Battleground: Tulsa, Oklahoma! The political football: a holiday parade! The culture warrior: James Inhofe, United States Senator from the great state of Oklahoma! It seems Senator Inhofe is upset that “Tulsa’s Christmas Parade of Lights” has been renamed “Tulsa’s Holiday Parade of Lights” and Senator Inhofe is withdrawing his participation until it goes back to its original name.
Right. Because Christmas isn’t a holiday. The Baby Jeebus will be upset if the trucks wired with LED lights and high school marching bands parade for tens of interested onlookers for not just Christmas but all the holidays going on this time of year too. Because God cares about whether there is a parade in Oklahoma to honor Him. Seriously, it’s because the city isn’t giving Christmas special, favorable treatment. To which I say:
First, read the Constitution, Senator. The government doesn’t get to treat any one religion as special, it doesn’t get to favor any one religion over any other religion. So get off your high horse, Senator (or in this case, that might mean “get back on it”) and figure out how to get your constituents some jobs without playing Santa Claus with taxpayer dollars. That’s what the voters would really like from you.
Second, it’s not an insult or a slight to Christians to wish someone “Happy Holidays.” We non-Christians get wished a Merry Christmas all the time and we take it well and in the spirit in which it was intended. Please have the good manners to reciprocate in kind, should you get a holiday greeting that may not exactly conform to your world view but is still intended as a friendly and pleasant statement. There’s nothing wrong with a “Holiday” parade instead of a “Christmas” parade.
Finally, dude, lighten up. There’s a 45% chance that Julian Assange is looking at a photograph of your bum, right now. Hopefully you were smiling when the picture got taken.