Merry Christmas, or happy holidays?

Richard W. Kucksdorf

When I am shopping at stores between Thanksgiving and Christmas, if the employees of that store wish me a happy holiday, I am offended. Should I be? Is that fair to be so thin-skinned? What do you think when you are told happy holidays?

What did you think when Gov. Tony Evers referred to the Capitol Christmas tree as a holiday tree? What did you think when President Barack Obama, during his eight years in office never called the official Christmas card a Christmas card but a holiday card, and never once in eight years referenced Christmas or the birth of Christ in the card’s message?

In Wisconsin, we have the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), whose purpose as stated in its bylaws, is to promote the constitutional separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism. Promoting the constitutional separation of state and church certainly sounds innocent and like a worthwhile cause.

Read the last part of that statement and specifically the last word. According to the dictionary, the word nontheism is a noun which means lack of belief in a god or gods. We are all familiar with the efforts of this organization, because we hear of it frequently, especially during the Christmas season or if a public school has prayer, etc.

Separation of church and state is another area worth looking into. When these cases are argued in court, those words are used to justify removal of anything dealing with Christianity, because they argue that government by allowing (whatever it is) this or that is endorsing Christianity or a religion. Let me clearly state that I do not condone what the FFRF stands for or its activities, but I fought for their freedom to conduct those activities freely.

The happy holiday wishes were born out of the politically correct culture. I merely reference the FFRF as the springboard to what we have today and the PC culture. Some experts imply that our Founding Fathers were anti-Christian. Are you familiar with what our Founding Fathers said or thought of Christianity?

John Adams: “I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.”

Congress, U.S. House Judiciary Committee, 1854: “Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle … In this age, there can be no substitute for Christianity … That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.”

Why did the founders want freedom of religion? Many who came to America in the 17th and 18th centuries came due to religious persecution in the country they left. This is why our founders stated that the government cannot mandate a religion. Our founders knew that a person’s religious faith is personal and different for each person.

The phrase, separation of state and church, came to be because the Danbury Baptist Church expressed concern to President Jefferson due to the fact that the Connecticut State Constitution did not specify protection of religious liberty. Jefferson stated that the First Amendment created a wall of separation between church and state.

Benjamin Franklin: “As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.”

Patrick Henry: “Being a Christian … is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast.”

John Jay, author of the federalist papers: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

Did you know that our U.S. Constitution never once mentions God? Did you know that all 50 state constitutions mention God or divine at least once according to Pew Research?

Thomas Jefferson: “I am a real Christian — that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”

The Declaration of Independence says that the source of our rights and duties is God. God is mentioned four times in the Declaration of Independence. The writer of the Declaration of Independence said; “Laws of nature and nature’s God entitle the United States to independence.” This was the statement that defined why the colonists were justified in declaring their independence from England.

I do not dislike the person who wishes me happy holidays. How many holiday tree farms do you know of? They are Christmas tree farms, and it is a Christmas tree.

In the Bible, Luke 2:11 reads: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Matthew 2:1: “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea,” etc. The reason there is a holiday is because Christ was born, and we call the day we choose to commemorate this blessed event Christmas.

George Washington: “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.”

Merry Christmas to each of you.

Richard W. Kucksdorf is a retired U.S. Army colonel residing in Bonduel. Kucksdorf has other writings on his website, “Observations From Flyover Country,” at