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10/15/2008

Haul out the anti-'Happy Holidays' holly

by Jeremy Hooper

Is it just us, or does the "War on Christmas" season begin earlier and earlier every year?

Picture 19-35

Whoa, it doesn't even feel like time to put out "Halloween is an evil pagan celebration" decorations yet, and yet they're already talking about focusing the December holidays solely on one faith? Geez, AFA -- at this rate you'll be burning up (just like the Hannukah candle that many American consumers light each December) before we even reach Thanksgiving dinner! The same Thanksgiving, incidentally, from which countless gay people will be disinvited, thanks to the propagation of anti-gay rhetoric by groups like your own.

The holidays are such a magically contentious time!

“It’s OK to say Merry Christmas” [AFA]

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Your thoughts

Christians can also take a stand and proclaim to their communities that saying "happy holidays" or "seasons greetings" is not a slam on them or a threat to Christ. It is rather a way to give good wishes in a manner that is considerate to all people. Something I am sure Christ gives his full approval to.

Posted by: Steve - Geneva, IL | Oct 15, 2008 7:44:01 PM

Christians have no sense of history, or more properly, they have a grand tradition of rewriting history to suit themselves. They blatantly lie when they suggest that the merry band of Diests who founded this country were all Christians. As much as they would like to believe that they were all Baptists, they weren't. The modern evangelical movement started about 125 years ago, and the very earliest break from the Catholic Church by the Lutherans wasn't until the late 16th century.

And, those Pilgrims! They landed on Plymouth Rock because they were running out of Beer! They started growing crops specifically for the purpose of making more beer! Everything that came after that is mostly incidental.

But, the Christians long tradition of rewriting history now ignores the fact that the earliest December 25 celebrations of Winter Solstice actually were dedicated to the Son of Isis (goddess of Nature), and they even mirrored the current tradition of gluttonous eating and drinking with gift giving.

Christians usurped the winter solstice celebration and called it Christmas as a way to appeal to pagans by ensuring them that they wouldn't have to give up all of their traditions. I think it is perfectly fitting that the rest of the world is now rightfully reclaiming the tradition and turning it back into a much more inclusive event.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Oct 15, 2008 8:51:09 PM

Oh no! I am in turmoil. I find myself agreeing with these people! I am not a Christian at all but I think Happy Christmas really no longer refers to the birth of Christ for many people but merely to a time of year. So people who are actively offended by 'Happy Christmas' should really get a life in my opinion. Fine if you prefer to use something else instead but to make a big point about being offended if others use it? We have to accept that many (most?) Western countries were founded on Christian beliefs, hence Happy Christmas.

I bet the people who are offended by Happy Christmas and happy Easter are not offended by the fact that they get time off work on those days.

I am now off to wash my brains out for having a thought in common with nutcases like this, even if the basis of my agreement has nothing to do with loving Christ. Ugh!

Posted by: Dutchcloggie | Oct 16, 2008 4:54:57 AM

Is there ANYTHING these people aren't paranoid over? Do they feel the holiday less belongs to them, if people aren't saying "Merry Christmas"?

How's about be happy whether somebody tells you "Happy Holidays", "Merry Christmas", "Feliz Navidad", "Season's Greetings", or "Go Fuck Yourself with a Christmas Tree" - it's all the same.

Posted by: Scott | Oct 16, 2008 5:40:55 AM

I'm convinced that this is a way to steer some of that holiday cash to the collection plates of fear-based charities.

There is no attack on Christmas. Far from it. Here's an example.

Let's say that a store long ago put up a sign that said "white women welcome!" And that over the years they rolled with changing minds and attitudes and now put up a sign that says "Everyone Welcome". Some white women might say, "I'm a white woman, I want to be welcomed as a white woman!" They might even say "they're trying to de-feminize their welcome!" And what many fundamentalists white women end up saying is "This is an attack on women! If your company doesn't want to welcome women, then we won't spend money there, you misogynistic bastards!"

Now, just replace "white women welcome" with "Merry Christmas" and "white women" with Christians, and "Everyone Welcome" with "Happy Holidays" and you'll see my point.

"Merry Christmas" is not an insult, and we all know that. However between now and February we have Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Winter Solstice, Samhain, Imbolic, Dong Zhi, Eid ul Adha, Sadeh, Saturnalia, New Years, Thanksgiving, and even Festivus. "Happy Holidays" is not a sanitary way of saying "Merry Christmas" it's a lazy way of saying "Whatever Holiday(s) you celebrate, I hope it is(they are) happy." Even if you don't know about all those special holidays, "Happy Holidays" stuff goes up around Thanksgiving and doesn't come down until after New Years, so at the very least it covers those mainstream ones.

But like any nearsighted and anglo-centric person, they don't know these other holidays exist, and the ones they do know about they don't think anyone *really* celebrates them. And those who do know about the other holiday are *sigh* mostly pissed off because they don't get their white, straight, christian priveleges anymore. "waaaaaah, I want things to stay the same, where mainstream society caters to me and validates me at every turn, telling me I'm normal and part of the ruling class, WAAAAH"

Posted by: Jason D | Oct 16, 2008 12:53:03 PM

I wonder what these religious extremists would do if they ever found out that Xmas is a Pagan Holiday.

Posted by: libhomo | Oct 16, 2008 8:07:39 PM

For most of my life I've lived within a couple of miles of a Baptist church, an Episcopal church, a Unitarian church, a mosque (Beautiful architecture!), two Buddhist temples and a handful of synagogues. Sending neighbors holiday cards instead of Christmas cards is something people around here do without even thinking about it. I guess if you live in a place where folks go to either the Baptist church on the west side of town or the Baptist church on the east side of town, saying anything other than "Merry Christmas" must seem hopelessly strange. I can't even imagine living like that.

JasonD: Your assessment is a morsel of flawless sagacity.

Posted by: luthorvondoom | Oct 17, 2008 1:06:12 AM

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