I have had some pretty heated debates with blogger buddies as well as personal friends regarding the extreme reaction of the liberal and gay communities regarding President Elect Barack Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to participate in his inauguration. I am on record as saying that any wise group will learn to pick their battles and that there are differences between ideals and ideologies. To me ideas should be fought for. The ideal of equal rights or equal pay for women for instance. Ideologies are often a set of extreme beliefs that people try to push off on others. I’ll give you an example:
So did you hear the story about the woman in Florida who says she got fired because she refused to answer the company phone with the greeting, “Happy Holidays,” because it was a against her religious views not to say Merry Christmas? Well apparently she felt it was selling out to the mainstream to say anything generic regarding the day commemorating the birth of Christ. Nevermind that we live in a diverse nation and some people don’t celebrate Christmas. Nevermind that some people celebrate Hanukkah, some Kwanzaa and others none of the above. Oh no, she couldn’t stomach the thought of considering that for one minute. Instead she decided to buck her boss’s wishes and go “rebellion” by doing her own thing.
I have been in church circles long enough to know where this comes from. Its the evangelical victimization thinking that Christmas and Christ are under attack by a liberal god hating society. I remember having a discussion with a former co-worker who refused to go to the company “holiday party” as long as it was called a holiday party and not a “Christmas” party. He wanted me to sign on to a petition to change the name. I wasn’t buying it. I know that some people are turned off by Christians bombarding them with their beliefs. I know that some anal ACLU types like to drive the city looking for nativity scenes in public places so they can try to legally have them removed. There is a battle for control of the culture. Both sides of these and other arguments are often trivial to the big picture in terms of what we lack most in this country – RESPECT FOR OTHERS and their beliefs. Both the woman in the above story and the anti-Christians are ridiculous in my view. But I will deal with the Christians on this rant.
I have a few questions for Ms. Tonia Thomas and people who believe as she does – that to say “Happy Holidays” is some sort of sin.
1) Is there a Christmas Holiday in the bible?
2) Is there any record in the bible (which you believe is the authentic Word of God) of Christians yearly celebrating the birth of Christ – similar to the Jewish faith in celebrating the Passover?
3) Was Jesus born on December 25th?
The answer to all of these is a resounding NO!
Memo to Tonia Thomas and others who pontificate on such ridiculous treaties: You can choose to celebrate Christmas anyway you desire. That is what freedom is all about. But to lose your job over whether you say Merry Christmas or not is ludicrous! For one that is your JOB! You work for a company. That company has an owner or ownership group. The powers that be get to decide how they want to greet their customers! When YOU own your own business, you can say Merry Christmas, Praise the Lord, hell you can speak in tongues if you want to cause its YOUR business! It’s no strike against your religion, nor is is a diss to Christ to say Happy Holidays. I am sure Jesus is not turning cartwheels because you thought you were making a stand but merely lost your job because of your insubordination. (Look that up in the bible about obeying those whom you work for) I know you really thought you were doing something. But sorry; this isn’t like someone asking you to deny your faith or worship Baal. You allowed someone at church to soup you up into believing this rhetoric. And it’s a shame. But this is why folks can’t get along today. You are NOT going to win over any of your secular friends by being a blow hard at a job that you don’t own over how to answer the phone that you don’t pay the bill on. You are no martyr like Paul or John. And Barack Obama won the election too – so get over yourself! Folks are losing their jobs at an alarming rate all over the country, and you refuse to answer the damn phone the way they ask you to. How stupid is that? If I was your boss I would have fired your ass too. “What you can’t do what I ask and I am paying you? BYE!”
Glad I got that off my chest. I’ve officiated more than a few basketball games in December. A lot of them at Christian and Catholic schools. When I congratulate a coach or shake his/her hand, it’s come quite naturally for me to say, “Merry Christmas” as I understand this is a special time for them. I’ve celebrated Christmas as a child. And at the same time never taught my kids to believe in Santa Clause nor expect me to break the bank for toys and gifts. As well I will never question, judge, or disrespect my friends who teach Santa to their kids, no revere the Advent season. It’s all about respect! We need to learn to do more of that.
There are times to protect religious beliefs. And there are times when folks are just plain silly and trivial.
With that said, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy Holidays.
Peace and God Bless~