Religion in Society

"Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" a Waste of Time

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ORANGE COUNTY, CA -- On November 25th, Liberty Counsel released their "Naughty and Nice" list outlining which retailers recognize Christmas and which censor it with the intention of influencing Christians to patronize only those retailers who recognize the holiday. House church leader, Ken Eastburn, commented, "This debate is a waste of valuable ministry efforts. Since when did the goal of Christianity become about getting non-Christian businesses to pay lip-service to Jesus?"

The Naughty and Nice list was released as part of Liberty Counsel's seventh annual Friend or Foe campaign which launched in early November. The campaign endeavors to save Christmas from those who would otherwise censor it in favor of more inclusive, religion-neutral language such as "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings." Focus on the Family is engaging in a similar effort with the launch of their website where consumers can rate how Christmas-friendly a retailer is.

"Whenever the Church becomes concerned with whether non-Christian culture pays lip-service to Jesus, there's a problem," says Eastburn, "Our goal was made clear in the Great Commission: 'Go and make disciples.' If we were busy doing that, we wouldn't care about whether a retailer says 'Merry Christmas' as opposed to 'Happy Holidays.'"

Eastburn is a leader with The Well, a network of home-based churches in California and Colorado. After selling their building in 2005, members began meeting in each other's homes where they are challenged in their growth in Christ.

He continues, "Don't get me wrong, I think it's unfortunate that many businesses opt out of language highlighting Christmas, but even more unfortunate is the fact that Christians have leveraged their influence to bully those who we might otherwise have the opportunity to love and make disciples out of. It is good to know that we can use the birth of our Savior as a way to feel like we're pleasing God when we spend extravagant amounts of money on ourselves."

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