Opinion — 17 November 2017

Taylor Lobb


How will our divided nation spend this holiday season?

America, being the melting pot of the world, is full of people from different ethnic background, of a multitude of cultures, and who all practice different religions, if any at all.

To add to this diversity, during the November and December months, there are a variety of different holidays including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

So, in order to accommodate such a diverse population, the nation has adopted the saying “Happy Holidays”, with every unique citizen in mind.

However, as Christmas quickly approaches, a sense of uneasiness is washing over a particularly dominant religion of America, Christianity.

Toes are being stepped on left and right, apparently, as the term “Merry Christmas” is seen less in the public eye. This substitution is leaving the Christian population outraged and tense.

Strong reactions have been voiced, in particular regards to the so-called unpatriotism that is now apparently associated with the term “Happy Holidays”.

The fact that Christianity is the predominant religion in the United States, does not call for segregation. This is a terrible and biased way of thinking in which fuels the ongoing pandemic of inequality in our country.

“Merry Christmas” is not being outlawed. We are a country of free speech, and any person can use whichever phrase makes them most comfortable.

So why are people like President Donald J. Trump acting as if somebody is restraining the Christians of the world from celebrating Christmas?

Considering the history of America and the apparent white privilege we see in day to day social interactions, a phrase is the smallest gesture of equality we could possibly offer to our citizens. That’s right. Believe it or not, these people of different religions are tax paying, working people who are citizens of this country, just like every Christian that walks in America.

Clearly, there are many different ways in which the people of our country celebrate the holidays, and we as a nation do have a social obligation to create a sense of sanctity for all.

If we can easily attain this sense of equality by simply de-glorifying the sole religion of Christianity, why not take advantage of the opportunity?

The simple phrase of Happy Holidays plays a role in acknowledging the wide cultural differences we have in America, and is a miniscule step towards embracing all races, all cultures, and all religions in such a divided day in age.

Naturally, with such a diverse country, one would hope we could take every opportunity possible to respect the beliefs of our people?

One could only hope.


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Paris Ellis

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