Have you ever noticed that the only federally recognized holiday is from Christianity? We get time off for Christmas, but never for Hanukkah or Ramadan.

Why is this?

There isn’t a definite reason for it. It is probably because the U.S. is generally recognized as a Christian country even though citizens practice a plethora of other religions.

Numerous of the Founding Fathers also stated that the government is not based on Christianity, and they purposefully excluded the use of “God” or anything relative to that in the Constitution.

The Constitution explicitly states that Congress cannot make a law that affects any religion. Many of the Founding Fathers were also not Christians at all.

How is it then that we have a federally recognized Christian holiday?

Growing up, it was common to believe that everyone around you is the same. Children don’t notice differences until they are pointed out to them, including holiday celebrations.

Most children associate Christmas with Santa Claus; any child I have ever talked to believes in Santa, which means they probably celebrate Christmas as well.

However, as we grow up, we know this not to be true.

Around the holiday season, there are multiple religions celebrating various holidays. For example, Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah. This holiday is an eight-day celebration, of which no time is given off to the people who celebrate it.  

This means that instead of being able to honor this time and receive paid time off, like Christmas, they have to continue working.

You might think that there are many more Christians than people from other religions in the U.S.; while this may be true, but it doesn’t mean their faith is irrelevant.

About 1% of the U.S. population is Muslim. This may seem like a small percent, but in reality, that is over 3.5 million people, and the numbers continue to grow.

Islam is the third largest religion in the U.S. next to Christianity and Judaism, which means there are even more Jewish people than Muslims.

This isn’t even counting Buddhism, Hinduism or any other spiritual affiliation.

I realize that as time goes on, Christmas is more of a secular holiday than a Christian one. We now associate reindeer and Santa Claus with Christmas rather than Jesus. Obviously, people can do whatever they want on Christmas.

There aren’t federal agents knocking on people’s doors to ensure they’re talking about Jesus. More than anything, it’s just the principle of it all.

I think some people are so focused on keeping America “one nation under God” that they forget to include the other people who maybe don’t believe in the same God or believe in something else entirely.

No one is inherently wrong in what they believe; I just think there is a lack of respect for people who practice other religions.

It’s no secret Americans have issues with how we treat other people based on their religion.

Since 9/11, Muslim people have been targeted because a few terrible people attacked our nation. As horrific as the attack was, this doesn’t mean that all Muslims are terrible people.

This is similar to the Catholic Crusades. These Catholic people were doing horrible things; however, this doesn’t mean that all Catholics are bad.

Having a country that only honors one religion can cause problems.

There are plenty of countries that are ruled by one religion and that religion dictates everything, including the government. We can see in these countries that there is little-to-no freedom and the people appear unhappy.

You would think that seeing this terrifying example would implore some people to change the way they think; too much of one thing can make it bad.

Yet, we still have some people who have no regard for Muslims or are still anti-Semitic even after all this time.

In order for everyone to feel safe, there must be a certain level of tolerance and understanding. Even if you don’t understand everything about certain people or religion, it is still important to educate yourself about them and be open-minded.

We cannot expect to learn and grow as a country if we are so stagnant in our beliefs and so simple-minded. People are only afraid of the things they don’t understand.