It’s that time of year again – time for all Fox News contributors to feign outrage at every person, place or thing that doesn’t overtly include Christ in their holiday experience.
While the finger is often pointed at atheists a large number of complaints from the right involve corporations. Yet the motivation for these corporations to shun Christianity and say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” is capitalism and the free market. If using the term “Merry Christmas” moved more product every company would do so. Given that many do not, research must show that these businesses are better off using the term “Happy Holidays”. The only god these corporate “people” worship is the all mighty dollar. Fox News can shame them as much as they want but unless the economics of “Merry Christmas” change, companies will continue to use data, not faith to define their message.
Having said that, the question of religious freedom is certainly not one that Christians have shied away from recently.
For example a number of “Christians” have argued that due to their religious freedom they should be able to deny their employees birth control as part of the health insurance. Some have suggested that businesses should be allowed to refuse service to certain individuals because doing so would be against their religious beliefs. Others have fought to keep same sex couples from getting married because their interpretation of the bible says this is wrong. There have also been those that claim a doctor should be able to turn away certain patients if the procedure they require conflicts with the doctor’s religious convictions.
One would think that a group of people who are so cognizant of every possible situation where their religious rights might be infringed upon would be more aware of the religious rights of those who they foist their religious symbols and prose upon each holiday season.
Ironically this is an eye for eye situation. The more Christian groups use “religious freedom” as the impetus to perpetrate perceived discrimination the more push back they are going to get from non-Christians about having Christian symbols or gatherings at government buildings.
By and large the majority of non-Christians really don’t care how much Christ Christians put in Christmas. If a life size manger display gets you in the Christmas spirit, by all means set one up in your yard. If acknowledging the birth of Jesus Christ in your celebration gives you that yuletide feeling then “Merry Christmas” to everyone you see. But recognize that not everyone has the same beliefs and regardless of how many of these people there are, their right to religious freedom is no less important than that of Christians.
If only there was a trusted voice that these well meaning Christians could turn to as an example of how to proceed in such a situation. The only thing that comes to mind is a quote from a good book that says “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you”. Because apparently even two thousand years ago, hubris made it difficult for many to perceive the hypocrisy of their own actions.