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Often times I see political correctness as an excuse to remove references to God. The excuse is that it is an effort to not offend those of different faiths. For example instead of Christmas it is the Holiday Season.

I often times find myself torn on this matter. I have friends of many faiths, and I do not want to offend them, but is being politically correct showing shame for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

Mark 8:38 (KJV) Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Is there a middle ground were we can show respect for the faith of others where we are not softening the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Of course I am never offended to hear members of other faiths talk about or celebrate their beliefs. Is maybe the true political correctness to just accept the faith and beliefs of others? I wish my Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah and they wish me a Merry Christmas.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Nathaniel, curiousdannii, Bear in a Studebaker, Flimzy, DJClayworth Sep 22 at 19:12

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I always wondered why so many people expect to hear 'Merry Christmas' so far in advance of the day, like expecting a "Happy 4th of July" in mid-June. If it's Christmas, say Merry Christmas. If it's Hanukkah, say Happy Hanukkah. But if you have to say something because it's just generally December? –  Muke Tever Dec 24 '11 at 13:32
God created those other religions and people. –  Greg McNulty Jul 2 '12 at 20:26

5 Answers 5

up vote 12 down vote accepted

My experience is that this form of political correctness is an over-reaction against something that isn't really a problem anyway, and is intended to appease people who are offended by Christianity--most likely a small minority of vocal athiests and those with similar political views.

I am never/would never be offended when a Jew wishes me a "Happy Hanukkah," or for that matter if a Catholic wishes me a "Happy X" (where X is a holiday celebrated by Catholics, but not by protestants--and there are many).

I think it is reasonable for Christians to wish "Merry Christmas" to non-Christian friends. After all, we do want non-Christians to have a merry Christmas, don't we?

Now if I know that it offends a friend for some reason, I would be happy to abstain from that greeting for that friend. In much the same way Christians who consume alcohol would (hopefully) abstain from consuming alcohol in the presence of those it would offend, or for whom it would be a "stumbling block."

But I'm not going to refuse to wish Merry Christmas to strangers (store clerks, waitresses, etc), or otherwise profess my faith, for fear of offending.

The Gospel of Christ is offensive, after all.

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I don't know of any problem with a Christian celebrating Hanukkah; it's a celebration of one of the miracles the Lord performed for his people (just before His birth). –  compman Aug 28 '11 at 0:56

The concern is that many of the holidays were not originally Christian holidays. IMHO when assimilating holidays, Christian decision makers are going against Jeremiah 10:2-4

Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

So then, saying "happy holidays" is probably more appropriate and covers more people than to say "Merry Christmas" - which to Christians is to be a feast day to celebrate the incarnation of the logos - not a birthday party.

Imagine if there were a fully Christian holiday. One that Christians celebrated for generations. Another newer religion pops up and decides to celebrate on that day on purpose (because the people were already used to celebrating on this day). Then after a few generations this new group gets mad because they think that this is their holiday and cannot understand how the Christians can have the audacity to want to share this day! That is exactly what happened to Christmas.

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Is Political Correctness showing shame for our God?

Peer pressure has always existed.

Luke 7:32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.

Like those who wanted to be a hall monitor in school, there are those usually self-appointed wardens of public activity and speech that seek to control what others say and do. It has been said, “Everyone wants to be Hitler”.

Satan makes effective use of these volunteer agents of coercion.

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

The political police operate in the public realm and drag with them the court of public opinion. Those in the public eye are more vulnerable to their whims and there is much advantage to avoiding this arena. There is a spectrum involved in dealing with these people.

  1. One can ignore them and let them assume you are in agreement.
  2. One can counter an accusation with a refutation. (For example, “I didn’t fire him because he was black, I fired him because he was incompetent”)
  3. One can counter with a challenge (Who made you boss over me?)
  4. One can try to explain but these people are not seeking truth or desire to understand, they only seek compliance.

It is interesting to read about the trials of Jesus and when he remained silent and when he spoke.

We have a specific example of this when the scribes asked Jesus by what authority he performed his miracles. By virtue of their office, they had a right to ask this of Jesus. However, instead of answering right away, Jesus asked them a question as a sort of test. He asked them if the baptism of John was of heaven or of men. They decided that the would answer they didn’t know, not because that was true, but because they thought it would work best among the people. Jesus then refused to answer them as they had abrogated their right to an answer by having no interest in truth.

If one accepts, promotes, agrees with, or advances that which is not true in order to gain financially, avoid social stigma, or other advantage, then they bring shame to that which is true.

God, Jesus, and the Bible are all called “truth”.

John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

We do not have to be “in your face” to correct all the untruth in the world.

Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

However, in the small realm that we responsibility for, we are called to be faithful to truth.

3John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

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As one of the supposedly-offended here, allow me to add a perspective: I am not in the least bit offended by anyone wishing me a happy Christmas; nor would I be in the least bit offended by friends an associates wishing me a happy Eid etc. Or new year, or Chinese new year. In fact I dislike intensely any attempt to hide the names in the sake of political (in)correctness. After all, we haven't renamed Thursday (Thor from Norse mythology) or January (Janus from Roman mythology, IIRC) in a long time.

In all cases, these are simply (in my interpretation) points of reference - days on a calendar that allow us to talk about a date or social holiday in the most terse way. This has particular meaning in Christmas as a time to try harder to spend time together as a family (at a time when our kin are also generally available), make an extra effort to see friends, take a moment to appreciate our own fortune, and make an extra effort towards consideration of those less fortunate. As Christians you may have additional considerations, but I'm sure you'll share in the ones above.

So: on behalf of any non-Christians who share my interpretation: Happy Christmas to all on the site, no matter your beliefs.

In terms of "showing shame for our God" - no; I would have to suppose that those promoting alternative names are merely trying to observe that a great many people do not share your belief. The aim is misplaced, though, IMO.

(what might be considered offensive, though, is the suggestion that non-Christians should not be celebrating at Christmas-time in any way, when a: the reasons above are not unreasonable, and b: Christmas has absorbed previous social celebrations such as Saturnalia and Yule; a little celebration seems to do us all good).

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Nice perspective thanks! –  Jim McKeeth Dec 24 '11 at 17:27

Turn the question around. What if the Jews had conquered Europe and Britain instead of the Romans. What if we celebrated Passover instead of Easter and Hanukkah instead of Christmas, and about 50 other public holidays on the Jewish calendar. Would you find that offensive? Would you demand that they change "Passover" to "The Day of the Messiah", because you believe Jesus was and the vast majority of (this hypothetical) society don't?

If you are not offended when a Jewish friend wishes you "Happy Hanukkah", why should anyone be offended if you wish them "Merry Christmas". Likewise, I am not at all offended if someone wishes me "Happy Holidays", but I feel no compulsion to use the phrase myself - I happen to believe it's good for society to be reminded of the religious connection to the holidays we celebrate. Much like Passover and other feasts were instituted to remind the Jewish people every year of the mighty works God had done for them.

In my opinion, most political correctness is a disguised agenda to strip society of it's historic Christian moors with a goal of producing an atheistic or at least agnostic social culture.

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I don't think Jews practicing their Jewish holidays, or wishing that I (a Christian) have a "Happy Hanukkah" is at all offensive. Now, if they tried to force me to observe their holidays, and refused me the right to observe mine, that would be a separate issue, but not really related to political correctness. –  Flimzy Aug 27 '11 at 21:32
True, and I agree entirely. However, in western societies no-one if forced to celebrate Christmas or any other Christian holiday, other than giving them a paid day off work. –  Lawrence Dol Aug 27 '11 at 21:43
That's exactly my point :) Nobody is forced to celebrate... so the analogy of a Jewish-controlled society is irrelevant to this discussion. –  Flimzy Aug 27 '11 at 21:52
No, I am saying by way of analogy, turn the tables - would you insist on such or be offended if the tables were turned. If not, why allow others to insist on dictating to you in the society we're in. –  Lawrence Dol Aug 27 '11 at 22:10
And my answer is "No, I would not be offended." –  Flimzy Aug 27 '11 at 22:13

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