A Christmas controversy is brewing in Pensacola, Florida where Tonia Thomas, 35, claims that she was fired because he insisted on greeting callers with “Merry Christmas” rather than Happy Holidays. Her former employer, Counts-Oakes Resorts Properties Inc., insists that there were other reasons for her termination but outside groups have come to Thomas’ aid in suing the company. In the meantime, Muslims are debating whether they can say “Merry Christmas.”
Thomas explained that “I hold my core Christian values to a high standard and I absolutely refuse to give in on the basis of values. All I wanted was to be able to say ‘Merry Christmas’ or to acknowledge no holidays. As a Christian, I don’t recognize any other holidays.”
She convinced me: she should be fired. A business has the right to determine how employees will greet customers and to make non-Christians will included in greetings. The business insists that it did not hire her over the issue, but what if it did? Since when is a business required to allow employees to use the sectarian greeting of their choice? If someone is Muslim, Jewish, Christian or Baha’i, the greeting would change and prove a distraction to the business.
Nevertheless, Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based legal group supporting people claiming religious discrimination, is representing Thomas before the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.
In the meantime, she has found another job, but complains that it pays less and that she is still suffering from the denial of Merry Christmas as a greeting. She should definitely stay out of Indonesia where Muslims are debating whether they can say Merry Christmas without offending their faith.
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14 thoughts on “Have a Merry Christmas or Else: Florida Woman Sues For Being Required to Say “Happy Holidays””
I agree with Neil: “As far as “not recognizing other holidays,” what a bigoted standpoint.” Ooops. She let the cat of the bag, didn’t she?
Too many Christians are using this “issue” to demand religious privilege and bully non-Christians – all while claiming victim status. Pathetic. How sad that being polite and respectful of people from different religious backgrounds is demeaned as “politically correct.”
marie said, “MOST IN AMERICA ARE SICKENED BY THE SECULAR “PROGRESSIVES” RUNNING AROUND RUINING OTHER’S RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS.”
I noticed that this is not the first time at all that you mention the topic. Why have you decided to write about it again?
If people say fireing this woman was wrong, then they themselfs should have to accept theyr own employees using greetings of “Hail satan” or “a thousand prayers to the flying spaghetti monster”
If you want rigth, they must be equal rigths.
This is America the melting pot. It is not solely for Christians. If a company doesn’t want to offend others’ personal religious preference, then no employee of theirs’, in my opinion, shall make an executive decision to envoke their own zeolot beliefs above those of the company’s and not expect to get fired. You got what you deserved, Tonia. How would you like to live under Islamic law because someone felt it was the right thing for America?
I say “Merry Christmas” to people every year, I am glad to see Christian holiday displays (in a non-government sponsored setting) and I love listening to religious carols.
But I always say “Happy Holidays” when I am at work because I routinely deal with many people from a variety of faiths.
Tell me how I should have responded to this scenario:
Of my own volition I greeted someone with “Happy Holidays”. The person became visibly upset and corrects me with “You mean, ‘Merry Christmas'”. I tried to politely explain that there were several holidays at this time of year but they interrupted, clearly offended, and began to dress me down about how I was attempting to take the ‘Christ’ out of Christmas.
How should I have reacted to this blunt forehead close mindedness? Is it acceptable that this person is demanding that I recognize their religion? What if they were Jewish and demanded that I say “Happy Hanukkah” since it came along before Christmas? I can’t stop to ask them how they would like to be greeted, that would take too long and be kind . What if we had some kind of way to collectively refer to all of the Holy Days… hmm. Holy days, Holy-days, Holydays… Holi-
I’VE GOT IT!!! I CAME UP WITH A SOLUTION!
Stop worshiping imaginary friends.
(kidding, Merry Belated Christmas)
This subject is just so silly. Let people say what they want to say. Personally, whenever someone greets me with a “Merry Christmas”, assuming that I’m Christian, I reply with an equally polite: “Hail Satan!”
Please excuse my extra comma. I just got a little over zealous.
It sure is those pesky liberals stirring up trouble in this story. How DARE a business regulate what their employees say when they answer the phone? You know what the private sector needs? More government intervention.
But no… those stupid big government liberals, have to keep sticking their nose in other people’s business.
I find that most people who say Happy Holiday’s are people who do not consider themselves Christians and therefore do not wish to say Merry Christmas. Organizations on the other hand have a more stringent requirement to be inclusive, hence the Happy Holidays.
I on the other hand am happy to say to anyone and everyone “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”.
And a happy new year.
I suggest that anyone who thinks that saying “Happy Holidays” in lieu of “Merry Christmas” is giving in on the basis of values needs a reality check. Seriously. Ms. Thomas is simply being asked by her employer to abide by a standard, generic greeting, and not being martyred by stoning or something, for crying out loud.
As far as “not recognizing other holidays”, what a bigoted standpoint. I’m an atheist, and I don’t get bent out of shape if someone wishes me a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, a good Kwanzaa, a delightful Solstice, or whatever. I just thank them for the good wishes and return them. Just because I don’t follow religious traditions doesn’t mean I have to refuse to acknowledge that they exist, and are valued by others.
Man…for people who are supposed to be about love, Christians sure are an intolerant bunch.
That’s quite some rant! You must be a disgruntled liberal. Merry Christmas Amy!!!
All of this ‘political correctness’ and liberalness is causing more division and anger on both sides in this country.
I remember when everyone said both ‘Happy Holidays’ and ‘Merry Chritmas’ it was accepted by all as a acceptable/well-meaning greeting.
Now, these liberals have just caused quarelling amongst everyone. If your not a Christain, they think you shouldn’t say “Merry Christmas” or even have it spoken to them in a store.
But, if you say “Happy Holidays” you’re considered a scrooge.
Liberals need to get a life and quit screwing everyones elses up!!!! I think Liberals are just miserable people and that’s why they complain about anything religious. Get rid of the hate!!!
The fool! Why couldn’t he have said, “If desired, please have a positive seasonal experience” like the rest of us liberal, secular progressives who have horns and a tail and eat tiny little babies for breakfast?
AS WELL SHE SHOULD! MERRY CHRISTMAS!
MOST IN AMERICA ARE SICKENED BY THE SECULAR “PROGRESSIVES” RUNNING AROUND RUINING OTHER’S RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS.
OH EXCUSE ME. THE SECULAR “PROGRESSIVES” DON’T GO ANYWHERE NEAR BEING CRITICAL OF ISLAM DO THEY?
SEEMS WE HAVE A REALLY STRANGE ALLIANCE AGAINST TOLERANCE IN THE WORLD: LIBERALS AND MUSLIMS.
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