Religious greetings

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  • #2325

    Sue-B
    Participant

    To non-Christians: What is your reaction when well-intentioned strangers or acquaintances wish you a ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Easter’? Do you explain that you’re Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, agnostic, etc., or do you just let it go?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Sue-B, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 40s, City : Detroit, State : MI Country : United States, Occupation : Writer, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #15209

    P.J.
    Member

    Regardless of the actual words involved, I rarely take exception to people who honestly want to wish me well. For most strangers and acquaintances, I feel no need to involve them in the intricacies of religious discussion simply because they used concepts that I do not. Life is too short to take everything too seriously.

    User Detail :  

    Name : P.J., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 23, City : Baton Rouge, State : LA Country : United States, Occupation : Philosophy Grad Student, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #16956

    Stacey L.
    Member

    It depends on the situation. Sometimes if I think it’s somebody who should have known better or it’s a situation where I think they should be more aware, I will (nicely) explain that I don’t celebrate Christmas (or Easter). Most of the time if it’s just like a total stranger like a cashier or waiter or whatever I just let it go — it’s the thought that counts and correcting every single person would be hard! Some people apologize for making the assumption and you can tell they mean it; others you can tell they really don’t care and they’re still going to say the same thing to everybody else they see. It used to really bother me that people wouldn’t really even consider the fact that not anybody celebrates the same holidays they do, but now I’ve just learned to appreciate those who do try to be sensitive.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Stacey L., Gender : F, Age : 20, City : Durham, State : NH Country : United States, Occupation : student, 
    #37854

    Sylvia
    Participant

    Because I am an atheist who works in a Catholic school, I generally respond politely to those who express religion oriented wishes. I do not, however, send greetings for religious holidays.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Sylvia, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 38, City : Milwaukee, State : WI Country : United States, Occupation : Education, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #44411

    Trudy24919
    Participant

    I probably can’t give you the exact answer you’re looking for because I am a Christian, but I can turn it around for you. I have friends of varying religions, with many holidays. If someone wished me a happy Hannukah or a good Ramadan, I certainly wouldn’t be offended. I would understand that they were sending some goodwill my way and I would accept it graciously. It seems to me that the polite thing for people of other religions should do the same.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Trudy24919, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Religion : Mormon, Age : 20, City : San Jose, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #20026

    C
    Participant

    If it’s a clerk in a store or someone I’m unlikely to see again, I typically let it go. If it’s a new acquaintance, I’ll usually tell them that I’m Jewish but thank them for what they probably intended to be an expression of seasonal goodwill. I have had acquaintances, however, who have used the overtly offensive expression ‘Jew down’ when talking about negotiations. That’s completely different. In that instance, I’ve taken the time to tell them that, although they may not know it, such is an offensive expression. I’ll explain why and try to do all of this in as non-accusatory manner as possible.

    User Detail :  

    Name : C, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 30-ish, City : Austin, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : attorney, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #29521

    Jack21203
    Participant

    I’m Jewish and have no problem with this as long as it is meant as a friendly greeting. The only thing that bothers me is on occassions where there are groups handing out bibles and telling everyone that other religions are wrong and will not stop when asked.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Jack21203, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 29, City : Providence, State : RI Country : United States, Occupation : Computer Tech, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #41132

    Eric
    Member

    <> I’m not Christian myself (I consider myself ‘Independent’), but I don’t mind if people wish me a ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Easter.’ In my opinion and from my experience, many holidays such as Christmas and Easter have been commercialized to such a degree that they’re not religious holidays anymore – they’re just holidays for capitalism (capitalism rules!). My family is not Christian and we used to have Christmas trees and Easter-egg hunts. So I really don’t think the religious connotations are really that significant.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Eric, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Religion : Independent, Age : 19, City : Chicago, State : IL Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #29988

    Lucy22436
    Participant

    If someone sends me a greeting card that is specifically Christian or any other religion that I do not subscribe to, I take it in the spirit that it was meant – basically wishing me well in the holiday season. It’s no big deal. It’s not like the person is trying to convert me or say my beliefs are wrong. It’s just a greeting.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Lucy22436, City : San Jose, State : CA Country : United States, 
    #17679

    Sarah-C28154
    Participant

    I’m agnostic and am not offended at all. The intentions behind holiday greetings are generally very good, so I consider it a nice gesture. I work in retail, though, so I don’t use religously based greetings during those times of the year; I worked this Christmas Eve, and just to cover myself, I said, ‘Have a nice holiday.’

    User Detail :  

    Name : Sarah-C28154, Gender : F, Race : Asian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 24, City : San Francisco area, State : CA Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #29845

    A-Adams23975
    Participant

    I usually accept and return all greetings in the spirit in which they are given. Just because I am not a member of a certain faith doesn’t mean I am uncomfortable in the celebration of that holiday (holy day). I also try to remember and/or observe as many religious holidays as I am aware of to further my own education of the various world religions. If someone asks, I tell them that.

    User Detail :  

    Name : A-Adams23975, City : Los Angeles, State : CA Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #42376

    Danielle27243
    Participant

    I work at a grocery store whih is extremely busy around the holiday season. While people are picking up various cakes, meats, and breads from the Deli/Bakery where I work, it is normal to for customers to say ‘Merry Christmas’or ‘Happy Easter.’ This is not a problem for me. For a well-intentioned greeting, why not just let it go? Around that time of year it is as common for someone to say, ‘Merry Christmas’ as it is for someone to say, ‘Hello!’ If it were someone other than a stranger or acquaintance, I would return the greeting, and talk about our religious differences at some other appropriate time. But when someone is just trying to be nice and cheerful to you, why not give them the same response?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Danielle27243, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, City : Grand Blanc, State : MI Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Upper class, 
    #39512

    Doug25641
    Participant

    This is one of the problems with American society, somebody somewhere is offended by something anywhere. I am an atheist, but a student of religions (you must be educated in order to hold an intelligent debate). As far as somebody throwing me a holiday greeting, I will take it whole-heartedly and return it in kind, obviously it’s something they believe in and they wish the greeting returned. There is nothing wrong with returning the greeting except to the close-minded individual.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Doug25641, Gender : M, Age : 29, City : Hickory, State : NC Country : United States, 
    #37309

    Vilas
    Member

    I just say thanks, but I don’t celebrate X-mas. I’m not offended, because it was the intention that counts, and they didn’t intend to offend me. I am, however, really cheesed when people try to talk to me in what little Arabic they’ve absorbed from living in large, cosmopolitain cities. Why would I want some weirdo calling me habibti (beloved) just because he thinks he’s cool cuz he knows one word in Arabic? A word of advice, don’t say AssalamuAlaikum unless you’re a Muslim, cuz that’s like the Muslim to Muslim greeting, it’s like trying to do one of those complicated handshakes with a gangsta, when you’re not one of them. The guy will just be like uh ok buddy… Just smile and say hi instead.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Vilas, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Pakistani/Irish, Religion : Muslim, Age : 21, City : Islamabad, State : NA Country : Pakistan, Occupation : Writer, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #41127

    Hayat R.
    Member

    I often am greeted by well-wishers with ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Happy Easter’, but I do not find it offensive. Because the intention is almost always to spread that individual’s joy I take such greetings in stride, smile and return the greeting with the sentence ‘I don’t celebrate ______ (fill in the blank), but thank you and Merry __________ to you too’. As a Muslim I am taught to always be courteous and at the same time be informative about my faith.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Hayat R., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Caucasian/Asian mix, Religion : Muslim, Age : 20, City : Islamabad, State : NA Country : Pakistan, Occupation : Journalist, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
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