There is no such thing as the “war on Christmas”

I’m going to put it flat out. There is no “War on Christmas.” No one perpetuates mass-bombings of Churches, Christians aren’t murdered in cold blood around the holidays, and authorities aren’t trying to prohibit the right to celebrate Christ’s birth. Most of all, being asked to say “Happy Holidays” in a public setting rather than “Merry Christmas,” is not discriminatory or rude.

To say “Merry Christmas” to someone you do not know assumes that they share a Christian faith background, or even a faith tradition at all. According to the Pew Research Center, one third of American adults consider themselves “Not Religious.” Considering the number of people who explicitly do not identify as Christian is smaller, roughly 33% of the population, it remains an unfair assumption to make.

Think of it this way: around 11% of the population is left handed. That’s an even smaller percentage of the population than non-Christians, yet presuming that everyone is right handed makes life harder for those who are left-handed. People who are left handed know difficult using right-oriented scissors and desks are and how inconveniencing they can be.

When the majority only caters to their own needs, people who aren’t included are left behind and hindered.

Religious sentiments do not need to be discontinued, but they do have a time and place. Saying “Merry Christmas” in the halls of Benilde is one thing; proclaiming it at secular establishments is another. Our society needs to recognize when our religious beliefs should be shared and encouraged, and when we should be respectful of all faith traditions.

Everyone can celebrate the Christmas holiday with cheery messages, but, please, be aware of your setting and audience.

— Sarah Karels

It isn’t even all about political correctness: it’s about societally including everyone. If one feels their faith is harmed by the celebration of holidays other than yours, then your faith was probably not the strongest in the first place. There is no “persecution” of those who celebrate Christmas, simply a movement to broaden our currently close-minded awareness of non-Christian faiths and their own spiritual holidays.

Finally, the United States is not a Christian nation; it’s a nation designed to allow a liberation to freely practice any religious system. We were specifically designed to keep our secular government separate from the influences of religion–a goal we have swayed from over time. Having a right to participate in a certain religion does not give you the right to disrespect others.

Everyone can celebrate the Christmas holiday with cheery messages, but, please, be aware of your setting and audience. And, of course, happy holidays.