Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah & Happy Holidays


We wish a very Merry Christmas to readers who celebrate Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah to readers who celebrate Hanukkah (which begins on December 24 this year) & Happy Holidays to all. 

We ideally should stop here but, like last year, we cannot resist thinking about the big picture. The trigger for these thoughts was Monday’s interview by ESPN’s Lisa Salters with Cam Newton, the star quarterback of Carolina Panthers & NFL’s Most Valuable Player of last season. Having won a hard fought game, Newton was happy, relaxed, and in a good mood. At the end of the interview, Lisa Salters said “Merry Christmas” to Cam Newton and, as we recall, Cam Newton replied “Happy Holidays”.  

Frankly, that got us thinking. America is an overwhelmingly Christian country. According to an ABC News article, ” 83% of Americans  identify themselves as Christians. Most of the rest, 13 percent, have no religion. That leaves just 4 percent as adherents of all non-Christian religions combined” — Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs (being alphabetically correct) and others. Our guess is that NFL players as a group are even more overwhelmingly Christian and the fan base of NFL is also more Christian than American society as a whole.

So why did Cam Newton avoid saying “Merry Christmas” on ESPN in response to Lisa Salters saying “Merry Christmas” to him? After all, he reportedly praised Jesus for his recovery from a horrific car accident in 2014. Has NFL banned its players from saying “Merry Christmas” on TV? This trigger made us listen closely to TV networks all week. It was the same with elite anchors – almost everyone avoided “Merry Christmas” & stuck to “Happy Holidays”.  That reminded us of what we had written last year:

  • “We speak of the movement in America that is determined to impose a religion-neutral regime on American society, a regime that wants to minimize mention of Christmas in a overwhelmingly Christian land. 
  • A country remains confident and strong only as long as its founding ethos & culture remains strong. … This seems self-evident to us if not to a global movement of self-proclaimed “elite” who want all traces of founding ethos removed from American public life”.

Is it so hard for the NFL and the TV Networks to get this? Why is it inappropriate or wrong to publicly wish “Merry Christmas” to 96% of Americans who don’t practice any non-Christian religion? Such aversion to public celebration of Christmas in an insult to the American majority, the same majority that has been warm & tolerant towards decent people of every religion & ethnicity in America. Frankly this is nuts. And we say this as a member of a small & weak religious & ethnic minority in America.

You know how nuts this aversion to “Merry Christmas” has become? Every email we received from American institutions was a Happy Holidays email. The ONLY email that contained a Merry Christmas message (see below) came from a Mutual Fund Company in India, a country that is about 90% non-Christian.

So a 90% non-Christian Indian society sees no problem in wishing “Merry Christmas” to all Indians while a 83% Christian American society sees a big problem in wishing “Merry Christmas” to all Americans. Go figure.


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