Thursday, December 20, 2007

Soapbox: "Likely to offend some" ???

I smiled at Paul's recent post of Xmas Cards. I find it humorous that in our society we quibble over such silly things. However as I thought more about it, what really struck me was the double standard that exists but we ignore all the time.

What is it about “Merry Christmas” that might offend someone?

Is it that Christmas is equated to a Christian holiday and somehow recognizing that such a holiday exists is offensive?
  • This doesn't make sense to me because I would guess that the majority of people who celebrate “Christmas” do not hold to the “truths of the Christian faith”. Christmas for them is a merry time of year to give to others and receive gifts from others. It's a time to enjoy family and friends. What is so offensive about that? Would people be offended if the greeting were Happy Hanukkah?

Is it that the word “Christ” appears in Christmas and hence that is offensive to some?
  • This really doesn't make sense as the same people who are offended by the term “Merry Christmas” probably use “Christ”, “Jesus”, “God”, etc on a daily basis as an expression or expletive. So if it's OK to use these terms in a way that doesn't relate to the object of the term, why would the rule change for “Merry Christmas”?

The double standard is that it's OK to offend people who believe in God and Jesus Christ, but it's not OK for those people to use the same terms in an honoring way because they might be offensive to those who don't hold the same beliefs.

So I'm not quite sure whether I should smile or be “offended” that “Merry Christmas” is “Likely to offend some” :)


Anonymous said...

There are people who walk around looking for reasons to be annoyed. It's best to just ignore them.

I am not a Christian, but if somebody wishes me a "Merry Chrstmas", I take it in the spirit with which it was intended and thank them.

Cheese and crackers, people, they're just trying to be nice. Just be nice in return. You don't need to agree with everything this person has ever said or thought. Just be nice.

Eric Norman said...

My mommy taught me that it's not nice to take something that hasn't been offered to you.

And that includes offense.