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Opinion | 'Tis the season to say 'Merry Christmas' not 'Happy Holidays'

By Nathan Lombardi
On November 29, 2012

In our lifetimes the generic saying around schools, malls and other public places has morphed from Merry Christmas to the all-inclusive "Happy Holidays."

Now why is this?

So you don't "offend" anyone who may be Jewish, Muslim, agnostic or atheist. However did anyone ever consider why saying "Merry Christmas" to a student or complete stranger is offensive?

If a man buys a toy at a store and the clerk replies at the end of the transaction by saying "Merry Christmas" and the man says he is Jewish, why is that offensive?

It shouldn't be. The clerk was simply conveying a positive message in observance of a national holiday they (the clerk) celebrate.

If we think it is possible to offend someone based on their religious beliefs, without knowing them in the first place, and while failing to make a negative comment about ANY religion then we have truly lost the meaning of the word "offensive."

As a society, we have devolved into thinking that simply mentioning a religion publically is offensive and discriminatory.

We have subsequently taken away our treasured freedom of speech and expression. What would be truly "offensive" is if I were to say, "Christmas is stupid, and Jesus was nothing special."

I made a negative comment based primarily on the beliefs of Christians. We need to stop making positive things so taboo.

Many people would say in response "Well what if a Jewish person said, 'Happy Chanukah' to you?"

I believe that my previous paragraph applies the same logic. I wouldn't be offended in the least.

They would be conveying a positive blessing in observance of a holiday they celebrate. Furthermore, others have argued it is to protect the children in public schools who are tormented for not celebrating Christmas like most of the other kids.

My response to that is as a society it is the responsibility of parents and teachers to mutually express to their children that it isn't acceptable to torment each other based on their religious beliefs.

It isn't logical to simply remove anything that could be used to torment little kids. If you take a stick away from a bully, they will just find another stick.

In other words, you must address the warring party, not just take a gun away.

Next, a new 20th and 21st century fad from which the "Happy Holidays" switch is drawn from is the separation of church and state.

However, if this new wave of "offend no one so let's just pretend religion does not exist" is so paramount and integral to society then why do religious institutions get tax exemptions?

Why do all our schools have academic calendars developed around the Judeo-Christian calendars?

Seventy-eight percent of Americans still consider themselves Christians with non-Christian religions unable to cross the 5 percent threshold when totaled altogether (the remaining roughly 17 percent are non-identifiers and atheists).

I'm not saying the United States should ignore the minority, quite the opposite; the U.S. is built balancing powers of majorities and minorities.

However, it is for this 78 percent and other reasons why the United States' federal government has declared the 25th of December, Christmas Day, a national holiday.

Banks are closed, the courts are closed, 90 percent of businesses are closed, the NYSE is closed, and schools are closed.

So why has Christmas become the elephant in the room that cannot be talked about in a public setting? Simply one fact, people are afraid of offending people.

To what extreme will the mass populous go to in order to protect this so called "right" to not be "offended?"

Do we wish "Happy Holidays" all year round because someone does not celebrate or "believe in" the 4th of July or Valentine's Day?

Why has religion become taboo so quickly? With minuscule exceptions religions are a source of hope and joy to those who believe in them.

Couldn't the argument be made that saying "Happy Holidays," blatantly disregarding any religious affiliation of the recipient of the message, is in itself offensive?

All things considered, in the December season no one should be afraid to wish anyone a Merry Christmas if they so choose.

There is a 78 percent chance you will get a very positive reply for making someone's day a little more human.

If by some chance they get offended then do not apologize, simply say "Nice meeting you" or "Have a good day" if said person does not give you their religious affiliation.

Either way all you are doing is wishing someone good will.

Merry Christmas Miami!

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