Ho Ho Ho! Merry Bill of Rights!!

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“Share and Like if you agree that it’s Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays!!”

Really? All the things in the world to get upset about and you’re going to be offended at someone wishing you a pleasantry of the season that doesn’t specifically recognize your holy day?

Go away and take your phony religious persecution with you.

There are so many reasons people would choose to use the phrase Happy Holidays, and being inclusive is the biggest of them. There’s only one reason for getting offended by it – and that’s because you need to pretend you’re a victim.

Here’s the deal: You’re not being oppressed if someone chooses not to take part in your religion. In fact that’s called freedom and it’s guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

It’s all very well if you’d like to put the Christ back in your Christmas, I’m not standing in between you and the exercising of your religion. That relationship is entirely up to you. If your faith is so weak that you need all those around you to continually reinforce your beliefs then maybe you have some soul-searching to do about your personal relationship with your God.

I say ‘your God’ intentionally because there are other groups celebrating holidays at this time of year that have a different understanding of God than you. Or, are you one of those revisionists who think this whole time of year is devoted strictly to a holiday the Christian religion co-opted from the pagans? Sorry to break it to you, but the Holidays normally start at Thanksgiving (although it could be argued they start at Halloween now) and go through New Year’s Day, unless you’re Catholic, and then you go through Epiphany on January 6.

Why, just in the month of December alone Buddhism observes Bodhi Day, Hinduism has Panch Ganapati, there is Yalda for Paganism, of course Judaism celebrates Hanukkah. Let’s not forget Kwanza, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Some people even celebrate Festivus. And believe it or not – some people don’t celebrate anything at all. All of these people have the right to practice their religion or lack of it in any way they see fit. In fact that notion was so important to the Founding Fathers that the first clause of the first sentence of the first paragraph of the first right enumerated in the Bill of Rights ensures it. To wit: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” it says. Boom. That’s so clear even someone who thinks they’re being persecuted religiously can understand it.

But, for those who only accept the notion that we celebrate Christmas in December I would ask that you please tell me which version of Christianity must I follow for it to be a real and true celebration of the day? Protestant? Catholic? Mormon? Anglican? Southern Baptist or regular Baptist – and if so which Synod? Quaker? Shaker? Methodist? Episcopal? Orthodox? Lutheran? Anglican? Unitarian? Seventh Day Adventist? Fundamental? Evangelical? Pentecostal? I mean, really, which one is truly celebrating the holiday? They can’t all be right, can they?

If you’re one of those who is all inclusive about other forms of Christianity but nothing else, then we have found our religious persecutor. Those who only tolerate other forms of Christianity are the highest forms of hypocrites, and usually they’re yelling the loudest about religious oppression. If you recognize the right for other Christians to practice their faith in their churches, but aren’t willing to be tolerant of any other faiths you are really part of what’s wrong in this country.

You have the right to whatever kind of religion you want to follow. Kindly extend to me that same courtesy. If I choose not to celebrate your religion in your fashion get off my back. It’s not a personal affront to you, so stop acting like it is. Please don’t expect me to celebrate the season or the day as you do.

But really, in the end, this is one of those strictly fabricated non-stories that didn’t exist until our news cycles had to have 24-hours-a-day of outrage and fear fueled controversy that poses as programming (I’m looking at you, Fox News and CNN). The false narrative of a ‘War on Christmas’ has created a problem where none existed. Can you remember Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings ever being a problem until the last decade?

What’s the problem with being more inclusive? What’s the issue with respecting other people’s beliefs and celebrations?

But, most important: Why do so many people not want to allow the religious freedom guaranteed to all of us in the Bill of Rights?

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