Actually I was talking about a non-christian being indifferent to the faith and immersing oneself in the spirit of the holiday anyway because it's so prevalent, instead of feeling like they've committed some sort of apostasy when saying "Merry Christmas" even to other non-christians. I'd rather they not said anything and act like it's any other sesason. Saying happy holidays during Christmas is just like saying happy fasting during Ramadan. Both religions think, "What do you mean, are you trying to dilute my faith?" That's the whole point of it.
I'm going to have to disagree with you on that, then; some people have no problem celebrating a holiday with religious overtones they don't subscribe to (most Japanese, for instance), but for others saying "Merry Christmas" could be regarded as a violation of their own beliefs. As an example, I would not wish my Jehovas Witness cousin "Merry Christmas" out of respect for his (bizarre) convictions-or rather, out of consideration for his own feelings. On the other hand, if I was living in a 90% muslim country, it would be stupid to resent some stranger wishing me a "happy Ramadan," so long as I was not legally obligated to "celebrate" the holiday myself.
Then why do they not just remain neutral? Why is saying Merry Christmas offensive and happy ramadan is not offensive? They're both the same. Happy Holidays can be said during summer holidays, and dilutes religious observance. The non-christian should either chime in thinking nothing of it if it offends them simply remain neutral and absent from it. The point I'm making, is that they want to have their cake and eat it too. The non-christian just says, "I like some of the good parts of Christmas, like giving presents, so I'll turn this into a holiday about gift giving and remove the point of the religious observance altogether and just say happy holidays". It's like the non-muslim saying "I like the idea of fasting because of the physiological benefits, so I'll turn that into my own holiday during the same time, but I won't keep to the other religious observations". Both of those examples dilute the faith, and are offensive to both religions, as the non-believer is taking the faith and polluting it with something unintended.
Basically we discussed what problems should the law address and the criteria that has been suggested:
1. the law should target behavior that represents harm to others
2. the law should highlight behavior that violates the moral beliefs of a large number or people
3. legal prohibitions should target acts for which the state can enforce its laws
The second one was the one that caught my eye. It brought up the question of the idea that the majority should rule.
With political correctness and affirmative action in full force today in this country, it brings up the question of just how many people truly believe in the idea of majority rules?
Because in the instance of the law, what the majority rules as deviant or criminal could be seen by others, though while a minority, as not deviant. And since there are examples of deviant acts not actually doing harm or infringing on other people's rights, should we let the majority force their morals on everyone? If we do not let them do this, then should we even let them decide anything in this nation? Should there be exceptions to the rule? Should there be a balance of some sort?
I have some idea of what I believe, but I feel I am not educated enough on the subject in order to make a statement. So I am wondering what others think in order to help me to better assess my own opinion.
Should the United States be a nation that caters to the majority and what they deem the acceptable course of action?
Should this nation cater to the minority if only to avoid feelings of under-representation and inferiority?
Should there be a balance? If so, how?
For the record, this has nothing to do necessarily with majority/minority of race, religion, etc.
I just mean majority/minority in general as it relates to a population of human beings.
However, all examples are accepted.
United States, for all intent and theoretical purposes, is a constitutional republic, due to the reaction of the founding fathers to what you alluded to, like say mob influence. As such they were hesitant about promoting direct democracy, without totally disregarding the concept of democracy (for which they saw merit)....hence, constitutional republic (which does promote this idea of 'majority rules' - well, elected into as representatives)...with a caveat, law is about protection and upholding of individual rights. Thus, regardless of majority votes, these rights cannot be voted away just cuz a majority says so. It is supposed to be the ideal marriage between republic and democracy.
* btw, I haven't read all the posts, and I see random words like "merry christmas" and ramadan...which has got me puzzled, but not enough to go back & read. :P (love how a random thought sparks new directions)
Then why do they not just remain neutral? Why is saying Merry Christmas offensive and happy ramadan is not offensive? They're both the same.
Yes, my point was that feeling insulted when a STRANGER does that is stupid, while feeling insulted when someone who KNOWS you don't celebrate Christmas wishes you "Merry Christmas" is natural-its a form of social pressure in the religious sphere. My use of the Ramadan example was just to mix things up.
Meh. It's a national hobby to get offended these days. Everybody's got their piddly self interests. Too many more crucial things we should be devoting our attention to in my opinion. Like the health of all our citizens, for instance.
If someone saying "Merry Christmas" to me is cause for outrage I've got a lot more problems than that. I do live through the day of Christmas and I appreciate someone hoping that the day is merry for me.
Rather put my energy into something besides my personal feelings. Really. That'd be a full-time job for me if everytime I was offended I had to hoot about it. Heh.
When you live with a heterogeneous society a little tolerance goes a long ways in non-harmful social practices.
I believe strongly in the common good and promoting social order for it's sake. And I will accommodate anything which I think helps to accomplish the same.
That said, as an INFP, I resent the government messing in my private business and have been known to quietly subvert any attempts to thwart what I think is in the best interest of anyone I am responsible for or for my own well-being.
Support the government and take care of my own as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else in the process.
"No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer