Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 49

Thread: 'Happy holidays' vs Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, etc.

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,170

    'Happy holidays' vs Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, etc.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10355980/
    Humorous article. Here are some excerpts:
    Many people are thrilled to get a White House Christmas card, no matter what the greeting inside. But some conservative Christians are reacting as if Bush stuck coal in their stockings."This clearly demonstrates that the Bush administration has suffered a loss of will and that they have capitulated to the worst elements in our culture," said William A. Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

    Bush "claims to be a born-again, evangelical Christian. But he sure doesn't act like one," said Joseph Farah, editor of the conservative Web site WorldNetDaily.com. "I threw out my White House card as soon as I got it.

    "Religious conservatives are miffed because they have been pressuring stores to advertise Christmas sales rather than "holiday specials" and urging schools to let students out for Christmas vacation rather than for "winter break." They celebrated when House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) insisted that the sparkling spectacle on the Capitol lawn should be called the Capitol Christmas Tree, not a holiday spruce.
    (snip)
    "Certainly President and Mrs. Bush, because of their faith, celebrate Christmas," said Susan Whitson, Laura Bush's press secretary. "Their cards in recent years have included best wishes for a holiday season, rather than Christmas wishes, because they are sent to people of all faiths."
    (snip)
    "Ninety-six percent of Americans celebrate Christmas," Donohue said. "Spare me the diversity lecture."
    The article goes on to talk about the Catholic League threatening to boycott Wallyworld and gives some facts and figures about how other Presidents have handled the holiday vs Xmas card thang.

    Personally, I find this whole 'controversy' amusing as heXX! So, why is it Dubyah would bother appeasing any PC bleeding-heart liberal types anyways, hmmm?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Upstate
    Posts
    4,871
    This is hilarious. So much for "tolerance." Let the Christian right fight amongst themselves. It's fun to watch.

    My favorite part: "The cover art is also secular, if not humanist: It shows the presidential pets -- two dogs and a cat -- frolicking on a snowy White House lawn." What's next? Protests by equine lovers and cattle farmers for not including photos of horses and cows on the White House lawn?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    Donohue is a wingnut. He attacked the show Nothing Sacred for being anti-Catholic despite the fact that the show was put together with Jesuit consultants and showed parish priests and administrators in a very positive light.

  4. #4
          Downtown's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Under a pile of back issue Plannings
    Posts
    3,174
    I don't understand this at all. Why would a Christian WANT to wish a jewish person "merry christmas"? Wish all the other christians "merry christmas" ALL DAY LONG if you want. But why the desire to be a dick when all you have to say is "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" instead. And what do people care what OTHER people are wishing people. If Joe Schmoe wants to wish everyone "Felicitous Ramadan!", he's completely entitled to.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Big Owl's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    near the edge
    Posts
    930
    I like this one from last year.

    linky

  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,589
    Blog entries
    3
    Why is the religious right getting sand in their panties about this just now? Businesses have been doing the "Happy Holidays" thing for years.

    "Happy Holidays" is all-inclusive; it covers the days before and after Christmas, and implies other religious holidays taking place during the time, like Hanukkah and Eid. Why do the righties now want to be exclusionary instead of inclusionary? Do they really want some people to feel lefr out? I think they see this as an opportunity to force others to evangelize, and to politicize the phrase "Merry Christmas," connecting the holiday with the righties.

    Any business using "Happy Holidays" is trying to broaden its market fromChristians to everyone, thus increasing profit potential. That's the American way, correct?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    ^-- I think the RR is beginning to realize that Bush has been playing them like a song (the fight they had to go through to get a conservative who may or may not be against abortion nominated for the Supreme Court is indicative of that) and they're beginning to get angry at him in general.

  8. #8
    I am no conservative christian, radical righter, but I ask: Must the majority subvert itself so that the minority is not offended? If Kwanzaa, Chanukkah, and other sesonal greetings are acceptable among minority groups, then why is merry christmas not also tolerable?

    Just wondering.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Upstate
    Posts
    4,871
    See Downtown's response. I wouldn't wish my Jewish friends "merry Christmas." Not everyone celebrates Christmas. Personally, I stick to buying cards that say "happy holidays" for that very reason -- I'm not always sure whether or not someone observes Christmas.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    As a life-long Christian, I know what Christmas means (to me as well as others), yet I still wish others Happy Holidays. It encompasses the whole season from Thanksgiving to New Years. If your own faith is strong and unshakeable, it shouldn't matter what other people are doing or saying.

    I suppose as an African American living in the south, I should be offended by the song "White Christmas."
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  11. #11
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,348
    I usually say happy holidays because the festive period is so drawn out now and basically includes Thanksgiving. It has nothing to do with being PC though.

    I prefer Winter Break to Christmas Break for schools. Christmas is usually only a few days after schools let out, plus you have New Years thrown in there with it. It also corresponds with the "Summer Break" and "Spring Break". What can I say, I'm a fan of consistent formating.

    I don't know why people get so offended about this kind of stuff.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    ^-- Spring Break used to be Easter Break.

  13. #13
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,348
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    ^-- Spring Break used to be Easter Break.
    The school I went to didn't have the Spring Break corresponding with Easter. Good Friday was a day set-up as a weather make-up day, so it wasn't a guaranteed day off.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  14. #14
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,589
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    IMust the majority subvert itself so that the minority is not offended? If Kwanzaa, Chanukkah, and other sesonal greetings are acceptable among minority groups, then why is merry christmas not also tolerable?.
    Do cashiers at stores tell their customers to have a Happy Hanukkah or a Joyfil Eid ul-Fitr? No. If they did, though -- and you know the odds of that happening are about as rare as finding a kosher ham -- you can bet your ass evangelical Christians will be up in arms.

    Also, do you remember the term "Tyrrany of the majority" from your high school civics classes?

    Look, I don't mind people wishing me "Merry Christmas," as long as it's sincere and not in my face. Still, though why be exclusive instead of inclusive? Why does the right want to lay total ownership to a holiday season that is shared by other as only their own? Why the mean-spiritedness during a season when it's especially not appropriate?

  15. #15
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Also, do you remember the term "Tyrrany of the majority" from your high school civics classes?
    The implicit assumption there is that well-wishing one who does not celebrate a holiday constitutes tyrrany.

    To be frank, the conservatives have a point (though not one worth belaboring). Is it possible for a culture to have any conventions if it strives to eliminate all that might offend a minority? And without such conventions, where does that leave society? Is it that we are now only allowed secular holidays? And what of those? Should people who aren't citizens or who are anti-nationalist be forced to endure the noise and light of fireworks on the 4th of July? Should I be offended when my Mexican neighborhors wave flags and shout "Feliz cinco de mayo!" at me?

    Also, your converting to Judism and then declaring yourself to be a minority seems just a little like the guy on Seinfield who converted to Judism so he could tell Jewish jokes. You weren't born a Jew so you can't adopt the trappings of ethnicity like that.

    Poking around a bit I found this post on a blog written by an ethnic Jew:

    http://foodisworse.typepad.com/this/...christmas.html

    Another part of the problem is that there's no direct analog to
    Christmas for non-Christians, just seasonal approximations. Trying to
    make Christmas = Hanukkah is a good way to bug a lot of people.

    When I was younger, I got annoyed when somebody wished me "Merry
    Christmas". It seemed thoughtless, and I usually just grumbled back at
    them. Now that I'm all grown up, when I hear "Merry Christmas" (or any
    other holiday greeting) I appreciate the spirit in which it's said: I
    simply assume somebody is giving me a joyous greeting. I don't feel
    like they're flaunting their religion, evangelizing, or proselytizing.
    They're giving me something nice, and I give them back in kind.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    Uh,...
    Posts
    97
    I'm just trying to figure out when the Constitution was amended to include the right to Never, Ever be Offended?
    "If you love something, let it go."
    What kind of crap is that?

  17. #17
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,170
    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Why is the religious right getting sand in their panties about this just now? Businesses have been doing the "Happy Holidays" thing for years.
    They certainly seem to feel more emboldened lately, don't they. These guys tradtionally filled the role of comic relief for many years embarking on their various Jihads (like playing thousands of hours of records backwards to see if there was 'backward masking' or persecuting purple Teletubbies because they held 'purses' and therefore "taught" young impressionable children to be 'gay' ). The scary thing, though, is that these folks seem to have maintained until recently an uncomfortably close relationship with the White House.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  18. #18
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    3,173
    I always try to say Happy Holidays because like DT, I don't know what people celebrate. But, I also totally agree with what JordanB posted:

    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Now that I'm all grown up, when I hear "Merry Christmas" (or any
    other holiday greeting) I appreciate the spirit in which it's said: I
    simply assume somebody is giving me a joyous greeting. I don't feel
    like they're flaunting their religion, evangelizing, or proselytizing.
    They're giving me something nice, and I give them back in kind.
    Who cares if someone is wishing you Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Feliz Cumpleanos (I know, that's birthday). They are wishing you well, it's not of ill-intent or malicious, so people need to chill out.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    BC
    Posts
    1,584
    I think the argument is a bit ludicrous from all angles. Would the Jewish be actually offended if someone wished them Merry Christmas? Would a Christian be offended if someone wished them Happy (?) Kwanza? To both: probably. The problem is not the words or the friendly sentiment, the problem is religion taking itself far too seriously.

  20. #20
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,589
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Also, your converting to Judism and then declaring yourself to be a minority seems just a little like the guy on Seinfield who converted to Judism so he could tell Jewish jokes.]
    I've always told Jewish jokes.

    Please don't think that one minute, I think "Merry Christmas" is fine, and the next it's not. I love the holiday season, I love watching Christmas shows, and I'm fueling the economy by spending hundreds of dollars on Christmas presents. What I feel is a bit of a separation from the day, like it's not mine anymore. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy it, and relish in its warmth and atmosphere.

    If someone tells me "Merry Christmas," I'm not going to be offended. When the PD gives us all Christmas hams, I'll do what I always do with it; give it to my parents. I've always felt, when a cashier says "Merry Christmas", I wonder "How do they know?" Why be exclusive when there's the chance to be inclusive? I the thought of being "inclusive" somehow tied with being "liberal," and therefore offensive among the righties?

    While I enjoy the sentiment of "Merry Christmas," I think the righties are asking for a little bit more. The sentiment of "Happy Holidays" is just the same.

    I'll present this scenario: a large group of people with rural Confederate cultural leanings start raising a big fuss about blacks appearing on television shows. "Why should we be inclusive and liberal and politically correct, and have black characters in every TV show?", they'll protest. "The ACLU is forcing broadcasters to put colored characters in their shows! We want to return to the good 'ol days when only whites appeared on television. Besides, negros are a minority, and they don't have the spending power. We'll start boycotting the adverrisers of any show that includes a colored in the cast."

  21. #21
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    I'll present this scenario: a large group of people with rural Confederate cultural leanings start raising a big fuss about blacks appearing on television shows. "Why should we be inclusive and liberal and politically correct, and have black characters in every TV show?", they'll protest. "The ACLU is forcing broadcasters to put colored characters in their shows! We want to return to the good 'ol days when only whites appeared on television. Besides, negros are a minority, and they don't have the spending power. We'll start boycotting the adverrisers of any show that includes a colored in the cast."
    Um, so wouldn't this be a case where you're refraining from showing blacks on TV out of fear of offending a minority who finds blacks on television offensive? That's where the analog to refraining from saying "Merry Christmas" is.

    Like that blog poster said, "inclusion" is really lame in this instance because there is no real analogue with Christmas, not in Judaism and certainly not in Islam or Buddhism or what have you. Saying "Happy Holidays" is a way of saying "Mary Christmas" without using the word. It's a bit like using blackface to show blacks on TV rather than hiring actual black actors.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Also, do you remember the term "Tyrrany of the majority" from your high school civics classes?
    Indeed I do remember. And I remember literature dealing with the topic as well.

    {Ibsen} wrote, more as a pamphlet than as a play, what is yet one of the most effective of his comedies, An Enemy of the People (1882). Dr. Stockmann, the hero of that piece, discovers that the drainage system of the bathing-station on which the little town depends is faulty, and the water impure and dangerous. He supposes that the corporation will be grateful to have these deficiencies pointed out; on the contrary, they hound him out of their midst as an "enemy of the people." In this play occurs Ibsen's famous and typical saying, "a minority may be right -- a majority is always wrong."
    {emphasis added}

    I, personally, am most likely to use happy holidays than christmas in my greetings to people that I am not familiar with precisely to avoid hurting someone's feelings. jordanb got closest to what I was wondering with this response:

    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    To be frank, the conservatives have a point (though not one worth belaboring). Is it possible for a culture to have any conventions if it strives to eliminate all that might offend a minority? And without such conventions, where does that leave society? Is it that we are now only allowed secular holidays? And what of those? Should people who aren't citizens or who are anti-nationalist be forced to endure the noise and light of fireworks on the 4th of July? Should I be offended when my Mexican neighbors wave flags and shout "Feliz cinco de mayo!" at me?
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  23. #23
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    5,502
    Coming from an area of Los Angeles with a high Jewish population, I've always said season's greetings or happy holidays. At my school (went to the same one from 6 to 12 grade), we always used 'winter break' as the vacation period and 'holiday party' for our little celebrations before break. Up here, the public schools in the City I work for are Catholic and Protestant schools. They have Christmas pageants and enjoy Christmas break. It feels so weird, given my upbringing.

  24. #24
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,589
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by njordanb
    Should I be offended when my Mexican neighbors wave flags and shout "Feliz cinco de mayo!" at me?.
    No. Likewise, I'm not offended when someone tells me "Merry Christmas," provided it's in the spirit of the season, and not shoved down my throat. No animus at all. I express it myself. Again, though, I'll say it: if there's the chance to be inclsive, why be exclusive? Up until this year, there has been absolutely no protest from Christians about "Happy Holidays," so apparently they didn't see the term as offensive.

    One thing that's ironic about all of this:

    Rightie: "I'm offended that the evil liberal and ACLU would force people to say 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas," just to avoid offending a few people."

    So, if you're offended, it's a travesty, but if others are offended, eff 'em?" That's what Donohue said, in so many words.

    Quote Originally posted by Washington Post
    "Ninety-six percent of Americans celebrate Christmas," Donohue said. "Spare me the diversity lecture."
    They're complaining about the "politically corredt" use of "Happy Holidays" while claiming disenfranchisement. Nice.

    I get it now. Attempts to be more inclusive are a direct attack on Christian values. The feelings of hypersensitive Christians, especially fundamentalists and Opus Dei Catholics, should be considered far more than the feelings of others. Being a good Christian also requires one to be insensitive and intolerant of those of other faiths. Everything that occurs between Thanksgiving and New Year's is the sole domain of Christianity.

    EDIT: I'll consider this a shot fired by the right in the culture war that's dividing our nation. There has never been a "war against Christmas." Can anyone say "strawman?" It's another subject where the right can rally the troops and instil fear about the evil, godless, athiestic, autocratic liberals.

  25. #25
    Member Wulf9's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Near the Geysers
    Posts
    922
    This has all the earmarks of "talking points" intended to keep the base united. It is so pervasive and shows up in such a short and concentrated time frame that it appears to have a well-funded, national-level sponsorship.

    That being said, I tend to like "Merry Christmas" as a Christmas greeting and use it in most cases. When it's obviously inappropriate, I tend to use an alternative.

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Happy Hanukkah 2011
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 23 Dec 2011, 4:10 PM
  2. Happy Hanukkah 2010
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 14
    Last post: 02 Dec 2010, 11:31 AM
  3. Replies: 9
    Last post: 21 Dec 2009, 11:38 PM
  4. Happy Hanukkah 2009
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 9
    Last post: 12 Dec 2009, 1:09 PM
  5. Replies: 22
    Last post: 25 Dec 2003, 4:15 AM