A new national poll shows a majority of Americans prefer the term “Merry Christmas” to “happy holidays.” The polling data clearly indicates Americans prefer to acknowledge the birth of a baby named Jesus Christ as opposed to simply using a generic term for a number of different holidays that may come up during Christmas time.
The poll comes after news of a memo written by a University of Minnesota staffer proposing to essentially abolish Christmas parties.
University of Minnesota officials recently distributed a document titled, “Religious Diversity and the Holidays,” to employees and student workers advising them to keep “inappropriate religious celebrations” out of public spaces. The document was distributed at the University as part of a “Dean’s Dialogues: Respecting Religious Diversity in CFANS and at the University” event within the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.
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The handout, which originated from the school’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office, encouraged recipients “to recognize the holidays in ways that are respectful of the diversity of the University community.” It listed several specific examples of “religious iconography” that were inappropriate for gatherings and displays at this time of year such as: “Santa Claus, Angels, Christmas trees, Star of Bethlehem, Dreidels, Nativity scene, Bows/wrapped gifts, Menorah, Bells, Doves, Red and Green or Blue and White/Silver decoration themes (red and green are representative of the Christian tradition as blue and white/silver are for Jewish Hanukkah that is also celebrated at this time of year).”
“Consider neutral-themed parties such as a ‘winter celebration,’” the document read. “Decorations, music, and food should be general and not specific to any one religion.”
Employees and student workers were also encouraged to report a bias incident of “inappropriate religious celebrations in their work or learning environment” to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.
University of Minnesota eventually released a statement refuting the memo, saying it was not representative of the university and was not broadly distributed.