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Op-Ed: Why has 'Merry Christmas' become so offensive to so many people?

By Karen Graham     Dec 22, 2015 in Politics
The world's Christians need to stand up and be heard this year at Christmas, because if we don't, we may not have a chance next time a Christian holiday comes around. If you think I'm overreacting, just take a gander at the headlines.
This "political correctness" BS over not offending other religious groups, including Satanists and atheists, by the way, has done nothing but dump tons of coal on the season's festivities. But perhaps the greatest offenders in attempting to deny Christians the right to celebrate the holiday have been our politicians and Muslim religious leaders.
Brunei and Tajikistan ban Christmas celebrations
Let's look at the oil-rich nation of Brunei, a predominately Muslim country with 32 percent of the population being Christians. The government has banned all public Christmas celebrations, including wearing Santa hats and tree lighting's. Offenders face up to five years in jail.
Brunei will allow Christians to celebrate Christmas in their own homes, but they can't invite their Muslim friends. The ban was enacted last year, says the Ministry of Religious Affairs in a statement published in the Brunei Times. The ban is supposed to control the act of celebrating Christmas "openly and excessively, which could damage the aqidah (beliefs) of the Muslim community."
This ban actually makes me think the Brunei ministry is more afraid of Muslims finding out that Christmas is a wonderful celebration that is all about love and hope, along with a big dose of joy and happiness. According to the statement, Christmas celebrations violate the penal code prohibiting the propagation of religions other than Islam to Muslims. I guess this means that Christians must wear earplugs when the Muslim call to worship is broadcast.
"Some may think that it is a frivolous matter and should not be brought up as an issue," a group of local imams told the Borneo Bulletin, reports Fox News. "We must keep it away as it could affect our Islamic faith."
The mainly-Muslim former Soviet republic of Tajikistan has banned Christmas trees and gift-giving in all its schools this year, mainly for similar reasons as Brunei is using. The education ministry issued a decree banning "the use of fireworks, festive meals, gift-giving and raising money" for New Year celebrations as well as Christmas trees in all its schools and universities.
In a further slap to the face of Russia, last year Tajikistan banned Russia's version of father Christmas. But this secular nation has gone even further in its bans on holidays and celebrations, including a ban on Halloween and strict regulations on how to conduct birthdays, weddings and funerals. One fellow this year was fined $600 for holding his birthday party at an Irish-themed pub. Go figure, right?
The war on Christmas in the U.S.
The "War on Christmas" or probably more appropriately, "Christmas Controversy" has been going on in the U.S. since at least 1959. (We won't even go further back in U.S. history and bring up the Puritan Christmas ban in Boston that lasted 22 years).
In 1959, the John Birch Society issued a pamphlet called, "There goes Christmas." They claimed it was a communist plot to take Christ out of Christmas and replace it with United Nations icons, and was part of a larger plot to ban all religions and cede the U.S. to the U.N. The JBS urged all its members to boycott any stores using "inappropriate decorations."
Of course, the Jews weren't left out in the cold as far as to claims of the whole Christmas wars issue being a Jewish plot to get the holiday banned worldwide. One newspaper ran a story crying aloud that "Last Christmas most people had a hard time finding Christmas cards that indicated in any way that Christmas commemorated Someone's Birth." It was blamed on the Jews, another absurdity that is laughable.
But for all the plots and subplots that are part of this absurd story, our federal government, from the very lowest of lackeys under the thumbs of higher up lackeys in state and federal levels of government, is responsible for this mess we are in today. From Veteran's hospitals to schools, and companies all across the nation, there are bans on anything to do with Christmas, from decorated trees to Christmas carols, From Santa Claus to uttering the forbidden words, "Merry Christmas."
What in the devil is wrong with saying "Merry Christmas," Happy Hanukkah," or "Have a blessed Ramadan?" Our religious beliefs are part of our identity, and to take our identity away is a crime against all of us, regardless of our religious beliefs or even our lack of belief. It is as important a right as the right of free speech, or the right to liberty. So I am going to continue to say "Merry Christmas," "Happy Kwanzaa" and "Happy Hanukkah" whenever it is appropriate, and I really believe that most people will do the same.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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