I like Huck’s “What Really Matters” spot. I’m not even close to being a “Christian Conservative”, a Social Conservative, or anything else that requires me to have my Moral Majority card stamped by three evangelicals and the Pope. I am Christian… and conservative… but that has nothing to do with me liking the ad. I just do. It makes me feel good: good about politics, good about politicians, good about our future, good about the season and good about Huck.

I understand. It offends some that he wears his religion on his sleeve. I’m not so sure that it’s a good strategic move in states outside of the Bible Belt but it sure seems to resonate in Iowa. I don’t care about the strategic issues, though. I just like that it’s not negative.

Memo to those who would say that it is offensive because it leaves out Muslims, Jews, Hindi, Sufis, Taoists, and Kwanzaa celebrants (not entirely sure that the holiday is even tied to a religion): It doesn’t matter. You see, merely putting out an ad that says “Merry Christmas” does not slight those who have just finished lighting the menorah or those who will soon don red, green, and black, roll out the mkeka, and light the mishumaa saba. I’m not sure where this idea came from that celebrating one’s own culture means that the celebrant, somehow, is demeaning those who celebrate other cultures. That homogenizing is far more offensive than any holiday greeting that rolls from someone’s lips as they give me my change in the store.

We need to respect each others’ cultures and celebrate that which makes each of us unique, as well as the common bonds that we all have as Americans. Huckabee’s ad speaks to a majority of our citizenry, I suppose, but it never speaks to the others and this, in and of itself, is not even close to offensive. There is no implied “everyone else is inferior” statement and there certainly is never a spoken one. This is not Ann Coulter drumming up book sales, after all. It is an ordained Christian preacher wishing his fellow travelers a “Merry Christmas”.

I have to disagree with Ethan. Exclusion, if it is not malicious, is not forced segregation. Telling me that, because I am a Christian, I cannot openly enjoy my culture is. I do agree, however, that some of the other stuff is troubling. We need to separate out the politically correct from the anti-social, though. “Merry Christmas”, fat cookie eating Santas who smoke pipes, and Linus’ “true meaning” should have their place. Gracious submission… not so much.

My stomach turns at the thought of one-worlders pushing for a sterile Christmahannakwanzaka celebration. I will stick to my Christmas and give others their joyous times because, no matter the rituals and religions, all of our celebrations are about family and friends and togetherness.

Merry Christmas and a Happy 1430 (Islamic New Year).

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