So I read a webcomic fairly regularly by a fellow Lafayette, IN resident called "The Manor," and while I generally enjoy the strip, his December 14th installment has me rather miffed. For those too lazy to click through, here's a copy of said comic:
Now, besides the fact that current statistics show that the number of people in this country who identify as Christian is closer to 76% instead of 95%, the entire premise of the thing is ridiculous.
Leaving Mr. Korty's misunderstanding of what the term "Politically Correct" actually means, let's start by dispelling the major myth presented in this strip, alright?
Stores don't say "Happy Holidays" or refer to "Holiday Sales" to prevent people from being offended. They do it to be inclusive, as they want to sell everyone as much as they can. For example, they want Jewish people to buy Hanukkah gifts from them. Many Christians assume Hanukkah is some massively important holiday for Judaism, but frankly - it's not one of the big ones. It's become a big deal in North America in the last fifty years as a response to Christmas.
Stores want to promote this commercialization of Hanukkah as it's in their best financial interests to do so. The same goes for every other religion under the sun - most stores want everyone buying from them, regardless of religion, race or football team preference.
They aren't afraid a non-Christian won't shop there because they said "Merry Christmas" -- they're hoping to put the idea of consumerist culture into everyone else's head in the first place.
It amazes me, honestly, that so many people who identify as Christian seem threatened by the idea that any other religion be included. It's as if they need to be reminded that their holiday is special constantly. What, are they afraid some Christian is going to get confused and celebrate Arbor Day on the 25th because no one at Bob's General Store said Merry Christmas?
Inclusivity is part of the American landscape. We all have the equal right to sell out our religious ideals and buy into the consumer, material landscape that is the commercial holiday season, and don't you forget it.
I know it's a holiday sale because of all the holidays from Hannukah, to Kwanza, to the Winter solstice, and yes to Christmas. What i think a lot of Christians are being offended by and so am I is that "Political Correctness" has made it that Christmas is politically incorrect but Hannukah and Kwanza are not because of culture.
Yes Happy Holidays is now a Universal term it should be. I am miffed that Christmas can be snubbed especially when Nativity sets can get banned at public displays when that's a display of the real reason for Christmas.
I guess I should phrase the nativity thing. It's not on government property always where it's banned and I understand that. But the nativity scenes have banned on private property but that seen in public however displays of Hannakuh have been allowed.
Still the point is that there have been things that used to fine with people regardless of religion that have now been cracked down over fear of offending one group even though it's like 1 person in that group that really is offended.
I dunno, the way people act about <political party goes here> a pentagram would probably CALM people more then anything...
I always try to operate on the "How would you feel if it was another religion?" when it comes to such things. Would you as a Jew feel ok with schools teaching Buddism, how about if you're a Baptist and the courthouse puts a big Muslim star and crescent on it? If your answer is pretty damn angry you need to sit back and think how it feels for someone when the opposite is true.
Here is some of the controversies above. While yes a lot of them deal with public but it does involve my point that public displays of menorahs do not get taken down which also are religious nontheless.
The original reason for winter holidays is almost definitely related to the winter solstice and seasons changing. The bible supports that Jesus was not born on Christmas. http://biblelight.net/sukkoth.htm
Regardless, the idea that anybody except the craziest zealot atheists is offended by being told Merry Christmas or having signs mentioning Christmas is a total fabrication. As mentioned above, stores use Holidays instead of Christmas to get people to buy stuff regardless of their religion. Christians are not being persecuted in the US, nor are they in danger of it. 77% of people in the US self-identified as Christian in 2009. Special treatment for Christians being done away with and an attitude more inclusive to non-Christians are good things and should not be viewed as an attack.