Father Bill Carmody, a Catholic priest in Colorado Springs, has pointed out there is nothing wrong with saying “Happy Holidays.” After all, the word “holiday” is a derivative of “holy day” and so even people who say it thinking that they are avoiding “Christmas” are really sharing religion.
But don’t tell the Liberty Council or the Alliance Defense Fund about that. Or the Committee to Save Merry Christmas, whose entire existence “is to bring back the words ‘Merry Christmas’ into the national market place.” And, apparently, to pull in a few bucks while they’re at it.
This movement started in the mid-90s in Colorado Springs when Pastor Jim Hagan started fuming when he went shopping with his wife at the mall and no one would say Merry Christmas to him. He subsequently took an ad out in the newspaper threatening to boycott stores whose employees opted for the more generic “Happy Holidays.”
Who would have imagined that the movement would turn into a litigious army, with high-paid lawyers from the above-mentioned Liberty Council and the Alliance Defense fund warning that the ACLU was out to destroy Christmas, and filing lawsuits against schools who wouldn’t let children hand out candy canes (ostensibly because they are shaped like shepherd’s crooks.)
And where there are lawsuits, there comes a cottage industry to pay for them.This year the Liberty Council (“Restoring the Culture One Case at a Time by Advancing Religious Freedom, the Sanctity of Human Life and the Traditional Family”) has numerous items that people can fork over cash for in the quest to Help Save Christmas. Here are but a few:
— The Ten Commandments Bracelet (“The bracelet can be used as a reminder of God’s perfect love and direction for life.” Available for a “gift” of $60 or more.)
— The “Take Your Hat Off” CD and Activity Book (“Kids will learn such things as respect — taking your hat off when the flag goes by.” Available for a $15 or more donation.)
— The New England Primer (“This little book is a good example of early American education. The New England Primer taught first graders the alphabet using religious references. For the letter ‘A’, the students learned, ‘In Adam’s Fall, We sinned all.’ For the letter ‘C’, the students recited: ‘Christ crucified, For sinners died.'” Cost: $7.)
— Reagan – In His Own Voice CD Series