A friend at college today asked me if I’d heard about the idea proposed that we can’t say ‘Happy Christmas’ anymore because it could be seen as offensive to non-Christians. No I hadn’t heard about that. This doesn’t appear to have been in the news, only speculated, but even so I was shocked.
Apparently the phrase ‘Happy Christmas’ should be switched for ‘Happy Holidays’. Well now, many people I know already say that, and I have absolutely no problem with them doing so. If non-Christians celebrate in other ways and prefer to call it something different, then it is in no way offensive for me to hear them saying ‘Happy Holidays’. In the same way, I respect Hanukkah as a Jewish festival, and most certainly would not ask them to say ‘Happy Candle Day’. Utterly ridiculous!
What would be wrong, is stopping people from expressing their religion (or lack thereof), in respectful, non-harming, loving ways. If a Christian were to say that it was wrong for a non-Christian to celebrate a ‘happy holiday’ on December 25th, then that would be antagonistic and wrong. There is no problem with people using that day to come together with their family and eat a meal and share gifts and not go to Church, if that is what they believe in. It would therefore also be wrong for a non-Christian to tell a Christian that they could not celebrate a ‘happy Christmas’, especially considering that the celebration of Christmas, is, and will always be, a religious festival, not plainly of consumerist excess. Political correctness gone mad.
We have far bigger things to be concerned with than someone smiling and saying ‘Happy Christmas’. What about the poor shouting ‘Help us or we’ll die’, and the gay in Africa and for that matter any non-Christian (or liberal Christian) being called ‘evil’ and ‘satanic’ by fundamentalist aggression? Whoever came up with the idea of banning the public usage of the phrase ‘Happy Christmas’, get a grip.
As Advent draws nearer, I’ll wish a Happy Christmas to all! As we celebrate Christ’s birth, we celebrate the beautiful life which brought hope, brought a vision of peace and love for all humanity. Maggi Dawn’s Beginnings and Endings comes back to me again and again:
It means that God, whom we traditionally think of as all-powerful, becomes a powerless child who would rather relinquish his power than live in splendid isolation from those whom he loves. And ultimately, the meaning of Christmas is that God loves us so much, he cannot bear to live without us: a formula that takes a few seconds to say but suggests a depth of love that takes a lifetime to understand.
I’ll write more tomorrow. I want to talk about consumerism…