree, people act like its a big insult when there's so much worse things in the world that's going wrong. When I was in foster care, one of the house I was in the family was jewish, when it was hannuka, and when I was home, she would light one of the candle and asked us to be there as she light it...but that was it...she didnt force her religion on us and I didnt force my religion on them...I mean I could have been a bitch and be against standing there while she lit the candle...if someone says to me happy hannukah I say it right back...there's nothing wrong at making people happy...
  4. Ordep

    Ordep Well-Known Member

    It's a matter of courtesy.

    Is the whole "Merry Christmas" versus "Happy Holidays" a big deal?


    Does it take any effort at all to be kind just say what doesn't offend people?

    Not at all.

    Say you have a friend who hates chinese food. It is a matter of politeness that you don't plan your birthday dinner at a chinise restaurant because you know it'll be displeasing to him for no reason when there are so many other choices. The same happens if you have a jewish friend who doesn't like to be wished Merry Christmas on December because of his religion. It costs you nothing to just say what he wants to hear so why not just say it? You know it presses his buttons and you'll only wish him a merry christmas if you really want to piss him off, and then you lose all your reason.

    Personally, I have a jewish friend and according to her, Hanuka (sp?) was last week so I wished her a Happy Hanuka, but on the 25th I'll wish her a merry christmas anyway, because I know she likes it. But if I knew she would feel offended, I would have the courtesy to not mention it.

    Tolerance is an important part of living in a peaceful society and quite frankly, you're picking a fight where there is none. But if you want my opinion on this, I think wishing "Merry Christmas" is like saying the USA won WWII. What about the other coutries who fought?
  5. Datura

    Datura Well-Known Member

    This is not a matter of courtesy, this is a matter of political correctness. It's a seasonal greeting, whether you take part in the celebration or not. The intent is to be friendly, and if people get offended over something so trivial, well that's they're problem.

    Whichever greeting a person chooses to use has nothing to do with being tolerant or intolerant. If anyone is being intolerant and picking a fight, it is those who get offended over trivialities.
  6. Mortal Moon

    Mortal Moon Well-Known Member

    But there's no malicious intent in wishing someone "Merry Christmas." Yes, there are people who don't celebrate Christmas, and yes, we should try to be tolerant and courteous. If I had a friend who I knew for a fact celebrated Hanukkah and not Christmas, of course I would wish them a "Happy Hanukkah" instead. What I have a problem with is when we make it a general policy to not say "Merry Christmas" to anyone, even complete strangers, for fear of causing offense.

    Again, take another holiday such as Halloween. Not everybody celebrates it, and in fact some religious groups are entirely opposed to it. Should businesses and offices therefore not put up Halloween decorations or tell customers "Happy Halloween" because it might offend someone? There has to be a line drawn somewhere, we can't just walk on eggshells all the time because some people have different traditions and become indignant when their particular tradition is not directly addressed. Those people are the intolerant ones, not the well-wishers.

    If someone came up to me and said "Happy Kwanzaa!", I would say "Thanks, you too!" and move on. I wouldn't start ranting about how I don't even know when Kwanzaa is, and how dare they not be more tolerant and respect my beliefs, etc. Because I'm sure you'll agree that that would make me a complete asshole. Ditto for "Happy Holidays!" or any other watered-down phrase like that- it just doesn't matter.

    So it's not the fact that people say "Happy Holidays" that I'm bitter about- it's their reasons for doing so, and what that ultimately says about our culture.
  7. Hache

    Hache Well-Known Member

    Christmas is about the people you love, a coming together of family. It is a season to express and feel love away from everyday life. Life is about love. All humans need to be loved. My heart goes out to all those who have no love this christmas, I hope all those with love realize it, t'is the season to be jolly and greeting someone you dont know is merely a reflection on the love you have for those you actually know.
  8. Ordep

    Ordep Well-Known Member

    My parents turn Christmas into a battle between their respective families and how much each "clan" dislikes the other. With that said, Christmas at my home is usually spent watching TV with my mother in my grandmother's house while said grandmother cooks like crazy downstairs and my father and my mother's stepfather get drunk and play cards at the local pub. And even most movies they show at this time is crap I already saw. Oh the joy... But that's not the issue at hand.

    Obviously in my original post I was thinking of the case where you know for a fact that the person doesnt celebrate Christmas and will dislike the "merry christmas" wishes. If you still choose to say because "why not" then you're being intolerant no matter how you look at it.

    On the other hand, if a complete stranger or someone who you never wished anything gets annoyed or pissed that you wished him a merry christmas, than he is obviously out of order.

    This is fairly simple with individuals but when we go to companies, it's a completely different matter. Econometrics and marketing doctrines dictate that they must please as many people as possible in every aspects, and that also means season greetings so yeah, they have to walk on eggshells.

    The issue of wishing a merry christmas or happy holidays is actually a very relevant one. In a more rural community or small coutryside town were most people are christians, a merry christmas sign in the store's glass will usually have a good acceptance by the local population, while a store placed in a more cosmopolitan city where many different cultures mix tends to go the safe route and place Happy Holidays instead. You may say this is pointless and stupid, but in the end, stores only want profit and will do anything to get as much as they can.

    But believe me, as far as walking on eggshells in order to avoid offending the customers goes, this is absolutely nothing. Last Summer I had an internship in a clothes/fashion store (Zara) as an assistant manager and the backstage details just blew my mind. First thing they got me to do was get my hair fixed and put me in a really good looking outfit, also I was supposed to rest 8 hours a day, no assistant manager may look tired.

    But that was the expected part. What I wasn't expecting was to actually have to be an asshole and control what the girls from the store wore in order to make sure no one would wear anything the costumers could find "displeasing" (and I dont mean provoking stuff. Casual and sporty clothing is displeasing enough, piercings are a no-no). It actually came to the point where the manager pulled crap on a girl for folding a shirt while looking at it (in order to look professional, employees must fold clothes without looking at what they're doing) and instructed me to tell this girl she had to lose weight (she was really fit and preety so I had to tell her in a "I'm just relaying a message and I don't agree" way).

    Why all this you ask... because they believe that if a costumer is even slightly displeased with the helpful employee, the costumer won't come back... Does that make any sense? Well, right now it doesn't but maybe once I finish my course and start managing for real I'll understand.
  9. Mortal Moon

    Mortal Moon Well-Known Member

    I can dig all that- business is business, and I can't fault them for protecting their bottom line. I guess what drives me up a wall is the thought process that says, "People might be offended by what I say even if I'm saying something completely benign and inconsequential- but instead of telling them they should chill out and not be so easily offended, I'm just going to capitulate and change my speech patterns for no good reason."

    It's the principle of the thing, more than anything else.
  10. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    I agree with you Fourth, but I also remember that people have the right to feel however they want and take offense with anything they choose to. On some level I understand, because Christmas is the most significant time of the year, and people want it there way not the way of the people. It's all well and good if you are of a different belief system and celebrate a different holiday, to them they would be feeling that Christmas is being forced down their throats.

    But to just take offense for seemingly no reason, I don't see the motivation behind it. I think people take offense with things too much these days, which is a shame because some of it isn't worth getting bent out of shape about, but when it's about something significant, even emotional, like Christmas, it doesn't surprise me. Sad as it is, it isn't going to stop because people don't like it, and yes maybe it is intolerant, but still understandable given the saturation of Christmas which is everywhere. In Australia, they have been talking about Christmas since early November, and I am sick of hearing about it. Still, if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays I will smile and thank them, because they are being nice and in no way vindictive. If it was to someone who didn't celebrate the holiday then they should disagree, silently perhaps, but they shouldn't take offense. That is just absurd in my opinion.

    All this division in the world saddens me, people have forgotten that we are all in the same boat, and that we aren't all that different from each other. I think the idea of diversity is worsening the problem, as if being black or Christian or college educated defines who you are as a person or something. We need to get past the little differences and look at the similarities, and enjoy this holiday period as good fun and family togetherness, and to not find fault with it, or the people that celebrate it.
  11. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    My dad just sent me a "non-denominational winter greeting card" :p
  12. Mortal Moon

    Mortal Moon Well-Known Member


    Mm-hmm. One explanation I've often heard for the relatively high crime rate in America compared to the rest of the industrialized world is that we're too culturally diverse. By contrast, if you look at countries which are more-or-less comprised of a single ethnicity and culture (Japan, much of Europe, etc.) the violent crime rate is minuscule. I like being part of the "melting pot" and all that, but there's no doubt that it has its dark side. In the long run, the so-called "Christmas controversy" is a pretty trivial thing, but I think it largely has the same cause.
  13. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    I received this email from a friend as a season's greeting. I think it about says and covers it all.

    TO MY FRIENDS,,,,,,,,

    Holiday Greeting to Everyone

    Merry Christmas or should I say best wishes for a celebration of the
    winter solistice holiday.

    Holiday Greeting to Everyone

    I wanted to send some sort of holiday greeting to my friends, but it is
    so difficult in today's world to know exactly what to say without
    offending someone. So I met with my attorney yesterday, and on his
    advice I wish to say the following:

    Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes
    for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress,
    nonaddictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday,
    practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or
    secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious/secular
    persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice
    religious or secular traditions at all.

    I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and
    medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally
    accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the
    calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society
    have helped make our country great (not to imply that CANADA / USA is
    necessarily greater than any other countrys) and without regard to the
    race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual
    preference of the wishee.

    By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms:

    This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal.
    It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original

    It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of
    wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law,
    and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.

    This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual
    application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the
    issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and
    warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new
    wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

    Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the sending of this
    message; however, a significant number of electrons were slightly

    MERRY CHRISTMAS.........
  14. Mortal Moon

    Mortal Moon Well-Known Member


    That is downright brilliant. :rofl: Let's hope it never gets to that point.
  15. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    well with all the new "rules" of the season I personally think bah humbug is most appropriate and doesnt offend anyone :dry: So happy bah humbug!!! (lol).
  16. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    FourthDerivative, the violent crime rate is far lower in Canada than the US, with both being ethnically diverse, and we're only a short distance away. There's something quite unique to your country causing it.

    Two things jump out at me: a cultural acceptance of violence and easy access to guns. Throughout the history of the US, wars and various forms of conflict are quite common, and it's embedded in your constitution. Further, it's a lot harder to do anything without the proper tools, and guns are the tools of violence.

    Second edit: Oh, another thing that might be is that there's less mitigation of poverty in the US than any other developed country. Canada, Japan, and western Europe have pretty good welfare systems in place.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2009
  17. itmahanh

    itmahanh Senior Member & Antiquities Friend

    Someone saying "Merry Christmas" or "Season's greetings" doesnt offend me. But if someone were to say "shove your Christmas up your a**", then I'd be offended. But yet again, it is there right to believe what they want about Christmas as is mine.

    I think the real problem is that being politically correct has now taken away the people's right to free speech and to all men and women being created equal. It's bullshit and people have to start taking their rights back. Since when has Christmas become about politics anyway? Is it not about celebration, family and at the very bare ball basics, time off work for a day? All this worry about who you might offend, the proper protocol and what is and isnt acceptable about the holidays only takes away the real reason for the season. It is replaced with stress and anxiety that for even the strongest of belief and faith cant stop their heads from spinning. Merry Fricking Christmas everyone!!!!
  18. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

  19. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Most people that say happy holidays aren't doing so in some intentional, dastardly way of destorying the meaning of Christmas. It's either because we live in a plural society full of different, non-Christian holidiays that people seek to respect, or simply due to the colloqiualism of spoken vernacular.

    Similarly, someone wishing you a Merry Christmas isn't usually out to impose their beliefs. They're just wishing you well on a holiday they either religiously believe in, or simply associate more with the season in general.

    Heck, nowadays a lot of people just say both!
  20. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    The issues with "Happy Holidays" are ridiculous. "Merry Christmas" only appeals to people who celebrate one holiday. The whole issue with the "War on Christmas" is that it's nothing but one giant persecution complex perpetuated by fundamentalist Christians who feel slighted because their holiday isn't dominating the festivities during the Winter season. If you think simply the elimination of "Happy Holidays" from our speech is enough to satisfy these people, take a look at the "front lines" of this "war".

    Oh, and thanks for the link, aoeu, which further drives the above article home. According to your link, the GAP has been rated 80% offensive. According to the comments, the #1 reason for the negative ratings? The "extremely offensive" commercial.

    Now go ahead and take a look at the general fundie disdain surrounding anything Winter season that isn't Christmas and it becomes evident that there is no "war", just a Christian campaign to demand that everybody accept that Christmas, and only Christmas, is the reason for the season.

    Simply saying "Merry Christmas" like we're "supposed" to will probably make some people happy, but not the fundies who won't rest until the government itself acknowledges Christmas as the only official Winter holiday and atheists are forced to hide away in shame until the season is over.
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