Don't Hijack Christ From My Christmas


At The Root DC, Barbara Reynolds says she respects other religions — just not to the extent that she'll say "Happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Why? She writes that Jesus' message is what our culture needs, and she has no qualms about potentially offending those who don't share her beliefs.

For me, there is only one reason for this season. It is to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ, and the hollow, fake, generic greetings of "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" are making me less happy, less merry.

For years, various merchants and atheists have done their best to detach Christ from Christmas, first substituting X-mas for Christmas and now the greeting of "Happy Holidays." For example, Rhode Island recently held a "holiday tree" lighting. I am told that federal and state employers are being reminded not to give a "Merry Christmas" greeting because other faiths might find it offensive. Christmas carols such as "Silent Night and "Joy to the World" are disappearing from shopping malls and other public places …

If the object is to be inclusive, that is the wrong goal. Dec. 25 is a federal holiday designated by Congress for a specific divine person — Jesus of Nazareth. And despite how it is observed, it is not Santa Claus Day.

"How many of us on our birthday would appreciate a generic greeting card meant for just anybody?" asks the Rev. Louise Battle, a Pentecostal minister in the District. "Our cards have our name on them. Why do people think Christ should just be snatched out of Christmas?["]

Hijacking Christ from Christmas has deeper meanings. "It is not just the greeting and what we hear or say," Wendy Carter, a local minister, told me. "I believe, bottom line, the spirit of Christmas is missing."

Read Barbara Reynolds' entire piece at The Root DC.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff. 

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