Christian Group Demands That We All Say ‘Merry Christmas’

The American Family Association released its 2011 “Naughty or Nice Christmas List” indicating which retail stores’ advertisements and employees say “Merry Christmas” (Yay!) and which ones say “Happy Holidays” (Why do they hate Jesus?)

For example, Old Navy and Victoria’s Secret apparently hate Christmas, Whole Foods is still up in the air, and Best Buy is where all good Christians ought to shop.

The AFA is even asking members to wear a button that says “It’s okay to say Merry Christmas”:

Got that, Jews and Muslims? Glad you’re on board.

Meanwhile, reader Zach S. came up with these buttons to counter-balance the AFA’s campaign. They seem much more inclusive :)

What the AFA doesn’t understand (or care to acknowledge) is that most people don’t really care if you say “Merry Christmas” or not. It’s like saying “Bless you” after an atheist sneezes. Most atheists get the sentiment; the exact words aren’t that big a deal. If you’re getting upset because someone says “Bless you,” you need to calm the fuck down.

But if the AFA wants to ignore the fact that a lot of Americans are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, etc. and we don’t celebrate the holidays like they do, they’re welcome to act like jerks and insist that everyone pray to their god (and only their god) over the holiday season. Acting arrogant like that is what they do best.

The AFA has been running this campaign for years to no avail but they don’t care. They just want the publicity that comes with being a dick about a meaningless issue. They want donors to think they really care about this. If only they would acknowledge that this is all just a big publicity stunt, maybe we could give them credit for finally telling a truth. But as it stands, they’re going to try to make this into a national issue as long as they can.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Anonymous

    There’s nothing like slavishly demanding agents of materialism to promote your holiday.

    • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

      This is what makes it apparent that groups like AFA are protecting Christian privilege rather than trying to honor their deity.  If I thought something was sacred, the last thing I would do is demand that corporations exploit it for the sake of profit.

  • Rod Chlebek

    Means absolutely dick to me whatever feel-good greeting someone wishes me. This is strike two for the day.

    • Rich Wilson

      Unfortunately, like the ID ‘teach the controversey’ campaign, I think they’ve managed to make something out of nothing.  At least if the little snarks about “kids getting in trouble for saying ‘Christmas’” on my FB feed are any indication.  People think that there is a movement to stop them from buying a singing Hula Santa to celebrate Baby Jesus.  Some people just really seem to want to believe a fantasy.

      Hmmm.

      • beijingrrl

        I’ve got some idiots on my fb feed who are posting this garbage, too.  As if a SWAT team were going to descend upon them if they dare utter the words “Merry Christmas”.  The irony that they claim people find it offensive to hear “Merry Christmas” (to which they give a big f*** you) when in fact they’re the ones who are so offended by people saying “Happy Holidays” floors me.

  • M Vanroy

    Speak for yourself.  I find the middle of a sneezing fit is the perfect time to start an advanced theological discussion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    Christmas is a Secular holiday. I get that the christians want to take it back (but not all the way back to its pagan roots, just back to when they stole it) but why should we cede it to them when for years it has belonged to everyone?

    Santa, Frosty the Snowman, Jack Frost, the Tree, Scrooge,… all have more of a connection to christmas than Jesus for most people.

    • Judith Bandsma

      It has gotten so bad that in Charleston, SC the Medical University banned a (volunteer) Santa because they didn’t think that a state owned school should be ‘endorsing’ a religion.

      WTF? Since when is Santa a religious figure? The board of governors finally relented but not until they had made total asses of themselves.

      • TweenieGirl

        Santa is actually named after SAINT NICKLAUS….  Just a small point… Saints do tend to be religious :)

        • Judith Bandsma

          But Santa is no longer a religious figure…and, in fact, Santa Claus has no relationship whatever to St. Nicholas. Santa is a totally secular, non-religious figure. He was a made up personage actually developed to be an advertising ploy and based on the poem by Clement Moore, where he is described as an ‘elf’ (jolly old)

  • Andrew Morgan

    Haha.  Both sides of this faux-argument are so irrelevant to me that I can’t even tell who I support anymore.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      It’s simple: there are more groups than Christianity that celebrate a holiday this time of the year, so it’s more inclusive to say “Holidays” instead of the Christian-privileged “Christmas”.

      • Anonymous

        But wishing people “happy holy days” is just SO terribly offensive, ya know!

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

        Christians celebrate more than one holiday in this time frame, too. “Happy Holidays” isn’t necessarily being inclusive of other religions.  It might refer to nothing more than the fact that Christmas and New Year’s happen within a week of each other, which is why it’s extra stupid of the AFA to get so butt-hurt over it.

  • dauntless

    I used to work in retail. I remember when I used to say “happy holidays”, people would correct me and say “You can say ‘merry Christmas’ to me, I prefer it.” I would normally respond something like “Oh, I don’t celebrate that holiday” (even though I do, with my family, just not any of the religious aspects).

    Normally, people would just walk away. Sometimes, people would try to sell me the “good news”. One time, someone said  ”I can see the devil on your shoulder, you need to be saved by the blood of the lamb”. After that, I stopped telling people I don’t celebrate their holiday.

    • M Vanroy

      I like my lamb well-done so there isn’t as much blood.

  • Stevie

    Christmas has NOTHING to do with Christians or Jesus.  It was a pagan holiday that Christians adapted and changed for themselves, adding the fake birthdate of Jesus as 25th Dec, which was the last day in the Pagan festival (saturnalia)… they even stole the idea of the christmas tree too… Pagans worshiped trees and brought them indoors and decorated them.  Everything about Christmas is Pagan.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_55HCGTRPQF6BHC2QWJJ6NLP33M Eleanor

      In addition, I remember reading that Christians in early America (read Puritans) regarded the celebration of birthdays as … I don’t quite remember, but immoral is I think more or less correct. And as such, celebrating “Christmas” was a no-no.

      I used to think having a tree and putting up lights was somehow caving to the Christian version of Christmas, or dishonest, or something, until I learned how these holiday traditions were stolen in an effort to kill off non-xian beliefs.

      • Rich Wilson

        Jehovah’s Witness don’t either. 

      • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

        The  only time Christmas has ever been banned in America, it was banned  by Christians (the Puritans) for being an immoral, pagan celebration.  Christmas wasn’t really celebrated in America until the mid to late 1800s, and it wasn’t a federal holiday until 1870.

    • Anonymous

      Although greenery does appear in other Nordic festivals, Christmas trees didn’t become popular until the late 18th century and early 19th century. The custom’s origins are a bit older, but it’s really a very recent thing. Despite the symbolism, that one kind of belongs to Christians.

      But yeah, Christmas is really little more than a winter solstice celebration combined with some other pre-existing stuff

      • Xeon2000

        It’s seems very out of character for Christianity. It seems very in character for northern Germanic folk traditions like Yule. The earliest recorded account I can find attributes the practice to a small Christian military group in what is now modern day Estonia (in the 15th century). If history is any example, when a more popular religion takes over a region, it tends to fuse with remnants of the old cultures prior religion. In this case, many old folk traditions were kept by Christian converts. This fusion of beliefs is actually incredibly common and can be seen all throughout the modern world. Immigrants and converts like to try and hold onto some part of the culture they came from. Christmas today is really quite a melting pot of many various old traditions (some more mainstream than others).

      • http://twitter.com/butterflyfish_ Heidi McClure

        The trees are not Christian.

        Jeremiah 10:

        1     Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
        2     thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
        3     For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
        4     They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
        5     They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

        • Xeon2000

          Nice quote, I’m going to have to remember that.

    • Redwaltz4

      Yes, you are right. The winter solstice falls on the 21st of December. This was just a way of stealing the holiday. So is Easter and Halloween if you look closely.  Speaking as one of the pagans, we would like our holidays back.

    • TweenieGirl

      If that’s the case then what’s the problem with saying Merry Christmas?   Am I missing something there?

      • Rich Wilson

        I don’t think many people have a problem with “Merry Christmas”.  What people have a problem with is “Happy Holidays”.

  • Ben Crockett

    Last night I watched ‘Christmas With a Capital C’. You know, for shits and giggles. And to see just how worthy of MST3K style commentary it actually is (turns out it would fit right in!). This reminds me so very much of that movie.

    • Andrew Morgan

      Totally unrelated, but if you’re into MST3K, I’d spend the few dollars to buy “Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny”, available at rifftrax.com.  Never has something been so funny and made so little sense.

      • http://www.facebook.com/billyup Jesse Jones

        I grew up making fun of this movie. Glad other people know about it.

  • Msnomir

    Yes, but is there an apostrophe missing from, “Seasons Greetings” ?

    I prefer this form of activism to the forms denying marriage, healthcare, etc.

  • http://www.suburbansweetheart.com/ Suburban Sweetheart

    Love this post, especially the line ” If you’re getting upset because someone says “Bless you,” you need to calm the fuck down.”

    I used to work retail & as a Jew, chose to say “Happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” In hillbilly, Bible-thumping Ohio, I got PLENTY of cranky people who told me, “Why don’t you just say what you mean? Say ‘Merry Christmas!’” to which I put on my best simpering, douchey-but-still-professional smile & told them, “Actually, I’m Jewish, so I don’t celebrate Christmas. But I hope you enjoy the holiday season!”

    • Elliott776

      Like :D

    • guest

      I only object to your self-description as “douchy but still professional”.  I don’t think you are douchey for pasting on a smile and nicely putting these obnoxious people in their places (FFS…”Say Merry Christmas!” ??  Why don’t they order you to “Smile” while they are at it?  People astound in their presumption).  I picture you smiingly informing them that you are Jewish and standing on (far) higher moral and mannerly ground.  Nothing “douchey” about that!

    • gsw

      Not “and a very happy Hanukkah to you too!”  Why not?

      OK, maybe Europe is a little more secular?
      When people shout “Merry Christmas”, I tend to shout back “and a happy Solstice”, so far no complaints – although I have to translate it sometimes.
      (Winter Sonnenwende, solsticio, winter-zonnestilstand etc.)

      • guest

        seriously happy solstice; referring to a heavenly event in reply to a holiday name. Especially Christmas which has been celebrated for years with out end in families across the world. Another thing is that Hanukkah is a completely different kind of celebration; celebrating a liberation and relighting of the temple lights in Jerusalem which is only a Jewish holiday; therefore unless you are a Jew that argument is completely fallacious.

    • Ducky

      Ah yes. Ohio. Cleveland to the north, Cincinnati to the south, Kentucky in the middle.

      • Marianna

        Southern Ohio is a little more akin to Alabama, IMHO.  Lived in Dayton for 3 years.  It was definitely south of the Mason Dixon line.  

        • Sgi1029688

          Dayton, oh is major liberal area. You must have been in a south suburb. They even call the city tree lighting the “Grand Illumination” now. Can’t even say Christmas tree.

  • Keith Royster

    Imagine they succeed in getting everyone to say Merry Christmas. Non-Christians saying Merry Christmas everywhere. Wouldn’t that actually mean the holiday had become even more secularized and generic?  “Merry Christmas” would be the new “Happy Holidays” – exactly the opposite of what they want, but they are too stupid to realize it.

    • Sue

      This is pretty much how it is in Britain.  I say Happy Christmas to everyone, regardless of religion, because Christmas is so secularised over here that unless you actively seek out the religious parts, it’s pretty easy to ignore them.

      I think our equivalent of the annual ‘happy holidays’ bitching is stamps.  Every year the Post Office issues a range of Christmas stamps.  They used to alternate – religious themes one year, secular ones the next.  And like clockwork, every other year certain Christian groups would start screaming about the Post Office’s attempt to do away with the religious aspects of Christmas.

      The Post Office now issues a religious stamp along with all the secular ones just so they can stop having this stupid argument every other year.

    • kittyfan

      If you all want to be athiests, jews, etc., etc., then so be it.  Say whatever you want at the holidays, but why is it that when people who are Christian that want to say such things as ”Merry CHRISTmas”, or “My kids get 2 weeks off school for “CHRISTmas break”, or are you going to the 2nd grade “CHRISTmas” program at the elementary school?,  your activist groups have to step up and complain about how you’re offended by it?  It has to be “Happy Holidays”, or “My kids get 2 weeks off school for WINTER break, or are you going to the 2nd grade “HOLIDAY program at the elementary school?, or YOU’RE offended! !  Well, maybe we’re offended that your offended because we WANT to have “CHRIST” in our holiday celebration.  Everyone needs to get a grip, say what they want to say and quit being so freakin’ sensative.  You all are just as bad as the Christians because you ’re the ones who are constantly trying to get ”CHRIST” in the holidays “outlawed”.  You need to get over it, too! !

      • DaggerHeart445

        thats a very good point!

        also i think everyone should know that JESUS was a JEW so why are JEWS moaning that people say MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  • M G

    I thought this was amusing, since I was just sitting here congratulating myself on finding a pretty good un-christmas card for this year (Snowman on the front, “celebrate the season” inside, and only $1 for a box of 10!).  What can I say–I’m a sucker for sending greeting cards at this time of years, as long as they don’t actually mention this time of year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/d3st88 Morva Ádám

    When people say bless you it’s usually not a sentiment, but a kneejerk reaction that was plowed down their fragile minds by society. It’s a cultural thing. A dumb one. Sometimes they do worry about your health and want to wish you well, but it’s mostly just a stupid kneejerk reaction that is sometimes accompanied by a passive aggressive innuendo of “Y U NO SAY THANK YOU, YOU BASTARD?!”.

    • Ringo

      Most languages have a traditional response to a sneeze.

  • Michael

    It’s okay to say Happy Yule. I bring you tidings of spiced booze and warmth.

    • Rich Wilson

      I quite like the Yule tradition.  You put a great big log on the fire and it burns all night.  You remove what’s left in the morning, and save it to start the Yule fire next year.  Lots of “bring back the sun” symbolism.

      • Michael

        Yes, except for the next morning thing. You get a BIG log that lasts until the coldest period is gone and until that coldest period has gone you stay in the warm with your friends and spiced booze and all is good. Then you remove what is left of the log and use it next year.

  • http://twitter.com/chvale Charlotte Vale

    I was also surprised once to read that, if there was a Jesus, he would have been born in the spring. That’s when the census would have been taken as it was easier for people to travel then rather than in winter.

    • Rich Wilson

      And shepherds aren’t in the fields with their flocks in December either.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, they only hung out with the flocks during lambing season.  In the spring.

      • TweenieGirl

        Back then and especially in that corner of the world shepherds did guard flocks at night in the same way that cowboys did in North America in times gone by.  The flocks would be taken away from close proximity to homesteads for grazing and servants (shepherds) would be tasked with guarding them overnight and indeed during daylight hours too.

        • Rich Wilson

          A few minutes with google gives lots of Christian sources that claim that scholars say winter shepherding was possible due to mild Palestinian winters, but none that I could find saying it certainly happened.  In any case it’s moot, since even people who maintain that Jesus could have been born in December don’t claim to know for sure.  There is absolutely nothing in the Bible to tell us which day of the year Jesus was born.

    • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

      Although it’s a little weird that Jesus was supposedly born during the census of Quirinius and then had to flee from Herod into Egypt, given that Herod died a good decade before that census took place.

    • Nordog

      That’s because 25 December is not the birthday of Jesus, but rather the Feast Day of the Nativity.  It is a day of celebration, but not the day of the event celebrated.

    • Charles Black

      Given the lack of evidence that Jesus ever existed, it seems safe enough to assume there never was a historical Jesus.
      Null Hypothesis is that Jesus never existed, Alternative Hypothesis is that Jesus existed.

      • TweenieGirl

        You are obviously not very well educated on this subject… there has been substantial evidence that many of the people mentioned in the bible (both Old and New Testaments) actually did exist, graves, artifacts and suchlike have been found and well documented now, even the scientific world have been forced to accept this.

        • Anonymous

          Harry Potter mentions several real places.  Does that mean that the rest of it is real?  In Nottingham there are several “real” artefacts and places that depict Robin Hood.  Does this mean that Robin Hood is real?  This is true of any historical fiction or any myth written or rewritten to fit into real world events.  

          There is no “substantial” evidence.  There are hints and hearsay and tantalising glimpses of possibilities but no actual evidence.  Not in an historical sense and not in a scientific sense.

    • TweenieGirl

      There are arguments and alleged evidence that Jesus was born both in the springtime and in the fall BUT the actually date of Christ’s birth is not a huge issue, we will never know the exact date.  December 25th is the universally accepted date for celebrating the birth of Christ.  If people want to celebrate then fine, let them… if they don’t then that’s fine too… perhaps the one’s who don’t celebrate Christ’s birth day could be the one’s to work so that the people who do celebrate it can take the time to celebrate properly.  Non-Christians could take a week in January or over the New Year instead as the party atmosphere seems to be the attraction for many.

      • Anonymous

        The Christian church decreed Christ’s birthday be celebrated on December 25, a decision made by the Pope in 336.  The date coincided with the winter solstice until the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582.  The winter solstice is a time of celebration for many pagans who recognised that days would grow longer from that point.  Christians co-opted a pagan rite and called it their own.  If Christians want to celebrate their deity on that day then fine.  The rest of us have secular reasons to enjoy the break from work where we can spend time with friends and family and exchange gifts.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand why they would have a problem with “Happy Holidays.”  The word “holiday” is just shortened from the phrased, “holy day.”  Do those xians not consider those days to be holy for them or something?  Or are they just too stupid to understand this?

    I generally say “Happy Holidays”, but I write “Season’s Greeting?”  I mean, “season’s greetings” just doesn’t roll off of the tongue.  Although, when I was in school, I would often wish others to “have a good winter break.”

  • http://chaoskeptic.blogspot.com Rev. Ouabache

    They just want the publicity that comes with being a dick about a meaningless issue.

    It’s not just the publicity. This is their year end fundraiser. They use this manufactroversy to scare their fellow fundies and make it appear that AFA is the only group out there fighting the good fight for Christmas. It’s obvious when you go to the products page of their website and see how many overpriced buttons they have to offer.

  • James

    Thousands of people in this world die every day from starvation and poverty and Christians, who have been commanded by Scripture to care for orphans and widows in their distress, bitch about how people decide to say hello.  What the Fuck

    • Spencer

      I agree with the overall point, but that’s a fallacious argument (red herring).

  • None

    It’s ok to kill christians, rape their women and sale their children for pleasure slaves (they aren’t fit for anything else).

    The day will come, when every christian on Mother Earth will be given the honor of slaughter by blade. Oh, be still my heart!

    Fuck you christmas!

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    I hate the manufactured controversy as much as anyone, but would it be so hard to accept AFA really believes this and isn’t just doing it for publicity? What real evidence do we have that they honestly don’t have a problem with this? This has become a controversy because Christians all over America BELIEVE in it. They DO believe this is an issue. As stupid as that issue is, it makes no sense to deny they are being honest. All it does it make you feel better about yourself.

    • Anonymous

      Remember who we are talking about here. This is mostly about money for these people. Especially the top guys, who pay themselves large salaries from the donations.

      • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

        Okay so they’re also greedy. That’s not evidence that they only do it for the money.

        Christians all over the country feed into this. Even small business owners who negatively impact their own work by making their employees say Merry Christmas whether their customers are Christian or not. AFA is capitalizing on it big time, but is that alone evidence they are being dishonest? I think AFA is just as deluded about the issue as their followers are.

  • Marcie

    I always say Happy Holidays because I mean Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.  And any other holiday you might feel like throwing in there.  Hence holidayS!!  

  • Anonymous

    It’s ok to use pepper spray to gain a “competitive advantage” during an xmas gift shopping frenzy, but not ok if the store greeter says “Happy Holidays”… WTF is wrong with these people? So many xians, so few lions.

  • Anonymous

    Once again, cry me a river.

    Here’s a hint: If your most pressing problem as a religion is that certain businesses cater their meaningless salutation so that includes you AND other people, you’ve won. No really, the war is over and you are on top. If that’s your idea of a “problem” go home and celebrate being top dog.

    Crybabies.

  • Karen Locke

    I’m in the U.S.  I just emailed my cousin Lars in Norway, asking him what the appropriate Norwegian greeting is.  (Lars is a humanist.)  When he gets back to me, I’m using the Norwegian greeting (I expect it involves “jul” or “yule” to us English speakers).  If that confounds the “Merry Christmas Or Else” crowd, so much the better.

  • Tim

    Perhaps they should include a reference to the passage in their holy book where their deity demands that “Merry Christmas” is used as a greeting or farewell for a specific portion of the year. If it’s there (it isn’t), at least they have a reason to even consider pushing this to those of other faiths and atheists. Otherwise, this issue is nothing to sneeze at…

    As for sneezing, as an allergy sufferer, constantly being told “Bless you” or “God bless you” is irritating but not worth pressing. I may not thank the blesser but I don’t offer a retort about it either.  In 40 years, I have said “Bless You” once or twice, usually because it slipped out and, if I say anything at all, it is usually along the lines of “Holy shit, that was a good one!!” or I take Jerry Seinfeld’s suggestion to use “You are soooo good looking!”

  • Anonymous

    Io, Saturnalia.

  • PJB863

    And I’m sure this campaign will be every bit as successful as their boycott campaigns.  The list of companies they’ve boycotted for one reason or another is impresive: 

     7-Eleven
    Abercrombie & Fitch
    American Airlines
    American Girl
    Blockbuster Video
    Burger King
    Calvin Klein
    Carl’s Jr.
    Clorox
    Comcast
    Crest
    Ford
    Hallmark Cards
    Kmart
    Kraft Foods
    S. C. Johnson & Son
    Movie Gallery
    Microsoft
    MTV
    Mary Kay
    NutriSystem
    Old Navy
    IKEA
    Sears
    Pampers
    Procter & Gamble
    Target
    Tide
    Walt Disney Company
    PepsiCo

    Obviously all of these companies have felt the sting of AFA’s boycotts because all of them are in deep financial straits now.  What?  They felt no effect from AFA’S boycotts?  Not even Clorox? 

    Oh, AFA’s been sniffing the Clorox again – well that explains a lot……

    • Charles Black

      Apparently AFA is so successful in their boycotts that every company who is a target just laughs them off their property.

  • Michael

    I see they have a Donate button. People give them money to put together inane stuff like this?

  • Thewhittykitty

    Personally, I think that one thing that would make the world a better place is if ALL OF US would stop judging everybody. Why do we insist on making blanket statements about different groups? I am a Christian and happy to be one. That being said, I have friends & acquainteces of different religions and no religion. I don’t make blanket statements about atheists, pagans, jews, muslims, etc. We get along and learn from each other. I don’t demand that they become Christians and they don’t demand that I leave. And on behalf of my fellow Christians, please accept my apology if you’ve ever been offended (obviously you have) by us. Are there going to be Christians that don’t live up to the standards that Christ set? YES! He already warned us of this fact. You shouldn’t judge an entire religion based on how some of its followers carry it out. I’ve met plenty of non-Christians, and yes, quite a few of them were insensitive jerks. But, when next I meet one, I take that person as an individual, instead of assuming anything. You may find this hard to believe, but not all of us are narrow minded bigots. We just get tired of non-Christians accusing of us being hypocrites. I saw someone post that we don’t care about the poor and needy, etc. Most of the hospitals, schools & charities were started by Christians. Ironically, some of them have had to close because it offends those who don’t share our beliefs. As to the original topic that led me to this site,  I personally don’t care if the cashier wishes me “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” “Season’s Greetings” etc. I’m happy if they can make change properly and smile once in a while. I work with the public and I do say Merry Christmas. If they don’t celebrate it, they are free to tell me that. Last week I wished someone “Happy Thanksgiving,” and they said in reply, “Yes, Happy Holiday!” Who are you going to offend with Happy Thanksgiving? Brainwashed into using the least offensive salutation. Yes, I know all about the Holiday/Holy Day connection. As to the greed that surrounds the Christmas selling season, that is not started by Christiams; its hijacked by corporations looking to make a buck. Quite frankly, if the only people allowed to take advantage of “Christmas” sales and celebrations, were practicing Christians, you’d be able to find a parking space.

    • http://www.facebook.com/billyup Jesse Jones

      You missed the point, as so many “accepting” christians do. We atheists/huminists/agnostics know that not all christians are the same. We know that some of you are cool people who care not what others do with their lives if it isn’t hurting people. But, I truly doubt that you are a fundi, which is who we usually target with our blanket statements.
      Our claims that christians don’t give much to charities is pretty accurate, when you don’t consider giving money to a church or other religious orginization charity. Those types of “Charities” aren’t just out there to help people. They are there to spread the word of god. They at times refuse care or food or shelter if you refuse to be proselytized to. They waste money sending tons (and I do mean the measurement of weight) of bibles to starving villages, when those tons could have been more food that they actually need. Those charities that closed down had to close down because  either they broke the law by not providing specific services or they just plain weren’t doing the things they said they were with the money they were given. Studies/surveys have shown that non-believers give more to charity even though we are a much smaller group.
      The thing about us judging your entire religion isn’t what you think it is. Some people hate christianity yeah, but those folks usually have a good reason. For the most part we dislike religion because what is done in it’s name. All religions have bad things done in their name. Does that mean specific religions are bad? No not really. It means religion as a whole is harmful. That is just a simple fact.
      Someone saying happy holidays during thanksgiving is kinda weird, I’ll just assume they had something else going on in their head, possibly they were from canada or something.
      And I totally agree that corporations took over christmas a long time ago. But, that hasn’t stopped your average christian from running out to target/walmart/best buy to spend all of their money.

      Either way, I hope your Christmas goes well and your muslim/jewish/secular friends have a good holiday season.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

        The GOOD Christians do their X-mas shopping at the Christian Family Book Stores.

    • Anonymous

      Those so-called “charities” only had to close or change their operations because they wanted to receive tax payer money and continue to discriminate. Unfortunately, it has become standard for the government to subcontract social services to private organizations. They essentially pay other people to offer various services. That may not be so bad if those organizations then agreed to follow the law. But in many cases they don’t want to, but demand to be exempt from it. If you want to follow your beliefs do it with your own money

  • Maidentheshade

    I read some of those posts & comments on the AFA site. They were blaming atheists for the whole “Happy Holidays” phenom. It’s unfair & untrue. Large dept stores in cities like NY & Chicago didn’t want to alienate non xian shoppers (specifically jewish & Muslim) who also celebrated holidays by buying gifts during the Fall/Winter. It was a corporate capitalist decision, not a political secular decision.

    I tend to say Happy Holidays to be inclusive. I don’t assume everyone celebrates xmas & my collection of friends is pretty diverse. Saying holidays, plural, covers all bases & new years too.

  • http://allusiveatheist.blogspot.com/ T. Ray

    I’m
    inviting all my Facebook family and friends to join me in returning to
    the traditional greeting of “Io, Saturnalia!” or “Happy Solstice”
    instead of the politically correct “Happy Holidays”!! If you agree with
    me, please re-post this message…..Io, Saturnalia! We need Saturn back
    into our lives. Remember the earlier reason for the season. REASON IS WELCOME IN MY HOUSE。* 。 ° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π____*。*˚ ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */________/~\。˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| • If Critical Thinking is also welcome in your House, re-post this.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Ani Sharmin

    The people at the American Family Organization (and other groups that share this view) always seem to forget/ignore the fact that there are both employees and customers at these stores who are not Christian.  On top of all that, they act like they’re being persecuted when, in reality, their religious holidays are the ones that often coincide with days off in public schools, jobs, etc. and are the holidays that everyone in the country knows about and accommodates, while holidays of other religions are usually not as well-known.

    • Mairianna

      I just had to remind a fundie co-worker in the hospital that I work at that the management chose to call our year end party a “Year End Celebration” rather than a “Christmas Party” because there are so many who work here who DON’T celebrate Christmas.   Duh!

  • Chantelle Petersen
  • angela

    I saw someone comment on a friend’s FB post about this that she would “head straight for customer service and return everything” that she just bought if the cashier does not tell her Merry Christmas. 

  • Dan W

    I’d rather say Happy Holidays, as it’s more inclusive. After all, there are lots of winter holidays… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_winter_festivals

  • Charles Black

    So its more important for these people to complain about the wrong greeting when they could say for example help children dying from malaria.
    Looks like they’ve got their priorities right.

  • http://twitter.com/mjsandroid Michael Schmidt

    How about:

    “It’s okay to say Merry Christmas. The words don’t have any magical meaning anyway.”

  • Anonymous

    Mucky Crushed Mouse.

  • Dond

    First of all, nice language in trying to make your point.
    Second, what you don’t understand, is that we are fighting for the right to SAY “Merry Christmas”. Many business’s have removed the word Christmas from their lexicon and replaced it with insipid and hollow expressions of “Seasons Greetings” and “Employee Appreciation” lunches.

    One question Hemant, Did you celebrate Christmas as a child?
    I feel sorry for you and the empty life you must lead. I will say a prayer for you.
    Don D.


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