Just when you think you have pretty much heard every possible explanation as to why people ought to say “Merry Christman” instead of things like “Happy Holidays,” some Religious Right activist comes up with a new reason you could not possibly have anticipated … like the fact that you have to say “Merry Christmas” if you want to be patriotic:
In 1870 Christmas was DESIGNATED a Federal Holiday by Congress and signed into law by President Grant. Christmas is described as, not just a Federal Holiday, but a “Christian” Federal Holiday! (Google “U.S. Federal Holidays” and see for yourself– know your history!) Therefore, we are being patriotic when we say, “Merry Christmas,” or when we display and express the symbols of Christmas–nativity scenes, Christmas carols that mention Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, etc. This observance, by law, is to be done on public property, such as, court houses and public schools!
Sharon Overstreet, wife of the pastor at Believers Baptist Church in Leesburg, Virginia is the woman responsible for this new campaign and she was recently featured on Concerned Women for America’s radio program where she explained the origins of the idea:
It was very frustrating, as we’ve all experienced for years, to just watch our precious Christian heritage be stomped on at Christmas time.
That is what prompted us finally to do something about it and a year ago we had come up with this idea about it being patriotic because I did some research and found that Christmas is a congressional mandated holiday. It is a designated Christian – and it says “Christian” – holiday by Congress in 1870.
And if anyone were to look up on-line, just Google “US holidays, national holidays,” it will come up and it was say “Christian holiday.”
So we decided that, wow, we’re being patriotic if we say “Merry Christmas.” We could take a stand for Christmas and be patriotic and not have to hide our faces at all and just tell people “well, I have to say Merry Christmas. I’m being patriotic.”
And by this logic, I suppose that means those who don’t say “Merry Christmas” are unpatriotic.