Without hesitation, let me start today’s column by wishing everyone out there a hearty “Merry Christmas.”

For the visually impaired who might not have grasped my first paragraph, let me repeat in bold lettering: Merry Christmas.

Also, I don’t want to leave out those with hearing problems, so here goes my message to them: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

And for anyone who possibly who might be offended by my friendly, well-intended holiday greeting, I have this to offer: Merry #$@&%* Christmas! (The accepted symbols to denote curse words.)

Since this is a family newspaper, I don’t want to mention the actual words — yet that doesn’t lessen the strong feelings I have about the free, unfettered use of the term “Merry Christmas” versus the generic and downright boring “Happy Holidays.”

Every holiday season (excuse me, I meant “Christmas” season) we have the same of debate about those two, and this year is no exception.

As a staunch fan of “Merry Christmas,” what I find so irritating about “Happy Holidays” is not that people say those words. It’s because they seem more willing to be tied to a stump and beaten with a two-by-four rather than utter the term “Merry Christmas” instead.

This is especially true with those on television, such as newscasters, both on the national networks and local TV stations. It would be difficult to determine which they hate to say the worst — “Merry Christmas” or “radical Islamic terrorism.”

I wonder what the TV announcers have been threatened with to make them adhere to this practice so strictly. I mean, have these people been told they would be fired or forced to watch a Donald Trump speech if they dare to use the Forbidden Words?

Thank God (I guess I can still mention His name) the company I work for hasn’t issued any such mandate about saying “Merry Christmas,” otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this column today. Or would I?

At any rate, I feel totally free and unencumbered about shouting “Merry Christmas” from the rooftops.

Of course, the reason others don’t feel comfortable doing so is because of that usual suspect, political correctness.

There is certainly a religious connotation associated with the term “Merry Christmas,” since it refers to the Christian faith — and therefore, it theoretically could (could, mind you) be offensive to someone of another faith.

Now, I personally have never heard anyone complain about the use of “Merry Christmas” and by that I mean a regular person — only the unseen politically correct thought police.

Even the American Civil Liberties Union, which usually is at the forefront of such politically correct movements, doesn’t oppose the words “Merry Christmas.” The ACLU tends to limit its Christmastime opposition to incidents in which the government is promoting religious beliefs and practices, such as the placement of a Nativity scene on public property.

So why are others so adamant about NOT saying “Merry Christmas?”

It’s interesting that all the calendars still specifically refer to Dec. 25 as Christmas, and haven’t replaced it with the generic word “holiday.”

Then there is also the carol “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” That title has not been changed to “We Wish You Happy Holidays.”

So why is it so bad to actually mention the words “Merry Christmas” in a public setting?

I would suspect all of this is due to the same old double standard that comes into play with such cases.

If people have a minority point of view, or are members of a minority group — including a religious affiliation — somehow their voice always seems to be heard. Because after all, we simply can’t suppress the minority viewpoint, and I’m fine with that.

But then when it comes to the majority point of view — as in the case of Christians, who make up about 83 percent of the American population — it must be stifled to avoid the possibility of offending the minority. It’s a one-way street plain and simple.

I would bet that if I went to a foreign country where Christianity was not the dominant religion, people there would be as politically correct as some are in America and make sure the prevailing faith did not override my point of view. Yeah, right!

Anyone who discourages the celebration of Christmas and all the terms that go along with it deserves to see only a lump of coal in his or her stocking on the morning of Dec. 25.

In the meantime, in case you didn’t grasp, see or hear it the first time, let me say once again — “Merry Christmas!”

Tom Joyce is a staff writer for The Mount Airy News.


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