Isn't "Happy holidays" a form of suicide bombing too?
A recent letter to the editor of the Boulder Daily Camera explains an atheist perspective on "Merry Christmas":
Every time you wish us a Merry Christmas, you are persecuting us for our beliefs...Every time you wish us a Merry Christmas you are claiming that you have rights that we do not have. You are declaring that through your belief in a deity, you are better than us. Every time you say, "Merry Christmas" to a non-Christian, you might as well be suicide-bombing them or nailing them to a cross, placing a crown of thorns on their heads and sticking a spear in their sides.Several follow-up letters to the Daily Camera, including one from an atheist (here, here, here, and here) contend that wishing someone "Merry Christmas" is not the same as murdering them by suicide bombing.
However, if we assume for the sake of argument that "Merry Christmas" is identical to "Now you will die, infidels," another part of the letter struck me as illogical. The letter concluded, "Happy Holidays!"
For the ultra-sensitive atheist, it is hard to see why "Happy Holidays" is an improvement over "Merry Christmas." "Holidays" is, after all, very obviously derivative of "Holy days." A scrupulously p.c. person who wishes someone "Happy holidays" might be taking care to be inclusive in case the person does not celebrate Christmas, but does celebrate Hanukkah, Eid, Yule, or Diwali. Well and good, but my own observation is that the non-Christian people who tend to pitch a fit because someone said "Merry Christmas" to them are not Jews, Muslims, or Hindus, but instead are a minority of atheists who are on the look-out for reasons to be offended. To this group, the phrase "Happy holidays," should not, logically, be any less offensive than "Merry Christmas." The latter refers to a single religious celebration, while the former aggregrates a variety of religious celebrations. Indeed, the latter phrase should be even more offensive, since it reminds the readily-offended atheist of his separation not only from Christians, but also from the larger community of religious believers.
It is true that "Happy holidays" also includes Kwanzaa, which is not religious, but is founded on Afro-centrism and Marxism. (And which is celebrated by non-racist, non-Marxist African-Americans, just as some non-Christian Americans celebrate the Irving Berlin, Santa Claus Christmas.)
But what good does this do for the eagerly-offended atheist who is not African-American? "Happy holidays" refers, at most, to Kwanzaa (which is irrelevant to non-African-Americans) and to a collection of religious holidays (the very mention of which may be highly offensive to ultra-offendable athiests).
Therefore, it is my recommendation that you use the phrase "Happy holidays" if and only if you are speaking to an ultra-sensitive African-American atheist. If you speaking to a non-African-American ultra-sensitive atheist, "Happy holidays" may be an even worse form of suicide bombing than "Merry Christmas." For this group, simply say "Happy Days," thereby avoiding the incendiary word "holidays." For everyone else, you can wish them a "Merry Christmas", "Happy Hanukkah", "Cool Yule", or whatever else you want, with virtually no risk that the recipient of your glad tidings will consider you the equivalent of a suicide bomber.