Posted by: NotAScientist | November 30, 2009

Is it still okay to say “Merry Christmas”?

monkeysanta1

(The following is a repost from 2008. Enjoy!)

YES! Yes! Of COURSE it’s okay to wish someone Merry Christmas!

This is the question I’ve started hearing from countless bloggers and news sources in the last week. Apparently, with the end to the campaign season, the American media has decided to bypass Thanksgiving and jump directly into Santa’s lap. (No, not in the naughty way, get your mind out of the gutter!)

A more important question is, “Who’s stopping you?”

If you’re a Christian, and statistically many of you are, please answer that question for me. Is anyone preventing you from saying Merry Christmas? Is anyone yelling at you or getting angry at you for wishing them Merry Christmas? I’m not.

Not only will I be completely fine if you were to wish me a Merry Christmas, I might even wish you one back. I might also say Happy Holidays, or Happy New Year, or perhaps even an occasional “Joyous Festivus!” just to be funny. But you can keep on saying Merry Christmas to your heart’s content.

Because the issue, at least as it seems to me, is not that people are being prevented from saying Merry Christmas. It’s the fact that some people, some businesses and some organizations aren’t saying it of their own volition that get people angry. Which strikes me as the key to many issues when dealing with religious people.

It isn’t that your rights, even your right to say two simple words, are being taken away. It’s that you want to force everyone else to do what you’ve chosen.

I’m sorry, but in America that just isn’t going to cut it.

Happy Holidays.

About these ads

Responses

  1. Hey, we agree! I think many Christians are too shrill about the whole “Merry Christmas” thing. We should be more offended that businesses co-opt the holy-day to sell more stuff and feed people’s covetous desires.

    Having said that, it is perfectly reasonable if Christians would rather give their business to stores that acknowledge the reason for the holy-day and avoid those that ignore Christmas while celebrating a Muslim holiday (e.g., Best Buy).

    Peace,
    Neil

    • “We should be more offended that businesses co-opt the holy-day to sell more stuff and feed people’s covetous desires. ”

      As the Christians co-opted the holiday from the Romans, who co-opted it from the Pagans…etc…I’m not really concerned with anyone being offended.

      • Yes, there was a pagan holiday worshipping the sun on the Winter Solstice in Rome and there is even evidence that Romans were still paying homage to the sun on this day through the time of St. Leo the Great (based on one of his Christmas homilies); however, one aspect of Christianity that the word “co-opt” fails to understand is our acceptance of a basic goodness within all cultures, languages and peoples. Remember, God declared His creation “very good.” Thus, we do not “co-opt,” we “baptize” — we take those cultural and linguistic expressions from the cultures we encounter that honor God and focus them upon what we see as the Truth — Jesus Christ.

        You should know, though, that there is Biblical evidence for Christ actually being born on December 25 — thus, Christians didn’t simply “co-opt” a pagan festival. Zacharias, the Father of St. John the Baptist was informed of his son’s imminent conception while in the Holy of Holies. This places this revelation in September, when such a sacrifice was made. When the Holy Spirit descended upon Mary so that she became pregnant with the Christ, Elizabeth (John’s mother) was six months pregnant. Indeed, we celebrate the Annunciation on March 25. Nine months later is December 25 — Christmas. Thus, the date of Christmas didn’t come out of thin air.

  2. Most corperations wont allow employees to say “marry Christmas” or wont allow decorations to say it. I’ve worked for a few who do that.

    Also, the atheist “Rational Response Squad” usually gets pissed off when Christmas comes around because it reminds them of Christ. So they usually have to demonstrate their hostility towards Christ in some extra special way, i.e. proselatizing atheism and bashing Christ.

    Also, even if someone says “happy holidays” here is what I ask:

    1. Which holiday? Christmas? oops!
    2. So you’re saying Christmas is a “holy” day? I agree! Because Christ is holy!

  3. “I’ve worked for a few who do that.”

    And, as they are private organizations, they are well within their rights to do that.

    “1. Which holiday? ”

    Whichever one you happen to celebrate. Why should it matter to me?

    “2. So you’re saying Christmas is a “holy” day?”

    I use the secular definition of the word because I find it convenient to do so. A holiday… “a day on which one is exempt from work; specifically : a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event”

    Since I don’t find anything ‘holy’ in the literal sense, I don’t mind calling Christmas, Hannukah, Mother’s Day and Columbus Day equally “holidays”.

  4. Duh… You asked If you’re a Christian, and statistically many of you are, please answer that question for me. Is anyone preventing you from saying Merry Christmas?

    I know they’re in their rights, that is until Christ takes those rights away.

    Whichever one you happen to celebrate. Why should it matter to me?

    I never said it did. I was making a general statement over this impersonal blog.

    So if you use the word “holiday” in a secular sense, then everyone should also use “Christmas” in a secular sense to and not care about whether the word offends anyone.

    • “I know they’re in their rights, that is until Christ takes those rights away.”

      And they’re not preventing you from saying Merry Christmas. They’re only saying that while you are representing them you can’t say it. It’s not the same thing.

      No idea what “Christ takes those rights away” is supposed to mean.

    • “I know they’re in their rights, that is until Christ takes those rights away.”

      How would he do that exactly?

  5. They’re only saying that while you are representing them you can’t say it.

    That’s preventing you from saying it, or at least trying to prevent you from saying it.

    No idea what “Christ takes those rights away” is supposed to mean.

    Why don’t you know this? Do you know anything about Christ other than that you’re hostile to Him?

    • “That’s preventing you from saying it, or at least trying to prevent you from saying it.”

      Actually, I was wrong. They aren’t even preventing you. You can say whatever you like. You have that right. And they have the right to terminate your employment.

      “Why don’t you know this? Do you know anything about Christ other than that you’re hostile to Him?”

      Because there is no evidence for the existence of your god…so any claims you make about what he is or isn’t, what he did or will do, mean essentially nothing to me unless they are backed up with good, scientific, empirical evidence.

      That being said, I know plenty about the Jesus character. And I’m not all that hostile towards him. I imagine I’m much more hostile towards the Voldemort character than I am the Jesus character.

    • I know they’re in their rights, that is until Christ takes those rights away.

      Jesus is a Nazi?

      • The answer to your question is, no, Jesus is not a Nazi, but is God. That’s specifically why He’ll take temporary God-hostile rights away. You should have known the answer to that, unless of course, you hate answering that way because you’re hostile to Christ.

  6. It depends on what you mean by “right”. So it’s not your right as an employer, only has a civilian.

    What’s your scientific and emperical evidence for accounting for scientific emperical evidence to be a possibility?

    I’ll take Scripture’s teachings word for it on who’s hostile to Christ, since it already is more consistent with accounting for science and empericism then anything you’ve offered so far in our discussions.

    • “What’s your scientific and emperical[sic] evidence for accounting for scientific emperical[sic] evidence to be a possibility?”

      Sorry, but this question doesn’t make sense. What’s the alternative?

      Please provide examples to back up your claims that your scriptures are more “consistent with accounting for science and empericism[sic] then[sic] anything you’ve offered …”

      • Lol, you’re one of those guys. When [sic] is used over blogs where people are typing fast thus have a lot of mis-spellings, it makes the one using the [sic] look like a pedantic ass who’s fishing for as much argumentative pull as they can muster.

        You’re the one who says “we don’t believe things we have no supporting evidence for”. This is a self-refuting standard because you can’t empirically prove that the only way you can know something is by empirical evidence. That was my point, and you should realize considering that you don’t even live up to your own standard.

        When Scripture refers to belief in Jesus Christ and God, it’s not referring to empirical acknowledgment of God or the super-natural. You’re already proof of those things, hence you’re pre-commitment to rationality. Scripture is referring to a faith in the sense of loving God and no longer being hostile to him by suppressing his clear truth in un-righteousness, Rom 1:18-20. Because even if all atheists saw him in his fullness of glory, they’ll still hate him. It’s the atheist who is inconsistent with their own empirical standard, which they must assume God’s existence to try to use anyways. All this trouble just because they are hostile to Christ, Rom 8:6-8.

  7. In fact, you’re so hostile to Christ that you even suppress the truth that you’re hostile to Christ when confronted about it! You’re not arguing against the existence of “Voldemort” on your blog, but there sure are plenty of threads against Christianity!!!

    • Not hostile to your Christ. Just don’t see any convincing evidence that he is the son of your god, of whom we see no convincing evidence for belief in either.

      • Most people wont be convinced by evidence of anything. So who cares. Bottom line, without God you can’t prove anything, and you can’t account for your pre-commitment to rationality. If you don’t believe it’s Yahweh, then you’d still be more consistent accepting something extremely similar.

      • “Not hostile to your Christ. Just don’t see any convincing evidence that he is the son of your god, of whom we see no convincing evidence for belief in either.”

        Then you’re not looking hard enough. You don’t see any convincing evidence? Then you don’t see the forest for the trees, my friend. And that’s so sad.

        Cheers.

    • “Most people won’t be convinced” the Facts don’t CARE. Also, the only way to Prove anything is with Logic or Mathematics. The facts being as they are, god does not exist. If the facts were different, he would.

      “You can’t empirically prove empirecism.”
      And your point is? What have you proved? Only that an idiot will say anything to make sure there is no point to anything so his side looks just as stupid as his opponents. Unfortuantely for your stupidity, we have things here right now that we use to verify that Science works. They are called Computers. Their construction is based on scientific principles.
      God is based on a mushroom fart.

      • I’ll wait to talk to the Talented Chimp and let him defend his position. Again, you can’t prove anything without God. He is the pre-condition to logic and our pre-commitment to rationality, thus are even able to do science, and the atheist, like yourself, is even able to be hostile against him, Rom 1:18-20.

  8. “What’s your scientific and emperical evidence for accounting for scientific emperical evidence to be a possibility?”

    The fact it works. It coincides with the reality we observe. You’re welcome not to use it. By all means, step out the window…I’m sure you can fly, despite empirical evidence to the contrary.

    “I’ll take Scripture’s teachings word for it on who’s hostile to Christ”

    Go for it. It will be yet another thing scripture is wrong about.

    “since it already is more consistent with accounting for science and empericism then anything you’ve offered so far in our discussions.”

    Sorry…your belief in magic does not account for science. And to call this a discussion, where I try to explain things and you essentially cover your ears and retreat back to your book of stories, would be inaccurate.

    “In fact, you’re so hostile to Christ that you even suppress the truth that you’re hostile to Christ when confronted about it!”

    Why would I? If I was in fact hostile towards a character whose historical basis might not even have existed, why would I hide it?

    Some things the Christ character is known for are fine, good and moral things. None of which seem to be original to the character. Others are just plain crazy. And some I find morally reprehensible. If this mixed view of a fictional character makes me ‘hostile’, then you have created a new definition for the word.

  9. The fact it works. It coincides with the reality we observe. You’re welcome not to use it. By all means, step out the window…I’m sure you can fly, despite empirical evidence to the contrary.

    I didn’t ask on what bases you trust empiricism, that’s a whole other matter. I asked how you account for it. Did you eat your Wheaties today?

    Go for it. It will be yet another thing scripture is wrong about.

    Or another thing it says which is more consistent then what your worldview offers.

    Sorry…your belief in magic does not account for science. And to call this a discussion, where I try to explain things and you essentially cover your ears and retreat back to your book of stories, would be inaccurate.

    So let me get this straight. According to you, science accounts for itself? So before science was possible, science came along and created the possibility of science? Again, how do you account for science and empiricism to be a possibility? You’re not even retreating, but handing in a blank paper for your explanations.

    Why would I? If I was in fact hostile towards a character whose historical basis might not even have existed, why would I hide it?

    You evidence that you’re hostile because you reject Christ’s historical existence for dumb reasons. 1. secular historians such as Bart Ehrman even believe Jesus historically existed, and 2. you have more reason to believe Jesus exited than Alexander the Great. Silly atheist. You try so hard to have reasons to believe stupid things.

    And some I find morally reprehensible.

    What is your standard for something being really right and really wrong within your worldview by which you judge your Creator?

    • “Or another thing it says which is more consistent then what your worldview offers.”

      Reality is not a worldview.

      “According to you, science accounts for itself? So before science was possible, science came along and created the possibility of science? Again, how do you account for science and empiricism to be a possibility? You’re not even retreating, but handing in a blank paper for your explanations.”

      This is a silly strawman argument. There never was a time a time when science wasn’t possible, it just required a species intelligent enough to make observations of reality and reflect on those observations. Science is not a thing in and of itself that needed to be created. Science is the search for understanding about the nature of the universe around us.

      It is what ‘biblical scholars’ do when they look for evidence to support the claims made in the Bible. You can’t cherry pick when to accept empirical evidence and when not to.

      “Silly atheist. You try so hard to have reasons to believe stupid things.”

      No. We don’t believe things which have no supporting evidence. It’s the believers who try so hard to make us believe stupid things.

      • Lol, what you believe to be ultimate “reality” is a worldview. Why do most atheists shun the word “worldview”? They don’t want to sound religious, even though they are. Not fooling me, so why fool yourselves?

        If you’re a “naturalist” then ultimate “reality” is “?”. As a Christian ultimate reality is the eternal, personal, all-good, triune, being. I call this God though, more specifically the Lord Jesus Christ.

        I know “science” isn’t a “thing”. They guy I was debating needs to know that, along with many atheists. Help me proselytize that to them. I’ve said a thousand time, science requires observation and observation requires a pre-commitment to rationality. God accounts for science, hence why science can’t disprove God.

        Everyone cherry picks their evidence and how they interpret it. Especially atheists! Atheists have never inferred life coming from non-life yet have faith it is possible. They are walking contradictions then when saying they only accept what they observe. Heed your own arguments.

        Then you say,

        We don’t believe things which have no supporting evidence.

        Lol! Yes you do. You believe life can come from non-life (sentient life at that). Congratulations, you believe something more stupid. We infer sentient life coming from sentient life, never the other way.

  10. Interesting debate… I was plesently suprised by the way morsecode dended his position. morse didnt escalate the debate into the whole “God doesn’t exist hate jesus realm”, Cameron did.

    I think you right, many christians are are upset that organizations won’t say or promote christmas. I have mixed feelings on that.
    The problem I have is the anti christmas tree stuff… ie no longer the rockefeller christmas tree its called the tree at rockefeller center. Is a tree being decorated and celebrating xmas offending people by being called a christmas tree? I dont get that… How about the school in Ma that won’t allow rudolph or candy canes because it’s a non religous holiday fair.

  11. If they’re gonna take our money based upon our holiday, they might as well use the name. They’re not embarrassed to sell the trees or the Santas or the gifts (though they’re increasingly embarrassed to sell anything that actually has to do with Christmas, Creches in particular), but they’re embarrassed to say the words. Personally, as a Catholic, I’d rather not be wished a “Merry Christmas” until it actually is Christmas.

  12. Yes, please always say it. If not for us, for the children! Pay no mind to the “political-correctness” that is casting a dark cloud over our joy-filled season. May we not forget His birthday! Merry Christmas/Happy Chanakah

  13. no matter, people not allowed to say ‘merry christmas’ or what, cause the one important is He was born for us in our own hearts, Jesus is the reason for this season, Jesus makes me feel this way, so big His love for me, I love Him ! give thanks for my Jesus, God bless u all and Merry Christmas !

  14. Timmy K,

    The Bible teaches that sinners are hostile to Christ. So from my worldview, it’s not so much escalating the use of the word “Christmas” but covering the basic ground as to why people are offended by it to begin with. This would deal with the REAL reason people are offended by it. It’s because they’re offended by Christ the God, Savior, and Judge of the world.

  15. Personally, I never saw what the big deal was, to be honest. I was raised as a Muslim so Christmas is not something we celebrated while I lived in Pakistan. But when we moved here, I did your typical Christmas decorating like putting up a tiny tree and decorating it, putting up strings of multicolored lights, baking seasonally-shaped cookies, hearing Christmas-y songs in the malls and grocery stores and watching Christmas specials with my sibs.

    Now as an agnostic, Christmas is still my favorite time of the year. It holds no religious connotations for me. I simply love it because people tend to take a turn for the better at this time of year. Moods are happier, people are more charitable, etc. And there’s still a magical feel about it. That’s what it’s about to me: peace and happiness.

    I have no problem saying “Merry Christmas” or hearing it from someone else. In fact, I prefer it. That is what I grew up hearing all the time. Hearing “Happy Holidays” just doesn’t feel the same, even though I realize it’s more politically correct. But it does make me sad when people out there tell people like us who are non-Christians or agnostics or atheists that we have no right to even say “Merry Christmas” much less celebrate the holiday.

  16. Umm hello?What happened?

  17. The Bible teaches that sinners are hostile to Christ. So from my worldview, it’s not so much escalating the use of the word “Christmas” but covering the basic ground as to why people are offended by it to begin with. This would deal with the REAL reason people are offended by it. It’s because they’re offended by Christ the God, Savior, and Judge of the world.

    Im not offended by it. I couldnt care less, say christmas all you want. I say it myself as an atheist. I think that might have something to do with my parents being christians who thought a religious holiday with pagan roots was a disgrace to christianity….but that didnt stop them from saying christmas….

  18. here here!

  19. Saying Merry Christmas is as arbitrarily as saying fuck you in my mind, so why not respond in kind.

  20. Is it okay to say Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanzah? Why just wish someone a “Merry Christmas” when they’re other holidays to celebrate as well? I’d just be happy if you’d wish someone, a “Good Day.”

  21. Take a chill pill oh n merry Christmas x

  22. Astonishingly, there were very few people in the trees :
    so much for the canard that liberals are mostly wild people raised by apes !
    Merry Christmas !

  23. To me, the issue has not been that people are going to yell at me for saying “Merry Christmas,” but I do hesitate to say it because it does offend some people. While I am glad that you are more easy going, a lot of other folks aren’t. It would be nice if Americans would lighten up a bit. I think I agree with Timmy K in that it’s not the phrase that offends people, but rather the exclusive claims of Jesus.

  24. Hi Morsec0de,

    Thanks for this article, I got a lot out of it. I am pretty late in writing this as it is early March, but I wanted to add to the discussion, which looks to be pretty rich (if not heated and nasty) so far.

    First I would like to say that I am a student on a campus and we had christmas carols playing from the belltower, but they were taken down in interest of those who thought it was to ” exclusively christ-centered). I must mention they were brought up later, I think because there were those who protested the anti-democratic appeal-to-everyone vibe. Thought I’d share that.

    Now to the debate at hand–you say that you can only agree with what that which can be proved through science. This seems to be a common argument of those who are either agnostic or atheist. Though I must share with you an argument about an architect. We can see buildings in are world that stood 300 years ago, or relics sculptures, etc. We do not know who built them but they are here nonetheless. They didn’t just –poof– appear. Someone put them wherever they were. So in science we understand that everything/everybody has a creator, a finite beginning and an end. Mathematical/scientific theory will tell you no less :) So how can you explain that I came from my mom and dad, you came from your mom and dad, but this earth came from nowhere, just one big bang and it happened huh? I believe that Jesus has directed you to read this and it will change your life.

    I leave you with John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    May God Bless you!

    -Riley

    • “So in science we understand that everything/everybody has a creator …” Absolutely wrong; science assumes no such thing.

      “Mathematical/scientific theory will tell you no less.” These are two completely different disciplines with different definitions of the word ‘theory’.

      “… but this earth came from nowhere, just one big bang and it happened huh?” There are countless explanations of how the Earth was created. And the Sun, and our solar system, and the Milky Way, etc. etc. 5 minutes on Google will educate you.

      You’ve obviously been listening to too much Ray Comfort. Buildings (or cars or Coke cans or paintings) neither self-replicate nor reproduce. Living organisms do. In fact you could say that life = reproduction. This is a very bad argument and has been refuted many times.

      You may also want to check out the Miler-Urey experiment to see how ‘life’ can come from non-life.

      “I believe that Jesus has directed you to read this and it will change your life.” No he hasn’t, and no it didn’t.

      • That is of course “Miller-Urey”.

  25. Merry Christmas! again…

  26. “God accounts for science, hence why science can’t disprove God.”

    No he doesn’t. Science doesn’t need to disprove God. Those who say that he is real, with tangible effects on nature and reality, need to provide evidence for his existence. If God has an effect on reality, then he must be measurable and hence testable. I’m not aware of any experiments that have found evidence for God, or any other gods. If you know of any, please let me know.

    I am also not hostile to God (or any gods), or Jesus. Why would I be? I have no reason to waste any thought on them as they’ve not been shown to have existed, or exist. It’s like being mad at extra-terrestrials! Utterly pointless.

    “You believe life can come from non-life (sentient life at that).”

    Well, it can. We are here as proof of that. Although, I’d like to know your definition of ‘life’ and exactly what kind of ‘life’ came from non-life. Do you view amino acids as life?

    “If you’re a “naturalist” then ultimate “reality” is “?””

    Reality is everything we can detect, measure, test, observe, logically infer, accurately model, and predict, with the data we have available. None of these things apply to the supernatural, and never will, because once anything can be detected, measured, tested, observed, logically inferred, accurately modeled, and predicted, it, by definition, becomes part of reality and instantly subject to the restrictions of reality.

    “When [sic] is used over blogs where people are typing fast thus have a lot of mis-spellings, it makes the one using the [sic] look like a pedantic ass who’s fishing for as much argumentative pull as they can muster.”

    Um, no, it means that the one using [sic] values accuracy of expression. The ‘e’ and the ‘i’ are nowhere near each other on the keyboard, so it is not a typo, it means the person didn’t know how to spell ‘empirical’, and also couldn’t be bothered to investigate what the little red wiggly line under the wrongly spelt word meant (Isn’t empiricism fun?). The fact that we are typing, as opposed to speaking, allows us to check our words for accuracy, consistency, and logic. It gives us a chance to critically review our entries and make adjustments and corrections. It also gives us a chance to avoid ad hominem attacks and concentrate on the ideas being presented instead of trying to resort to childish name-calling.

  27. *poking dead blog with stick*
    Here’s a Question: Should athiests enjoy St. Patrick’s day? ;) That’s tomorrow btw.
    :P


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 59 other followers

%d bloggers like this: