I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t. Not after I read this today:
SACRAMENTO (AP) — A group of religious protesters demonstrated outside a Wal-Mart superstore Saturday, hoping to turn away customers by calling attention to the retailer’s decision to use “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” in its seasonal advertising.
This is all on the heels of a Bill O’Reilly-led (or so it seems) crusade to “save” the holiday from a left-wing/secularist “War on Christmas.” Indeed, O’Reilly frequently uses his “talking points” segment to demonstrate how various groups are trying to remove any reference of Christmas from the public sphere (e.g. here, here, and so on).
Tragically, people are buying it. In today’s Sunday Oklahoman, a whole section is devoted to the “controversy.” In their letters section, readers get to write in and voice their concerns over the matter. This is what they were saying:
“I believe that we should stick with merry Christmas as society has taken Christ out of enough things! The entire reason for Christmas to celebrate the birth of our Savior and I believe that we, as Christians, need to start standing for what is truth and what is right.”
“The whole reason for this season is because of the birth of Jesus Christ. To me, these people are denouncing our Savior, something I find highly offensive. Why is it that we are forced to be so tolerant of other religions but when it comes to Christianity, there is no tolerance? This political correctness will bring America down. Merry Christmas!”
“Without Christ, there would be no Christmas. If Christmas was part of any other religion besides Christianity, there would be no controversy. No one would dare touch the holiday.”
These people are idiots. As has already been demonstrated, many of O’Reilly’s examples of anti-Christmas actions are, well, lies. An important op-ed in the New york Times (sub. required) similarly dismantles the O’Reilly spin.
What’s worse, though, is that these people equate an ad reading something like “come see our holiday selection” as an attack on Christianity! Perhaps they’d like “come celebrate the birth of Jesus by purchasing a 50″ flatscreen TV for 20% off” instead?
The stupid argument that people shouldn’t be offended at hearing “Merry Christmas” is both hypocritical (as they’re the ones offended at not hearing it), and also off the mark. Wal-Mart doesn’t so much say “home for the holidays” to avoid offending non-Christians as it does to make sure than non-Christians shop there for their holiday purchases. It’s about marketing. It’s about making money (And of course, Wal-Mart greeters can say whatever holiday greeting they like; there’s no “Merry Christmas” ban.)
And really, if Wal-Mart doesn’t plaster “Christmas” everywhere in the store, does that spell the end of the religion? Will we somewho forget what major holiday is celebrated on December 25th?