By Brother Thom
A friend posted a meme on his facebook page that stated we should say Happy Holiday’s instead of Merry Christmas so as not to offend non-Christian’s. There are a number of problems with this line of thinking. First, Christians have been asked to take a back seat over the last decade when it comes to not only greetings, but the celebration of Christmas all together. At the same time, religions such as Islam have been granted speech protections that were literally taken away from other religions.
If I were to complain that a Muslim coworker said “Blessed Eid Al-Fitr,” I could literally be prosecuted in some cities and states. But, if a Muslim complains about a coworker saying Merry Christmas, that same employee might very well face disciplinary action. None of this makes sense.
A Muslim expressing the Islam greeting of “Blessed Eid Al-Fitr,” is simply expressing their faith, in the same manner a Christian saying “Merry Christmas,” is expressing their faith. Strikingly our founding fathers wanted to ensure we could all share and express our faith. Take the First Amendment for instance:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Why is this so hard to understand, or grasp, or accept in America. So this all brings me back to the issue of saying Happy Holidays so that we don’t offend someone. I am not offended by a Jew saying Happy Hanukkah, nor am I offended by a Muslim saying Blessed Eid Al-Fitr, or any other religion expressing their faith. I’m happy with everyone worshiping in their faith. So what about that Happy Holiday phrase, where did it come from.
Much like “Merry Christmas,” it turns out that “Happy Holidays” also has religious roots. Both are derived from the Old English: Christmas comes from “Cristes Maesse,” or the Mass of Christ, the first usage of which (in 1038) described the mass held to commemorate Christ’s birth.
In the year 950, the word was “haligdaeg” and appeared in the Old English Lindisfarne Gospels. It was a compound of the Old English “halig” (holy) plus “daeg” (day).
So either way you say say it you’re talking about our Lord God. Happy Holidays. And Amen