Re: MERRY CHRISTMAS at Target is a dirty word!
by DragonflygrrlTheGreat - Posted Fri November 9, 2007 @ 12:46 PM
I'm just not gonna do it this year. This is my third winter at PFB, and every year we have this discussion. This year, I'm just gonna say it once then I'm gonna move on with my life.
This letter is far better than some of the poorly spelled diatribes we have to look forward to as the season approaches. I commend the OP for writing about a very touchy subject in a calm and friendly way, and for the record I hope she has a very merry Christmas. But I have to point a few things out.
1. Employee's don't really have free speech while they are on the clock. Yes, they have the right to say what they like without risking legal action (excepting libelous, obscene, or hate speech of course) like any other American, but they do not have the right to say what they like without disciplinary action from their employer. All employees have the legal right to say, "Merry Christmas," "Happy Winter Solstice," or, "go eff yourself," but their employers are well within their rights to fire them. "Freedom of Speech" only extends to legal protection, and when you agree to work for a company you waive a portion of your rights when you agree to follow their rules.
2. Not to be argumentative, but where are you getting your numbers? In 2001, 79.8% of Americans reported that they identified with some variation of Christianity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Religious_affiliation). Atheists and Agnostics make up another 15%, and "Other" makes up the remaining 5.2%. Not a huge difference, but as a general rule if you cite statistics it's good to check them out.
3. Just because a majority of a population believes something, this does not mean that the rights of the minority should be overlooked. If we as people decided never to worry about the rights of a minority group, the Civil Rights movement could never have happened, just to name an example. In fact, there was a time when Christianity itself was a small, isolated sect among many, and if that minority group had never sought to be seen as equal we wouldn't be having this debate right now.
4. For the record, I don't much care what you celebrate (or don't celebrate), as long as you enjoy it. If you celebrate Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus, or something altogether different, have a happy one. For that matter, I don't care if you don't celebrate anything at all. Have a great day anyway. The holidays to me are about goodwill, regardless of the details of what pantheon inspires it (or not).
So that's all I got. I'm not getting sucked into the debate over Merry Christmas this year. It always gets so ugly on both sides, and it never resolves anything. Besides, there are so many more fun things to talk about during the winter holidays, like what TwinkleToe's is getting her kids for Christmas, or what vc wrote in the snow this year. :)