The irony of the politically-correct, virtue-signaling phrases “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings” is that they are not really inclusive at all – they are actually exclusive, exclusive not in the positive sense of that word, meaning rare and prized, but rather in the ugly, negative, antisemitic sense of the word, meaning no Jews or Blacks allowed.
It is ironic how easily the meaning of words can be distorted and corrupted into the very opposite of what a literal translation would convey. The most obvious form of this was exemplified in George Orwell’s novel 1984. In his fictional totalitarian state, Newspeak was a language … “designed to diminish the range of thought.” It was characterized by the elimination or alteration of certain words, the substitution of one word for another, the interchangeability of parts of speech, and the creation of words for political purposes… The most obvious corruption of meaning was engraved on the wall of the building whose very name was Orwellian: The Ministry of Truth. There were three slogans engraved there: WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. While today’s obsession with the virtue of inclusiveness may not be quite as egregious as Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, by being less obvious it is actually more easily accepted and more readily absorbed into our culture without thinking. Are “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” our culture’s Newspeak?
The ostensible reason to use either of those secular greetings at this time of year is to avoid saying “Merry Christmas,” because “Merry Christmas” is considered “offensive” to some people. It’s not to avoid saying “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Kwanzaa.” “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” are all about diverting the December focus away from the birth of Jesus Christ.
But the true message of Christmas is the least exclusive and most inclusive message ever delivered to man. I will highlight two of many Bible verses that convey total inclusivity of everyone on earth, past, present and future: the first is from 1st Timothy: “The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” And the second is this familiar verse from the Gospel according to St. John “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” To whom do these verses apply? To everyone – every man, woman and child ever born or ever to be born. It is literally impossible to be any more inclusive than that!
But there’s also nothing wrong with celebrating the Festival of Lights known as Hanukkah. The first Hanukkah preceded the birth of Christ by about 164 years, and symbolizes the triumph of light (or good) over darkness (or evil). Who doesn’t want to see good triumph over evil? It is of some cultural significance that it arose in the Jewish tradition, but its application to us today is universal. Let’s celebrate it too! Say “Happy Hannukah” right after saying “Merry Christmas.”
And don’t stop there! The 26th of December has been recognized by African-Americans since 1966 as day that symbolizes the principles of Unity, Self-determination, Responsibility, Economic Equity, Purpose, Creativity and Faith. At their highest level, they are also universal aspirations.
Each December holiday tradition has its own cultural roots, but each also calls to mind concepts that are by their very nature inclusive, not exclusive. So let’s stop mouthing innocuous phrases that are bereft of meaning and that were invented primarily to exclude Christianity and its traditions, and instead embrace a message of inclusivity by saying “Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa!” Now that’s an inclusive greeting, and far better than Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings!
So I close by saying Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa to the great family of American Radio Journal listeners from Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring!