Bud Wright: Too-early start robs Christmas season of its wonder

By Bud Wright

The Daily Advance

8 Comments | Leave a Comment

I wish to state up-front that I am not a Grinch. I love Christmas in all its many, messy manifestations. I also wish to make clear that, while I intend discussing Christmas, I will not be addressing the birth of Christ, in spite of the fact that many indefatigable readers will seize upon this opportunity to — once again — portray me as a godless heathen.

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Comments

Soo

you do not think that there is a war on Christmas? I invite you to google these words: "persecution of christians in America". There you will find not only examples of a very real war on Christmas but a war on Christianity here in this country. I was fitting that your column was printed on Dec 7th--because there were many that poohed the threat from Imperial Japan--that id untill Pearl Harbor.

Although I completely agree with Bud that

the commercialism of Christmas is sprung on us way to early, I take issue that he fails to at least acknowledge the reason for the season and that Christmas is also a federal holiday. Concerning the war on Christmas, he's being a bit dishonest. Bill O'Reilly was very clear that he had no problem with Happy Holidays or Happy Winter Solstice or whatever you wanted to say. What he specifically opposes is when businesses specifically forbid their employees to say Merry Christmas. He correctly pointed out that this is a violation of free speech. He also pointed out that the secular progressives were vitriolic in their effort to remove all references to Christ from Christmas as evidenced by their own anti-christian/Christmas advertisements being displayed on large billboards throughout the country. It is quite clear that the goal of this group is to remove any reference to Christ from Christmas. I assume from what I read that Bud is down with that.

Twinstar

Apparently we share the view that Christmas has been over-commercialized and that commercialism comes much too early. I will also grant you that some extremists are trying to take things too far for even me. And I am not alone. There are MANY Christian "progressives" who do, indeed, keep Christ in Christmas. But I have to quibble with some of what you said. I won't speak to O'Reilly directly except to say that his and your assertion that when a business instructs an employee to use particular words in greeting -- be that "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" -- that free speech is "violated." That is simply NOT the case. The Constitutional protection of Freedom of Speech applies only to governments. A business is perfectly free to dictate the greeting used by employees -- assuming the dictate does not violate certain public policies (and I suspect requiring an employee to use a religious greeting would violate those policies). My second quibble is a broad one and not directed specifically at O'Reilly because the "war on Christmas" movement is much larger than Bill O'Reilly. There are well-established organizations calling for boycotts of retailers who chose to use "Happy Holidays," rather than "Merry Christmas." One among many (and there are many others): http://action.afa.net/item.aspx?id=2147486887 Now, can we agree that there are extremists on both sides?

If

It were not for Christ --there would be no Christ-mas. The whole reason for the season is him. Now, as for employers are concerned --when required to say "Happy Holidays" you are--essance--saying " Happy Holy-days" are you not?

Note that 'Merry Christmas' is not

necessarily a religious greeting, since Christmas is a federal holiday as opposed to Easter which is. BTW I have noted that some who refuse to use the Merry Christmas greeting due to religious nature don't hesitate to wish me a Happy Easter. How bizarre.

One could make a similar case for the prohibition thereof

based on discrimination. An employee may not be forced to speak in a manner that would violate his religion. In Kentucky Commission on Human Rights v. Lesco Manufacutring Design Co., 736 S.W.2d 361, 362 (Ky. Ct. App. 1987), an employee was fired for refusing to answer the telephone with “Merry Christmas, Lesco”. The court found that the employer should have accommodated the Jehovah’s Witness employee’s religious convictions regarding her refusal to observe Christmas. Id. at 364.

Actually,

Merry Christmas is a religious greeting as is Happy Easter and I think you mean Easter is NOT a federal holiday. And I agree that it is strange for someone to eschew Merry Christmas on religious grounds and then use Happy Easter. The fact that December 25 is a federal holiday is meaningless in this discussion. Some traditions that began with religious roots become secular over time. That has happened with Christmas. It is an amalgam of Christian and pagan traditions and has been incorporated into many traditions that have nothing to do with Christ. That being said, I note that you did not respond to any of my substantive points and that's okay. Have a Merry Christmas.

Spot On

Spot on, Bud. The early Christmas makes me crazy. And having a fair number of friends who are Jewish, I see no "war on Christmas," but respect for Holy Days in general. And, that applies to Christian Holy Days, of which there are MANY during the winter holiday season.

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