Merry Christmas, Shanah Tovah, Ramadan Mubarak, & Happy Holidays!

We’ve all become cultural wimps to the bullies of political correct speech. Jews, Christians, Muslims & Atheists Unite!

By most accounts, approximately 90 percent of the US population celebrates Christmas. Yet, when you are given a Christmas greeting, nine times out of 10 do you hear 'Merry Christmas?'

My absolute un-scientific account, which is more gut feeling than anything, is that it’s the opposite. For every 10 greetings I receive in December, probably one person is wishing me a, "Merry Christmas," while the rest are a "Happy Holidays."

This of course is typical political correctness run amok. Political correctness more often than not, is not wanting to hurt the feelings of thin-skinned, narcissistic, whiners…

I too play the same game, and it’s pathetic. I will avoid saying Merry Christmas to just about anyone, unless I’m 100 percent sure they actually CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS!

What would be wrong to simply say to ANYONE in Mill Valley, "Merry Christmas", and that person in return wishes you the same?  Independent of what religion that person is, what is the harm of initiating a “good wish," and reciprocating the most common of traditional wishes? How about the following exchange from a Rabbi and Joe blow on the street?  “Merry Christmas, Rabbi Shmuley…” “Merry Christmas and Shalom to you too Joseph.”

If I were traveling in Israel on the week of “Rosh Hashanah," I being the absolute minority religion (or atheist), would have no trouble hearing from my Israeli friend, “Shalom, Shanah Tovah”…. And I would give him a “Shalom, Shanah Tovah back to you too…” The next time I’m in Saudi Arabia and I’m there during the week of Ramadan, I will cheerfully hear from Mohammad, “Tim, Ramadan Mubarak”, and will reciprocate a “Ditto, to you too my friend…”

It is hard because we’ve all become cultural wimps to the bullies of political correct speech.

Shanah Tovah and Ramadan Mubarak, and Merry Christmas!

Fr. Patrick T. Michaels December 23, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Thanks Tim! Clearly we do not have common ground in religion with all of our neighbors, but I think we are responsible to create a community where we at least share some values. It would be great if we could accept goodwill where we find it, spreading it a little more liberally. It goes a long way in making us all feel connected. Fr. Patrick T. Michaels
Rebecca Chapman December 25, 2012 at 07:58 PM
agree, agree! as a waspy new york jew who rarely holds back from expressing her oft controversial opinions, i'd welcome people wishing me a merry christmas &/or happy chanukah, rather than today's especially awkward 'have a nice day!'...
Uncle Fishbits December 28, 2012 at 02:50 AM
I don't like hearing Merry Christmas, because I don't celebrate it, and I think it's markedly assumptive. I am a humanist / atheist, and I tend to see consumerism, dead trees, & a dogmatic, authoritarian, childish religion. I celebrate the time to be happy and warm with friends, my Thanksgiving Part II. Maybe I overthink it? It is funny tho.... we are no longer the mindless consumerists that we were, and we are no longer the pious, mindlessly devout brainwashed masses we once were. Atheism is on the rise: http://metro.co.uk/2012/12/11/census-2011-christian-numbers-fall-with-atheism-on-the-rise-3311594/ With the democratization of knowledge, & the fact it's far more acceptable to speak one's mind (and not fall prety to vacuous parroting arguments of authority), I have a feeling we are going to find less consumer laden Christmas', and move toward a "Thanksgiving Part II". I happen to love Kwanzaa because it celebrates family, culture, and community, surrounded with food. Well played - UMOJA!!!! I guess I am fine with Happy Christmas, albeit markedly presumptive. I just think you might want to prepare yourself for the post-Christian America.
Marisa A January 02, 2013 at 11:52 PM
Tim, I wish more supporters would take a moment to comment on your side. I will openly say I am a conservative Christian, who strongly believes in true history of Christmas, Jesus, etc... But as an American and Christian, I also respect all people and their choices. But this is the USA, and we are a country founded and built on the faith of Christians. (no disrespect to those that were here before America was colonized. That's a whole other story). But if anyone recently saw the Lincoln movie, that is the clearest example of who our founding fathers were and what this country was built on (Faith, God, and the almighty). Sorry, got off on a tangent. What I'm trying to agree with is that we shouldn't have to be so cautious on what we say for the sake of being politically correct. Really take a look around at how many people celebrate the Christmas season. Whether it's in a small way with gift giving and maybe a few decorations, or in a bigger way with Santa and Church and caroling, etc.. I'm sure there are athiests out there that partake in some of this as well because it's just tradition. In short, if 90% of people celebrate a holiday in which all banks are closed, schools close, stores close, mail is not delivered, congress shuts down, then it's a national holiday that should be respected with the intent it was created. If you don't celebrate it, that's fine. I'm okay with a person saying that, and I'll take back my Merry Xmas and wish you well in another way. God Bless! M


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