‘Tolerance doesn’t mean apologising for Christmas’

Fri, 12 Dec 2014

British society must not shy away from its own beliefs or traditions such as saying “Happy Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays”, former Cabinet Minister Liam Fox has said.

In an online video message, Dr Fox said Christmas is “a time of hope and renewal, a central part of our religious belief”.

He explained that was why he wished everyone “a very happy and peaceful Christmas”, instead of “Happy Holidays”.

Tolerance and respect

Dr Fox, who served as Defence Secretary between 2010 and 2011, started his message by talking about religious tolerance – saying it lies at the “heart of any truly civilised society”.

“But,” he added, “because we tolerate and respect views different to our own, does not mean that we have to apologise for our own beliefs, traditions or culture.

“In the Christian tradition, Christmas is a time of hope and renewal, a central part of our religious belief.”

Peaceful

He commented that he seeks to remember the birth of Jesus at Christmas time and will wish everyone, “of all religions and none”, a “very happy and peaceful Christmas”.

Earlier this week a Christian Institute survey revealed that many of the UK’s local councils are abandoning the true meaning of Christmas in their Christmas cards.

Many of the messages offer variations of the phrase “Seasons Greetings”, while some simply wish people “all the best for the ‘festive period’”.

Institute Director Colin Hart criticised those councils who ignored Jesus in their cards, but commended others who had “chosen to shun the saccharine sentiment of ‘Happy Holidays’ for Christmas cards that celebrate the coming of Jesus”.

Jesus’ birth

It was also revealed this week that a third of children aged between ten and 13 do not know that Christmas marks the birth of Jesus.

The poll also found that only ten per cent of adults can correctly state four facts about Jesus’ birth.

The survey, of 2,000 families, was commissioned by campaign group Christmas Starts with Christ.