This exchange began with the 02 December brief item in VersagiVoice:
Don't let PC prevent a "Merry Christmas"
True, unlike theocratic states like Israel and Iran, the United States does not have a state religion. However, how can any objective observer not recognize that this country is culturally a Christian nation? Enough, already with "Happy Holidays." Why should anyone take offense at "Merry Christmas," a greeting which is so full of good will? Does "diversity" flow only in one direction?
South Washington retailer Lori Broesamle, of Mia Mahalo, wrote:
I have to say that I do not agree that we "should" say Merry Christmas. I do not consider this a Christian Country. I consider it a country that will not persecute one for being Christian. Nor should one be persecuted for being Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or any other noninvasive belief. I hope we are not forgetting the Constitution, which allows us the freedoms we enjoy.
03 Dec 2004
To which VersagiVoice replied:
Thank you for your comment. I must say I find it hard to understand why a non-Christian or atheist would feel persecuted or offended by the cheerful greeting, "Merry Christmas." Of Mediterranean-Italian descent, I am occasionally addressed as a Jew or as an Arab. When that happens, I feel neither persecuted nor offended. Depending on circumstances at the moment, I either pleasantly offer a correction or acknowledge the greeting without comment.
And Lori Broesamle came back with:
Okay, Frank. I believe what you were trying to get across was receiving a Merry Christmas; it would be gracious to receive it the way it is meant, instead of a religious stance. With that I agree!
04 Dec 2004
Real religious diversity works like this
For the 15 years we lived on a corner lot in Huntington Woods, our next-door neighbor was a Jewish family. Each Christmas for three or four of those years their 8-, 9-, 10-year old daughter visited our home and -- reaching as high as she could -- placed a handful of ornaments on our Christmas Tree, which our two families then dubbed a Hanukkah Bush and admired together.
Our neighbors were Observant Jews, not Assimilationists. Indeed, their older daughter chose to move to Israel. Neither the Catholic nor the Jewish family felt in any way diminished or offended by that neighborly annual exchange of religious goodwill.
Frank Versagi is the editor of Versagi Voice.