I had purposely avoided saying Merry CHRISTmas because I’ve been told that I am somehow shoving my religion down everyone’s throat ever time I say Merry CHRISTmas. And far be it from me to play havoc with the mercurial beliefs of those weak-willed enough to convert based on a simple greeting.
Honestly, I had no idea that such a sentiment could be so powerful. Did YOU know that wishing someone a Merry CHRISTmas would force them to convert to my faith? Did you know that acknowledging the existence of an officially recognized national holiday celebrated by the majority of a democratic nation would officially set up a Christian Theocracy?? Did you know that the mere mention of CHRISTmas would have such an effect? I am assured it is so.
Now, IF there are really folks out there who are so weak-willed that my wishing them a simple Merry CHRISTmas will actually “force my religion” on them, then perhaps I could remedy the situation by also wishing them a Happy Independence Day! Would such a greeting as that, reserved for patriotic sentiment, somehow engender an independent thought to help them stand resolute against this pernicious assault of contrary sentiments?
Far be it from ol’ Sirius to force someone to covert to my faith by such a simple, yet pernicious means. Though, honestly, if I’d known people were such willy nilly weak-willed sheep, I wouldn’t have wasted my time with such tedious methods as knocking on doors, passing out tracts, debating, preaching, reasoning or what-have-you: I would’ve simply sent more CHRISTmas Cards.
What is it about this little phrase, Merry CHRISTmas, that makes some guys so rabidly Christophobic, I wonder? Wishing one a Merry CHRISTmas does not force you to believe in God, angels, the Immaculate Conception or wise men, any more than it mandates belief in elves, flying reindeer, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, potentially falsifiable fictional characters in general or Tim Allen’s acting ability. It may give you the irrational urge to listen to Christmas music, sing carols or watch Christmas movies like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life or Die Hard [my fave]. You may feel inclined to indulge in a drink of egg nog, a saccharine bit of candy cane or really show what a masochist you are and visit the relatives. The very mention of a Merry CHRISTmas greeting may even cause you to wish it would bloody snow already. But it will not force you to participate at all!
Oh, but some object that when I say Merry CHRISTmas that I’m somehow intolerant or offensive to their peculiar beliefs of unbelief, as the case may be. And they write angry little letters to the paper and to corporations who have Human Resources departments with almost nothing at all to do except pick at nits and launch witch hunts. So there are companies who now absurdly forbid their employees to say Merry CHRISTmas to their customers because a small minority of their customers might be celebrating an entirely different holiday or not be celebrating anything at all, just using it as an excuse to get drunk and get loot really. We’re all supposed to say Happy Holidays instead, because it’s allegedly more neutral.
There was even a debacle a few years back wherein the St. Albans [WV] Festival of Light decided not to include the Baby Jesus in a Nativity scene because they “didn’t want to offend anyone”…. because a Christ-less creche is so completely unoffensive to Christians everywhere, right? Fortunately, they came to their senses and put the baby back in the manger, but now one feels like we have to inspect that particular display every year… just in case.
It’s pretty silly. Especially since a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey has found that 68% of American adults prefer stores to show signs saying “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays. Only one-quarter of adults (25%) favor signs that say “Happy Holidays.”
Now, I’m NOT really offended by the phrase Happy Holidays. How could I be? It’s meaningless. But it’s all the poor saps at the stores are allowed to say when they’d really like to just say Merry CHRISTmas along with the vast majority of USAmerica and the world-at-large, like they do when they’re off the clock. So I don’t take it out on them. It’s not their fault.
Think about it: What do we accomplish by substituting Happy Holidays for Merry CHRISTmas? Are the sodding atheists happy with that? NO. They’re still upset, the killjoys. Did wishing the rest of the populace, the ones who aren’t as easily offended as atheists, a Merry CHRISTmas offend them?
In my experience, and maybe yours was different, it went like this:
“Merry Christmas, Isaac!”
“Thank you! And a Happy Hannukah to you!”
And it was like that with everybody. True tolerance and respect for the other guy’s bag without reducing it to a bland, homogenized Happy Holidays, whatever that means to you, Bub.
It was like that with everybody, I said. And everybody was HAPPY! except the atheists.
Except the atheists.
Except the killjoy atheists.
Why weren’t the atheists happy? Aside from the fact that they don’t believe in God much less holidays that celebrate Him in any fashion, they’re just jealous.
Just jealous. yep.
“Merry Christmas, Richard Dawkins!”
“Thank you! And a Happy… A Merry… A Holly, jolly… oh, drat. We haven’t anything to celebrate of our own. We don’t believe in God, much less holidays to celebrate Him. We do believe in aliens and Darwin and and flying spaghetti monsters, sort of. Maybe we could organize something around that. Of course, Darwin Day’s much too far away on the calendar to invoke it during the holiday season. We wouldn’t sound at all *bright* greeting people with a holiday thats still a few months aways. May as well wish them a Happy April Fool’s Day at Christmas! Of course, they do wish us a Happy Atheist Day on April Fool’s, but – Humbug! Humbug!”
They got nothing.
You know what? Merry Christmas anyway, Richard Dawkins! God bless us everyone!
– Sirius Knott