A person that I have a fair amount of respect for recently was expounding on how Christians in America are hegemonized during the holiday season. Of note to her was the fact that we are not allowed to say Merry Christmas and are instead forced to say Happy Holidays. Because of my respect for her I will post my thoughts here.
One of my favorite pet peeves is when people assume that they or people like them are the whole of America. Christians, and I am one, tend to be extremely ethnocentric. “We are the majority of Americans so we should have it our way.” I would liken this argument to one of my favorite debates and that is that the United States is not a Democracy but a Constitutional Republic. In other words, the majority does not have the power to overturn what is constitutionally afforded. So, in this case, just because most people are Christians in America that does not mean that we have the right to impose religion on others.
The other part of this rant is that I wonder what the religious leaders in this country are feeding their flocks. I have never had a problem saying Merry Christmas to anyone. I am in a leadership position and have never told the people who work for me to refrain from saying Merry Christmas. Of course if FoxNews gets a hold of a story that WalMart is telling their employees to say Happy Holidays, it is immediately construed as an attack on Christianity. In all likelihood it is a move to have a more inclusive society. Now I know that there are wingnuts out there who are so overly politically correct that they would suppress any expression of Christian centrism but I would think that they are few and far between.
My final thought is that if you feel that Christians are being marginalized in this society, can you imagine being Jewish, Muslim, or even atheist. Every religion and every society has a celebration that falls somewhere around the winter solstice. So, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, enjoy Eid and Diwali! Have a joyful Kwanzaa and, if you must, a festive Festivus! And just to be inclusive, Happy Holidays!