Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays??

It is once again the time of year for those who are used to feeling entitled and accommodated in their religious beliefs to come out in vitriolic response to the "Happy Holiday" sentiment.

They cry;

"It's Merry CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holidays" and that calling it anything different is simply going too far with the PC movement.";

"That X-Mas is forgetting that Christ is the reason for the season.";

"Its tradition that we call it Christmas";

And what I will mostly talk about in this post;

that "Office Christmas parties are going against tradition to be called anything but "Christmas Parties"."  (Like Holiday Parties, or Festive Functions)

My response to this might be unexpected to some.

I am about to speak out in defense of the Muslims, the Jews, the Pagans, the Scientologists (ugh) and the atheists all in the same breath.

It is NOT the Office Christmas Party, unless you are working at a Christian institution.

It just ISN'T.

To say that it is, is to disrespect every person of alternate faith that works there.  It is to force them to once again accommodate the Christian majority as the only religion with merit in the company's eyes.

At my wife's work there are even people who refuse to attend this "Festive Function" because it is not being called "Christmas".


Those are not the sort of people you want at an office function anyway.

They are the bigots who are used to having their beliefs accomodated in public forum and are not amenable to now having to accomodate the feelings and beliefs of others in return. They are those with the sense of entitlement that brings difficulty to any issue. They have had their beliefs pandered to for too long, and it is time that we respect each person from each religion with the same level of effort.

Imagine your work was holding an election night "liberal party" function to which everyone was invited and then having them say it was simply being too PC to call it anything else just to accomodate the conservatives and non political people in the company (unless you are working for a soley liberal institution of course).  Each conservative would feel less like he belonged to that company because the official political view was liberal. 

Or if to celebrate Fathers Day your workplace held a "Bring your Children to Work Day" and called it "Birth Fathers Day".

Imagine how out of place all of the adoptive fathers would feel.  They would feel like their perspective just wasn't as valued at the company and by his peers.

It is the same thing.

Freedom OF religion also means Freedom FROM religion. 
And in any society it must be so.

We can't give deference to one religion by excluding all others and then make them the outsiders in doing so, while at once complaining about the PC movement for its disingenuous safety from offense.  In asking that your religion be respected to the exclusion of all others, you fall prey to the same problem.  You ask that YOUR offense be guarded against at all cost.  This is the very definition of disingenuous "respect" for religion and belief. 

Why would we do this to our co-workers, our friends, and our relatives?

There is no reason for it.  And asking for your religion to be given special exception is simply asking your company or government to place your beliefs on a higher scale than those of other employees or constituents.

There is no "PC" here at all. 

Just respect during a respectful time of year (and yes I know....ALL times of year should be equally respectful, but you get the point).  To give deference to one, gives a lower place in the institution for all others, so by not deferring to any of them, we give them all equal placement. 

If you wish me "Merry Christmas", I will say

 "Thanks! And you too",

 the same as I would for a "Happy Hannukah" or a "Happy Eide", or even a " Joyful Solstice". But for the company for whom I work for to hold a function in the name of one of these occasions over the others is not only a complete lack of effort to represent all those who represent them on a daily basis but it is an active effort to have their beliefs raised above those of their peers thereby exluding all those who don't believe as they do.

It is the difference between observing our individual beliefs, and of the institution inserting one belief system over another as the accepted one to the exclusion of all others.

It just isn't representative of everyone in that company, or constituency.

This is a special time of year for all of us, for one reason or another.

For me it is about celebrating and visiting my family and friends, for others it is about their religion, for still others it is about the bounty of nature.

And although I may disagree with their ideologies, I DO agree that they have a right to celebrate it and not be made to feel as an outsider in their own workplace. 

So lets accept the "Happy Holiday" terminology without complaint in the workplace and in government. 

No one is stopping you from celebrating Christmas, or even wishing us a merry one.

Just don't force others to celebrate your holiday in their own office space, and they won't force you in return.

This time of year contains a lot of celebrations from a lot of different backgrounds.  Let's try to remember that.

Freedom from religion.

It allows us all to live as we see fit without others forcing their views on us.

Fair enough?

I am also going to take this time to tell my wife, that I respect her for the flack that she took for standing up for the religious rights of the people at her company who would be excluded by this.  The people who argued with her had no idea that her aruments protect their religious beliefs too.

They should be thankful for someone like you, who will even stand up for the rights of those whom she doesn't agree.

Well done baby!

To everyone else?

Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Eide but most of all I wish you...


1 comment:

  1. That was quite well written. Well said!

    Even though it is a bit early, Happy Christmas!