This is what I wrote on my investing blog, Stock Picks Bob's Advice
Thursday, 15 December 2005
"Happy Holidays" An Editorial
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting my blog, Stock Picks Bob's Advice.
I generally spend my time on this blog writing about stocks and investments. And I plan to continue to do so in the future. But from time to time, just as you may see a comment in the Wall Street Journal or the Investors Business Daily, I would like to share a word with you about a perhaps unrelated subject. And you are welcome to respond and add your comments to this discussion.
There has been a movement started in this country to defeat the "War Against Christmas" as Bill O'Reilly, John Gibson, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson and others have been explaining. And what is this "War" been doing? Have there been shots fired? Churches burned? Pogroms against true believers?
No. The war is simply that some people and some businesses are using and encouraging their employees to say "Happy Holidays". Perhaps sometimes in preference to the more Christian "Merry Christmas".
The war includes broadsides against Christianity in the form of inserts in the newspapers advertising sales and toys and maybe even a "holiday tree" instead of a Christmas tree. Of course, the attack on Christmas also includes denial of Christmas in public schools, removal of Creches from the Town Square and making things in general more "politically correct."
Is Christmas in trouble? Do we need to rise to the front to defend this assault?
What most of these pundits try to gloss over to their readers and listeners is the most important fact that America is a multicultural nation. We have a majority of Christians, a large majority in fact, but we have a variety of religious denominations and many who choose not to believe anything in the religion department at all.
When businesses say "Happy Holidays", they are recognizing and indeed respecting the diversity of all of their customers. And that is the American tradition and the freedom that we cherish in America.
To respect diversity is to respect tolerance, inclusivity, and yes indeed to respect our love for our fellow man.
Insofar as the public space is concerned, keeping religion out of this arena protects both the public that may or may not share this particular message, preventing the "Establishment of Religion" prohibited in the First Amendment, but also protects that religion itself.
The development of "Happy Holidays" is indeed a watered-down version of "Merry Christmas" for most people. This is the risk of mixing government and religion as well. We get a secularized version of a religious message. A new religious message that may not make anyone happy. And then we will have each religious denomination lobbying to have its version included or made the exclusive view. So let us continue to work on separating church and state to protect both institutions.
So let us encourage the good will and love of this holiday season. Let us respect diversity and not create conflicts that are imaginary to fire up our political base.
Wishing all of my friends a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings!
May you all have a wonderful 2006 and may it find us more at peace with each other, with other nations, spending money to find cures for disease, hunger, ignorance, and improving the quality of life for all of the inhabitants on this planet. And may we all seek ways to understand and respect each other, and not feel threatened when some may choose to be inclusive in their holiday greetings!