Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Something I realized about the silly "Merry Christmas" "debate"

grendel824_grendel824_ Registered User
edited December 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
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...

grendel824_ on
«1

Posts

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The whole "war on christmas" thing is just manufactured Fox News nonsense. Brought to you by the Christian majority who want everyone to think they are "oppressed".

  • pwb2103pwb2103 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I could generally agree with that, but I don't know if I have ever met someone who is actually offended by being told "Merry Chistmas"... in fact usually the only people I know making a fuss about it are christian people who are trying to be over sensitive.

    On the other hand, I do know plenty of minorities in general have to put up with so much ridiculous crap from cruel people that sometimes piling on one more thing (even if it is with good intentions) can be hard to take. Any logic you can try to use doesn't really matter if you live in a society where you just want to be treated like a normal person but are often singled out an harassed because of your beliefs (or appearance).

    With that said, I still have a hard time deciding if I should say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays... seems kind of unfair that a christian can't say merry christmas, but I don't really have to put up with THAT much crap on a day to day basis so I try not to complain.

  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    The whole "war on christmas" thing is just manufactured Fox News nonsense. Brought to you by the Christian majority who want everyone to think they are "oppressed".

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The people who get offended when you tell them "Happy Holidays" (because you left the Jesus out of the season, or some stupid nonsense) are far more stupid (and far more common, it seems) than the people that get offended when you say "Merry Christmas".

    Besides, "Happy Holidays" always wins in the end. You need to take down "Merry Christmas" on December 25th. "Happy Holidays" can last until after new year. Until Valentine's Day, if you really want to stretch it.

    vvvvvv-dithw.png
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I always liked the fact that people over here make a bigger deal about Pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice than they do about Christmas.

    Christmas, you do for the kids, Hogmanay is when the real party happens.

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I always say "merry christmas" or occasionally "happy christmas". In all my years of working with the public, both in retail and as a letter carrier, I have had exactly one thing said back to me that could even be construed as offense, and that was a Jewish woman who responded with "happy hannuka".

  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    people don't seem to get upset at the mention of santa (secret santa, for example) and he is solely a christmas figure.

    I've never seen or heard of a person getting mad at merry christmas except in legend.

    BNet-Vari#1998 | WiiU-Variable | 3DS-3866-8105-7478 | Steam | Twitch
    Sig%20-%20Hearthstone%20DoA.png
  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    Variable wrote: »
    people don't seem to get upset at the mention of santa (secret santa, for example) and he is solely a christmas figure.

    I've never seen or heard of a person getting mad at merry christmas except in legend.

    I've seen it, but funnily enough the only people I've ever seen do it are upper-middle class white christians. And only a couple times. Now, people who get mad about people getting mad at merry christmas whenever anyone says "merry christmas" are a dime a dozen. People who will go into their defensive rant about how "merry christmas" is perfectly fine and everyone's just PC assholes and blahblahblah without anyone having actually gotten offended or said anything except "hey thanks, you too!" or something are all over this place.

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
  • Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Variable wrote: »
    people don't seem to get upset at the mention of santa (secret santa, for example) and he is solely a christmas figure.

    I've never seen or heard of a person getting mad at merry christmas except in legend.

    I've seen it, but funnily enough the only people I've ever seen do it are upper-middle class white christians. And only a couple times. Now, people who get mad about people getting mad at merry christmas whenever anyone says "merry christmas" are a dime a dozen. People who will go into their defensive rant about how "merry christmas" is perfectly fine and everyone's just PC assholes and blahblahblah without anyone having actually gotten offended or said anything except "hey thanks, you too!" or something are all over this place.

    Well, there are a decent number of examples of it happening in the UK (usually businesses of some kind getting antsy), and since the last Christian we had pretty much gave up and died from neglect, I can assure you it isn't them.

    More to the point, majority overreactions are how public opinion fights back against stupid concepts like Merry Christmas being offensive. Sure, bandwagons are pretty idiotic too, but would you rather nobody mentioned it and the idea gained currency? Even a proportional response would just pit two sides against each other, which usually ends up in one either winning (and let's hope it's not the offended) or a compromise, which would be equally stupid, because as has been noted: the whole thing is moronic.

    Public opinion bandwagons do enough harm the rest of the time, I'm not going to complain in the rare case they impose some sense.

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited December 2007

    Public opinion bandwagons do enough harm the rest of the time, I'm not going to complain in the rare case they impose some sense.

    What? No, fuck you. Creating a media hysteria over a completely non-existent problem is not sensible, and it does harm by distracting people from real issues.

  • Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Ok, but since I think we can both agree that media hysteria itself is a common bad, yet there are plenty of different media hysterias around, and your time is limited, do you want to:

    a) Rail against an example of media hysteria which actually has a good outcome

    or

    b) Rail against an example of media hysteria which has a bad outcome.

    Yes?

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Ok, but since I think we can both agree that media hysteria itself is a common bad, yet there are plenty of different media hysterias around, and your time is limited, do you want to:

    a) Rail against an example of media hysteria which actually has a good outcome

    or

    b) Rail against an example of media hysteria which has a bad outcome.

    Yes?

    That's nice. So, which one is which, again?

    vvvvvv-dithw.png
  • Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Well that would depend on your particular point of view, like Ben Kenobi taught us all. :P

  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Man, didn't we just do this?

    Yes, but now that the season's halfway over we all have perspective.

    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • The Muffin ManThe Muffin Man Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    japan wrote: »
    I always liked the fact that people over here make a bigger deal about Pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice than they do about Christmas.

    Christmas, you do for the kids, Hogmanay is when the real party happens.

    You like that people make a bigger deal about Pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice than they do about Pagan celebrations about the Winter Solstice? ;-)

    shamanhealingwave.jpgabilitypaladinshieldofv.png
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Ok, but since I think we can both agree that media hysteria itself is a common bad, yet there are plenty of different media hysterias around, and your time is limited, do you want to:

    a) Rail against an example of media hysteria which actually has a good outcome

    or

    b) Rail against an example of media hysteria which has a bad outcome.

    Yes?

    I'm struggling to see how reinforcing the self-righteousness conceit of the christian majority can possibly be for the good.

  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    Ok, but since I think we can both agree that media hysteria itself is a common bad, yet there are plenty of different media hysterias around, and your time is limited, do you want to:

    a) Rail against an example of media hysteria which actually has a good outcome

    or

    b) Rail against an example of media hysteria which has a bad outcome.

    Yes?

    I'm struggling to see how reinforcing the self-righteousness conceit of the christian majority can possibly be for the good.

    Maybe you've never heard of a little thing called Hurricane Katrina.
    ;-)

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    I'm struggling to see how reinforcing the self-righteousness conceit of the christian majority can possibly be for the good.

    Er, offhand because it's reinforcing a rare example of self-censorship, rather than evangelistic machinations to make the rest of us pagans fink jesus-lyke?

    If teh Christians were all so self-righteous that they turned into permanently fasting, Christian Scientists who didn't deign to interact with the non-believers, and all died out in a generation, would you complain?

  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    I'm struggling to see how reinforcing the self-righteousness conceit of the christian majority can possibly be for the good.

    Er, offhand because it's reinforcing a rare example of self-censorship, rather than evangelistic machinations to make the rest of us pagans fink jesus-lyke?

    If teh Christians were all so self-righteous that they turned into permanently fasting, Christian Scientists who didn't deign to interact with the non-believers, and all died out in a generation, would you complain?

    I would. Some of them could have been saved.

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    I'm struggling to see how reinforcing the self-righteousness conceit of the christian majority can possibly be for the good.

    Er, offhand because it's reinforcing a rare example of self-censorship, rather than evangelistic machinations to make the rest of us pagans fink jesus-lyke?

    If teh Christians were all so self-righteous that they turned into permanently fasting, Christian Scientists who didn't deign to interact with the non-believers, and all died out in a generation, would you complain?

    You clearly don't understand the "controversy" that is being discussed.

    Fox News and other conservative media outlets have whipped middle-america into a frenzy over the idea that GODLESS muslims, jews, atheists and homos are attacking christmas and trying to force people to say "happy holidays" instead of "merry christmas".

    Explain again how this is "a rare example of self-censorship".

  • Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    VC wrote:
    I would. Some of them could have been saved.

    ...and some of them could have been hot, but are you going to sleep with them. Are you?
    jeepguy wrote:
    Fox News and other conservative media outlets have whipped middle-america into a frenzy over the idea that GODLESS muslims, jews, atheists and homos are attacking christmas and trying to force people to say "happy holidays" instead of "merry christmas".

    Oh. I thought this was people / companies worrying that they were offending the voiceless minorities and self-censoring themselves, then the majority of people saying that was stupid because nobody was complaining in the first place. Which seemed to be what posters were saying above.

    Never mind then, move along.

  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    ...and some of them could have been hot, but are you going to sleep with them. Are you?

    Whatever it takes to save their souls.
    :winky:

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Let me rephrase: "Are they going to let you sleep with them? Are they."

    I mean if they were Catholic then I would be totally with you. But, you know, in separate rooms.

  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    Malkor wrote: »
    Man, didn't we just do this?

    Yes, but now that the season's halfway over we all have perspective.

    Riiiiight.

  • redxredx East Bumblefuck, PARegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    So, at my work, we have kinda largish weekly meetings with all the employees. In such meetings we have announcements, such as those for our yearly christmas party.

    Few months back and they go to do the announcement, and our HR idiot polls the collected group to see if there is anyone who objects to calling it a christmas party, and explains how the year before they only had a 'holiday party' because someone, who is no longer employed there, objected.

    I mean, I don't care you can call the freaking thing whatever you want, but I'm sick and tired of the christian right playing the victim, and using it for such things as a perfect text book example of religious harassment. Quite literally doing things to create a hostile working environment and making people think twice about expressing their concerns and non majority beliefs.

    guh... willful ignorance and bullshit so deep you need fucking waders.

    All I've got is a snuggle hammer.
  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    Let me rephrase: "Are they going to let you sleep with them? Are they."

    I mean if they were Catholic then I would be totally with you. But, you know, in separate rooms.

    Girls brought up in unreasonably/unhealthily rigid rules-systems often dig a rebel. So maybe.

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    redx wrote: »
    So, at my work, we have kinda largish weekly meetings with all the employees. In such meetings we have announcements, such as those for our yearly christmas party.

    Few months back and they go to do the announcement, and our HR idiot polls the collected group to see if there is anyone who objects to calling it a christmas party, and explains how the year before they only had a 'holiday party' because someone, who is no longer employed there, objected.

    I mean, I don't care you can call the freaking thing whatever you want, but I'm sick and tired of the christian right playing the victim, and using it for such things as a perfect text book example of religious harassment. Quite literally doing things to create a hostile working environment and making people think twice about expressing their concerns and non majority beliefs.

    guh... willful ignorance and bullshit so deep you need fucking waders.

    Devil's advocate: Did you give a shit last year when it was called a holiday party? Yeah, probably not.

  • ElkiElki hegemon globalSuper Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited December 2007
    Public opinion bandwagons do enough harm the rest of the time, I'm not going to complain in the rare case they impose some sense.

    Ahahahahaha!

    Oh, you're good. And this is some sense.

  • Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Yes, well done, if you actually read the thread jeepguy already nicely pointed out that mistake. It's somewhat sad to try and score points off me here because you don't know about cities in Pakistan.

  • ElkiElki hegemon globalSuper Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited December 2007
    Eh, I didn't notice that. Nice that you brought up an irrelevant point in here, though.

  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    japan wrote: »
    I always liked the fact that people over here make a bigger deal about Pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice than they do about Christmas.

    Christmas, you do for the kids, Hogmanay is when the real party happens.

    You like that people make a bigger deal about Pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice than they do about Pagan celebrations about the Winter Solstice? ;-)

    Touche.

    The Hogmanay celebrations are better though. There are ritual fires.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    The whole "war on christmas" thing is just manufactured Fox News nonsense. Brought to you by the Christian majority who want everyone to think they are "oppressed".

    Bill O'Reilly kicked it off a couple of years ago with a 'special report' made up out of whole cloth, if you want someone specific to hate on.

    tmsig.jpg
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    jeepguy wrote: »
    The whole "war on christmas" thing is just manufactured Fox News nonsense. Brought to you by the Christian majority who want everyone to think they are "oppressed".

    Bill O'Reilly kicked it off a couple of years ago with a 'special report' made up out of whole cloth, if you want someone specific to hate on.

    It's always nice to be able to focus loathing on Bill O'Reilly, but sometimes my rage needs a shotgun pattern.

  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Even before Bill O'Reilly, the theory that the abbreviation of the word Christmas to the much shorter X-Mas was part of some plot to remove Christ from Christmas seemed pretty popular.

    Home-1.jpg
  • GoatmonGoatmon Cancel My 2:00 This meeting could get DEADLYRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    jeepguy wrote: »
    The whole "war on christmas" thing is just manufactured Fox News nonsense. Brought to you by the Christian majority who want everyone to think they are "oppressed".

    Pretty much. I don't thinmk I've heard anyone backing it up who isn't somehow connected to Bill O'Reilly.

    aik7511.jpg
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Even before Bill O'Reilly, the theory that the abbreviation of the word Christmas to the much shorter X-Mas was part of some plot to remove Christ from Christmas seemed pretty popular.

    And extremely hilarious as X means Christ in the first place so you're replacing Christ with Christ. Oh the humanity. I mean, look at the Labarum, you idiots, it's right there. This is what happens when you question the wisdom and symbolism of the Holy See. Damn uppity Protestants.

    tea-1.jpg
  • grendel824_grendel824_ Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Man, didn't we just do this?


    Sorry - I assumed that somebody did and went looking for the thread to see whether I really was the last person on Earth to have to think for a second before realizing how to irrefutably dismiss it as an issue. I found nothing, which either serves as further evidence of my incompetence or redeems me slightly, depending on why I failed to turn anything up.

    At least some amusing discussion came of it. I'm totally in agreement with the idea that the "war on Christmas" is being waged almost entirely in the fevered imaginations of psychopaths and megalomaniacs, but the impetus for this post was my hearing a co-worker say "Happy Holidays" to a departing customer and get a somewhat condescending "It's okay, you can say `Merry Christmas' to us, we're Christian" as a reply. Which sparked my "wait a minute..." mini-epiphany, to which he replied "it's a complicated issue" (he's a self-proclaimed ultra-liberal secular humanist, who usually seems smarter than people who feel the need to label themselves as such [or as anything, really] but has not been above the occasional "Bill O'Reilly is evil and Michael Moore is a paragon of virtue" statement without a hint of awareness that they're both on the same level of irrelevance).

    I walked off accepting that as an answer, but then said to myself "wait a minute, no it's not - it's not at all!" And while most of us obviously need no help whatsoever to invalidate the whining of others about the issue, I figured that this is one take that even the Bill O'Reillys and the anti-Bill O'Reillys of the world can't find a way around - the ultimate "STFU," I hope.

  • grendel824_grendel824_ Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Even before Bill O'Reilly, the theory that the abbreviation of the word Christmas to the much shorter X-Mas was part of some plot to remove Christ from Christmas seemed pretty popular.

    I'm pretty sure fringe lunatics looking for an excuse to act like they've been victimized is older than recorded history. There ARE undoubtedly people who DO get offended by non-denominational well-wishing, just as there ARE undoubtedly people who are so threatened by the idea of religion that they actually DO want to trample on people's rights to practice it. But there are people who are incredibly turned on by putting on plush animal suits - people like O'Reilly just legitimize them by getting bent out of shape about them instead of ignoring them and letting natural selection take its course.

    It looks like he actually has a semblance of a point, though, because it IS pretty damned unconsionable for an institution to punish employees for choosing to wish someone well in a way that is consistent with their beliefs. I don't see how it's not grounds for an easily won lawsuit if someone gets fired for saying "Merry Christmas," "Happy Holidays," "Happy Hanukkah" or whatever. It's not a right that's ever been an issue for me, but it's part of the most important part of our Constitution and there shouldn't be any question that it's up to the individual to say what they prefer, like a sikh's right to wear a turban or someone's right to say "bless you" to someone who sneezes.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Even before Bill O'Reilly, the theory that the abbreviation of the word Christmas to the much shorter X-Mas was part of some plot to remove Christ from Christmas seemed pretty popular.

    I'm pretty sure fringe lunatics looking for an excuse to act like they've been victimized is older than recorded history. There ARE undoubtedly people who DO get offended by non-denominational well-wishing, just as there ARE undoubtedly people who are so threatened by the idea of religion that they actually DO want to trample on people's rights to practice it. But there are people who are incredibly turned on by putting on plush animal suits - people like O'Reilly just legitimize them by getting bent out of shape about them instead of ignoring them and letting natural selection take its course.

    It looks like he actually has a semblance of a point, though, because it IS pretty damned unconsionable for an institution to punish employees for choosing to wish someone well in a way that is consistent with their beliefs. I don't see how it's not grounds for an easily won lawsuit if someone gets fired for saying "Merry Christmas," "Happy Holidays," "Happy Hanukkah" or whatever. It's not a right that's ever been an issue for me, but it's part of the most important part of our Constitution and there shouldn't be any question that it's up to the individual to say what they prefer, like a sikh's right to wear a turban or someone's right to say "bless you" to someone who sneezes.

    For one, noone would be fired for that. For two, corporate image rules and such barring you from swearing like a sailor at customers who are thicker than a pole and twice as dense aren't a violation of your free speech rights since you voluntarily signed the contract and abloo bloo bloo. How is that suddenly different when you replace 'fuck you' with 'merry christmas'?

    tea-1.jpg
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.