?`s and ANNEswers

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Get A Life

Bill O’Reilly is still haranguing merchants and others who choose to say “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas.” He believes that substituting the former for the latter is a slap in the face for Christians everywhere. He feels it demeans not only Christmas but also the platform on which this country was founded.

I couldn’t disagree more.

Granted, for the recent past, it’s been politically correct to say “Happy Holidays” so as to include Jewish and Kwanzaan and even non-Christian sects in our greeting. After all, their holidays frequently coincide with the Christian calendar.

I’m not sure when this tradition of “Happy Holiday” actually began, but I embraced it wholeheartedly. I felt that, even though our country was founded primarily on Judeo-Christian principles, it was in keeping with the freedom of religion and the acceptance of others that is the foundation of our country’s greatness. I felt it was inclusive.

Now O’Reilly champions that it detracts from the Christian view of Christmas. That it ignores Christ. He goes so far as to say it represents the secularism that is prominent in American society. I don’t disagree about the secularism, but I don’t believe that substituting “Happy Holidays” for “Merry Christmas” is responsible for it.

If you listen to O’Reilly, you have to assume that everyone who says “Happy Holidays” is subverting Christianity. Is it possible that people who use the phrase are simply being diplomatic and not subversive? Simply being broad-minded and not supporting secularism? I always thought Christians were supposed to be tolerant of others, but it doesn’t seem that O’Reilly’s version of Christianity acknowledges this.

As for me, I’ve chosen to say “Merry Christmas” for entirely different reasons. (See my blog of December 3 titled “Merry Christmas.”) And I don’t care whether Bill O’Reilly accepts my reasoning or not.

Pass it on.

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