In the last decade, the political correctness movement has claimed a lot of colloquialisms that were considered “American” and has transformed them into all-inclusive phrases. Sadly, some have seen this as an attempt against the core USA values because it waters down those things people think were essential to the Constitution and Bill of Rights; God, Family and Country.
This is where everyone got it wrong. In God We Trust was added into our printed money during the 1950s as a response to Communism and other extremely anti-religious governments. In fact, our USA forefathers had avoided using the term God in any of their writings of legislative and executive affairs; to support freedom of religion one must take religion out of government. This avoids bias and the application of religious beliefs into the laws of man. Unfortunately, most people don’t separate Church and State which is why we end up feeling offended every time an enlightened mind reminds us that we are not respecting the spirit of the Nation.
“Happy Holidays!” is not just an attempt to become more inclusive of other religions and cultures that permeate the North American landscape but it is also a way to shorten the greeting. Just like Hi is short for Hello and Bye for Goodbye, our fast and furious culture wants everything to be over as quickly as possible. If you pay close attention to some of the local news channels, their greetings include all the appropriate holidays even beyond New Year’s, which takes about 15 seconds longer to rattle off than Merry Christmas!. Watch any clerk try to squeeze in all holidays into a welcome speech and most of us would roll our eyes over and snap back at them to hurry up cause we want to get on with our lives.
When your culture is always speeding through events to get ready for the next one, shortening the way we communicate to concisely say what we mean trumps being cordial and truly inclusive. After all, who has the time to learn about other cultures and their traditions, and of other religions and their “stuff”? (<- Sarcasm) I took the time to learn all that but you’d be surprised how many people don’t care to know or understand the world they inhabit.
Whenever another human being approaches you with a small view of the world, think about this: In an environment when we want things done well and right now, wouldn’t taking the time to be exclusive on purpose take longer than erring on the side of caution? I don’t say Happy Holidays! to upset anyone of take Christ out of Christmas. A group of grown men, albeit religious leaders of great power, got together and decided to counter pagan worship with a Jesus-centric celebration right smack in the middle of the competition’s holy days. God didn’t tell us to wait for baby Jesus to be born on Christmas Day and give each other gifts, men did.
Let us all rejoice in the teachings of our parents, loved ones, culture and preferred belief system during the winter break and holidays instead of whining about Starbucks cups and office policy. The intention of the season is to spread the yuletide and cheer, not to bicker and sneer.
*Including but not limited to Merry Christmas!, Happy New Year!, Happy Kwanza!, ¡Felices Pascuas!, Joyeux Noel!, Happy Festivus!, Happy Solstice!, Happy Chanukah!, Happy Chinese New Year!, and ¡Feliz Día de Reyes!. (Christmas in some places is Jan 6th or 7th, not Dec 25th, even in Christian countries.)