Letters to the Editor

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BILL HALL: Selective criticism of majority groups in America

Letter by Gene E. Harvey, Puyallup on Jan. 3, 2011 at 10:11 am with 10 Comments »
January 3, 2011 10:11 am

Re: “Maybe ‘Happy Holidays’ wishers are just being polite” (Bill Hall column, 1-1).

Modern day media is full of commentary that minimizes the concerns of members who identify with major social, business, political and religious groups. In their zeal to make up for both perceived and valid unfair treatment of minority groups, media forces expound their ‘politically correct’ rhetoric with abandon.

The underlying tone of this mindset is majority groups do not deserve consideration because, after all, they are the majority and they victimize minorities. In fact, much of the time the media make fun of members of majority groups who complain about biased public behavior and negative reporting.

Christmas was originally created by the Catholic Church in the fourth century. It was declared a national holiday in the U.S. on June 28, 1870, among the first four to be created along with New Years, Thanksgiving and Independence Days. George Washington’s birthday was added in 1871. Christmas represents a long, meaningful spiritual and secular tradition.

I’ve read a number of Bill Hall’s columns and generally have found him to be a thoughtful observer of current events. In this piece, however, he ignores the many examples of negative reporting and public behavior that are unfairly biased against Christians.

Often, one or a few individuals are able to interfere with traditional religious practices or observances by simply being “offended.” He also ignores the excesses of minority groups, both religious and secular, as well as the skewed perspective of those who inflate their personal worth by minimizing the spiritual concerns of the majority.

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  1. the many examples of negative reporting and public behavior that are unfairly biased against Christians.

    Seriously!??!!!

    Wishing someone “Happy Holidays” is an example of negative reporting and public behavior that are unfairly biased against Christians – quite a persecution complex you got there dude.

    The martyrs were killed for following Christianity, through stoning, crucifixion, burning at the stake or other forms of torture and capital punishment. – not quite on the same par as “St.” Gene Harvey having to put up with being wished “Happy Holidays”.

    You write this whiny letter complaining about how mistreated you are and you still wonder why people find (some) Christians incredibly annoying.

  2. BlaineCGarver says:

    bB……I think you read too much into that letter. The point, as I see it, being that a few “offended” people enjoy the power of offense, and revel in disrupting other, larger groups…generally, the majority. You have no constitutional right to be offended.

  3. A brief study of the word “persecution” reveals that there are various kinds of persecution. Stoning, crucifying and church bombings are examples of physical persecution, but there remain subtle more insidious forms of social persecution. That you fail to “see” persecution does not mean it’s not there bBoy. I imagine it was hard for white kids to “see” the more subtle forms of racial persecution going on around them because it didn’t directly affect them.

    For Christians in the U.S. today, there are subtle digs and insults made in a variety of venues. Sarah Palin’s religious beliefs have been fuel for additional criticism of her. True, we are not yet to the point that Christians need to fear for their lives for going to church as they do in say Egypt and Baghdad , some places in Turkey and China; but it doesn’t mean they do not experience the sting of persecution from various sources.

  4. Roncella says:

    beerBoy, I believe that one person complaining about “under God” in the Pledge of Alligance caused alot of heated debate.

  5. beerBoy says:

    BCG – the people being “offended” are the O’Reillys and the Becks because Happy Holidays is being said instead of Merry Christmas.

    Ron – nice try at a tangent. But wrong turn and I’m not going to follow your attempt to derail the thread.

  6. Murigen says:

    Even if it’s a given that the Catholic Church created Christmas in the fourth century the season had celebrations long before the Catholic Church existed. Happy Holidays is a perfectly good greeting for someone to use who is either not Christian or doesn’t know if the person they are greeting is Christian, or if they just want to acknowledge that there are more than just one celebration going on at that time of year.

    Personally unless I know what the person I’m talking too is celebrating I use whatever greeting comes to mind first.

  7. whatIdo says:

    Sure did Ron.

  8. “Under God” and “with liberty and justice for all” are in direct conflict with one another, roncella.

    Telling someone that they have to say “Merry Christmas” during the holiday season is also in conflict with that last line of the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Bill Hall is always entertaining and has a way of expressing himself with common sense and astute understanding. He gets my vote, most every time.

  9. turtlegene says:

    My letter in response to Bill Hall’s piece focused on a much larger perspective than whether or not “Merry Christmas” is shared as a greeting during the holidays. My complaint about Mr. Hall’s article is that he chooses to minimize valid concerns of Christians by making light of their preferred Christmas greeting particularly at this important time in their liturgical year. He ignores the preponderance of anti-Christian rhetoric that regularly courses through the nation’s airways and academic halls throughout the year..

    I believe that all spiritual traditions are valid expressions of humankind’s best efforts to behave with compassion. The promise of transcendence is also important to many. The abuses of religion, or any other morally guided institution, are not generally the result of their teachings but, rather, the frailties of human nature. Utilized properly, the principals espoused by all major religions provide benefit for at least certain segments of world culture. I believe no religion, and this is where I part company with most of the faith traditions, is necessarily appropriate for everyone.

    All faith traditions are worthy of respect. When abuses occur in their flock, however, they must assume responsibility for correcting them.

    I’m pleased that my remarks have generated a lively discussion.

  10. beerBoy says:

    he chooses to minimize valid concerns of Christians by making light of their preferred Christmas greeting particularly at this important time in their liturgical year.

    Your “valid concerns” about having someone say “Happy Holidays” only serves to demonstrate how petty some of the modern day Pharisees are.

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