Your Voice: ‘Happy holidays’ shows inclusion
by Ron Indran, Tracy
Dec 14, 2012 | 2804 views | 8 8 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EDITOR,

I am writing this in response to Earl Jess’ Dec. 6 Your Voice, “Say ‘Christmas’ loud and proud.” He attacked city of Tracy officials as well as the Tracy Press for using the term “Happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” He went on to insist that the Tracy Press and city officials refrained from using “Merry Christmas” because it somehow offends the “Muslims.”

Just to be clear, my position is that anyone who celebrates Christmas can and should use that term. However, those who choose to use the more inclusive “Happy Holidays” should not be chastised for doing so.

First of all, anyone with a higher education knows that Dec. 25 was not the day Christ was born, but the estimated winter solstice — a pagan tradition absorbed by Christianity in Western Europe.

Furthermore, there are several minorities who do not celebrate the birth of Christ in a religious fashion — some examples being Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims and atheists. However, pretty much all these minorities like to break up the monotony of winter and celebrate the holidays, not to mention give and receive gifts. Children of all religious affiliations get very excited what they might find under their “holiday tree” or under their pillows Dec. 25.

So if anyone uses the term “Happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” it’s in an attempt to include all of these religious minorities, not an attempt to offend Christians. I am certain a well-informed and accepting gentleman like Mr. Jess does not intend to deprive all those children of such happiness by insisting it is a Christian holiday exclusively.

Earl also wrote, “It is idiotic that schools are being told they can’t sing carols in school.” I am sure Mr. Jess, being the scholar he is, knows that when the forefathers coined the phrase “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” in the very beginning of the First Amendment, they did not establish an exception for any specific religion.

Perhaps when Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase “separation of church and state,” he was not privy to Mr. Jess’ infinite wisdom.

Furthermore, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in Everson v. Board of Education (1947) wrote: “In the words of Thomas Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state.”

Had Justice Black been offered the wise counsel of Mr. Jess, he would not have made such grievous an error.

I would like to thank Earl Jess for his words of infinite wisdom. I certainly hope he continues to write and share his intellectual wealth with the rest of us. Looking forward to hearing from you, Mr. Jess. I will certainly respond with due appreciation and admiration.

Comments
(8)
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Youtwo
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December 30, 2012
At the Indian restaurant across from Mr. Pickles, it said Happy Diwali on their windows and door.

Ron Indran,

Will you go tell them to change it to Happy Holiday?
kellyk79
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December 16, 2012
Putting up a 'holiday tree' is so frustrating - Jews don't have a 'Chanukah tree'! So just call it what it is - a Christmas tree! This week employees were singing 'holiday music' in my office cafeteria - but the songs were all 'oh christmas tree' etc - just call it what it is and quit pretending like saying 'holiday' is inclusive of all religions (since only 2 religions actually have holidays this time of year, OK 3 with pagens) unless in August you are going to say 'Happy Holidays' to the Muslims, or basically every month except November & December & January saying 'Happy Holidays' to the hindus (http://www.religionfacts.com/hinduism/holidays.htm) and have office 'holiday parties' in other months too. Having a 'holiday party' in December and thinking it is all-inclusive is about as absurd as having a 'holiday party' in August only and thinking that is inclusive. Calling it a 'holiday party' or wishing 'happy holidays' can be construed as saying these are the only holidays that exist and minimizing the recognition of religions that don't celebrate holidays at this time of the year. So.....Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah!
ronindran
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December 14, 2012
On a side note: How come none of you use your real names? Certainly you are not embarassed by your opinions or statements, are you? BTW: Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
ronindran
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December 14, 2012
Some of the commentators should take the time to actually read my article. I never said I nor anyone else were offended by the wishes of “Merry Christmas”. The point of the article was that the people who use the more inclusive term of “Happy Holidays” should not be chastised for doing so. I direct your attention to yet another part of the first amendment – it’s called the “Freedom of Speech”.
PublicCitizen
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December 14, 2012
Merry Christmas Ron.
oldleathers
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December 14, 2012
Why does my wishing a merry christmas cause Ron Indran to presume i wish to exclude anyone? Why would someone be offended by a traditional seasonal greeting i have celebrated my entire life? Because too many like to play the victim. It's a pathology that has permeated our society to the point of being pointless.

Merry Christmas.....Or Not!
doors17
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December 14, 2012
Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth, does it really matter or offend anyone if it’s not what your religious or political beliefs are or whatever agenda you may have? Isn’t sad that we actually argue over such a trivial thing, especially when these words are given to you with good intentions?

Our priorities should go to those who are less fortunate and would appreciate an act of kindness. Think of those who could use words of love and encouragement that lost someone they loved and won’t be sharing the holidays with for the first time as they deal with those emotions. Maybe you have a neighbor that you know who lives alone, and how giving them a small gift would mean to them.

I don’t care what church you go to or if you don’t go at all. If all of us can just make the effort to do what we can with the abilities we have to do or say that will make the day better for others, wouldn’t that make your day as well?

LuckyInTracyNot
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December 14, 2012
It is when a certain group of people who get offended over a nativity scene, seeing a christmas tree and want it called a holiday tree and get offended in the office you work when someone wished someone a merry christmas. If all of the whiners and haters would shut up we wouldn't be having a political correct conversation about people with special political needs. Merry Christmas everybody!


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