It is finally Christmas season. The long-awaited time of cookies and hot cocoa has arrived. We are finally allowed to hang Christmas lights in our dorm rooms and the beautifully decorated trees are out in full force. Sadly, some people do not enjoy this time of year, having the audacity to say, “Happy Holidays” at shopping centers instead of “Merry Christmas.” It is difficult to display sarcasm through writing, but I hope that it was a successful attempt. The “War on Christmas” is a ridiculous thing to be angry about for several legitimate reasons.

The first reason: this nation was founded with the core belief of freedom. Whether or not freedom is truly offered in the same capacity to every civilian is open for debate, but I digress. Regardless of the majority groups in the United States, freedom and equality is meant to ensure that no group, regardless of size, has more say than any other. This was especially important to those coming to the United States during its early days when many of the immigrants were fleeing persecution in their home countries. For many of them, they were fleeing religious persecution, seeking a home where they could practice their beliefs without being judged or having other beliefs forced upon them. Thus, the Constitution makes a very clear separation between church and state in the First Amendment, making it so that we will never be what so many people want us to be: a Christian nation. This is not put in place to attack Christians, quite the opposite in fact. This law is in place to protect every religion, including Christianity.

The second reason that the “War on Christmas” is a fantasy: there is nothing to say that you cannot celebrate it. No law is in place to make it harder for anyone to get a Christmas tree — in fact with consumerism running rampant, Christmas merchandise is more available than ever. The wonderful thing about religious freedom is that you are allowed to believe whatever you want to believe and celebrate it in whatever way you see fit. It is outrageous to say that for any individual to celebrate their holidays it requires the participation of everyone they come in contact with.

So please, this holiday season, remember that not everybody celebrates Christmas. In fact, as of 2014, 30 percent of Americans identify as something other than Christian. Keep this in mind when you are out doing your holiday shopping, or whatever you do over winter break. Happy Holidays!

Thoreau Zehr

Staff Writer

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