A Special Holiday "Public Announcements"
***ATTENTION, PEOPLE WHO ACT LIKE THERE'S A "WAR ON CHRISTMAS" AND FEEL RELIGIOUSLY PERSECUTED BY THE PHRASE "HAPPY HOLIDAYS"!***
I have a special request for you:
Stop. Please. Just stop.
Every year around this time it seems like some of my fellow Christians engage in the same ritual Annual Mass Persecution Complex. They believe that, just because some stores, businesses, and people are throwing around the phrase "Happy Holidays" (or even the abbreviated "Merry X-Mas"), that their rights to express their love of Christmas, and by extension their religion, are being increasingly curtailed.
Every year it's the same litany of complaints: "We 're not allowed to say 'Merry Christmas' because it's not 'politically correct'! We have to say 'Happy Holidays' now!" "Our school can't have a Christmas tree; we have to have a "holiday tree!" And the ever-popular "There's a war on Christmas!"
It's a belief that gets reinforced by the likes of Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and various Jessica-Simpson-lookalike Fox News anchors.
And it's also complete bullshit.
First of all, the idea that kids aren't allowed to celebrate Christmas in school couldn't be further from the truth. Take it from a guy whose schoolteacher wife has spent the last week busting her ass getting things ready for her class's Christmas party this Friday, after which we're spending the evening at a faculty Christmas party. Not exactly the anti-Christmas sentiment Fox News depicts.
Second, the whole point of saying "Happy Holidays" is that there really are multiple holidays during the time frame. For starters, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day follow Christmas Eve and Christmas Day one week later. Also, and here's the important part, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Some celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, for example, depending on their religious beliefs. The whole damn point of saying "Happy Holidays" is not to exclude Christians, but to include both them and everybody else.
But the "War On Christmas" believers don't get that. To hear these people talk, you'd think Christians were some kind of persecuted minority group, as opposed to the dominant freaking religion in America. They act like hearing "Happy Holidays" is the same as getting thrown to the lions. They see the inclusion of other groups as the oppression of theirs.
If you're one of these folks, I have one thing to say to you:
Try sitting through the 2008 presidential election cycle where mere alleged membership in your religion is deemed a disqualifier for the presidency by much of the general public.
Try having had only two members of any of the United States government's three branches with your faith. Ever.
Try being one of those Muslim Congressmen having to witness their fellow House member, Peter King, launch a committee putting your entire faith on trial and claiming it's been "radicalized". (Hint: you'd likely react the way Rep. Keith Ellison did.)