‘Tis the season for a war on religion, or more specifically, a war on Christmas. There’s nothing quite like battling over politically correct titles to get everyone in the holiday spirit. Arguments might be customary at family gatherings, but this year, a new issue hits the table: the attempt to eliminate Christmas as a nationally recognized holiday for fear of offending other religions.
From a ban of the Salvation Army Christmas bell on certain streets to the cancellation of adaptations of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”; anything so much as mentioning baby Jesus is suddenly ruled as offensive. Is Christmas really becoming taboo? The joyful holiday once anticipated by all has turned into a fight on removing all traces of religion from government.
While some people believe that the First Amendment protects their right to celebrate Christmas, others believe that it provides a reason to celebrate holidays privately. But problems will arise when we begin banning people from celebrating their own religious holidays.
What is so ironic about this fight to essentially remove America’s connection with Christmas is that Christmas is no longer a Christian holiday. Christmas lost its religious connotation long ago. To the majority of the public, the holiday is no longer about celebrating the birth of a savior, but rather about celebrating family and gift giving. Last I checked, Santa Claus, the magical figure associated with the holiday, has no biblical connotation.
I’ve heard it said numerous times: “those who preach tolerance are always the most intolerant.” Are we that sensitive as a nation that we can’t say “Christmas” because it might offend someone? Whether you believe in the story of the birth of Jesus, the sentiments of family, friends and giving are the real adaptations of Christmas in which our nation takes part.
If someone wishes me a happy Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, I’m not going to become offended or feel as if my religion is somehow belittled. Maybe I’m a little backwards in my thinking, but I feel as if there are bigger issues to worry about in our country than whether we greet someone with a “merry Christmas” or “happy holidays.”
The great part about freedom of religion is that you are free to believe and practice whatever faith you want. If you decide to celebrate the winter solstice, you go ahead and put up your holiday tree. I, however, will be celebrating Christmas with an angel on top of my tree.