GOP Chairman Wishes Everyone ‘Happy Holidays’… Wait, What?!

Reader Lauren got an email from GOP Chairman Reince Priebus yesterday and couldn’t believe what she saw:

Happy holidays?!

Priebus, there’s a War on Christmas going on! Don’t you watch your own news channel?! WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?! I can’t wait for Liberty Council to put the Republican Party on its Naughty List.

Jesus must be spinning in his grave. (Or something like that.)

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.

  • Pat

    Probably written by the human resources department anyway. Either way, I don’t see the problem with “Merry Christmas” or the reason atheists are supposed to all be on the “pro-happy holidays” side.

    Before anyone rants at me, I recommend you read this pertinent blog post from an atheist perspective:

    http://atheistsforchristmas.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/105/

    • jdm8

      I don’t think a lot of atheists necessarily have a big problem with Christmas in itself, I think atheists mainly have a problem with (certain) Christians that get so offended with some other phrase is used. This is why it’s so amusing to poke fun of the Liberty Council for their “naughty and nice” list, and the hypocrisy of leaving Chick-fil-A off the list despite a recent ad.

      This reeks of Christian entitlement, as if their holiday is the only one that exists, and even referring to it as a holiday gets some of them really jacked up. That’s why I have a problem with it anyway.

    • Ibis3

      Most atheists don’t have a problem with “Merry Christmas” (though some point out, it can be mildly insulting for the wisher to assume you’re a fellow Christian). They just find it amusing that the right wing is all up in a furore over how the liberals and leftists are supposedly trying to stop Christmas by using an inclusive greeting, when in fact, their own compatriots on the right (FOX News, Chick Fil-A, and now the RNC) do the same.

    • coyotenose

      Very few atheists have a problem with saying “Merry Christmas”. Every group has its fringe, and said very small fringe makes news, which is where you’re getting the idea that this is a “thing”. The rest of us don’t usually feel the need to write all the time about how we don’t mind people saying what they want.

      The reason this is an issue at all is as follows: In the 1990s, Bill O’Reilly of FOX invented a “War on Christmas” as a way to get viewers riled up and increase his ratings. Outrage sells, and the meme spread. Now it’s taken as granted by the vast majority of conservatives, even though the entire myth is documented. The allegedly liberal media for some odd reason (outrage sells) doesn’t bother to correct this notion. Neither do politicians; who knows why not? (outrage sells)

      Now we’re stuck with a nation that doesn’t grasp the difference between “I like to say ‘Happy Holidays’” and “You have to say ‘Happy Holidays’”.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Woukld this count as the Heathen Holiday Card of the Day?

  • Fred

    We should congratulate them on their good sense to issue an inclusive message, rather than mocking them….

    • BlazeL

      Mocking is what atheists do. They think it means “freethinking”.

      At to the Repubs, no suprise there: they tried to push off two cultists…a Morman and an admirer of Atheist Ayn Rand as the new leadership.

      • TheG

        …and “hypocrisy” is what the Christian leadership does. “Mocking” the Constitution and fellow citizens is also not too far behind.

      • Baby_Raptor

        If the worst charge you can throw at us is mocking, we’re light years ahead of Christianity. I’ll gladly taking mocking over murder, hypocrisy, constant denial of rights, lying, generally being an asshole, ETC.

        • coyotenose

          Check out his other posts. He’s thrown out other charges. They’re easily disproven lies, of course. These twits don’t have anything else except “Atheists are mean!” and “I’m too stupid to know what atheism is!”

          • nakedanthropologist

            So true. He’s not even a creative troll. Whatever happened to people taking pride in their work?

      • C Peterson

        Atheists do nothing.

        Anti-theists and anti-religionists take an active stand against these things, and mockery is only one tool in our arsenal. And, of course, there is nothing wrong with mockery, properly applied.

        Most people would mock a compos mentis adult who believed in fairies or leprechauns; the choice of imaginary beings shouldn’t change that. Mockery is a legitimate tool for changing hearts and minds.

        • http://www.facebook.com/brian.westley Brian Westley

          “Our chief weapon against Christmas is mockery…

          mockery! ..and ridicule…

          Our two chief weapons are ridicule and mockery…

          and nice red uniforms…. THREE!….”

      • coyotenose

        I’m sorry that you aren’t competent enough to know what words mean and think that said lack of competence is a talking point in your favor.

        Christianity’s a cult also, by the way. More precisely, it is a highly successful death cult. Are you one of the Protestant cultists who broke with from God’s Church with your own crazy ideas, or one of the Catholic cultists who broke with God’s Chosen People with your own crazy ideas?

        I’ll guess one of the Catholic ones, since you’re dimwitted enough to jabber about “moral relativism” and stupidly try to use it against atheists, even though that argument has been completely shredded.

      • coyotenose

        Oh, also: That you express a problem with mockery but not with hypocrisy and dishonesty only tells the world how vile and bankrupt your personal morality is. On behalf of the world, thank you for outing yourself so others know to not trust you.

    • ortcutt

      Pointing out hypocrisy isn’t mocking. Someone can legitimately ask why the RNC can say “Happy Holidays” and they aren’t pilloried on Fox News as part of the War on Christmas.

  • Steph

    Pat, I am not upset that people say “Merry Christmas.” I know what upsets me is the insinuation by my Christian friends that if I chose to say “Happy Holidays” instead that I am persecuting Christians and waging a war on Christmas. I actually really like Christmas and celebrate it in a secular way. I just don’t get why being inclusive is bad.

    • C Peterson

      Pat doesn’t understand that there’s a big difference between liking “Happy Holidays” and disliking “Merry Christmas”. In fact, that distinction is lost (or deliberately ignored) on all those Christians who have created the “war on Christmas”.

  • Dan

    I think it is at least a realization that atheists are a growing voting block. You know there had to be some discussion behind all this before it was printed out.

    • ortcutt

      “Happy Holidays” was never intended as being inclusive of atheists. It was meant as inclusive of Jews (and maybe Kwanzaa celebrants, but much less so).

  • nazani

    I’ve got a box of old cards going back to the 1920s when they were just postcards, and there’s plenty of “season’s greetings,” “happy holidays” and other non-religious salutations. The war on Xmas is a thing only on Fox.

  • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Bubba Tarandfeathered

    Hey its a Holy Day card. Old English hāligdæg, literally: holy day.

  • Carol

    Well, our AZ state GOP email was definitely gung-ho for Christmas…

    “On behalf of the million-strong voters in the Arizona Republican Party, I heartily wish you a Merry Christmas.

    I ask that you especially thank our Almighty God for the great many blessings we all share.”

    … meh. Whatever.


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