Christmas Greetings, and the World Is Insane

December 25th, 2010

By Dan Miller

This Agnostic has had just about enough of PC Christmastime.

Last year at about this time I ranted about attempts to eliminate the vestiges of Christmas from Western society lest the easily offended be offended. I am an Agnostic and these efforts and their successes then offended me; they still do. The long Judeo-Christian history and culture of the United States have contributed greatly to our heritage and behavior. As they are progressively diminished we all suffer.

Today, most think “Merry Christmas” is ok, but “most are still likely to say ‘Happy Holidays’ rather than risk offending someone.” Still:

As Americans crowd stores nationwide, most still prefer being greeted by signs that say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays.” According to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey, just one-out-of-four Adults (24%) like “Happy Holidays” instead. Sixty-nine percent (69%) prefer that stores use signs that say “Merry Christmas.”

Nina Totenberg recently apologized on NPR for referring to a Christmas party.

Last year, I began the article with a quote from a piece of satire. This time that seems unnecessary.

Here is an anti-Christmas sampler for 2010…

…and a word from our sponsors Abu Dhabi:

An Abu Dhabi luxury hotel that boasted an $11 million Christmas tree decorated with gold and gems admitted Sunday it may have taken the holiday spirit a bit too far.

A statement from the Emirates Palace hotel said it regretted “attempts to overload” the Christmas tree tradition by adorning it with premium bling including gold, rubies, diamonds and other precious stones from a hotel jeweler.

Returning to the United States, The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has warned school officials in Tennessee that wishing folks “Merry Christmas” is bad and that they should instead wish them “Happy Holidays.” It apparently did so in response to “a number of complaints” about school party activities. A secret amendment to the First Amendment prohibiting offensive speech has apparently been disclosed by WikiLeaks. Happy Saturnalia, ACLU. Commerce Claus Santa Claus has some pretty coal lumps wrapped up for you in plain brown paper; don’t burn them, they emit carbon dioxide. But you already knew that.

A bank in Texas affiliated with JP Morgan/Chase was directed by corporate officials to remove a Christmas tree from the lobby. The tree had been donated by a friend of the bank manager:

[To] ensure that everyone who visits Chase branches feels welcome and comfortable, the bank’s policy is to use only decorations supplied by the company.

“We appreciate the thoughtful gesture from [the donor] … ” Hassell said. “Unfortunately, we’re unable to keep it [the tree] on display for the remainder of the holiday season.” JPMorgan Chase ensures that decorations are “something everyone is comfortable with, regardless of how they celebrate the season,” Hassell said.

Nor are Christmas trees permitted in Orlando, Florida toll booths:

“Holiday decorations of any kind have been banned from all toll booths along the 460 miles of toll highways run by the Florida Turnpike Enterprise, which is part of the Florida Department of Transportation, a local spokeswoman said. … The ban was put in place several months ago after some motorists complained about decorations. … “Some Christian organizations complained about Halloween decorations,” said spokeswoman Christa Deason.

Turnpike leaders have now decided to ban holiday decorations of any kind, she said. The Florida Turnpike does not spend any money on decorations for any holiday.

An examiner for the Federal Reserve Board ordered a bank in Perkins, Oklahoma to remove all “religious signs and symbols.”

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8 Responses to “Christmas Greetings, and the World Is Insane”

  1. Clarissa |

    It annoys me when people who know me say “Merry Christmas.” Since they know me, it’s not too much to ask that they remember that I don’t celebrate Christmas. However, when strangers say it, I’m not annoyed at all. They are just trying to be nice, and how are they to know I don’t celebrate?

  2. Dan Miller |


    Some years ago I noticed that I was not at all offended when Jewish friends wished me a Happy Hanukkah, as I had often wished them. Now I think that when a friend well acquainted with my Agnostic views wishes me a Merry Christmas or a Happy Hanukkah the greeting is intended as an expression of good will and, truth to tell, I rather like it. Beats “Happy Holidays,” which I understand to be a PC abbreviation of “Happy Holy Days.” Were a Muslim acquaintance to wish me a “Happy Eid,” I don’t think I would mind at all and might even like it, even though I don’t have a great reserve of tolerance for many of the things recently done by Islamists.

    Most of the other attorneys at the law firm where I worked for many years, including the senior partner, were Jewish. We had a Christmas party at the senior partner’s house and everyone seemed to feel welcome.

    Christmas is an integral part of United States heritage and culture and it seems to me that attempts to diminish it are unfortunate.

  3. Dan Miller |

    Here is an article with multiple examples of what’s been happening to the Christmas celebrations in the United States. It closes with this from the author’s brother in law:

    To my friends on the Left: Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2011 but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only nation in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

    To my friends on the Right: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    I second the motion.

  4. Tom Carter |

    I agree. If being a believing Christian were required to give or receive a “Merry Christmas” wish, then I’d be out of the game, too. I think the holiday and the season can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of religious beliefs, or lack of. However, in order to respect everyone’s sensibilities (not too much to ask even in today’s world), I switch to “Happy Holidays” or something similar when I know I’m addressing an individual who is of a faith other than Christian.

  5. Dan Miller |

    Here, from a blogger in Venezuela, is an account of Christmas celebrations there; essentially their aren’t any. It’s good to put things into perspective. Everything is better in the United States than in Venezuela.

  6. Clarissa |

    I just had an opportunity to have a long and interesting conversation with one of my stellar students who happens to be from Venezuela. He told me that things in that country were, indeed, dire. Most of the Venezuelans I know are very frustrated by foreigners’ often rosy view of Venezuela. “It’s easy for them to celebrate it,” they say. “When we are the ones who have to suffer it every day.”

  7. Brianna |

    Watch the entire Latma, not just the Jihad bells song. Latma is hilarious 🙂

  8. Dan Miller |


    Great Allah! Some would be greatly offended and in our beautiful multicultural society that would be too horrible even to contemplate in silence, much less to suggest.

    For the love of Gaia, go thou and sin no more. ‘Twere far better simply to visualize whirled peas.

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