Richard Davis: Look beyond the 'war on Christmas' and try being sensitive

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  • Turtles Run Houston, TX
    Dec. 27, 2013 2:26 p.m.


    "Very few people (if any) who are not Christian, will be offended if you wish them Merry Christmas. They will know that you mean no disrespect to them, and likewise, they will not disrespect you, as a Christian."

    And likewise. Christians should not be offended if someone tells them Happy Holidays. Two way street my friend.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 11:02 a.m.


    Take all greetings as positive things. They are rarely meant to offend.

    Marry Xmas to All,
    and to All Equal Rights.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 26, 2013 7:41 p.m.

    "We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it."
    Abraham Lincoln

    "If someone wished me Happy Hannakah I would merely wish the same back to them."

    good for you.

    And what would be the noble response if someone took offense to you saying "Merry Christmas?"

    "People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
    If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives, BE kind anyway.
    If you are successful, you will win some friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
    If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you, BE honest and frank anyway.
    What you spend years building someone may destroy overnight; Build anyway.
    If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous: Be happy anyway.
    The good you do today people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
    Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough: Give the world the best you have anyway.
    You see, in the final analysis, it is all between you and God;
    It was never between you and them anyway."
    (Kent M. Keith, quoted by Mother Teresa)

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    You got it all reversed Mr. Davis. If someone wished me Happy Hannakah I would merely wish the same back to them. It would not offend me if someone thought I was Jewish. I guess it would you though. Surprising from a BYU professor. As for the war on Christmas, it is not because of diversity in America. The majority of the new diversity comes from a Christian background anyway. The war is being waged by people whos purpose in life is to go against the traditional mainstream in spite of the fact that Christmas celebrations and music this time of the year don't harm or offend anyone except the ones who Choose and Want to be harmed or offended. Why should we change for them?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 26, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    I'm against all the "materialsim" that has become modern Christmas,
    and wish for a more personal and religous holiday observance.

    If others think that means "War on Christmas", then so be it.

    personally, I feel I'm pro-Christmas,
    and feel I'm trying to "Save and Defend Christmas".

    Call me a Liberal.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 26, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    It is a shame that there are many who believe in competitive religions, and who can become offended by another's religious beliefs. I feel I am fortunate in that i work a job that has a global footprint, and that I get exposed to religious beliefs and practices around the world. A former manager of mine was a devout muslim man, and he and I exchanged holiday greetings for each other's religious celebrations. He sends me a Christmas card every year still.

    Happy Holidays is appropriate because there are many faiths that often have religious celebrations this time of year. Why is it wrong to acknowledge all of these. Respecting anthers beliefs does not diminish ones own beliefs - at least it shouldn't.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 10:49 p.m.

    I have wished happy Mother's Day to males, who never were and never will be mothers. They can have a nice holiday too.

    The author is just plain wrong. There is an anti-Christian movement ('war' if you prefer) happening today, in this country. It is no more offensive to be wished a Merry Christmas and not be Christian, than to be wished Happy Cinco de Mayo and not be from Mexico.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 9:43 p.m.

    Christians are not demanding Muslims or Buddhists or Jews or Atheists remove their signs or symbols. It is the other way round. Christians are very tolerant people but make no mistake Christianity and Jesus Christ is under attack in America by the progressives and each year gets worse. As always with liberals - if you agree with their view all is well but they have no obligation to make room for your view. None!! Always a one way street and therein lies the problem. Let's face it Christians - if we want Christianity in America in 25 years AT ALL we are going to have to fight for it now. It is a war and there are winners and losers. I want to win - for myself and my kids and their kids. Tolerance didn't work with Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich and tolerance doesn't work with militant atheists - gays - and others who want to END any Christian public symbolism or practice today. Ronald Reagan once was asked to express his views on the Cold War...he said "it's simple, we win and they lose". Enough said!! It all starts at the ballot box in 2014.

  • chilly Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    "For those of us who celebrate Christmas, it is not necessary to use the public sphere to compel those who don’t do so to join in the celebration, particularly if they have no religious reason to do so. I often have wondered how a Jew or a Muslim feels on Christmas Day when the vast majority are celebrating a holiday they do not believe in. We should empathize with them rather than disparage them for not celebrating."

    What on earth are you talking about Richard? How do "those of us who celebrate Christmas", "use the public sphere to compel".... anything? Who exactly is "disparage(ing)" Jews and Muslims "for not celebrating"?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 25, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    Snippets from Pope Francis:

    "May each of us give glory to God above all by our lives, by lives spent for love of him and of all our brothers and sisters.

    Peace to mankind.

    True peace is not a balance of opposing forces. It is not a lovely "facade" which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment, starting from God's gift, from the grace which he has given us in Jesus Christ.

    Look upon Nigeria, rent by constant attacks which do not spare the innocent and defenseless. Bless the land where you chose to come into the world, and grant a favorable outcome to the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Heal the wounds of the beloved country of Iraq, once more struck by frequent acts of violence.

    Grant hope and consolation to the displaced and refugees, especially in the Horn of Africa and in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    Lord of heaven and earth, look upon our planet, frequently exploited by human greed and rapacity. Help and protect all the victims of natural disasters, especially the beloved people of the Philippines, gravely affected by the recent typhoon."

  • watchman Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    I think Davis has a good point in suggesting that we try to be sensitive to other's feelings and I wish that some of our local TV stations would use this suggestion in airing some of their news stories on the Gay Marriage issue. It is offensive to me, and I am sure to many of the viewers, to see people of the same gender coming together in a passionate kiss. To most of us this kind of action has always been between two people of different sexes and it is difficult to watch such unacceptable public behaviour beyond friendly hugs and handshakes.

    I have some gay friends, as well as relatives, that I like and respect a great deal and I believe a part of this is because they always seem to respect mine and other friend's sensitivities to their methods of showing affection to each other.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    Christmas is a word that is the name of a holiday. I say Merry Christmas to everyone and anyone without regard to their race, religion or other status. I simply mean that I hope they have a pleasant holiday. How they take it is their own business.

    Religious people would like to use the term as an advertisement for their business. That's OK, it's still the option of the receiver to choose the meaning. Business people like to stress the gift giving. People just like to enjoy a day of freedom and an excuse to get together with family and friends.

    My Christmas wish is that people would stop paying so much attention to what people say and pay more attention to the things they hear.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    Anyone else find it ironic that foxnews reports "a war on Christmas" when corporations fire employees for saying, "Merry Christmas" to customers? Yet, when these same corporations refuse to pay workers livable wages, cut their benefits, force them onto food stamps, while giving their CEOs triple pay and bonuses, it's called "good business?"

    I find the "war on Christmas" done by corporations throughout the entire year and not just for a few weeks in December.

    Who is going to stand up for Christmas in America? When will these corporate Scrooges have a change of heart? Or should corporations just hope that their employees wanting livable wages just go away and decrease the surplus population?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 25, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    Re:Tyler D

    I don't see the part in Davis' letter where he suggests most people are going to crumble into shivering balls of neurotic mess.

    Why should people take offense at being told "Happy Holidays?"

    This is just a Fox News created controversy to rile people up.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 25, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    I remember tracting on mission and people would wish us Merry Christmas repeatedly thinking they were offending us. We celebrate Christmas and wished it back. Jehovahs Witnesses don't. I attended a JW congregation on mission and someone said we are having an outing on the worldly holiday of Christmas.

    IF someone told me happy Hannukah that would not bother me. Being sensitive hear Where is the right to never be offended in the constitution? Keep wishing people merry Christmas don't worry about offending people that don't believe in it.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    Words of wisdom from both Professor Davis and from Tyler, too.

    Perhaps we all need to remember that how we treat -- or mistreat -- others around us is the really true reflection of how much we actually value Christmas.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 25, 2013 6:41 a.m.

    The professor is both right and wrong…

    First, he is absolutely right that there is no “war on Christmas.” This is a fantasy perpetuated by the Religious Right and in most cases (there are some true believers in this persecution myth) it is pure political opportunism masquerading as piety.

    But he is wrong when he assumes that our constitutions are so fragile that the mere utterance of a term like “Merry Christmas” will cause most people to crumble into shivering balls of neurotic mess.


    Anyone with such delicate sensibilities has problems much bigger than having to endure the “wounds” inflicted by casual interactions with strangers, and they should seek help accordingly.

    When someone takes the time to wish you a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukah or whatever other expression of goodwill, we should return their good wishes in the same spirit.

    Happy Festivus!

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 6:12 a.m.

    It odd to me that the Spirit of Christmas is that We matter to each other. Be sensitive to some one who thinks we don't matter to each other. Their dangerous people.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 5:50 a.m.

    I figure, There are a whole lot more people now than back in the day. I also figure, every thing is contagious. I hope where I live will always have the Christmas Spirit. I know how fast factions change. Look at marriage. The grass bends with the wind.