December 5th, 2011

30 rock, lemon holiday

Why I have no problem with "Happy Holidays"

I am a Christian, and I celebrate Christmas. A lot of Christians get pretty political about wishing people "Merry Christmas," and get (unnecessarily, in my opinion) upset when people use the so-called politically correct "Happy Holidays." I don't, however. And I'm going to tell you why.

I love Jesus, you guys. I really do. I believe that his teachings promote unity, and that he wants us to love one another. And loving one another doesn't mean that we are all the same, or that we all believe the same thing. There are reasons why we aren't all the same, and why we don't all believe the same thing. I believe what he would want is for us to get along, to include everyone, to really show love and respect toward one another.

While I personally would never take offense if someone wished me a happy Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, or any other winter holiday that I don't celebrate, I understand why people might get upset if they were wished a happy Christmas when they believe something differently. Especially if they believed the person was wishing them a happy Christmas as a reminder that they are outsiders.

If the true meaning of Christmas is that we believe in Christ, and that we believe in his teachings, I see no reason why Christians can't wish people happy holidays. It shows our fellow men/women that we respect them and whatever winter holiday they might celebrate. Do people really need to know that we are Christians through our wishing them a Merry Christmas? If that's the only indicator we can give other people that we are Christians, then that is a little sad. What is the purpose of wishing someone a Merry Christmas besides letting them know we are Christians? Is it to convert them, if they aren't Christian, to come unto Christ? Are we saying it so we can unite and bring people together? Or are we saying it as a way to say that we are better than non-Christians? Sadly, I think that some Christians use it as a weapon to repel others.

I respect beliefs that are different from my own, as long as they promote good, wholesome, beautiful things. And I believe that covers almost all belief systems. Do I think that others should convert to Christianity? I know that it makes me happy, and if it would make them happy, then, yes. I don't think that I'm going to convert anyone to Christianity simply by saying Merry Christmas. I can only show others that I am a happy individual because of my beliefs, and live them to the best of my ability. Which is why I believe saying happy holidays sets a better example than saying Merry Christmas. Does this mean I will never say Merry Christmas? Absolutely not. Does this mean that I'm trying to be "politically correct" and somehow minimize my own beliefs by caving in to external pressure to say happy holidays? No!

I don't think that there's anything wrong with showing respect for other people's beliefs. I have friends from many different religious perspectives including atheist and agnostic. I think it's as silly for Christians to try to spread the true meaning of Christmas by saying, "Merry Christmas," as it is for atheists to try to get rid of "in God we trust" from United States money. No one is going to convert to Christianity because of someone else saying Merry Christmas. Also, no one else is going to suddenly believe in God by reading money. And we can fight about our religious/nonreligious ideologies until we are blue in the face, but that doesn't make anyone happy.

I can truly say that some of the most beautiful and genuine and nicest people I have ever met are people who do not share my same faith. My life has been enriched and made better by these people, and I would not be the person I am today without their influence for good. I believe that Christ would want us to open doors instead of slam them in people's faces. And sometimes, "happy holidays" opens more doors. Just saying.