Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In Reply: "'d be great if we could all wish everyone we see a "Merry" or "Happy" whatever..."

Revised and extended, in reply to the following comment at In reply to Rhode Island Outraged Over “Holiday Tree” | FOX News And Commentary: Todd Starnes:
Rodney Duncan · Dallas Baptist University
@ W James Casper: "I am in a predominately Muslim country with large number of Buddhists/Taoists and Hindus. When it is Christmas - all of my many friends from these various groups say "Merry Christmas " to me (they probably have not heard of political correctness). When it is is Deepavali - I say Happy Deepavali to my Hindu friends. When it is Chinese New Year - I say "Happy Chinese New Year" to my Chinese friends. When it is the end of fasting month I say "Selamat Hari Raya Puasa" to my Muslim friends. That is being inclusive and no ones seems ot be offended. Secular American need to get over it and get the chip off their shoulders and realize it is ok to rejoice with others in the celebration of their special days - even if you are not observant of their religion. That is real tolerance."
@Rodney Duncan: But if I may, that isn't the issue, and it isn't strictly a "secular American" problem. Here, the issue is several holidays all right around the same time, and an inability to look at a person and know which one(s) s/he chooses to celebrate... ...and essentially having everyone assume you're a Christian because that is what most folks are, rather than Jewish, or Hindu, or Muslim, or none of the above...

I'm all for the kind of inclusiveness you talk about--and I hope that folks wish you a Happy Deepavali and the rest when those holidays come around, too--but this would be more like saying "Selamat Hari Raya Puasa" to you INSTEAD of Merry Christmas, because you're in a majority Muslim country...

The situation among your friends sounds good... Knowing the backgrounds, ethnicities, and faiths of your friends, you all offer each other the appropriate holiday greeting at the correct time... But the question is, what would you do if Deepavali fell on Tuesday, Ramadan ended yesterday, Christmas was on Thursday, and you didn't know who celebrated which, given the number of folks who may've converted from the faith most associated with their ethnicity? Would you treat everyone as a Muslim, because that is the dominant faith where you are, wish everyone a Merry Christmas, because that is your faith, or would you employ some variant of "Happy Holidays!!," so as not to offer anyone the wrong holiday greeting and perhaps offend them?

I think it'd be great if we could all wish everyone we see a "Merry" or "Happy" whatever, even if they're not actually of that particular faith, and have it be taken and accepted in the joyous spirit in which it is intended, rather than as some kinda slight... (I personally try to have a very happy Hannukah whenever possible, though there isn't a Jewish bone in my body.) But assuming that everyone is a Christian because most folks here are--or because YOU are--just isn't the way to go...

Posted 11/30/11, 6:00 PM (or so)

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