If someone gets mad, when you say “Merry Christmas” at this time of year, because it might offend someone, then without any shred of doubt, that person is being a dick.
But there’s a corollary to that.
If someone says “Happy Holidays” and YOU get offended because you think they are attacking you as a Christian, or attacking Christmas, etc., then without any shred of doubt, YOU are being a dick.
You see, most major religions (and a lot of the minor ones) have a festival/holiday around the winter solstice. Christians hardly have a lock on it. There are a billion reasons for someone to use a greeting other than “Merry Christmas” at this time of year, none of which involve attacking Christians, Christianity, or Christmas.
On the other hand, gettting all petulant about “Merry Christmas” absolutely is an attack on other people, other religions, other beliefs, other feelings.
We see a lot (mostly out of the US) about how Christians, and god believers in general are under attack from heathens / atheists / pagans / general ne’er-do-wells. Christians are not under attack for their belief in God. They’re under attack for forcing those beliefs on others, and it’s not an attack so much as “we are asking you to stop forcing your beliefs on us.”
And when you get mad at someone for saying Happy Holidays, you’re forcing YOUR religion on someone. That person made that greeting in good intention, with lightness of spirit and heart, and you’re shooting that person down. They’re not attacking Christians, you’re attacking non-Christians… maybe not even non-Christians – you could be attacking a different flavour of Christian.
When you get mad at Starbucks because you don’t like how they interpret their winter solstice message on their coffee cup, they’re not attacking you, nor Christmas, nor Christians. I assure you, nobody is sitting at the Starbucks Battlestar in Seattle thinking “Muhahaha, this’ll get them Christians.” No, it’s you, self-righteous Christian who is on the attack, attempting to silence an organization who believes differently than you.
People not letting you have your way isn’t attacking you.
So when you see the infinitely re-posted, well-debunked Ben Stein statement, recognize that he’s talking right out his rear end for nearly all of it, and that a bunch of it is completely made-up bollocks that isn’t from Ben Stein.