Thursday, December 08, 2005

Religious Or Traditional?

I'm sick of the on going Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays debate in American media. Left-wingers are calling for the removal of anything that has to do with Christmas from public property, saying the government shouldn't endorse one religion over another. Valid point, I thought. On the other hand, right-wingers say the constitution was written with a christrian spirit, and the vast majority of Americans are christian anyway.

Many well-known department stores replaced "Merry Christmas" banners with "Happy Holidays" ones. Some even instructed their salesmen to greet their customers with only "Happy Holidays."

In response, right-wing media pundits are fighting back. Heading the effort is Fox's Bill O'Reilly, pushing for boycotting such stores. He and others say their motivation is tradition, not religion. O'Reilly presents himself as a "traditionalist," which by his definition means something like "sticking to the original American values and resisting radical changes to them for political gain." I find that funny coming out of O'Reilly's mouth.

Anyway. Today, my ex-host mom asked me to come pick up some gifts for my mother since I'm going to Kuwait. She said "I bought her some stuff for the Christmas tree. Does she put up a tree at all?"

I was the third Arab/Muslim student she had hosted, so she knows very well we don't celebrate Christmas. That got me wondering "maybe O'Reilly and his gang, to some extent, have a point in saying it is more of a traditional matter." Maybe an average American, like her, celebrates it merely out of tradition, not religion.

What'd ya think? If it's just a tradition, is that a good defense for keeping Dec. 25th as a Federal holiday in a supposedly secular nation?


On an unrelated subject, I did very very very well on my last final today. Thank you Victoria. My exam preparation couldn't have been better without you yesterday. Much Love (L).


رشيد الخطار said...

I miss O'Reily that old bastard!

I believe Americans should have something that is not religion and not law.. but rather like what we have "3adat o taqaleed".. something that's not very clear..
With that, we can say that the Christmas holiday is from 3adat o taqaleed al americans ..
The thing is, X-mas is beautiful there (Washington St. in Boston,, allaah!!).. o its really part of their customs, ya3ny even jews enjoy the christmas holiday.. fa let it be.. o they shouldn't give the issue more than it deserves..

The last sentence was a lousy attempt to translate:
لا يحملون الموضوع أكبر مما يحتمل

About that the country's constitution was written by christians.. true, but they wrote it to include all people like them.. something that is all encompassing (madri if thats the right spelling).. Fa that doesnt mean its a christian country..

NYchick said...

والله لما شفت فكتوريا فهمت على طول من دون الرابط و طلع حدسي صحيح

برد لموضوع عيد الميلاد بعدين

AyyA said...

3adat wi tagaleed they call it pagan; X-mass is pagan.
Say hello to Victoria, gamat fi waladna ;)

Erzulie said...

I think that Christmas is a joyous and colorful holiday; linking it with religion only seems a little bit narrow-minded. And hey, Jesus was Jewish! I don't think that the government imposes the religion in any way on the populace...I think the average citizen has the right to either embrace or discard the tradition altogether. On another note, I didn't get the whole Victoria did that help your exam? Hmmm...

snookie said...

im watching ER right now and some woman was talking about her having cancer and not telling her husband.. she said to the doc "after the holidays, i'll tell him.." i guess its in the media too..

Jandeef said...

Left-wingers have a point from an ideological stand point. But it gets washed away when you realize it's more of a tradition.

Rasheed .. you watch him too?

Yakhi I dispise him most of the time. But I keep watching. Call it a guilty pleasure.

I agree the issue is just being blown out of proportion. Too politicized. Ba3dain ta3al .. how could you say christmas is beautiful? Tara 7aram :P

NY .. :P

Ayya .. la tinsain it's min thawabit el omma ba3ad.

Erz .. If the government adopts christmas as a national event, it's not its fault. It's been a federal holiday for ever. But yea I agree it's a wonderful event traditionally =)

Snook .. I think "Holidays" is a more generic term. It includes christmas and new year's. Even right-wingers say "merry christmas and happy holidays" .. but lefties wanna take out the first part.

snookie said...

aha.. i see.. :)
but still.. i think "i'll tell him after christmas.." sounds better.. and would have been used a few years ago..

thanks and Happy Holidays :)