Yes, even though I am not religious I am actually going to defend the slogan of “Merry Christmas” on behalf of Christians. While I do not feel that blank coffee cups or secular holiday greetings such as “Happy Holidays” are a slight to Christians, at the same time I do not have an issue with “Merry Christmas” being said or posted somewhere.
Now, before you get all high and mighty about how this may be offensive to followers of other faiths or to the non-religious, maybe we should consider all the other crap that we choose to believe.
I do not believe in ghosts but I am not trying to ban Halloween. However, at best the holiday has its origins in the beliefs of human beings at various times in our history when we were at our most ignorant and irrational. At worst, the holiday celebrates beliefs that are still held by many people. In 2011 studies showed that up to 37% of Americans believe that houses can be haunted. Other studies as recently as 2013 show that
45% of Americans believe in ghosts or that the spirits of the dead can come back in certain situations. Because dogs often bark at nothing and cats may back away from empty places, millions believe that this type of behavior is evidence that our pets can sense ghosts. Superstitions about cats in particular have been responsible for the mistreatment and abuse of our feline friends throughout a good part of our history.
Here’s something I believe. Very often pets have more innate knowledge and common sense about the world around them than their owners.
I do not believe in horoscopes but I am not trying to ban them from newspapers or other media. As a matter of fact, I may have a right to do so considering that in the cases of my paid subscriptions to various news sources I am paying for what I consider to be worthless information. Polls in 2014 indicated that almost half of Americans put some sort of scientific stock in astrology. I would be willing to bet that most of these people pass right over real scientific posts and stories.
I don’t believe that what goes around comes around in a spiritual sense but I’m not offended by talk of Karma.
I do not believe in psychics, mediums, or clairvoyants. I’m not talking about skilled magicians or even people with interesting stories and theories. I am referring to charlatans who are constantly promoting themselves. Millions of people eat this stuff up and I do not cry foul every time I am unwillingly exposed to it.
I don’t believe that coincidences are anything but coincidences, however, I am not offended when someone says that a random occurrence was “meant to be.”
I am open to the possibility that any of these things may be true to fact when; predicable, repeatable, and independently verifiable results can be obtained to support their existence by conducting controlled tests and experiments.
Don’t tell me that these things equally can’t be disproved through testing either. That is not an argument. When Albert Einstein published his papers about Relativity they weren’t subtitled, “I believe it’s true prove me wrong.” That is not how it works. If you want to convince the world of something extraordinary, you have to make an extraordinary case for it. Unfortunately, even in the world of science that can be a tough task and when it pertains to certain subjects what we might call an absolute truth is very elusive.
What that means is that we all have to put up with each other’s version of our own existence.
In regard to Christmas, at least many historians are in agreement that Jesus Christ most likely existed as a person. Even though their viewpoints about Him differ, both Judaism and Islam concur on some level in regard to this point. I’m pretty sure that we all can agree that the reported teachings of Jesus Christ about how we should all love and accept each other are worth believing as very valuable ideas of how to live life.
Along this vein why can’t we be respectful anytime someone expresses warm and kind wishes to us whether or not it is reflective of a shared faith? Why is that offensive? Is selflessly wishing another person one day of joy out of the year too much to ask in this life because we can’t agree on what happens or doesn’t happen after we die?
I’m not Jewish but if someone would happen to wish me a Happy Hanukkah I would gladly wish them one back.
What is wrong with any universal message of peace on earth and goodwill to men? If you don’t like it just turn the other cheek.
So, for the sake of tradition and to sincerely convey the best generous spirit of the holidays toward all mankind have a “Merry Christmas” and shut the hell up.