While I understand your reasoning (and passion) regarding your religion it should be stated that knowing someone’s religion isn’t as simple as discerning someones ethnicity; and the assumption that someone is Christian can really tick the wrong person off. In retail – or business in general – where professionals must first focus on satisfying the customer, it is entirely reasonable that an employee be required to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. The reason for this being: Angry or offended customers equal lost profits, and lost profits equate to lost jobs, which I would assume (given the amount of people out of work) should be an employee’s biggest fear.
Granted, I’ve never had a employer who stated that they would fire me if I slipped and said “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays“, and I have had a few ne’er-do-wells cause a bit of a scene because I said “Happy Holidays” instead of showing reverence to their god, which only in turn made the customer look like a fool, and cause the person they were yelling at become less interested in their religious preference.
America is a country were people are free to pursue their own religion, we have Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Samaritanism, Hinduism, Taoism, as well as those who practice Mysticism and the Occult, as well as Neopaganists and Atheists. All of these people are American citizens and pay taxes to the United States Government, and your average “Baaaah it’s Christmas and if you don’t say ‘Merry Christmas’ you need to go back to your own country!!” are quite ignorantly stating that those who do not practice Christianity are less American because they do not follow their choice of God.
My suggestion to those who would rather let their narrow-mindedness rule their better judgement would be thus: Before you open your trap and allow your short sightedness to alienate people from your faith, take a minute and think about how you would be offended if someone you said “Merry Christmas” to, turned out to be an Atheist and proceeded to scream at you to get out of THEIR country as there is supposed to be a separation between church and state in the USA. I assume you wouldn’t necessarily feel filled with holiday spirit would you?
Happy Holidays everyone. I hope that your holiday season – no matter what your faith may be – is filled with peace, joy, and understanding.