On Christmas eve, I received a text message from someone I know telling me "Merry Xmas". So I responded with my typical greeting "Happy Holidays to you too". Instead of "Thank you" or something to that effect, his response was "I HATE Happy Holidays! Wish me a Merry Christmas! I celebrate Christmas too!" (Silly me, not to realize that my Jewish acquaintance celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ). I told him that I've always said "Happy Holidays" because there are a lot of holidays in December, so it just always made more sense to me.
Well apparently it was still incredibly offensive to have wished him Happy Holidays, because later that night (or technically the next morning) he posted the following message online:
Dumb Guy hates it when people say "Happy Holidays"... unless you won't see me for a while, say "Merry Christmas"! It's an American holiday, too.
To protect the dumb guy's privacy, I will refer to him as 'Dumb Guy'. (I used green and red to be festive in the 'holiday' spirit. Heh).
It's capitalist holiday.
It's the PC way to address it. I could care less if people wish me a Merry Christmas since 90% of people away from Long Island don't even realize that I'm Jewish. Happy Holidays covers it all.
I know that it's the PC way to address it... that's WHY I hate it. If someone isn't gonna see me for a while, "Happy Holidays" is fine if they also mean New Year's. Otherwise, by your logic "Happy Holidays" is just plain lazy. Any Jew (or non-Christian) offended by being offered a "Merry Christmas" doesn't understand an American tradition.
And [Friend #1] so what? That's part of it. There's a whole other realm within the tradition.
I'm just sayin.' That's the American tradition.
The way people celebrate Christmas has become secular, but the real point of Christmas is... Christ. I don't know any Jews who would be OFFENDED by being wished a Merry Christmas, but I think it's incredibly stupid to be annoyed by "Happy Holidays".
It's not just PC - which when did being a little PC become a bad thing - but it's just more ACCURATE. There are a lot of holidays in Winter, not just Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year's. "Happy Holidays" covers it all and doesn't make the assumption that you make (that everyone celebrates the 'American' holiday, Christmas).
Good one [Evil Slut]!
I just get annoyed by people who get annoyed by "Happy Holidays". I've said that since way before people knew to be PC. I say it because 1) I know better than to pretend that everyone celebrates Christmas and 2) I celebrate a minimum of 4 holidays in December myself. So it just makes more sense to be all encompassing. Just because Americans act like there are only two religions that exist, doesn't mean Christmas is an 'American holiday'.
For a list of various holidays that take place in the Winter: Winter festivals
Dumb Guy(he actually spelled my name wrong here, despite it being written along side each of my comments... therefore making me 100% sure that it was intentional to piss me off. So he's officially dead to me).
It is an American holiday, in that in addition to the meaning ascribed to it by Christians, it has deep traditions NOT rooted in Christianity long shared by people of many religions. "It's a Wonderful Life" was meant to appeal to all, not just those who celebrated the "religious" Christmas.
And I don't "act like there are only two religions"; just today my Taiwanese (Buddhist) friend could not hang out because his family was having their Christmas festivities. They may not include church, but the secular symbols of Christmas coalesce into what is clearly a distinct holiday that's available to all of us.
The fact that not everyone celebrates Christmas doesn't mean that they have any reasonable reason for being offended by the expression; that's hyper-sensitive, and besides that, you can still be wishing that they have a merry day on Christmas day. And by that logic, at least 3 of the four holidays in December are religious, so "Happy New Year" is the only non-offensive greeting.
And [Evil Slut]...
...calling Christmas an American holiday in NO WAY presumes everyone celebrates it. First, it's an officially recognized holiday. Second, there are many, many American traditions that some Americans don't practice or celebrate; that in no way applies they are not equally American.
And being PC has ALWAYS been a bad thing. The disappearance of some previous offenses is good; likewise, being polite, considerate, & generally aware of what you say is good. PC has nothing to do with that. PC is a term, as it was designed and usually & properly practiced, with an inherently negative connotation because it denotes PRESSURE; not that we have learned anything, but that we are AFRAID to say some things, not that we are actually any more considerate. You put words in my mouth.
Christmas is a Christian holiday. It's the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The 'Christmas traditions' not rooted in Christianity are NOT Christmas traditions, but rather traditions stolen from other cultures.
For information on the actual origins of some 'Christmas traditions': Christmas Traditions
A lot of people (e.g., the ACLU) aren't totally okay with the fact that Christmas is a 'national holiday' because it violates the 1st amendment. But regardless, no one here has suggested that Merry Christmas is offensive, so your repeated insistence that it isn't offensive is both unnecessary and annoying.For more information on the issues surrounding the national acknowledgment of Christmas:
What I DO think is absolutely ridiculously stupid is when people are offended by NOT being wished a Merry Christmas. I think most people say Happy Holidays because it makes a lot more sense and because it is more inclusive, not because they're afraid of offending someone.
PS: If you spell my name wrong again, you will officially be dead to me.
Oh and by the way, being PC is not a bad thing. The term may only used in the negative because some people have taken it to extremes, but the meaning/intentions are positive. As a concept, being politically 'correct' means just that... Correct. Accurate. For example, calling any Spanish-speaking person 'Hispanic' regardless of their ancestry isn't politically incorrect just because we're afraid of offending them... it's politically incorrect because it's INCORRECT.To read about the 'Hispanic' vs. 'Latino' debate: LasCulturas.com
I don't say "Merry Christmas" to every person I meet, not because I don't want to offend them, but because I KNOW that not every person I meet celebrates Christmas. Period.
[Evil Slut], I never once got personal. We are having a civil discussion.
But if you really hate "Happy Holidays," then aren't you in essence the same as someone who hates "Merry X-mas?"
Someone is giving you their best sentiments in the way they feel most comfortable. Isn't that what's most important?
Um, where did I get 'personal'? Or un-civil?
(But I am serious about that name thing).
"annoying" "absolutely ridiculously stupid" "incredibly stupid to be annoyed by" etc., etc., etc.
And while EFFECTS may be the same the difference between PC and being polite is in REASON; one is based on fear and social pressure, nearly by definition and absolutely by common usage, and the second is the sign of societal growth and inclusiveness we should be encouraging.
Your Spanish/Hispanic example is not helpful, because in that case it's irrelevant whether it's politically incorrect; it's OBJECTIVELY incorrect. But when something is politically incorrect as the term is properly applied and commonly used, it is not because it is INCORRECT, it is because it is "unbroachable", largely because of fear or confusion over what constitutes "acceptable". And a great deal of people, and I would even say the movement toward Happy Holidays, don't say it to be non-offensive, they say it because of job requirements and legal fear. Towns don't wish to be sued by one irate citizen, and large corporations employ policies requiring it, to avoid ANY possible loss (however small) of business.
That's not societal growth, that's societal acquiescence, in my opinion. Calling an El Salvadoran and not a "Mexican" or a "Spanish American" is good when one is doing it to be accurate and polite; it is bad when one is terrified of that one mistatement being amplified and turned into a microcosm of who they are as a person. That's all I mean by this, that the difference between societal growth (good) and PC (bad) is the reasoning, and I feel that in most cases "Happy HOlidays" is a result of the latter, or conditioning to the latter.
Personally I say Happy Holidays usually because it is a lot less effort for the tongue to go from 'i' to 'h' than 'i' to 'kr'
I think sometimes a little bit of 'fear' is good. It'd be nice if people weren't racist or sexist or heterosexist, etc. out of 'politeness' or 'accuracy', but that's not always life. I think if fear of losing business helps people be less offensive and more inclusive that's still a good thing. But do I actually think that most people who say "Happy Holidays" do it out of fear? No.
If your reasoning for hating it so much is based on 'job requirements and legal fear', then you should have no cause to be annoyed when a private citizen such as myself, says it. I had no reason to fear legal action etc. when I told you to have a happy holiday. The 'polite' response would've be "thank you" or even "Merry Christmas" if you were stubborn, not "I hate happy holidays!"
I don't care if you like or don't like to be wished "Merry Christmas". I don't like to wish it. Period. I think it's silly to be offended by "Merry Christmas" but I think it's even more silly to be offended by "Happy Holidays".
A lot of people oppose 'PC' language as an excuse to be rude. They've turned something good intentioned into something to be mocked. I use what I consider to be the most accurate and respectful language. I don't need fear in order to be a respectful person. It's really lame that so many people do.
But as for getting 'personal'... You basically have said that you hate an expression I use, you hate the reason/s I use it, and you hate all things 'PC'. You've said people who use it (or who dare to be offended by an inaccurate greeting) are lazy, hypersensitive, don't understand a so-called 'American tradition', and fearful. I didn't take any of that as a personal insult, but as someone who says "Happy Holidays" almost exclusively, I could have. I wasn't calling you personally stupid or annoying, but yes, I find a 'behavior' of yours annoying just as you've already said you find a 'behavior' of mine annoying.
But this is me being civil. I just like a good debate. Especially when I'm RIGHT. ;-)
Fear is never a good thing... not as a reason to behave a certain way toward other people. PARTICULARLY not as a way of behaving that SHOULD be based on decency. And while I expressed general annoyance at an expression you happen to you use, you expressed specific annoyance, and while not using the term you (i.e. me) you did so in a forum wherein any reasonable person would easily substitute one for the other. The two are not self-same.
And nowhere did I state that I don't ISSUE the polite response of "Thank you";
Of course, he didn't issue that polite response TO ME, which was what I was referring to. His actual, specific response to MY wishing him a "Happy Holidays". Instead of "Thank You" he said "I hate happy holidays!" which is ungrateful and rude.
...rather, in a personal forum, I expressed my discontent with the state of affairs that led to the expression. "Happy Holidays" is NOT an organically created expression; it WAS created as a "top->down requirement; and its usage in personal correspondence or conversation is traceable as SUBSEQUENT to its corporate & governmental adoption.
Being "PC" was NEVER good, and was NEVER well-intentioned. At or around the same time as the term became applicable, some people began choosing to use terminology that they felt was, or indeed was, more sensitive/appropriate; however, the development of PC language was correspondent, chronologically, to this, NOT intertwined with it.
I would rather have a world where people are rude but honest than a world where people are polite but disingenuous. Behaving civilly in no way prevents this; behaving in a PC manner INHERENTLY precludes this. Fear, even when not legally/governmentally initiated, as a means of controlling the populace (and PC is very much a social, and sometimes governmental, way of doing this) is ALWAYS bad.
And "politically correct" language, ironically, is often objectively incorrect, or at the very least utterly unhelpful language.
As for being "RIGHT", other than some historical/chronological/linguistic observances, neither one of us can be "right"; these are our opinions. One opinion, however, can be more well-reasoned than another, and this can be somewhat dispassionately judged by people experienced with logic. I feel that my argument would win in such a case; nevertheless, we have no such professional panel, and it is besides the point anyway. So there is no need to be so supercilious.
And while I expressed disdain for some behaviors which you happen to partake in, I was very much directing the disdain at the behavior, and any refraction onto you was incidental and, in some senses, regrettable. Your way of expressing disdain for my behavior, was much less incidental, contained more sniping, and would by any person not following our whole discussion be assumed to have been directed at me. So don't equate unlike things, por favor.
I'm glad that you, unlike most people, can have a heated discussion like this and understand it is, however impassioned, a discussion about a "thing", and not a reflection of our opinions of one another.
I would, still, argue that my position allows for greater freedom for BOTH sides of any "name-calling" argument. Freedom is always preferable to enforced civility for civility's sake.
"Heat from the sun somedays slowly passes; until then, you'll have to live with yourself."
I'm not going to continue debating this, lol... but I'll end with this. Yes, fear IS a good thing in some cases. There are certain behaviors (such as 'speaking racism' for example) that should not be done, ever. It's more than just rudeness... Hate speech begets more hate. Embracing stereotypes gives the impression that they are fact. Non-inclusive language suggests that it is okay to be non-inclusive, therefore promoting division.
I think the fact that a CHRISTIAN holiday is considered an 'American tradition' is evidence of this. Christmas should never have become an 'American holiday' regardless of whether it's only the 'secular aspects'. That fact alone suggests that - although we don't have an 'official' U.S. religion - Christianity is the 'norm' or at least the majority, enough so that we've embraced Christian holidays as 'American', but have yet to do so for any other religions.
It's the same reasoning that has politicians making laws based on 'morals' we don't all share.
It has nothing to do with politicians, and there is nothing with the "norm", insomuch as it is not actually oppressive, being determined by what actually is most prevalent in society.
It is perfectly okay to be non-inclusive, and perfectly okay to be divided. Not if it stems from government intrusion, but if the social organism gels, even temporarily that way, it may not be desirable from our POV, but it has that "right". Inclusiveness in no way ends division; in fact, one of the most ground-breaking, taboo-shattering, AND well-respected studies performed in recent years showed that communities that are highly diverse and inclusive tend to have MORE isolation, MORE tribalism, and LESS civic engagement. The reasons may be myriad, but to suggest that their is anything wrong with a societal group or organization, or the societal (non-governmental) organism being "non-inclusive" is inherently wrong is just dictatorial, beyond didactic, and reminiscent & redolent of the sort of oppression it seeks to suppress.
Your "hate speech" is another person's honesty; another person's "hate speech" is your honesty. And while we may not desire that people "speak racism", it's not that they "should not be done, ever", its that the society we work toward should not WANT to "speak racism". But if it does, I am terrified of a world where what is publicly spoken is dictated simply by what is more feared to be uttered, rather than what people actually want to say.
You can think "fear IS a good thing in some cases", but you will find yourself living in a world inevitably dictated by fear, and you may be shocked that your modified utopia makes you VERY, VERY afraid.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. THAT'S IT. No one has a "right" to feel "included"; no one has a "right" to feel "comfortable" (whatever that means, other than the absence of physical intimidation), no one has the "right" not to be criticized, no one has the "right" not to be spoken about in honest (whether correct/incorrect, fair/unfair) terms by others. You have no "right" not to be called a kike/gentile, faggot/breeder, nigger/honky, gook/roundeye, spic/wop, or any other names.
No one has any of those rights, nor should they ever. What a terrible world that would be, and what a horrible perversion of our constitution (both our actual Constitution and our society's constitution) would be required to enable it.
And THAT is exactly where he 'lost' the debate. And his mind. And my respect. Forever. It's REALLY easy for a white, upper middle class, heterosexual male to not understand what hate speech is or why it wouldn't be a 'perversion' to protect people from it.
OK, this goes way beyond the "Happy Holidays" issue, which I was just having some fun with.
I don't think that a world where people are protected from being called any of those horrible slurs can in ANY WAY be considered a 'terrible world'. I feel very strongly about freedom of speech, but I feel just as strongly about protection from hate speech and discrimination. Hate speech is not honesty. Hate speech is intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action. Racist/sexist/homophobic/etc slurs are not honesty and I wish there were more laws protecting people from them.
I was just having fun poking at your Happy Holidays diatribe before, but I'm actually appalled right now. You can take that personally if you like.
What if the hate speech IS honesty? And who gets to determine what IS hate speech?
And I hope you don't confuse a world where I think things should be allowed to be a certain way with a world where I WANT them to be that way.
And I didn't even touch on the issue of discrimination.
That's him trying to backpedal. Oh when I said it would be a 'terrible world' if people had the right to NOT be called a nigger or a kike or a faggot... I didn't mean that I WANT people to be called those things. I just don't want them to have the right not to be. Totally different. Uh huh.
And hate speech is not honesty. (I also think it's interesting that he doesn't see the correlation between hate speech and discrimination).
I have no desire to discuss this further so you can stop responding if you want to. (Just an FYI). I remain appalled.
While I've never really cared much about the "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas" debate, after reading his ranting and raving... I think it might actually be important to think about. It's common knowledge that the United States is predominately Christian. So it's understandable that the U.S. might act as though Christianity is the national religion. However, there is no national religion and our constitution clearly states that and protects our right to practice our own faiths as we see fit. That's it on a governmental standpoint.
But think of it from the point of view of a young child who is say, Muslim or Hindu. They go to school and maybe 80% of their class is Christian. They turn on the TV in December and see endless Christmas movies and commercials depicting Christmas celebrations. Never is there any national reference to Ramadan or Diwali or anything else, except maybe Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. They are not represented and therefore they are invisible. It is this lack of inclusion that leads this young child to be ashamed of their own culture. Maybe to try and fit in and be more 'American', they'll start embracing the secular aspects of Christmas.
The 'Christmas is American' myth is a self-perpetuating cycle.
I think it's unfortunate that in a melting pot such as the United States (which really has NO national culture that wasn't stolen from other cultures, except maybe the Native Americans) immigrants feel so much pressure to become Americanized. For example, growing up, so many of my multicultural friends shed their 'ethnic-sounding' names for American versions. The dumb guy may have referenced his Taiwanese friend's family as an example of how 'everyone' celebrates Christmas, but I think that example more accurately proves my point than his. Why does a Buddhist family celebrate a traditionally Christian holiday? Because it's 'American'! Only... it's not.
I understand why groups like the Catholic League try to fight the alleged 'War on Christmas' and I don't blame non-Christians for wanting to embrace the fun, secular aspects of Christmas. But it baffles me to believe that a non-Christian person would feel so strongly about Christmas that he would be offended by being wished "Happy Holidays".