Sunday, December 04, 2005

My Final Word on Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

This is my last comment on this subject, I promise, because I think it's just such a non-issue.

The "controversy" over Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays.


I ran across quite a debate on the issue at a blog I read now and then, As Always... Rachael. She brings up some very good points regarding, who gives a flying crap about the "controversy" anyway?

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanza or WHATEVER.... I don't see how ANYONE, Christian (which I am, born-again Southern Baptist) or not, can take offense at a greeting given in good will during a celebratory time of the year.

It's like someone telling me "Have a great day", the me telling them, "F-off!". It just doesn't add up.

To me, this is ALL much adieu about nothing. I think this "controversy" is a fabricated straw-man designed to raise TV ratings. I love Fox News, but I think Bill O'Reilly and company are among the worst controversy mongers on TV. It seems like it's all done to give a very, very small number of people who have an agenda something to get up yell about from atop their soap box. Or sell cars during commercials.

Let's get real folks, and think about the issue.

Atheists don't believe in God. For them, God is a fable, a lie, a non-existent non-entity that does not exist. So, if God doesn't exist, then God is no threat. "Merry Christmas" should be considered the gentle greetings of addle-minded folks who misguidedly believe in some mythical higher power. How an atheist can get upset over someone who believes in something that does not exist, then wishing them good cheer in the name of that higher being that doesn't exist, is beyond me. It'd be like me getting upset over someone wishing me good luck from the Tooth Fairy. I'd say "thanks" and shake my head in wonder as I moved on.

For those agnostic, they're not sure and mostly don't care about God. If they're intellectually honest, they probably shouldn't really care either way. Just pick a greeting and go with it, and enjoy the season. They are truly the live and let live crowd.

Those of other religions all have their own religious and holy days. There are various religious celebrations and observations throughout the year. Some members of other religions join in with the American mainstream and celebrate Christmas because it's a lot of fun. Others abstain based on their personal beliefs. That's all fine!

I saw the revered comic Jackie Mason on TV the other day (yeah, it was on Bill O'Reilly, but anyway), he made the very good point that, he doesn't know of any Jewish folks who object to "Merry Christmas". Christmas, at it's root, is a Christian holiday, after all. I don't know of any Christians who get upset at Jews wishing them a "Happy Hanukkah" in return. It's all about the spirit of the season, and respect for our fellow human.

Lastly, for Christians, like myself, who do believe in God, then we need to remember that God, the creator of the entire universe, has got our backs and nothing ill anyone can say or do to us should matter. So someone wishes me "Happy Holidays". Hey, thanks! "Merry Christmas" to you, my friend.

I truly doubt we're gonna get in a rumble over inappropriate greetings, are we folks?

The God I believe in loves everyone. Everyone is deserving of a kind word. Jesus said, "They will know you are my followers by your love for one another".

Now, to my bigger point. I'm just not seeing a lot of love from the Christian side in this faked-up controversy, where it should be coming from! And I think herein lies the biggest, fattest lie in this whole thing:

If there is a Christian anywhere truly "offended" over the "Happy Holidays" thing, I have this to say to you, and I say it in love, brother or sister: Get over it. Be a Christian, and act like one.

Jesus never returned evil for evil. He always gave back good. Always. A kind word. A smile. A helping hand. A good deed. He didn't fight and argue with those who disagreed with him. He exposed the world's hyprocrisy with his behavior. He demonstrated that his way, God's way, has value because of the way he lived.

Words are shallow folks. Actions speak louder.

So, enough of this stupid, made up "controversy", especially from the Christian side. Defending God and defending Jesus and "defending Christmas" is not the Christian mission. God and Jesus can defend themselves just fine, I think.

The Christian mission is about showing the world a better way, the way to God, that God is real, and that Jesus' sacrifice can save everyone. This is the true Christmas message. Things that get in the way of that are bad and should be avoided.

So, I'm not gonna bring this subject up again this year. I'm done. Peace and love to you, Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a Blessed Holiday Season.

By the way, do you all realize Jesus never celebrated Christmas?

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