Professor: Change 'Merry Christmas' to 'Happy Federal Holiday'

Over my dead body



A professor at the University of Central Florida thinks the safest way to greet other people during the Christmas season is to wish them a "Happy Federal Holiday."

That's right: not just happy holidays, but happy state-sanctioned, government-recognized holidays.

This bright idea belongs to Terri Fine, a professor of political science at the University of Central Florida, who recently penned a column outlining her vision:

My friends and I wish each other a "Happy Federal Holiday."

Happy Federal what? Because the U.S. government in some cases and the state government in others have identified certain days during the year as state and federal holidays, including those that fall during the late fall and winter season – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day –we have no choice but to observe these holidays whether we want to or not.

Most everyone is included and no one is excluded no matter their religious beliefs or practices. The banks are closed, along with post offices, local, state and federal government offices, and state institutions such as UCF. As long as we live in the United States, these federal and state holidays impact us equally so we might as well celebrate them equally, too.

The upside to wishing each other a "Happy Federal Holiday" is that we have lots of opportunities to do so during the year and not just during the current "Holiday Season." We know that we are not being culturally insensitive by extending to someone a holiday greeting that has no meaning to them because they practice a different religion or no religion at all.

Note that Fine isn't forcing anyone to use her parlance. She's not censoring her students. She's not violating anyone's free speech rights. She can write as many columns advocating this position as she wants.

But, speaking as a libertarian, I am—dare I say it—offended by the idea that we would only wish each other a happy holiday in a manner that suggests we have the federal government's permission. Surely, that's manifestly worse than just saying, "Have a good one."

 Hat tip: The College Fix