Here we are, more than halfway through October and there are tremors about what some are calling a war on Christmas. This is all because, supposedly, retail employees are not allowed to bid customers a Merry Christmas.
Not allowed to say Merry Christmas?
Well, there was that time that employees of a major retail chain were asked to say, “Happy Holidays”, rather than “Merry Christmas”. It was in order to not exalt one holiday over the others that are celebrated during that time of year. That sure started some lovely waves of response by those who feel Christmas is the only holiday worth mention.
I think this is what may have been the catalyst on this alleged war on Christmas.
I understand that now, retailers may encourage employees to greet with the more generic, “Happy Holidays”, but do not outright discourage saying “Merry Christmas”. However, since the former greeting is still active, there are those Christians who act like they are being dragged down to the dungeon, placed on a rack and tortured for Christ’s cause.
Give me a break.
Now we want to legislate holiday greetings. Really?
Personally, I don’t care. I mean, Christmas is a holiday. It should be wished to be a happy one. Right? However, to not admit there are other holidays that folks celebrate is rather short sighted.
A brief tale of arrogance.
A former pastor used to love telling of his “boldness” with people. One of his particular bragging moments, he explained how a cashier said, “Happy holidays!” upon completion of his order. He explained how he boldly and confidently looked straight at the cashier and replied with a smile, “Merry Christmas!”, as if he had one-upped the store employee with his clever and victorious holiday greeting.
Yeah, I said it.
Christmas is a made up holiday.
I will also say this – we put way too much stock in Christmas. While I am not anti-Christmas or some sort of Scrooge or Grinch, I simply do not see Christmas as being “all o’ dat”. It is a made up holiday that was meant for the sole purpose of keeping pagans among the Church. Really. Read the history of Christmas and how pagans celebrated Saturnalia (a legal free-for-all). In short, they made the day after Saturnalia’s end, December 25th, as Jesus’ birthday in order to get these pagans back in line. It was a church marketing program. Over that last hundred and something years, it has been highly commercialized, making big profits for retailers.
One guy wrote a letter to that one big retailer I mentioned, saying how they should say, “Merry Christmas”, as they and other retailers owe their year end profits to Christmas. Yeah, they kinda do. But, that is not a good enough reason to force that greeting on everyone.
In the long run, we now have a fun, festive time full of a variety of traditions. It is primarily a Christian holiday, of course. Not Jewish, not Muslim, not Buddhist and certainly not Atheist. To bid everyone a ‘Merry Christmas’ is presumptuous and pushy.
It is perfectly disrespectful to force someone else to observe a traditional greeting for a holiday they might not celebrate, much less one they do not identify with.
There is no war on Christmas
There is no “war”. Those who declare this are simply wanting a big fight. They want to claim some sort of persecution against Christians. They claim how everyone gets their rights, but Christians are having their rights removed. What they really want is their “Christian nation” so they can run things and legislate what they think is morality.
In the United States, Christians are not being persecuted. If these guys simply read the definition of what persecution is, they might realize they are not being persecuted.
They are bullies who claim to be the victims.
I am continually amazed how people want to shove Christianity on people, but not present Jesus and His Gospel to them. Forcing people to say or hear something like Merry Christmas is not only obnoxious, but it’s useless. It is not about the Kingdom.
If someone says, “Happy Holidays”, the simple response should be, “Thank you. Happy Holidays to you, too.”, with a smile.
Romans 12:18 states, If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (Amplified)
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers…”
Since when is living at peace with anyone about attacking them because they are not on our “side”? This is not to say we should seek some sort of tranquil Utopian thing, but not to be troublemakers.
These characters who want to force their beliefs, convictions or traditions on others are troublemakers, not peacemakers.
Keep Christ in Christmas?
This old chestnut is worn out. Personally, I am sick of seeing it on bumper stickers, front lawns or plastered on Facebook. The best response I have seen for this is, “How about we keep Christ in Christian?”
It is the Christians who declared this alleged war. This is not Christ-like in any stretch of the imagination. Jesus didn’t go around forcing Himself on anyone or demanding that the Jews overthrow the Roman government. He did not expect Romans to celebrate Passover or observe Hebrew Law.