The Instigator
Junja
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
donald.keller
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

We should continue to say Happy Holidays in public events, not Merry Christmas

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
donald.keller
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/12/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,967 times Debate No: 35529
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

Junja

Pro

Opening Argument:
It's not really hurting anyone and it is a nice way to include all religions. Those alone should be why we should continue saying it.
donald.keller

Con

I'll be glad to take up this discussion on the side of Con. I do not feel we should have to say Happy Holidays.

I don't mind when people say Happy Holidays, but I feel that if everyone started saying it, it would go against the very reason why we say it.

We think it's accepting all religions, but over time it becomes more about not accepting any. If we are taught to only say Happy Holidays, saying Merry Christmas would be looked at as insensitive and not the correct term.

To truly accept all religions, we must start by letting them say their own holiday greetings, and not make them have to say anyone else's (which you make them do if they have to say Happy Holidays.) To make a Christian say, or imply they are saying, Happy Eid al-Adha would be a great disrespect to him, and a disrespect to his religion.
Debate Round No. 1
Junja

Pro

It's ok if you say Merry Christmas at your house, and to your friends too. However, I believe at VERY public places such as school parties and town events, especially because Jews are on the rise in population, it would be necessary to say happy holidays to include EVERYBODY. If your concerned about people thinking Merry Christmas is not the correct term, it should just be common sense that you could say it at your house and to your friends. I'm just talking about town events. If you say Merry Christmas at town events, that's excluding Jewish people. You can't choose one over the other. If it excludes all, at least it's not favoring one over the other.
donald.keller

Con

"However, I believe at VERY public places such as school parties and town events, especially because Jews are on the rise in population, it would be necessary to say happy holidays to include EVERYBODY."

At very public places, we are all entitled to say what we want because we often pay for the place. If my taxes are paying for a school (even if the event is paid privately, I am still paying for the building), I would like to not be told I can't say Merry Christmas there.

View below to see how this does not 'include everybody.'

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"You can't choose one over the other. If it excludes all, at least it's not favoring one over the other."

If I'm Christian, I shouldn't be made to say Happy Hanukkah, or anything that implies I'm saying Happy Hanukkah. A Jewish person should be allowed to say Happy Hanukkah, and not have to say anything that implies he is saying Merry Christmas as well.

Making a Jewish person celebrate the birth of Christ is rather offensive to him. He should be allowed to celebrate his own holiday, in action and in words, and not be made to verbally celebrate a 'pagan' holiday.

The very concept of saying Happy Holidays isn't really about including all holidays, but excluding them. Leaving the individual holidays out so it's less 'offensive.' The only way to truly accept all holidays is to let people celebrate their own. Saying Happy Holidays only helps to destroy the individuality of Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holidays.

If we build a world where only Happy Holidays should be celebrated outside of the house, then we begin to remove individual holidays from the public. You don't begin accepting them, you begin excluding them. Claiming that celebrating an individual holiday in public is offensive.

Building a world where only Happy Holidays is allowed to exist outside our home. If you want to 'accept and include' my holiday, you have to let me celebrate it individually, inside and outside my house.

And I have the right to fully choose whether or not I want to include (what is to me) a 'pagan' holiday to my list of celebrations. I myself do not want to celebrate a 'pagan' holiday, in action or in words.
Debate Round No. 2
Junja

Pro

It is not just YOU paying taxes for the building. YOU are one of many people with different religions, beliefs and values. While there is no reason you should hesitate to say Merry Christmas to those that you know celebrate that holiday, to the extent you don't know what others believe, there is no harm making a general positive and most importantly inclusive statement. Just as important, official public statements to all should always be inclusive and strive to make all feel welcome. There is no downside to being sensitive to the feelings of others and making every feel a part of a joyous time of year.
donald.keller

Con

"It is not just YOU paying taxes for the building. YOU are one of many people with different religions, beliefs and values."

I never said just me. If you recall, I used more than just a Christian point of view.

Everyone pays for it, therefore everyone is entitled to speak of and celebrate their own religion and holiday, and not have to honor a pagan holiday. A Jewish person should not have to include the Birth of Christ in his greetings when he is helping to pay for the place or event.

I understand you are Jewish, but only one of many. While you may prefer Happy Holidays, many don't. Many Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc, Prefer to only honor their holiday, and not one they feel is wrong. Even if everyone preferred Happy Holidays, that one guy that does not shouldn't have to say it for the overly-sensitive.

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"While there is no reason you should hesitate to say Merry Christmas to those that you know celebrate that holiday."

And yet you would make me imply that I'm saying Happy Hanukkah even though I do not celebrate it. It's hypocritical.

Your idea is to make us offend ourselves so we don't offend others, and therefore no one gets offended. I hope you see how that concept doesn't work.

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"There is no downside to being sensitive to the feelings of others and making every feel a part of a joyous time of year."

You say this, but your idea itself is not sensitive to the feelings of the people who have to include pagan holidays that, to many, are highly offensive to their own belief.

To include all holidays, you have to include them separately. To make people include them all in an all-in-one package is, for many, blasphemy. It's like making a Muslim say "Thank you Allah, God, Buddha, and Alien overlords," so he doesn't offend people. All you do is reverse who get offended.

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Remember the 1st Amendment. It is not the right to never be offended in public... It is the right to speech, inside AND outside your own home. The right to speak freely in public and around people.

Basically, the 1st Amendment is the freedom to offend, and be offended. You may not like it, but I can say Merry Christmas in public, because I'm entitled the right to speak my mind, and only my mind if I choose, even if others do not agree with what I have to say.

You destroy the Freedom of Speech if you begin to say "You have the right to Freedom of Speech, so long as everyone around you approves."

I am offended each time someone makes me honor a pagan holiday, of which is based on honoring something that offends my own beliefs (not to entirely be confused with something that offends me personally.) Freedom of Speech may not be waived for those who are easily offended. It is to protect us from people who are easily offended, be them Politicians or Citizens.
Debate Round No. 3
Junja

Pro

I see no reason why you should feel offended if you say happy holidays to people. It's not really about saying thank you to every god, it's more about including people who want to be part of this time, but not be part of Christmas. The holidays aren't just Christmas you know. Saying "Happy Holidays!" does not require that much though process as you make it to be. The average person will just think that it won't offend. However, if it was possible we could have both Chanukah and Christmas parties separately at major town events I would be ok with that. I believe it would cost too much money.
donald.keller

Con

"I see no reason why you should feel offended if you say happy holidays to people."

For the same reason you want me to say Happy Holidays in the first place. Your idea is to say Happy Holidays because saying 'Merry Christmas' might offend someone. Well saying, or implying that you are saying "Merry Christmas, and Happy Hanukkah, and Happy birth of Buddha, and Happy Eid al-Adha" might be offensive to the person having to say it.

It's offensive to them to say for the same reason it is offensive for the other person if they do not say it (even though very few people care if the person says Merry Christmas.) If it's offensive for a Muslim to hear "Merry Christmas," it's obviously going to be offensive for a Christian to have to say "Happy Eid al-Adha."

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"It's not really about saying thank you to every god, it's more about including people who want to be part of this time, but not be part of Christmas."

You need to understand when I'm using an analogy.

The only way for everyone to be apart of this time is to let them come to celebrate their own holiday separately at the same place and time. Not in separate parties either, and not by having their holiday left out because not everyone celebrates it. The concept of Happy Holidays isn't really about 'accepting' every holiday, it's about leaving the holiday out.

The only way to accept Christmas is to let people come out of their own homes to celebrate it. Same with Hanukkah. You never truly accept or include it if you do not let them celebrate it as it's own. I am not here to celebrate the birth of Buddha, I'm here to celebrate Christmas. If you tell me I can not celebrate Christmas outside my house because it's offensive, than you aren't 'accepting' of my holidays or religion.

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"The holidays aren't just Christmas you know."

The Holidays are what ever that person celebrates. To most Jewish people, it's just Hanukkah, and to most Christians, it's just Christmas.

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You need to understand that every decision is a gateway to others. I've studied enough history (you'd love my library) to understand how one decision can lead to a potentially deadly intake of others (deadly not because of the amount of decisions, as the amount won't be that large. It's deadly because of the standard of decision you've set.)

We are having a discussion on whether or not it is offensive to say Merry Christmas, and whether or not we should be allowed to say Merry Christmas in public. If it is decided that saying Marry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah at public events is not allowed, than how long before the overly-sensitive decide no religion should be expressed in public at all.

Many can speculate this being a 'possible outcome,' but they do not have to because it's already a live topic for many.

After we conclude that it is inappropriate to say Merry Christmas in public, it wouldn't take long for people to begin discussing whether or not it's appropriate to say anything religious at all in public. Although the discussion already loosely exists, you would fuel it by concluding on a discussion that is loosely the exact same.

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Like I said. Freedom of Speech cannot be waived for the overly-sensitive. It is not the "Freedom to speech so long as everyone around you approves."

You can say Happy Holidays, anyone can. If you like Happy Holidays, then say it. But do not demand everyone say it back because you get easily offended by people celebrating their own holiday and not yours.
Debate Round No. 4
Junja

Pro

For someone who seems very concerned about establishing a precedent that caters to people who are overly sensitive and too easily offended, you seem very sensitive and easy to offend. "Your idea is to make us offend ourselves." Does saying "Happy Holidays" really offend you? Do you get upset when someone has the nerve to say "good morning"? " Do you take offense when someone says "Have a nice day"? On the individual side, its all about common courtesy and attempting to treat each other with civility. If you know for a fact that someone celebrates a particular holiday, then by all means wish them a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Good Kwanza or whatever else you know makes them comfortable and happy. But if you don't know their preference, then don't be presumptuous and assume that their preference is yours. On the public side, it is also about making us all feel inclusive and there is a very simple law that must be taken into consideration. You repeatedly reference the First Amendment and Freedom of Expression, but that is on the individual side. The first part of the First Amendment is is the "Establishment Clause" which makes it clear that there should be no laws or public support of any particular religion. This is not only in the Bill Of Rights itself, but it has been interpreted and expressly ruled on by the Supreme Court In Everson v. Board of Education (1947) when the Court drew on Founding Father Thomas Jefferson's correspondence to call for a specific "wall of separation between church and State". And so, I wish you well. Have a nice day. Take care of yourself and whatever your individual beliefs, enjoy them to the fullest. In conclusion I wish you "Happy Holidays" whatever they may be.
donald.keller

Con

"For someone who seems very concerned about establishing a precedent that caters to people who are overly sensitive and too easily offended, you seem very sensitive and easy to offend."

I'm establishing the difference between someone's right to offend somebody, and telling someone what they are allowed and not allowed to say in public. I'm not offended when you say Happy Holiday, that's your right to say. I'm offended when you make me have to because you're overly-sensitive.

There is a difference between the right to say what you want in public, and being told what you can not say. The latter has many great and logical reasons to be offensive in and of itself.

"Does saying "Happy Holidays" really offend you?"

I don't care if people say it. That doesn't offend me. Being told I have to say it because you're sensitive does offend me.

You're idea is that people can only say Happy Holidays in public, while mine is saying you can say what you want in public.

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"But if you don't know their preference, then don't be presumptuous and assume that their preference is yours."

I don't assume someone celebrates my holiday. I just say Merry Christmas anyways, because to me it is still Christmas (not Hanukkah or Yale), even if they aren't Christian. While it's not Christmas to them, it is to me. They do not have to say Merry Christmas if they do not celebrate it, they can even say Happy Newtonmas if they want to, and I will freely continue to celebrate my own holiday, while they celebrate theirs.

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"You repeatedly reference the First Amendment and Freedom of Expression, but that is on the individual side."

No. You think the First Amendment is the right to only speak in private, and in fear of offending someone, but it's not. It's the public right to speak freely in public and around people who may disagree with you. Anything other is not Freedom of Speech. Trust me, I have more on this at the bottom of the page.

It is not Freedom of Speech if it's limited to your house, or where other's agree with you. It's only true Freedom to speak if you're allowed to display your religion and beliefs even if no one around you agrees with them.

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"This is not only in the Bill Of Rights itself, but it has been interpreted and expressly ruled on by the Supreme Court In Everson v. Board of Education (1947) when the Court drew on Founding Father Thomas Jefferson's correspondence to call for a specific "wall of separation between church and State."

We are not talking about Church and State. We are talking about freedom of speech in public locations. You're switching from "public places" to "Government."

The Constitution protects the Freedom of Religion, something that can only be accomplished if Religion can speak freely in public (not to confused the Public with the State,) especially if the people speaking are equal tax payers. You can not protect Freedom of Speech unless the Government and the People allow it to be spoken freely, even in public.

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"Take care of yourself and whatever your individual beliefs, enjoy them to the fullest. In conclusion I wish you "Happy Holidays" whatever they may be."

Indeed, I shall take care. And notice I am not getting mad that you said Happy Holidays. The phrase does not offend me. Being told what I can and cannot say does offend me though.

But I feel we are not done let, even though this is Round 5. You never addressed the topic of what this decision leads to.

"We are having a discussion on whether or not it is offensive to say Merry Christmas, and whether or not we should be allowed to say Merry Christmas in public. If it is decided that saying Marry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah at public events is not allowed, than how long before the overly-sensitive decide no religion should be expressed in public at all.

After we conclude that it is inappropriate to say Merry Christmas in public, it wouldn't take long for people to begin discussing whether or not it's appropriate to say anything religious at all in public. Although the discussion already loosely exists, you would fuel it by concluding on a discussion that is loosely the exact same" My prior argument...

You never discussed this, even though it made up a good portion of my argument. It's true though. When you say "Merry Christmas" is inappropriate in public, you set the standard for anything religious to be considered "inappropriate" and excluded from the public.

This is for a simple reason... If saying "Merry Christmas" is too inappropriate, than certainly saying "Praise Allah" or "Praise the Lord!" is even more inappropriate.

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What you want isn't 'inclusive' at all. In theory, your idea would lead to people getting kicked out of the public square for saying "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah." That's not inclusive.

What happens if we decide Holiday greetings like those are inappropriate? What happens if afterwards, someone starts the discussion about anything Religious being inappropriate?

You do not include everyone by forcing them to say only what you want to hear. Does getting kicked out of a city event (or even fined) for saying "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah" sound inclusive? You simply begin including only people who agree with you. Do you see the hypocrisy?

The only true way to include everyone is to let them come as they are, and with their own preference, be it Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Newtonmas. Only then do you include all people.

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I have been saying this, and I will say it again.
"Freedom of speech is not the 'Freedom to speak as long as everyone approves.'"

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." 1st Amendment of the US Constitution.

I shall take that apart for you...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

They will not make a law prohibiting the free exercise of religion, be it in Church, the Home, or in Public. They will not say you have to say "Merry Christmas" and they will not say you are not allowed to say "Merry Christmas".

"or abridging the freedom of speech"

They will not enforce a law that abridges your Freedom of Speech. This means it will not be waived, even for the easily-offended.

http://www.usconstitution.net...

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With this, I conclude by saying that the Freedom for one to speak of his own religious holiday in public shall not be prohibited, and his right to say "Merry Christmas" may not be abridged for the easily-offended, unless he himself chooses to, but he may only choose for himself and not for others.

We must understand that by making one form of religious speech forbidden in public, we open the gate for all forms of religious speech to be forbidden. It doesn't have to start with a big form of religious speech either.

Once you determine one form of Religious or Personal speech is inappropriate, you've determined they are all inappropriate.

The only way to include all people is to let them come as who they are, celebrating their own religious holiday. To ban "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah" is excluding them.

Thank you for the debate, and I look forward to discussing with you more.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
I should also like to note that the name of the debate is "We should continue to say Happy Holidays in public events, not Merry Christmas." The part I'm noting is that he only say "Merry Christmas."

I think he was really only referring to Merry Christmas being offensive (even if only in mind.) This could (with help from much of his arguments) imply a religious bias on his behalf, as his concern seems directed more against Christmas than against whether or not anything other than Happy Holidays is inappropriate and 'inclusive.'
Posted by Coinsruledude 3 years ago
Coinsruledude
It's a holiday greeting, not a gas chamber. Just say something back and get on with your life, seriously.

People get way too insulted over trivial things.
Posted by redude649 3 years ago
redude649
Just to ensure I am clear with your point of view...
You are suggesting that we continue using the perceived "politically correct" Happy Holidays at all public events, or at just major public events?

All public events including church events, small town events, festivals, fairs, etc?
Major Public events meaning TV events, events in major cities, anything with a viewing audience over how many people?
Posted by MrJosh 3 years ago
MrJosh
I agree with you, but I was thinking of taking this debate and arguing as devils advocate. However, I couldn't think of any arguments that actually made sense. Good luck!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by MassiveDump 3 years ago
MassiveDump
Junjadonald.kellerTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: PM me if you think I need an RFD