'Tis the Season To Compile Dossiers of Politically Incorrect Statements

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39 Responses

  1. Stephen says:

    "I’ve always been fond of the Third Commandment. "

    Did you know that not everyone numbers the Commandments in the same way? I only bring this up because it has caused me confusion in the past. I'm Catholic and someone was quoting numbers once which I swore were wrong. Turns out it depends on what you were taught.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commandments#Division_of_the_commandments_as_listed_in_Exodus_20

    Just in case anyone else thinks Ken is confusing Keeping Holy the Sabbath with Using the Name of the Lord in Vain.

  2. Ken says:

    Yeah, I should have known that would be an issue.

    I go with the way my faith teachers me: whatever Google spits out first.

  3. strech says:

    I especially love the Best Buy entries, which find the mere mention of Eid al-Adha offensive. I just can't get the mindset that even acknowledging the beliefs of people who aren't them is offensive to them. The GAP ones complaining about the mention of Solstice fit the pattern too.

  4. Jamie says:

    "Pause for a moment to thank God that you are not a retail clerk, faced with people who think that retail clerks are responsible for a store’s marketing policies."

    I really want to thank you for writing this post (not just the part I pulled for no good reason) for people like me to see. I was beginning to think I was the only person doomed to Christmas party-pooper status because I wasn't irrationally pro-Christmas + all the crap that comes with it. It's like therapy for those who are coerced, whether by loved ones or in the capacity of their employment, to pretend to be ecstatic about a holiday that has lost many of its core values; simplicity in the enjoyment of family, home, and a time of giving to those in need. My heartfelt thanks. Happy holidays.

    On a side note, this is the first time that I have ever seen "asshats" as a blog tag.

  5. Andrew says:

    "There are too many choices of where to purchase and I will only support business that support our country’s founding ideals of Judea Christian values and holidays."

    Is that the People's Front of Judea, or the Judean People's Front?

  6. Ken says:

    No. They're splitters.

  7. Vedrfolnir says:

    First off, I would like to say that I absolutely HATE the two months of christmas we have in this country. I feel that it is rather bizarre to celebrate a holiday so early, it just tweeks me.
    Now then, I would like to scream at the guy who posted the third example, plug your ears. "CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT THE FUCKING SOLSTICE YOU RETARD!!!!!!!" Christ lovers originally stole it from the pagans (a word I hate to use because it spits on every religion≠christianity/mainstream) back when they were saying "convert or die." It made the conversion simpler. No-one actually thought that it was Christ's birthday, it was a celebration of the (quite literal) new year.
    Oh, and thanks Ken for sticking up for us heathens; though I must admit it's always a little queer when religious folk do so, it makes me feel like there's a guy with a bat around the corner and he's going to slug me one.
    Finally, fuck O'Rielly.

  8. Ken says:

    Oh, and thanks Ken for sticking up for us heathens; though I must admit it’s always a little queer when religious folk do so, it makes me feel like there’s a guy with a bat around the corner and he’s going to slug me one.

    My father, an agnostic, always modeled flawless courtesy towards other people's faith, whatever he felt about them in private. I've always felt that tolerance of other people's relationship (or lack thereof) with the divine is essential to my own relationship with it.

  9. Mike says:

    Part of it is a backlash against what's perceived as a Church of PC attack on Christmas. On Facebook last year, some people wrote status updates saying, essentially, "How dare you wish someone a Merry Christmas!?! It's offensive to Jewish people." Thus, the perception is that we are not allowed to say, "Merry Christmas."

    I think Americans are more tolerant than people give them credit for. If people were saying, "Merry Christmas," and "Happy Hanukkah," most would be cool with it. But saying, "Happy Holidays" is perceived as a way of saying, "You can't say Merry Christmas."

    As for why people care….There are many explanations. One is that the Christmas Wars isn't about Christmas. It's about the Culture War. Leftists and other politically correct interests are trying to mold the culture in the PC Church's interest.

    Before living in California, I'd have chalked that to Red State paranoia. Having lived around filthy, hypocritical, politically correct liberals for nearly a decade now…It's not paranoia. There really is a movement to change the culture. The fight against the Church of PC might be the most important fight left. Losing the fight will ensure we fall hard – and fast.

    Perhaps the Christmas stuff is a silly battle. Perhaps. Then again, this year I will expect to see some disgusting liberals lecturing us about how offensive wishing someone Merry Christmas is. In which case…Maybe the battle is not so silly, after all.

  10. Ken says:

    That sounds suspiciously like "In order to fight political correctness, it was necessary to adopt it."

  11. Del Coro says:

    "On Facebook last year, some people wrote status updates saying, essentially, “How dare you wish someone a Merry Christmas!?! It’s offensive to Jewish people.” Thus, the perception is that we are not allowed to say, “Merry Christmas.”"

    Oh, well, if "some" people did it, I'm sure we're only inches away from a full-blown Facebook-based revolution.

  12. tim says:

    Perhaps the Christmas stuff is a silly battle. Perhaps. Then again, this year I will expect to see some disgusting liberals lecturing us about how offensive wishing someone Merry Christmas is. In which case…Maybe the battle is not so silly, after all.

    For some reason I don't think you see the irony in using the terms 'disgusting', 'hypocritical', 'liberal', etc to make your point about how annoyed you get when describing the types of greetings people use this time of year.

    Happy Holidays!

  13. Mike, what exactly is it about a culture that wishes people "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" that you object to?

    Is it the fact that doing so is a concession of the fact that not everyone in the culture celebrates Christmas? Because not everyone does. One in five Americans are not Christians, which does not make them all "filthy, hypocritical, politically correct liberals."

    Or are you simply opposing the change for the sake of opposing change? Because not all change is bad.

    I choose to say "Happy Holidays" when I greet you at this time of year because of one of two things: 1) I do not assume that you are a Christian, and 2) I am not a Christian myself.

    You can say what you like to me and I'll appreciate the warm and friendly intentions behind whatever holiday greeting you use. I'm not walking around with an "anti-Christmas" chip on my shoulder. But that doesn't mean I don't get to have a preference. So if you were to use "Happy Holidays" I would frankly be happier than if you said "Merry Christmas" because "Happy Holidays" is a phrase that applies more directly and meaningfully to me. And that, too, doesn't make me a leftist culture warrior. All it makes me is someone who likes it when you don't make unfounded assumptions about my religiosity.

  14. Mike says:

    That sounds suspiciously like “In order to fight political correctness, it was necessary to adopt it.”

    If you meant to insert "methods", then yes, sure. The Church of PC has it figured out. Yell and people and shame people into doing what you demand. Don't believe in affirmative action? Scream, "Racist!" That's much more effective than logic or reason. Thus, some members of the otherwise silent majority are screaming and throwing fits. Witness the Tea Parties.

    For some reason I don’t think you see the irony in using the terms ‘disgusting’, ‘hypocritical’, ‘liberal’, etc to make your point about how annoyed you get when describing the types of greetings people use this time of year.

    Why should I? Aristotle, who taught moderations in all things, explained in The Rhetoric that, "Moderation in all things," is merely a maxim. One should not, e.g., be moderate in one's toleration of evil. Thus, there is no prima face evidence of ironing in my comment. If liberals are disgusting and hypocritical, why not say it?

    I'll say it. Liberals are disgusting and hypocritical. So are conservatives. Probably so am I. Such is life.

    Mike, what exactly is it about a culture that wishes people “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” that you object to?

    Me? I don't, and never said it was my view. I merely articulated the view held by millions of Americans – a view which isn't facially insane.

    I don't even celebrate my birthday unless friends compel me to. Holidays at one time united people into a common culture, and thus had (maybe still have) value. I don't care about such things, and lack the gene to PERSONALLY care about such share normed and values. The rest of you can get together and then bitch about your families. I'll toss the Jolly Ball around at the dog park with my dog, happy that everyone else is out of my way.

    One in five Americans are not Christians, which does not make them all “filthy, hypocritical, politically correct liberals.”

    Which means four out of five are. Yet the one out of five must throw temper tantrums for not validating their in-group.

    I'm not a Jew. Wish my Happy Hanukkah. I'll take it and not be offended. Yet wishing people Merry Christmas is enough to give many liberals a heart attack. OMG you're totally excluding non-Christians by saying Merry Christmas!

    I'm not Christian, either. Wish me Merry Christmas. I'll take it! Besides, it's an empty greeting, like "How's the weather?" I'd prefer people not address me in public, anyway. You don't care if I live or die…So why give me a "warm greeting"? It's fake and meaningless.

    Anyhow, saying, "Happy Holidays" is NOT designed to be inclusive or tolerant. It's designed to prevent Christians (whatever that term means these days) from wishing people Merry Christmas. "Happy Holidays" exists because a minority of people will throw a temper tantrum if stores don't comply. It's therefore unsurprising that some out of the four out of five who are being marginalized might throw a fit.

  15. Ken says:

    Anyhow, saying, “Happy Holidays” is NOT designed to be inclusive or tolerant. It’s designed to prevent Christians (whatever that term means these days) from wishing people Merry Christmas. “Happy Holidays” exists because a minority of people will throw a temper tantrum if stores don’t comply. It’s therefore unsurprising that some out of the four out of five who are being marginalized might throw a fit.

    It's not clear to me how people saying "Happy Holidays" prevents Christians from saying "Merry Christmas." Also, the assertion that retailers have moved to "happy holidays" to prevent "temper tantrums" strikes me as an empirical assertion. Do you have evidence to support it? I don't. I see lots and lots of wharglbargl about the "War on Christmas," but rarely see any about people wishing shoppers "Merry Christmas" (excepting, perhaps, people who don't like to be wished Merry Christmas in the wrong month.)

    How many people are "throwing fits" about Christmas wishes, as opposed to people "throwing fits" about holiday wishes? Is there an equivalent web site where people offended by Christmas wishes are rating retailers?

    Also, note that the complainers on the linked web site don't merely object to "happy holidays" — they are horrified by references to other non-Christian holidays as well.

  16. Mike says:

    Run a Google search for [+"Merry Christmas" +offensive]. Lots of hits. Yes, there is a large contingent of whiners who find saying Merry Christmas to be offensive.

    Also, the assertion that retailers have moved to “happy holidays” to prevent “temper tantrums” strikes me as an empirical assertion.

    I've actually worked shit retail jobs, and gotten "the memo" about what's offensive or not; and what should be said or not. "Merry Christmas" is indeed part of the memo. Running a Google search for [boss told me not to say merry christmas] will turn up plenty of hits. Different search queries would not doubt turn up many more examples.

    The stuff people complain about is amazing. In Santa Monica, Houston's changed the name of the "Evil Jungle Salad" to "Spicy Thai Salad" due to some complaints about offensiveness and other various threats. True story. Businesses want to avoid drama and hassle.

    The same kind of people to become offended at "Merry Christmas" are exactly the kind of people with nothing better to do than agonize over the narcissist injury. "How dare you not validate ME and MY religion and culture!" Add a complicit media, and you have drama. It's all very pathetic (shouldn't religious people be more worried about feeding the poor than having their religion validated by some corporation), but such is the state of the U.S.

    Also, note that the complainers on the linked web site don’t merely object to “happy holidays” — they are horrified by references to other non-Christian holidays as well.

    Probably. They are freaks, too. You are acting as if I am picking sides. I hate both groups, and consider them a pathetic gathering of collectivists too afraid to face reality on their own terms. They have been swallowed by their swallow cultures.

    I am not defending them so much as hypothesizing about their motivation. Freaks are more often made rather than born. I've seen lots of sensible and tolerant become become insensible and intolerant as a way of acting out against the PC culture.

  17. The same kind of people to become offended at "Merry Christmas" are exactly the kind of people with nothing better to do than agonize over the narcissist injury. "How dare you not validate ME and MY religion and culture!"

    That may be true, but the website that the original post is about is exactly about the kind of people who are offended at the absence of "Merry Christmas" and therefore suffer the same agonizing narcissist injury. "How dare you not validate ME and MY religion and culture!" To that they add, "We're the majority!" as if that were relevant to anything. And there aren't "Happy Holidays" advocates setting up websites to rate retailers on how their delicate sensibilities have been offended, but there are "Merry Christmas" advocates doing exactly that.

    The reaction to the PC culture is stronger, and sillier, than the PC culture itself — and that's a fairly ambitious statement because PC culture is extremely silly. I agree with you that it's all tedious narcissism, but there must be something underneath it or the War on the War on Christmas wouldn't be such a powerful and recurrent cultural phenomenon. After all, if the phrase "Merry Christmas" were truly just an empty phrase devoid of any true meaning, then no one would get upset when someone didn't say it to them.

  18. Mike says:

    That may be true, but the website that the original post is about is exactly about the kind of people who are offended at the absence of “Merry Christmas” and therefore suffer the same agonizing narcissist injury.

    Sure. I hate the Merry Christmas people, too. How many more times do I need to say that? Just because I hate them doesn't mean I can't see their perspective. I can also see the perspective of the non-Christians. Everyone wants validation. That is why society is pathetic and we are on the fast track to total decline.

    After all, if the phrase “Merry Christmas” were truly just an empty phrase devoid of any true meaning, then no one would get upset when someone didn’t say it to them.

    In a culture of narcissism, those are the only injuries that matter.

    Think about it. How much time do people spend tending to real human relationships – the relationships that matter, and that involve people who love them? People will spend freaking hours controlling how people with no connection to them think. How long does it take to get dressed to simply go outside? Yet people obsess over wardrobe…Why? To impress perfect strangers, of course. Let's make everyone we're going with (who presumably love us) late….Because we must manage the impression of people who won't care if we live or die. Silliness.

    Why even care if a complete stranger wishes me anything – holidays, christmas, whatever? It doesn't matter. A car hits me, I die. The witnesses who just wished me will will only care insofar as they get to say, "I just saw an accident!" They get to tell their friends a story. That I died means nothing. My death is merely an interesting scene in their movie.

    Thus, caring pro or con what a stranger wishes you is empty – and, frankly, trivial. Tell me to "Fuck off" or "Happy Holidays." Essentially, it's all the same….Totally meaningless and a non-event in my life.

    I have gotten way off track, though, and have abused my Popehat commenting privileges. Nice chatting with you. (Sincerely meant; though obviously somewhat ironical giving my earlier comments!)

  19. anonymouse says:

    Run a Google search for [+"Merry Christmas" +offensive]. Lots of hits. Yes, there is a large contingent of whiners who find saying Merry Christmas to be offensive.

    There are indeed lots of hits for the search quoted above: Paging through the first 100, the great majority are from individuals or organizations protesting a "war on Christmas" that doesn't exist except in their minds, or from media reporting on their protests.

    A smaller group of the hits are from people trying to figure out what all the fuss is about by posting questions like "Is saying merry christmas offensive?" to forums or to Yahoo Answers. A very small handful appear to be people doing what you claim to be doing, hypothesizing about why non-Christians might be offended. And exactly one of the links I saw led to a forum discussion in which someone actually declared that they were offended by hearing "merry christmas".

  20. Matt Raft says:

    Ken, you've written yet another flawless post. I don't know any other website I regularly visit where I think, "It's like he's writing what I think, if only my IQ was 100 points higher, and I had a better sense of humor."

  21. I'm not even a Christian, but I see where they're coming from, and I agree with them to a point. I think it's going a little too far to be going around asking sales clerks "what's the reason for the season" and some of the other statements are really over the top, but I do get their initial objections to some stores policies, or what seems to be their policies.

    It's not just about the stores, it's a reaction-granted, maybe an overreaction in some cases-to what they see as the maddening need to not offend anybody in a multi-cultural society. Thus, no nativity scenes in public squares in some places-which I do not and never will agree with-and no posting the Ten Commandments on government buildings, courthouses, and schools-which I wholeheartedly do agree with-and no singing carols or performing Christmas plays, etc., in some schools-which I don't agree with.

    But mainly it's the overall attitude that there are some who, in their zeal to sanitize the holidays in a way so as not to hurt anyone's feelings,(unless their right-wing Christians), end up taking every bit of the joy, fun, and spontaneity of celebration out of them. In this all-inclusive republic of ours, Christians get the short end of the stick when it comes to public policy, all because it's assumed that since they are the majority, they can afford to be tolerant. Thus, unless their communities can come up with the money to fight an ACLU lawsuit, or unless they can get some lawyers to take the case for them pro bono-in which cases they still might lose, depending on the judge and the circumstances-they should just suck it up and quit being such crybabies.

    Thus, a holiday that once at least tried to spread joy and fun in cities, towns, and neighborhoods across the country is being increasingly marginalized, and many of these people quite naturally resent that.

    So what can they do? The only outlet they have to express their disapproval in a way that might actually work, is by boycotting advertisers and businesses that don't appear to celebrate the season the way they would like. Let the ACLU sue that. I've seen and read enough bullshit about Don Imus and Mel Gibson and others being boycotted for first one bullshit reason after another, and in most of those cases it wasn't a matter of anything more than an inadverdant slip of the tongue. Somebody says something a little insensitive to some group or another, and suddenly with just one incident their whole life's work is potentially down the drain. As far as I'm concerned this boycott is a hell of a lot more justified than most such cases, and it does send a strong message, give them that much.

  22. strech says:

    In this all-inclusive republic of ours, Christians get the short end of the stick when it comes to public policy, all because it’s assumed that since they are the majority, they can afford to be tolerant.

    This (and the whining about ACLU) is nonsense. Legal "oppression" of Christians in this country consists of not letting them impose their viewpoint on others. The cases they lose to the ACLU? It's not when citizens express their own Christian beliefs. It's when schools bring in the Gideons, or they try to teach their beliefs as science, or the school leads them in prayer. Sure, schools get stuck on stupid on barring too much sometimes, but you only hear about these cases about Christians because no-one else has the power or control to pull it off, except in rare cases. And the ACLU will sue in those rare cases when it's non-Christians trying to impose things (they've sued an Muslim charter school in Minnesota).

    That's what propels this Focus on the Family stupidity even beyond the PC stupidity it's mirroring. The PC stupidity is overzealous inclusiveness, while their reactions are offense that anyone other than them could even be acknowledged. Especially when the actual holiday is a month away. This isn't a "We have become an overlitigious and oversensitive society" thing, it's a "We're not being sufficiently kowtowed to" thing.

  23. Ken says:

    In this all-inclusive republic of ours, Christians get the short end of the stick when it comes to public policy, all because it’s assumed that since they are the majority, they can afford to be tolerant. Thus, unless their communities can come up with the money to fight an ACLU lawsuit, or unless they can get some lawyers to take the case for them pro bono-in which cases they still might lose, depending on the judge and the circumstances-they should just suck it up and quit being such crybabies.

    Establishment Clause challenges to publicly funded and public-property Christmas displays is one thing. Attacking retailers is another. The Establishment Clause does not bind retailers.

    I hear a lot of suggestions — not explicitly from you — that retailers are going with more inclusive terms because they are afraid of being sued. Can anyone tell me what the cause of action would be, for a consumer to sue a retailer for having the greeters say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays"? Can anyone point me to a successful case where a customer sued on such a basis? [Note that I'm not asking about employees; that would be a separate area of the law.]

    I think it's mostly nonsense, frankly. There are indeed Establishment Clause fights over public property — though far fewer than the anti-ACLU propaganda would have you believe. But unless I am missing an entire area of the law, I don't think anyone is forcing retailers to say "Happy Holidays."

  24. Strech-

    I agree with some of what you said, especially the bit about Christians wanting to teach their beliefs as science, that drives me up the wall too. On the other hand, they do have some good points, when it comes to the Nativity Scenes, the Christmas pageants in schools, caroling, etc.. It's not all one way. I also think, as I said, that it's a little silly, and even obnoxious, when you get right down to it, to demand that store clerks and owners to acknowledge Christ as "the reason for the season".

    On the other hand, I also hate it when some activist groups goes ballistic every time somebody like Don Imus or Mel Gibson says something they don't like and initiates a boycott.

    But, on the other hand, well they work. At the very least, the offending party is on the defensive and has to go through hoops issuing usually multiple public apologies, and you can damn sure bet they'll be a little more circumspect with their mouths the next time. In some cases, it can amount to an end of long and in some cases distinguished careers.

    My only point is, why is this any different? Never mind that you personally might not like them and disagree with them on this, the point is, they aren't doing anything to Best Buy that Al Sharpton didn't do to Don Imus, only as far as I'm concerned with a great deal more justification.

    And for that matter, there's a simple way of dealing with the problem. When people come to their stores, the stores can probably keep their business simply by saying "Merry Christmas", and doing whatever else it takes to keep their business, that is, if they want their business. I guess they have to weigh it all in the balance.

    Do they want to risk offending a relative handful of Muslims, Atheists, Hindus, and Pagans, or would they prefer to offend this probable minority of Christians that probably nevertheless outnumbers the others by a large percent in most cases.

    I can make it easy for them, in fact. Although I only speak for myself, I am a Pagan, and quite frankly, I don't give a big rats ass. If I see a good deal at Best Buy, I'll buy something there whether they say Merry Christmas or not. They won't offend me by saying or not saying Merry Christmas.

    On the other hand, I personally enjoy the Christmas season. I enjoy the decorations, the trees, hell I even like seeing a well-done Nativity scene. What, it's on public property? Cry me a fucking river. I enjoy the whole thing, and to be frank, when somebody wishes me a Happy Holidays, I usually respond with Merry Christmas. See, there's a part of me that sometimes does like to offend. Still, while I won't take it to the point of turning down a good deal when I find one, wherever that might be, what I will do is, when given the opportunity to vote for a politician or a judge, I look carefully at things like this, not because it is in and of itself that important, but for the simple fact that things like this does give you a pretty damn good clue as to what their overriding political and judicial philosophies are. Simply put, I just won't vote for them.

    Nevertheless, while I'm sure Christians do that as well, if they also want to initiate a boycott against stores that don't "kowtow" to them, well I'm down with that. They're just following an old tried and true American tradition as far as I'm concerned. Frankly, I wish them luck. Did I mention I enjoy the Christmas season, including all the public manifestations of that in all it's traditional sense?

    I don't care for sterile holidays, the whole idea reeks of contradiction. Kind of takes the joy out of them, you might say.

  25. Ken says:

    Don't get me started on Nativity scenes. They are not supposed to be static. Nativity scenes began as Nativity plays, the purpose of which was to teach the Christmas story. Having a Nativity scene in which everyone is crammed in there at once is like having a Star Wars diorama that has Darth Vader and Jabba the Hutt in the same scene. It's just wrong.

  26. Linus says:

    Anyhow, saying, “Happy Holidays” is NOT designed to be inclusive or tolerant. It’s designed to prevent Christians (whatever that term means these days) from wishing people Merry Christmas. “Happy Holidays” exists because a minority of people will throw a temper tantrum if stores don’t comply. It’s therefore unsurprising that some out of the four out of five who are being marginalized might throw a fit.

    This is like people who think that any mention, hint, or reference to a monkey is RACIST, or that a cigar is NEVER just a cigar. Look, just because some asshole somewhere has used that phrase intending to be intolerant does automatically make EVERY use of it intolerant and anti-religion. But then again, I don't believe in this meta-guilt thing, where I personally am responsible for everyone's intentions everywhere.

    Isn't it exhausting for these people to continually borrow trouble? I try to go through my day with as little conflict as possible (I know, I know, I'm in the wrong profession), so I cannot understand why someone would live with the attitude of "if it's even remotely possible to take offense, I WILL."

    Of course, those people (like the guy who was angered and felt oppressed by "you too") are likely complainers and serial offendees in EVERY area of life, not just religion/culture/Christmas. In fact, there's a word for those kinds of people that starts with "ass" and ends with "hat". Although I am a bit tempted to act like this just once to see the reaction I get: "Excuse me, your clerk only said 'God bless you' to me. He did NOT say 'God bless and KEEP you.' What kind of oppressive establishment are you running here?"

  27. Mike says:

    But unless I am missing an entire area of the law, I don’t think anyone is forcing retailers to say “Happy Holidays.”

    It's not lawsuits they fear. It's drama. Even stupid drama is a distraction. Even drama that doesn't directly affect the bottom line like a boycott would, is bad for business. It distracts employees. It distracts customers from purchasing things that they don't need and probably can't afford, in order to show their love to people – since love cannot exist absent concrete expressions like toys and sweater vests. The corporate directive is: Must avoid drama.

    PC freaks are nothing if not dramatic. Next time you're at the 3rd Street Promenade, stop in at Houston's. No, Houston's wasn't going to be sued for calling a salad, "Evil Jungle Salad." They were going to deal with a bunch of drama. Thus, they dropped the name.

    The Merry Christmas lunatics want to get their way by causing drama. Yes, you are right to mock them. They are ridiculous and probably incredibly miserable people who lack any meaningful relationship with God. Care about Christmas? Go volunteer at an animal shelter; feed the homeless; stop spending money on material possessions and instead write a check to organizations that feed the poor.

    LMAO at the nonsense! A bunch of (self-professed) Christians are upset that commercial enterprises won't validate them. Why are they even buying material objects that they don't need when people are hungry, and children are being sold into sex slavery? I'm a pagan, but willing to bet I'll write more checks to charity than the Christians (in name only) who are butt hurt over a corporation's lack of interest in their needs.

    Faux controversies like this are a reminder that modern Christians are indeed a joke, and have no comprehension of Christianity. "Dear Jesus, make the corporations be nice to me so I can spend money on material objects. Amen."

  28. Charles says:

    Short answer: Because all customers don't celebrate Christmas and because the vast majority will celebrate some holiday, "Happy Holidays" is the more logical thing to say because it is so generic.

    It takes a deeply developed sense of entitlement to get offended at the idea that the store is unwilling to risk offending someone else in order to make your day as good as it can possibly be.

    I loved this post, Ken.

  29. Mike says:

    Apropos this discussion. Yes, the PC crowd will complain about anything:
    http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1004044225

    Cartoon here:
    http://dailycartoonist.com/index.php/2009/11/19/mallard-fillmore-protested-at-newsday/

    No doubt Newsday had no fear of being sued (at least under a viable theory). They did want to avoid the drama. Same thing with using "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

    Newsday apologized to avoid more drama.

  30. I just don't get the outrage. Look, it boils down to a really simple formula. A large group of Christians want stores to acknowledge the Christmas holidays the way they have traditionally done so for centuries. They want to hear Merry Christmas, they want to hear Christmas carols, both secular and religious, they want to see Christmas trees, they want to see Santa Clause, elves, and reindeer in some cases, and yes, they want to see the baby Jesus.

    The simple formula? Give them what they want and keep their business. Don't give them what they want, and maybe lose their business. It's just that simple. Nobody that I know of is talking about suing retailers for not wishing customers a Merry Christmas, or passing a law mandating they do so. Yeah, some of these people might be knuckle-draggers, but even they are not that damned stupid.

  31. Patrick says:

    As long as the government's not involved, I don't care one way or the other. I take "Merry Christmas" as well as I take "Joyous Kwanzaa" or "Happy Hannukah" or "Enjoy Eid!"

    Speaking as an agnostic, what offends me about the holiday season is its commercial nature, but that battle was lost before I was born.

  32. DMS says:

    Excellent post, and 12.08 comment Patrick is spot on; fight the fights you can win. Commercial Christmas is here to stay (aside from advent of GFC2, or worse GFC^2, but I actually don't think even that would do it).

  33. eddie says:

    As Dave Barry once said:

    In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it "Christmas" and went to church; the Jews called it "Hanukka" and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Hanukka!" or (to the atheists) "Look out for the wall!"

    These days, people say "Season's Greetings," which, when you think about it, means nothing. It's like walking up to somebody and saying "Appropriate Remark" in a loud, cheerful voice. But "Season's Greetings" is safer, because it does not refer to any actual religion. Some day, I imagine, even "Season's Greetings" will be considered too religious, and we'll celebrate the Holiday Season by saying "Have a nice day."

    Appropriate Remark, everyone, and to all a good night.

  34. Dave (ND) says:

    Ken, we've butted heads on this in the past, but I agree with your entire post. Nice work.

  35. Amy says:

    What about being wished "Happy Holidays" when buying a ham the day before Easter? This made me giggle. I think at the Honey Baked Ham Store they could go out on a limb and say Happy Easter. "Happy Holidays" is incredibly bland, but it does not bother me.

  36. Great post. I always wonder why these folks (and I happen to hesitantly call myself a Christian, btw) are so fired up about putting "Christ" back into Christmas yet are quite happy with leaving Oestre in Easter.

  37. Dawn says:

    What a bunch of idiotic fools. Such hate…especially the ones who were so shocked about Gap's reference to solstice. I guess they are just butt hurt that they can't burn wiccans at the stake anymore. I can't stand Christians…they stand for bigotry, hate, and intolerance. I have no problem with Christ…I just can't stand Christians.

  38. jacques says:

    In response to "Transplanted Lawyer" in his statement that "Happy Holidays" is more meaningful, for me it is quite the opposite. "Happy holidays" is simply neither here nor there. There are holidays of many kinds all year long–some think of Groundhog Day as a holiday, and there are skiing holidays, golf holidays, trips to the lake and seaside in the summer, etc. etc. Saying the word "Christmas" does not mean you are promoting or endorsing Christianity as the only religion (I'm an atheist myself). One can have and participate in the Christmas spirit without participating in Christian religious rituals. Time was when there was less tribalism and mean-spiritedness in our society. Is it too much to ask that we relinquish such pettiness for just a few days a year?

  1. December 2, 2009

    […] "War on Christmas" grievance-collectors really should lighten up [Ken at Popehat] […]