Generalizations strip holidays of their meaningIs it “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays;” Christmas trees or holiday trees?
By: Pastor Mark Holmes, Superior Telegram
Is it “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays;” Christmas trees or holiday trees?
Is this the season when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, or when we generalize numerous special days into one meaningless clump? Is emphasizing one occasion more than another really wrong?
The fact that these questions are raised reveals our culture’s confused attempt to accommodate the preference of all people within our multi-ethnic society. It believes generalizing specifics will bring greater meaning to all.
In reality, it destroys meaning, and robs society of its identity. If we really want to recognize our diversity then we should encourage its expression by calling for more succinct proclamations, not greater generalizations.
We are experiencing a full circle effect of history, by reversing events from the early centuries of Christianity. When the Roman Empire embraced Christianity, the church and Roman government developed Christmas by Christianizing one of the main pagan holidays of the culture; turning it from a day of worshipping Saturn to one of worshipping Jesus.” (I can imagine the discomfort of the Roman people who had to begin wishing everyone a “Lorem Nativitatis” [Merry Christmas] instead of a “Lorem Saturnalia” [Merry Saturn Day]). However, our present direction suggests a willingness to fall back into a national polytheism, something from which Rome desired deliverance.
In our attempt to be socially neutral, we are committing a fundamental error. To generalize our nation’s major celebration of faith, in order to make it inclusive and meaningless, will provide neither happiness nor holiday.
Merry Christmas, everyone!