Thanksgiving is past. December is once again upon us. It’s that time of year – that most wonderful time of the year – for our nation’s thought police to remind all of us heartland rubes, you know, the unwashed masses, that at the top of the “you-cannot-say-that” list is saying “Merry Christmas.”
It doesn’t matter that Christmas has been celebrated in the Western world since the fourth century. It doesn’t matter that Christmas has been a national holiday since 1870. It doesn’t matter that it drives much of our family cohesion and even dominates our nation’s economy. No, despite all this, the cultural brain trust running America’s department stores and coffee shops has declared the words “Merry Christmas” to be “triggering.”
Target, for example, has the dubious distinction of being one of the first stores to go woke and purge the words “Merry Christmas” from its employees’ approved vocabulary. Restricting festive greetings to “Happy Holidays,” it seems, doesn’t run the risk of offending anyone (except Christians), so it’s the acceptable benchmark for controlled thought and expression.
Starbucks joins in the progressive parade of condemning the celebration of peace on earth and goodwill to men. “Happy Holidays” will not trigger anyone except those dastardly singers of joy to the world. So, let’s speak nothing but humbug upon Saint Nicholas and his example of self-sacrifice and giving.
We’re told that the reason to exclude Christmas is inclusion. In order to include everyone, we must start by excluding all those who want to follow Christ. “Forget this Christmas stuff and forget Christians,” they say. “Let’s just force everyone to say something innocuous like Happy Holidays.”
But, one has to wonder if these smart people even know what the phrase “Happy Holidays” means.
After all, words do mean something, don’t they? Words do have definitions, and definitions should matter, right? I believe it was Aristotle who once chided, “How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms.”
Those who have pushed so aggressively to replace “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” say that this greeting includes everyone, is less religious and is more acceptable in the current multicultural climate in which we live. But even a cursory examination of this pablum reveals a surprising degree of ignorance; ignorance of definition, ignorance of the etymology, and ignorance of meaning.
In other words, these thought police are stupid.
They are clueless.
Let’s take the word “holiday.” What does it mean? Even for those educated in our nation’s terrible public schools, it should be obvious: The term “holiday” is the combination of two words: “holy” and “day.” The argument of those attempting to secularize the Christmas season by calling it a holy day is patently absurd. “Holy” is a religious word and refers to something sacred and set apart for God. Anything holy is something that must be preserved and kept whole. Something holy is sanctified, righteous, and pure. If something is holy, it is uncompromised by sin and set apart for our salvation. “Holy, Holy, Holy, the Lord God is Holy!”
And even the second part of the word “holiday” bears significant religious weight. Day refers to a 24-hour period of time. Day is the acknowledgment of past, present, and future; the awareness of the clock; knowing that minutes and hours are passing and that ultimately, they are God’s to give and God’s to take; and that human beings have no say about the longevity or brevity of their lives. It is a term of self-limitation: the understanding that our days are numbered. Yesterday’s memories. Today’s responsibilities. Tomorrow’s dreams. Made in the image of God, we stand unique in our awareness of time and the divine dictate that “this is the day the Lord has made.” Out of all God’s creatures, we alone are obligated to set aside our days and keep them holy.
Isn’t it ironic that the “wise” who wish to secularize our culture do so by demanding we abandon religious words like Christmas while at the same time arguing in favor of an even more religious word like “holiday”?
In their effort to believe in nothing, these oligarchs declare that they are the measure of everything. Believing in no judge means they become the only judge. Claiming there is no God, they act like they are God. For them, the only holy day is the one that excludes Christ and elevates themselves to the status of our cultural savior.
Can’t these little gods who want to tell us what to think and say see that they are the poster children for a new religion? Can they not see that they’re using even more sacred language to worship themselves in their pompous efforts to remove a sacred day from our calendar?
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery) and, most recently, “Grow Up: Life Isn’t Safe, But It’s Good.”
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