ActiveAndFit> I think everything that you say is right... but misses the point that zsocerstar was getting at.
While these holidays have become secularized, they are Christian in origin (even if early Christians borrowed them from elsewhere) and that is why these are legal holidays. (And seemingly every year there is a rash of cases of municipalities funding/erecting Nativity scenes).
Oh I understood what he was saying. Actually some of what I was saying was to tear away the notion that people really do those things for religious reason, but more for "popular reasons" like you are saying. Just because something is popular does not mean it is government sanctioned .. it just seems that way because it is, well, popular! One fact check though .. Easter is not really a "government" holiday as it always falls on Sunday which like Saturday is "conventionally" not a workday for many businesses. No place I ever worked for would give you Easter off unless you asked for it (seven day work places).
lol, see now I am wanting to talk too much. sorry.
Most of the Holidays in the U.S. are actually secular. Christmas is probably the only one that is really wearing a Christian "cloak" that people get off during a workweek. Look at the others (Federally recognized days off):
New Year’s Day
Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
See? The one "religious" day is pretty much just a popular/commercial thing.
Now concerning other's ("Jewish" for instance) religious Holidays: Did you know that I observed the seven Hebrew festivals for 8 years straight including the Sabbath/Saturday sunset to sunset? (not chanukah or purim though just the ones from Leviticus ) The reason I bring that up, that maybe people don't know, is that you can do so with the protection of the government in relation to school and work. When I did so, I could always present a document from my church (that I was going to at the time) to remind people that I was afforded that right to religious observance under non-discrimination law. So the government will actually respect others known religious holidays even if they are not Christian or on the calendar. I never had a problem with it. Even the seven day festival of booths. At most I might have had to take some paid or non-paid vacation, but then again I got the Christmas off too.
So there you go. The government is more secular than people think, and more tolerant than people think.
Now the average person on the street .. some are tolerant, some are not.
(see I was going somewhere with all that!)