Yes, it really is okay to say Merry Christmas to me!
But, how would you know it is really okay, if I didn't tell you?
Although Christians account for about 86 percent of America's population, the other 14 percent has been making significant progress in using the law and extensive lobbying to have God and His Son, Jesus removed from Christmas and other celebrations and events which our country has held dear for centuries..
During my research and writing about the history of Ohio and America's struggle from oppression, one thing has always been clear how much God has been a part of this struggle and how many things have been done in His name. Unfortunately now, as we begin the 21st century, some people seem to be telling Him we don't need Him anymore. And, they're having far more impact than their 14 percent non-Christian minority would imply.
Nobody can make me believe that turning our back on God is good for America, especially when all one has to do is open their eyes to what is going on around them. Taking Christ out of Christmas is just one example of our deteriorating society.
Remember the synergy of spirit which used to comeme from everyone wishing each other Merry Christmas? If you believe the lawyers and lobbyists representing non-Christians, those of us celebrating Christmas are doing so at their expense..
Unless we have all been asleep for the past 50 years, America is still a nation of laws, founded on a belief in God, as well as the right to worship or not worship as one chooses.
How is it that non-Christians can use our judicial process and officers of its court to intimidate Christians especially those in retail, to refrain from saying Merry Christmas? This has nothing to do with the separation of church and state, but has morphed into some sort of political correctness run amuck. Many of the nation's retailers and department stores have actually put their employees on notice that they may not wish customers Merry Christmas, only Happy Holidays, so as not to offend non-Christians. And yet, from a purely economic standpoint, doesn't this thinking defy logic? For which part of total Christmas sales would any retailer prefer to have the 86 percent, or the 14 percent?
Are Christians unfairly treating the minority by forcing non-Christians to become believers or suffer consequences? I think not. It seems this is more of a minority-driven squeaky-wheel-gets- the-grease, thing. And the silent Christian majority never does say much. Hopefully a Knights of Columbus silent Christmas badge program will help encourage some added Christmas Spirit this year.
Last year, the well-known actor and spokesperson, Ben Stein had this to say about Christmas. While on CBS Sunday Morning, within a week of the White House's announcement that the annual Christmas Tree would now be known as the Holiday Tree, Mr. Stein said:
"I am a Jew and every one of my ancestors was Jewish. It does not bother me one little bit when people call those beautifully lit up, bejeweled trees, "Christmas Trees" I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas Trees.
"It doesn't bother me one bit when people say "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crche, it's just as fine as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
"I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat. A lot of us are wondering where the America we knew went to, and why we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him." Thank you, Mr. Stein.
Last year in St. Clairsville, Knights of Columbus Council 4243 found a simple way for a Christian to silently prompt a Merry Christmas Greeting from others. The idea, the "It's OK to say Merry Christmas to me" badge, was created by the Knights of Columbus in Connecticut in the 1980s, and was re- discovered by the St. Clairsville Knights last year. The badges were handed out to parishioners after the Masses at St. Mary's Church last December. The response to the program was so positive that we ran out of badges and have decided to do the program again this year. Grand Knight John Swan coordinates the program. He can be reached at swansportshop@sbc global.net