Every year, Fox News Channel devotes hours to the so-called “War on Christmas.” It makes a sensational story. It panders to Christians and conservatives. It builds ratings. But it’s simply not true.
There is no such war.
Sure, as a result of the Constitution’s establishment clause, Christians are denied the right to place nativity scenes on the lawns of statehouses, county courthouses and on other public properties. Yes, public schools can no longer have Christmas pageants. Yes, governments and most mainstream media now call decorated evergreens “Holiday Trees.” But signs of Christmas are on display everywhere – at tens of thousands of Christian churches, at Christian schools, and at millions of private homes.
In fact, you could more properly decry a war on Paganism. After all, the tradition of displaying a decorated tree predates Christianity by thousands of years. It was initially a Pagan tradition. And December 25th is not the anniversary of Christ’s birth (according to many religious historians, that actually occurred in Spring). Early Christians likely changed the anniversary to coincide with the Roman Pagan celebration of Saturnalia which ended on December 25th.
All of this aside, isn’t it better that the joyful spirit of the season be non-ecumenical to include everyone, and to allow each religion to share in the holidays without feeling left out? That would be more in keeping with the teachings of Jesus than some phony attempts by a few media pundits to divide us and to create anger toward others.