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Editor, The Beacon:

It is December. Happy holidays! There, I said it. And I don’t want any of my atheist friends giving me crap about not saying “happy solstice!” You are not the only ones celebrating a holiday this month.

In the Northern Hemisphere, many cultures and religions, past and present, have designated times for parties and celebrations. So, please refrain from demanding that I acknowledge only your special day at the expense of others.

I realize the U.S. was founded as a secular nation. The Constitution begins with “We the people” deliberately chosen over options that kowtowed to God.

Pennsylvania’s opening sentence includes “grateful to Almighty God,” while New York’s includes “acknowledging with gratitude the grace and beneficence of God.”

The Delaware preamble begins with “Through Divine goodness,” Connecticut opens with “The People of Connecticut acknowledging with gratitude, the good providence of God,” and Rhode Island’s opening sentence reads in part “grateful to Almighty God.” The Virginia constitution, the only one that did not mention God, was the model.

In addition to the government, capitalism has your back. When I was a child, most businesses closed on Sunday. But capitalism grew to be more powerful and secular than even the government. Walmart can fire you for refusing to work on your Sabbath.

I will give you this, on your special day, I’ll say, “happy solstice!” But don’t expect me to say it every day this month. Which brings up another issue.

What is your special day? The 21st or 22nd? You change it from year to year. Why didn’t you stick with the 25th? You had that day long before the many religions jumped on the bandwagon. It was a good day. Several gods were born on the 25th, Jesus being the most recent.

No, you had to go all sciencey on us. Without your powerful telescopes, accurate clocks, and models based on the Earth circling the sun, Dec. 25 is the first day raw human sense organs can tell the days are getting longer. Fortunately, scientists also gave us the computer and internet to look it up.

This year, the winter solstice is 11:49 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21. Down to the minute! Why do you believers in science need to be so accurate?

So, on Dec. 21, I’ll gladly greet people with “happy solstice.” Since it is so close to midnight, I might even stretch to the 22nd.

Don’t be a jerk when someone greets you with “happy holidays.” Smile and return the greeting. There is no need to glare, frown, and snap back with, “It’s happy solstice” if it isn’t the 21st.

Inclusiveness is one of the great things about the U.S. Our original motto “e pluribus unum” (out of many, one) is a beautiful thought. I’m sorry they changed it, marginalizing you. Please don’t stoop to their level.

If you know someone who celebrates a specific holiday in December, greet them on their special day with the appropriate greeting. On Dec. 25, you should greet Christians with “merry Christmas” and greet Jewish friends with “happy Hanukkah” Dec. 16-26. There is no war on solstice. That’s fake news. Happy holidays! Party on!

Sam Sloss



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