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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Goddamn Christmas and Happy Fucking Holidays 

If you've been looking at the news for the past month, surely you've noticed the "Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays" debate that has suddenly crawled out of the sewers this season to consume the unsuspecting populace, much like the Blob. And if you're anything like me, you're probably quite perplexed by it.

It goes something like this: Although people have been saying both "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" interchangeably for as long as anyone can remember, suddenly this year some people decided that it should not be so. Although many people blame the politically correct "Happy Holidays" crowd, I place the blame more on the "Merry Christmas" end.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend that I (for lack of a better name) have dubbed "The Belligerent Christian Movement". These people see approximately two points of view - Christian and atheist - and think that the latter is "out to get" the former and wipe it completely off the face of the planet. They're in a constant struggle to force their religious views onto everyone else, and when denied the opportunity are quick to create a false dilemma, somehow coming to the conclusion that U.S. courts are "hostile" towards religion and are keeping them from keeping their own religious views. These are the people I solely blame. They believe that the ultra-PC crowd wants to take their holiday away from them, and they also frequently labor under the misapphresion that Christmas is the only holiday this time of year.

Earlier I was reading an article in the online Kinston Free Press (a North Carolina paper) which contained a quote from a local minister by the name of the reverend Chuck Lyons: "Happy holidays is kind of humorous to say anyway...What is the holiday they're celebrating? It's Christmas."

Really? So I guess the Jews, they're celebrating Christmas, too? The New Age religions? What about the Muslims? Every group I just named has its own holiday this time of year: Hanukkah, Solstice, and Ramadan, respectively. Hence, "Happy Holidays". Plural. With an "S".

"Merry Christmas" is not necessarily an offensive phrase to anyone, although it could be considered exclusionary. Saying something like "Merry Christmas" to someone you don't even know is to presume you know what their religion is, which is somewhat rude. But then one also has to consider that Christmas is to many basically a secularized holiday. This is why the phrase never bothered me - before.

One has to stop and consider...why would some of the water into wine crowd be so offended by "Happy Holidays"? After all, that phrase includes their beloved Christmas. It's simply wishing well on whatever holiday they celebrate. But it seems the aggressive evangelists aren't content in being included in the holiday season, they want complete ownership of it.

This is why the phrase "Merry Christmas" bothers me now. Every time I hear it now, I've begun to hear a slight towards non-Christians. I don't acknowledge the phrase when it's spoken to me (unless if feel the person truly means it), and I certainly will not return it.

As for me, I just say "Have a Nice Day". It works all year, and nobody is bothered by it.

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