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Something I realized about the silly "Merry Christmas" "debate"
Now, it's entirely possible that I'm the very last person on the planet to realize this (though there seem to be at least few vocal holdouts if bad news programs are any indication), but it occurred to me that the whole "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" or whatever debate is EVEN SILLIER than it already was. It's also possible that there's a flaw in this, but I haven't noticed it, but:
It seems to me that people who get up in arms about people who say "Merry Christmas" (and stores that consequently make it a policy to have employees say only certain phrases), while pretty silly and dismissable as complainers anyway given how many other problems they could be doing something about, say they feel that way because it appears to be an assumption by the person who says it that the person they're saying it too is of the same religion, or at least celebrates the same holiday. Granted, if you're offended by that you've got to be TRYING really hard to find things to be offended by. People who also passionately and equally silly-ly defend that practice says things like "well, Christmas is also an American cultural and federal non-denominational holiday that doesn't necessarily imply religion despite its origins."
Valid enough, but there's an even more obvious justification that not only makes it impossible to rationally condemn the phrase, but illegal to enforce and impossible to be offended by (at least for the most vocal people that claim to be offended). It's NOT a profession of somebody' belief that you celebrate their holiday (which again, would be silly to offended by anyway - if somebody wishes me a Happy Hannukah I don't correct them and say "I'm not Jewish," I thank them and return the wish and really do hope that I have a Happy Hanukkah, even if I'm not sure when that exactly is). Instead, it's a profession of their OWN faith (something that is entitely constitutionally protected and illegal to prohibit), just like wishing someone a happy New Year isn't an assumption that they use your calendar, but an admittance that they use the modern Western one.
In that case, it's entirely appropriate, if one celebrates Christmas, to wish even those who one knows are of a completely different faith a "Merry Christmas," and it's appropriate to for them in turn wish a good-whatever-fits-their-own-identity back. No insult, by any stretch, reasonable implied OR inferred. To object, you'd have to be in direct opposition to the idea that people should be allowed to practice whatever faith they choose to, and I doubt there'd be nearly as many crackpots who would admit to that as there are clamoring on slow news days now.
So, yeah - not a genius observation by any stretch, but I've never heard it actually pointed out, either, even in really long debates about it. I really can't see the downside - less whining for everyone and extra work for people who get off on acting offended...