On my Swiss flight from Brussels to Zürich I got a chocolate the other day. It said on it:
Every year I stumble over this and I am times and again amazed how a so called politically correct minority with an agenda has been able to change a whole culture. Incredible!
Have you ever thought, what is behind this? Do you really believe that Muslims will be offended when we wish them Frohe Weihnachten – Merry Christmas? How come that the Turkish shopkeeper wishes me Frohe Weihnachten? Because he has integrated into Switzerland and knows better than the seemingly political correct Swiss, that Christmas is an integral part of the Swiss culture.
From all I have gathered this is a result of the often misunderstood separation of religion and state. Namely the understanding that religion belongs into the private sector. Of course there are specific players which want it to be that way. They claim that religion has brought on all the evils one can think of in the past and therefore needs to be banned from the public square. They are right insofar that whenever religion has had a symbiotic relationship with the political powers it has indeed most of the time not played a good role. But as EEA we promote the public square where religion plays its part as one of the voices which challenges the sole materialistic view of so many these days. As a voice which claims there is not only the immanent but also the transcendent reality. With the view that this is much needed to keep the powers of this world sane.
As Christians we should be part of the public square and being that shape all parts of society. This includes also language. We do not want to be told by people holding an atheistic world view or by the ones who are free thinkers what is politically correct. We believe in plurality and we want to live it.
So if somebody wishes me Frohe Festtage (season’s greetings) I will receive this gratefully and consciously wish that person Frohe Weihnachten (merry Christmas).
The world was created by the word of God. Reality is created by our words.
May you stand up for freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of belief and your freedom as citizen by using words which create and keep these freedoms for everyone. We as EEA certainly want to stand up for these also in 2017.
Frohe Weihnachten und ein gesegnetes Neues Jahr
Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to you
EEA General Secretary