Editor, Ceres Courier,
There is a guest commentary I feel I am compelled to address, a Christian call to make the use of the term "Happy Holidays" offensive to American history and tradition. ("Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays" that ran Dec. 17 by Frank Aquila.)
1. Aquila presumes incorrectly that the term "Happy Holidays" is used so as "to not to offend certain groups of people." This is not true, the term simply refers to the time frame which includes Christmas and New Years. The use of "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" is simply a matter of choice and neither one offends anyone that I know of but only "Merry Christmas" has a religious significance to Christians since they are the only religious group which believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of their God. I happen to prefer "Happy Festivus" of Seinfeld fame.
The Jewish religion, to which Jesus was born, recognizes Jesus as just another influential Rabi and does not recognize Christmas (Dec 25) as the date of birth of the Messiah. The Jewish religion is still awaiting the birth of their Messiah. Other organized religions also recognize Jesus including Islam but none of them believe he was the son of God. Members of these other religions probably prefer to use the term "Happy Holidays" but I know of none who are offended when someone greets them with the term "Merry Christmas" just as I assume Christians are not offended when, say a Jewish member greets them with the term "Happy Hanukkah."
Actually the date of Christmas, Dec. 25, was borrowed from another religion. Sometime around AD320, Mithraism was the going thing and the early Christian church couldn't seem to stop people from celebrating the solstice and BD of Mithras, the Persion sun god, which was Dec 25, so the Pope decided to make Jesus' official BD coincide with Mithras' BD. Nobody really knows the actual time of year Jesus was born but evidence points to midsummer.
Even the Christian religion would probably not exist if it weren't for the Roman Emperor Constantine who made it the official Roman religion at the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325, hence "The Roman Catholic Church."
2. Aquila then makes several attempts to connect the greeting of choice to changing the name of several national holidays "to make it more inclusive." I don't think using a greeting of choice is akin to changing the name of the holiday, do you?
3. Aquila claims the Gregorian calendar and seven day week was created by God numbering the days of creation.
Actually the Gregorian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. The earliest ancient sources record a seven-day week in ancient Babylon prior to 600 BCE. Babylonians celebrated a holy day every seven days, starting from the new moon.
4. Aquila quotes several early American leaders in a vain attempt to claim the U.S. is a Christian nation.
5. Finally, Aquila attempts to warn us of the evils of those who believed "Christianity was a threat "..falsely invoked "Separation of Church and State." I believe Jefferson described the First Amendment as establishing a "wall of separation between church and state" in 1806. Don't know where the "falsely invoked" fits in here.
I would say to the Village Christians to just chill.
Nobody is trying to take your Christmas, Bibles, guns or first born children, so Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Festivus for the rest of us.
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