Today is Christmas Eve and, hopefully, more people will be nice to each other because of what tomorrow is supposed to represent. Yet, even for those who celebrate a holiday that's supposed to bring "peace on earth, goodwill to men", we see that language and agendas take away from that concept.

Holiday Fence
Timothy Valentine via Compfight

In 2011 I wrote a post looking at the words Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays. I don't follow any religion and I really don't fully celebrate any holiday, so I use the second phrase unabashedly and move on with life.

Some people don't like that; it's too bad. As I pointed out in the article I linked to, this is a time of the year where people of many different religions celebrate something. Contrary to the belief of some, this isn't a Christian country, so to assume that everyone a person encounters celebrates Christmas seems somewhat arrogant.

I don't castigate anyone who says it though. For that matter, I don't put anyone down for anything they say in following through on their beliefs. I have no problems with it whatsoever.

Yet, others do, and they want to force their beliefs and wishes on everyone else. I'll give them this though; I do understand that some of it is "push back".

I can't remember when tolerance turned its ugly head in condemning how other people wish to celebrate their holiday. I tend to believe that it's always better to teach children how to celebrate other people's beliefs rather than take away their own. As uncomfortable as I am with the thought of prayer in school, I wouldn't mind it so much if people with other beliefs got to do the same thing during the school day. However, since they're not allowed, then no one should be allowed.

I'm uncomfortable that more schools aren't allowed to mention or celebrate the spirit of Christmas. Unfortunately, most of those school systems don't want to have to mention or even attempt to celebrate the holidays of other cultures, even when many of the people who believe in those cultures not only live in the United States, but are citizens of the country. So, when I hear that references to the Christmas holiday have been banned, I recognize it's more of an intolerance against others than it is an action against Christianity.

Of course, none of us should be surprised. We're still months away from the first primaries, yet this election season has already become the most intolerant, racist and all-out hateful in memory. It's all been quite distasteful, and yet it continues.


Because it's been proven to work. I doubt most of the politicians have paid attention to French politics, but the recent government there came into power when they decided to support what could be considered as blatant racist politics, especially against Muslims. No one supports terrorism other than terrorists, but I've seen almost no articles discussing why they've gone so vigorously after France, Paris in particular, when much of the rhetoric we hear from the news media is how much they all hate America. That's okay; if you've just read what I said, now you know.

In general, attack speech has always worked in politics. For all the clamor about voters hating campaigns and commercials that attack each other, at the end of the day the winners of elections most often are those whose campaigns were able to dig up the better dirt on their opponent and general enough disgust that voters were able to hold their noses while voting for the least of two hated candidates.

How well does it work in the real world? It works well. There are actually people who not only get upset because they see other people being happy on social media, but they tend to go out of their way to say hateful things to those people to bring them down to their level. Sometimes it works, and people leave social media wondering why there are so many mean people. Sometimes it gets to the level of bullying and... well, I hate thinking about what people do to themselves in those instances.

I'd like to think we can all be better with how we communicate with each other, how we act towards each other, and in our reactions to things we either don't understand or that goes against our very fiber. I'm not saying everyone needs to agree. I'm saying that we either need to find better ways of talking to each other (I know how many people hate the concept of being politically correct), learning more about things we don't know, or just shutting up and getting on with our own lives.

Shutting up; now there's an interesting communications idea that many of us probably wish more people would adopt. Happy Holidays! 😉