Austin Cline: Christmas Wars & Conspiracies: Conflicts over the Meaning of Christmas Season





What are the Christmas Wars?:
In his infamous tract “The International Jew,” Henry Ford wrote “The whole record of the Jewish opposition to Christmas, Easter and other Christian festivals, and their opposition to certain patriotic songs, shows the venom and directness of [their] attack.” The John Birch Society complained that the “Godless UN” was conspiring against Christmas. Today, conservatives claim that secularists and liberals are trying to replace Christmas. The enemy changes, but it’s still the same conspiracy story.

“Happy Holidays” is an Anti-Christian Statement:
It is claimed that use of Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas excludes Christmas and is anti-Christian. This is nonsense. People use Happy Holidays to cover all holidays during the season, including Christmas. Christians who get upset over this aren’t seeking tolerance or respect, they are seeking privilege and status. They want others to make them feel better about themselves by treating Christianity as special and more important than other religions.

Why Not Just Say Merry Christmas?:
If you say Merry Christmas, you assume that the other person celebrates Christmas — often a fair bet, but not as guaranteed as it once was. As the religious pluralism of America increases, so must the sensitivity of its citizens. The fewer traditional Christians there are around, the less people can assume that everyone is celebrating the usual Christian holidays and doing the usual Christian things. It’s impolite to make assumptions about people you don’t know.

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