Sunday, December 1, 2013

Rant: I Don't Care What Greeting You Use (Irksome FB Post of the Week)

I have been seeing this one all too often now that Christmas is approaching.

My original reaction to this was to post a "Happy Holidays" status every time I saw one of these memes.  I decided to do something slightly more mature and make a somewhat rational blog post about it.

I'll start by asking a simple question.  Why do you feel a need to say this?

It's Merry Christmas to you.  Let me repeat that.  It's Merry Christmas to you.

To you.

That's just fine with me.  You can say whatever you want to say.  If Christmas is your holiday and it's the only holiday you want to celebrate, there is nothing wrong with you celebrating it.

My question is why do you feel the need to enforce your holiday on everyone else?

I have made posts in the pasts about why it can be uncomfortable and not always feel like a greeting of good cheer when someone gives you a greeting about a holiday you don't celebrate.   It sometimes seems to be that some Christians want to be deliberately provocative.  They want to offend.  This constant in-your-face enforcement of Christmas almost seems like a form of bullying.  You're screaming it from the soapbox.  "Look at me!  I only say Merry Christmas and you had better do the same."

Why do you care so much?  No one is taking away your right to celebrate Christmas whenever they say Happy Holidays to you.  The truth is that when you start making it about Christmas and only about Christmas, it makes it seems as if you are the ones trying to enforce Christmas on others whether they want it or not.  You think your religion is better than anyone else's - and it's perfectly fine if you feel that way- but you need to accept that not everyone agrees with you.  It is really funny that you believe that everyone else should never be offended if you say "Merry Christmas", but you have every right to be offended if someone says "Happy Holidays".

I have to wonder what the whole point is of making a big deal over saying, "Merry Christmas."  Do you think it makes you a better Christian?  Do you think it makes you a better person?

Sometimes I see these "I only say Merry Christmas" posts and what I read into it is, "Look at me!  I say 'Merry Christmas'.  I'm such a good Christian.  I am so much better than you are.  I am awesome.  I am superior.  I am amazing because I don't cave to political correctness.  I am amazing because I'm standing up for my beliefs.  Woo hoo!  Look at me.  I'm holy.  I'M BETTER THAN YOU."

Sorry.  It doesn't work that way.  Posting Christmas memes doesn't make you a better person, a better Christian, or somehow intellectually superior because you're not caving to political correctness  It just makes you a braggart about something that really is no one's business but your own.

It seems to me that this constant bragging about saying "Merry Christmas" goes against everything Jesus taught about love, respect, and humility.  Christmas is, after all, just a Christianizing of pagan solstice celebrations by giving Jesus a fake birthday.  The Jesus of the Bible probably wouldn't be all that keen on the whole celebration.

I really do wonder if fear is a part of the whole equation.  I suppose in a world where diversity is becoming more common and an increasing number of Americans are claiming no religious affiliation, it must feel scary to be a Christian.  You are afraid your religion is going to disappear.  You don't want to be surrounded by people who don't agree with you religiously.  Besides, Christians have not always been kind to non-Christians.  What would happen if Christianity becomes a minority religion?  Perhaps it' time to stop worrying about others' religion and worry about your own faith. Most non-Christians whether they are "Nones" or simply a different religion, would just like to be left alone and not feel pressured to celebrate the Christmas spirit, or be ridiculed for celebrating Christmas as a secular holiday.

Is part of this crazy hoopla have to do with conversion?  Do Christians believe that by enforcing a Merry Christmas standard that it will somehow draw more people to the faith?  I say to anyone who thinks that will happen, that nothing turns off "Nones" and non-Christians more than stuff like this. 

 Let me say this one more time.  (I know I pulled this off a previous blog post) 

When others wish you "Happy Holidays", they are not doing so because they hate you.

When others wish you "Happy Holidays", they are not deliberately disrespecting your religion.

When others wish you "Happy Holidays", they are not telling you that you personally can't celebrate Christmas.

When others wish you "Happy Holidays", they are not trying to outlaw your religion.

Chances are saying, "Happy Holidays" is just their way of showing respect.  If they don't know someone's religious observances, they aren't going to assume what those beliefs are and thus give you a generic wish of good will. 

If a business hangs a "Happy Holidays" sign in the window, it's likely because the owners want to be inclusive and make money off of all customers.  It's also more cost effective to hang a single sign that says, "Happy Holidays" than it is to hang a sign that says, "Happy Thanksgiving," a sign that says, "Merry Christmas," a sign that says, "Happy Hanukkah," and a sign that says, "Happy New Year." 

Why is this so hard to understand?  "Happy Holidays" isn't hate speech.  It's a way to be inclusive. 

Now please if your religion truly means that much to you, please stop following the gospel of Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh and actually follow the gospel of Jesus.

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