The Instigator
olivemike81
Pro (for)
Winning
58 Points
The Contender
clsmooth
Con (against)
Losing
54 Points

Christians need to stop being offended every time someone says "Happy Holidays".

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,495 times Debate No: 439
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (36)

 

olivemike81

Pro

One of the core issues in the so-called "War on Christmas" is the idea that saying "Happy Holidays" is a way of undermining Christmas. If you are a Christian and you are offended by the use of "Happy Holidays" you need to realize that you're not the only one celebrating a holiday this December.

People say "Happy Holidays" because they know others can be easily offended in today's society. Some of the easily offended include: people who think you should only give Santa milk and cookies which contain no animal products or trans-fats, people who would rather fire old white disc jockeys, for racial jokes, instead of just changing the station, and people who worry about someone saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas".

Businesses say "Happy Holidays" because they know that many of their customers are NOT Christian. Their motives are selfish (money) but they understand that "Merry Christmas" has the ability to offend people who don't celebrate the holiday. So instead of potentially offending, and losing, customers they play it safe and just say "Happy Holidays". Take a lesson from the Jews; you don't see them causing a fuss every time someone skips over "Happy Hanukkah". That's because they realize that not everyone celebrates Hanukkah.

By the same token if someone wishes you a "Merry Christmas" and you happen to be Muslim (or a Scientologist) don't be offended. Be glad that someone decided to throw a little holiday spirit your way and move on with your life. Don't sue them; all you'll end up doing is giving Fox News more material for their "War on Christmas" segments; which are actually kind of cool because sometimes they find ways to tie the "War on Christmas" in with the "War on Terrorism".

Merry Christmas
clsmooth

Con

I am not offended by "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." Nor would I be offended by "Happy Kwanza," "Happy Hanukkah," "Ramadan Murabak," or "Merry Winter Solstice." But that's me. You can't tell people NOT to be offended by something.

I agree that this "War on Christmas" business is overblown. Big time. But the logic of your argument is flawed.

You say businesses say "happy holidays" so they won't offend Muslims, Jews, Wiccans, etc. But then you say Christians have no right to be offended / should not be offended by "happy holidays." Why should businesses care more about Muslims, Jews, Wiccans, etc., then they do about Christians? Why do Muslims, Jews, Wiccans, etc., have more of a "right" to be offended than Christians?

One thing individuals in this country do not have is a right to not be offended. But you do not have the right to tell someone they shouldn't be offended.
Debate Round No. 1
olivemike81

Pro

I never said Christians didn't have the right to be offended; anyone has the right to take offense to anything in this society. My argument is that they should get over it. And I have every right to tell them they shouldn't be offended; it's called free speech. Just as you have the right to tell me I shouldn't tell people not to get offended. Sorry if that was confusing; I think I'm a bit confused :)

As far as businesses caring more about jews, muslims etc, they don't care about those groups more than christians. Like I said it's all about pleasing everyone as best they can so they won't lose customers; it's not about treating one group better than another

You're right that people should expect to be offended, and no one is free from that expectation, but Christians seem to me to be the whiniest of any specific group. Looking forward to your response.
clsmooth

Con

I'm not saying that you don't have the right to SAY they shouldn't be offended, I'm merely stating that they DO have THE RIGHT to be offended. You can say whatever you want. But ultimately, they do have the right to be offended. The topic being debated is whether "Christians NEED to stop being offended..." And I'm saying they don't NEED to.

You admit that businesses say "Happy Holidays" in order to not offend Jews, Muslims, Wiccans, etc. "Happy Holidays" is generic, whereas "Merry Christmas" is specific. Theoretically, Jews, Muslims, and Wiccans could be offended by "Happy Holidays" too, but that is irrelevant. The point is that businesses are trying to avoid offending people, and they're failing at doing it -- they're offending Christians, who constitute a majority of the U.S. populace. I am against central planning and making decisions for businesses, but if I owned a business that was in this position, I would try to offend the fewest people possible.

The reason some Christians are offended is that "Merry Christmas" is part of the American tradition. This cannot be doubted. "Happy Holidays" has been around for a long time, but it is only recently that certain businesses have begun using it as an ALTERNATIVE to "Merry Christmas." It is natural for people to be upset and offended by change. They feel as though they are losing tradition. As a libertarian, I do not hold tradition in high regard, but I respect the rights of others to do so, and I respect their right to be offended.

Christians do NOT NEED to stop being offended every time someone says "Happy Holidays."
Debate Round No. 2
olivemike81

Pro

We're both right that people have the right to be offended; I'm offended by some rap music but I always exercise my right to not listen to it. People who are offended by "Happy Holidays" including Jews, Muslims, etc, should just be glad someone was a little nice to them and move on, just like Christians should.

You're also right that "Happy Holidays" (used by companies to avoid offense) is actually offending Christians but that's the best solution they can come up with now; of course they could say nothing at all but it's better to say something than nothing at all. As far as Christians being the majority (as being the reason why a company should say Merry Christmas) so what? Just because they are the majority does not mean everything should be catered to them. And even though they are the majority there are still millions of other Americans who belong to another faith or no faith at; it may be the majority but the minority is a pretty big group of people.

And just to clarify, I also think comapnies should be allowed to say whatever they want during the holidays.
clsmooth

Con

The question is do Christians NEED to stop being offended? I say no, they don't, for the following reasons:

1. Anyone has the right to be offended by anything at any time.

2. The American version of Christmas is part of American tradition and heritage, and many Christians see the substitution of "Happy Holidays" as an infringement on that tradition -- and it is natural to be offended or upset by change. It doesn't mean it is "right" to be offended, but it is normal.

Christians are a majority of the U.S. populace, but even more importantly, an overwhelming majority of Americans (Christian and non-Christian) celebrate Christmas. The fact that non-Christians and even atheists celebrate Christmas proves that in addition to it being a religious holiday, it is also an AMERICAN holiday, and part of the American tradition. This supports Point #2, above.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by goldspurs 9 years ago
goldspurs
How can anyone go Pro on this one? The Con easily won this debate.
Posted by Korezaan 9 years ago
Korezaan
If the topic was "Christians OUGHT TO stop being offended every time someone says Happy Holidays" then I would've voted PRO.

But.

---"The topic being debated is whether "Christians NEED to stop being offended..." And I'm saying they don't NEED to."

RFD: CON
Posted by PreacherFred 9 years ago
PreacherFred
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a
missionary - especially one who takes My love and Good News to
those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole
families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas"
tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or
receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few
gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other
charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery
for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief
in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do
things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let
people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love
Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all
the rest.

Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll
help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a
most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and
remember:
I LOVE YOU, JESUS

~Earthly Author Unknown~
Posted by PreacherFred 9 years ago
PreacherFred
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My
birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope
to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and
lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know
them personally. They just need to know that someone cares
about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on
the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write
and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family
this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you
again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't
afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them
the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down
here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love
them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him
or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take
their own life this season because they feel so alone and
hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving
everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town
calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there.
Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't
allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you
from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday.
If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd
close and let their employees spend the day at home with their
families.
Posted by PreacherFred 9 years ago
PreacherFred
Christmas Letter from Jesus
============================
Dear Children,

It has come to my attention that many you are upset that folks
are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten
that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and
that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate
My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival.
Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be
most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed
with children of your own.

I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate
My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the
town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My
birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santa's and snowmen
and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If
all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such
a scene on the town square because there would be many of them
all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree
a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made
all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree.
Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that
one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and
what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one,
look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth
here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the w
Posted by la_bella_vita 9 years ago
la_bella_vita
kels, i agree with what you're saying.

i guess i'm just surprised because i've never seen any of those things to be true where i live - maybe in some areas it's different? i've never heard of Hanukkah OR Christmas being "taught" at a school, and i doubt it would be mentioned any more than Christmas would be mentioned. and as i live in a city (quite a large one at that...) i've never noticed decorations for one holiday where there weren't decorations for another. since you're saying it happens though, then i agree that it's a little crazy.

also, i was under the impression that we were discussing the choice of saying "happy holidays" vs "merry Christmas"... however, if people really are "not allowed" to say Merry Christmas, etc. then that's ridiculous.
Posted by PreacherFred 9 years ago
PreacherFred
Following the example of Christ, a Christian wouldn't be offended. I do agree that some factions have takn things to an extreme such as not being able to sing a Christian song in a public school while allowing a Jewish song.

Sticking to the debate, a Christian might need to get ove it if he wishes to get to heaven.
Posted by impactyourworld89 9 years ago
impactyourworld89
People say "Happy Holidays" simply to be politically correct. That bothers me. What bothers me more, is that just a few years ago businesses were allowed to say Merry Christmas as they rang an order up at WalMart or wherever. It only takes one person for everyone to go bonkers.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
One more thing , my sister goes to a public school and had a concert , they sang a Hanukkah song , but couldn't sing any Christmas songs that were religious in anyway ..and that bothers me ... why not sing one for each holiday.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
I think Christians are offended not because someone else doesnt celebrate Christmas , to each its own ..celebrate what you like .. What bothers Christians is this (or at least me ) At public schools , children learn about Hanukkah but Jesus being born can no longer be mentioned. In cities they can put up a Kwanza (sp.) or a menorah , but can't put up a Nativity display. I am not offended by a menorah , or any other holiday themme one might have. But I ask that my holiday isn't treated as though it doesn't exist.
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