The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Happy Chrismahanukwanzaka 

I still don't have all my Christmas shopping done yet... but that's about standard operating procedure for me. But that's not what today's post is all about. A lot of bloggers have been either vilifying or celebrating the perceived increase in the "Happy Holiday's" movement around the country. Some say Christians are being persecuted (talk about over reacting), some just say they're trying to take the Christ out of Christmas. Others think it's more about being inclusive... and isn't that what the season is about after all?

For the record, I have no issue with Happy Holidays. It is a nice, safe thing to say, and conveys just the same feeling as a Merry Christmas does. I do have issue with the exclusion of Christmas from schools and public display. But Nick... separation of church and state! Hey, that's all well and good. But many times they only exclude Christmas. It's ok to spin a dradle, and let's not forget about Kwanza. But Christmas is suddenly taboo. Some people have tried to explain this away by claiming that Hanukkah and Kwanza are cultural holidays, while Christmas is a religious one. Well if that isn't the biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard in my life. You don't get to pick and choose here. If you want to put up your church/state wall, then fine. But exclude everything, or exclude nothing.

Of course that's only half the story. The other thing I have issue with is the re-making of Christian symbols to make them publicly acceptable. Holiday Trees and Giving Trees seem to be a favorite in town squares, lest we offend anyone. I don't think so. If you don't want to have a symbol of Christmas, you don't get to hijack Christian symbols for other purposes. If you want to promote charity during the holiday times, then put up an aluminum pole! It will be a Festivus Miracle! I'm not joking here.

I remember holidays around grade school being filled with a lot of celebration. Sure, we celebrated Christmas, and everyone had a bash. We learned about Hanukkah, and made and spun our own dradles. I also remember a lot of fun around the Chinese New Year too. Usually parents of kids who celebrated those holidays would come in and talk about it, and we'd have activities to learn about them. Were we being preached to? Of course not... we were kids. But I got to understand about some of the things that my friends did that I might not otherwise have known. Heaven forbid.

What I'm saying is that I think there are only real options here. Either get rid of all of it on public display, or include all of it. Personally, I'd love to see us include all of it. I'd love to see City Hall have a Christmas Tree, and a Menorah, and anything else displayed. City Hall isn't just the seat of local government, it's also the center of a community. And what's wrong with the government acknowledging, and celebrating events that are important to the lives of all it's citizens? Why stop there? Let's have Ramadan in fall, not to mention Easter and Passover in spring.

Let's celebrate the diversity, and allow people to be exposed to it, instead of walking on egg shells fearful that someone might be offended. But if we can't do that - then get rid of the whole shooting match. No more parades... no more nothing. I think it's just as bad to be forced to diminish a holiday just so that we don't offend people when we display it.


I certainly don't have an issue with someone saying Happy Holidays, but when it is being said explicitly to avoid saying Merry Christmas I think it is being taken too far. And yes - calling a Christmas Tree a "giving tree" is beyond ridiculous.

WRT the persecution issue - it appears to me, and others, that there is a dedicated effort to remove the right of Christians to display our symbolic items but to protect the rights of other to display theirs ...


  Posted at December 22, 2004 8:42 PM by Blogger TJ  
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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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