Opinion — 17 November 2017

Tim Guan

@TIM_GUAN30

As we’re now arriving toward holiday season, there’s been much debate to whether we should greet people with “Happy Holidays” instead of, for example, “Merry Christmas.” I find this to be extremely ridiculous as to why this is even subject to discussion, but for all good reasons I greet people with “Merry Christmas.”

America is predominantly and historically a Christian nation. From a population of 245 million adults, 173 million are Christians according to 2014 Pew Resarch Center study. To visualize that according to the source, “if you had a room of 100 people, 71 would be Christians. There would be 2 Jews and 1 Muslim.” Now what does this mean? It means that the majority of Americans are Christians and for cultural reasons greeting someone during the holidays with “Merry Christmas” isn’t disrespectful, but in fact the most respectful and courteous thing to do.

The chances of a person taking offense at someone saying “Merry Christmas” is a relatively modern trend. As we live in an overly politically-correct era where people are inquired to be offended, the substitute of greeting people with “Happy Holidays” is just a poor attempt to not upset people who take offense at the ladder because it supposedly propagates “forceful pro-Christian values.” I’m not even religious and this in part makes no sense as to why people even take offense at such a simple greeting. Christmas has been called “Christmas” for long time and in no circumstance up to recently has this even been a problem.

I choose to say “Merry Christmas” because it’s a term that still has cultural meaning. To give an analogy, I have friends that still go to church with their families, not for religious reasons, but to socialize with their friends and be part of the community. They still say “Merry Christmas” because they were raised in an environment where it became the social norm to do so during the holidays. I do it because it’s a cultural phenomenon that I’ve been accustomed to follow that I link to simply saying “hello” during the holidays and out of respect for religious people.

I’m not religious and I choose not to be, but growing up around religious people and going to church (for non-religious reasons) brought me up in an environment where I came to respect people’s beliefs and convictions. “Social Justice Warriors” may say it’s offensive to greet people with religious remarks they deem bigoted and infringe upon people’s religious beliefs. This is a counter-intuitive logic as they are actually trying to repress religion in the most subtle ways down to what we say, and what’s allowed to be said. Moreover, being raised to tolerate people’s beliefs has always been my virtue and out of respect for the religious and for cultural reasons, “Happy Holidays” is just a bland thing to say.

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