Talk:War on Christmas

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I think I don't understand the war on Christmas. "Holidays" literally means "holy days". Is there something wrong with acknowledging that other people are celebrating what they think are holy days? This has always confused me. Is there a way to better explain this in the article? LiamG 15:21, 25 November 2008 (EST)

Hi Liam, that's a valid question. The difficulty is that, like a door-to-door salesman with his foot in the door, it is not so simple to walk it back. Once we stop seeing Christmas as a celebration of the birth of our savior, we begin the process of eliminating Him from our conscience precisely at the time we are meant to reflect on his presence. Here's a little thought experiment. Imagine if tomorrow we began stopped calling chlorine, chlorine and instead called it "strawberry." Some people, not all, have fairly positive associations with the word strawberry, they like the flavor, the berries are cute, etc. I'm being a little silly here, but the truth of the matter is, some people might in error actually consume bleach. They might see the container sitting there and literally think it is full of strawberries and drink some. I think anyone can see the danger in that. Like changing the name of chlorine to strawberry, when we change the name of Christmas to Holiday, we deny people the inherent implication that the day belongs to Christ. And for some, not all, we have allowed them another opportunity not to come to God and find salvation. In the end, we may actually being damning people to hell. And if even one person is at risk for an eternity of torment, I think anyone can agree that we need to protect them from that possibility. Respectfully, BradJohnson 15:43, 25 November 2008 (EST)
Wasn't Christmas originally a Pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice? HDCase 15:44, 25 November 2008 (EST)
I understand the slippery slope concept (there was a big "X-mas" issue when I was younger), but I don't understand why it applies here. We aren't changing the name of Christmas, just recognizing that other religions have holy days around the same time: the "holiday season". I have a lot of Jewish friends and I wish them a "Happy Hanukkah" and they wish me a "Merry Christmas". When I don't know the religion of the person, or if the person is even religious, I wish them "Happy Holidays". The war on Christmas idea seems to say I'm wrong for doing that. Is that what the argument is? I'm sorry, but I guess I still don't understand. LiamG 15:57, 25 November 2008 (EST)
That's okay, Liam. It is a difficult thing to understand if you've never been exposed to it. I might let someone else do a better job of explaining, (or look to the article) but basically it is a substitution of reality to say "Happy Holidays" to a person when it is Christmas. We celebrate Independence Day, but if we simply say "The Fourth" we miss the meaning behind the day--the reason we get it off work, out of school, etc. BradJohnson 16:56, 25 November 2008 (EST)
Another example is when people switch "Thanksgiving Day" to "Turkey Day". Even though turkey is associated with Thanksgiving Day, switching the name to "Turkey Day" changes the meaning of the holiday and is inappropriate. --DeanStalk 19:31, 25 November 2008 (EST)
But people are not changing or substituting, they are being more inclusive and humble in acknowledging that there are other religions. I would like someone to give a better answer to Liam's question, would you tell someone you know to be Jewish to have a Merry Christmas?

In New York City or Boston, yes. I live in the Upper West Side, which is around 75% Jewish. Christmas trees are selling briskly in this neighborhood. More important, if you want to say something nice to a Jewish person, would be "Good Sabbath" on a Saturday. --Ed Poor Talk 22:21, 16 December 2008 (EST)