The “War on Christmas” is a seasonal favorite topic, but how real is it? Is there really a war?
It depends on who you ask.
If you’re Fox News front man Bill O’Reilly, there is most definitely a war, as we discussed on Monday this week: American Atheists have erected anti-Christmas billboards in the south. In early American history, the first war on Christmas was waged by, well, Christians (Puritans, to be exact). At the turn of the 20th century, working women rebelled against the practice of giving lavish gifts to their bosses. Returning to modern times, we discussed how some retailers are naughty and some are nice.
Today, we ask: What do Americans today think about Christmas?
In Texas, it’s pretty clear. By law you can say “Merry Christmas” in public schools without fear of penalty or retribution or frivolous lawsuits. “Merry Christmas” is protected speech in the Lone Star state. So is “Happy Hanukah.”
How about Americans elsewhere?
The vast majority of Americans celebrate Christmas, according to a Pew poll last year (I doubt things have changed much since then). And by vast I mean vast: nine of ten Americans celebrate Christmas. Most of these celebrants plan to spend time with friends and family, Pew reports.
Of course, not all of the celebrations are religious. Just over half of Americans (51%) say that Christmas is “more of a religious holiday.” About a third (32%) say it’s a cultural holiday. And 9% say it’s both (or something else).
Is the “War on Christmas” real?
Do you say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”?
Do you side with the American Atheists or Bill O’Reilly?
Your viewpoint is important!
You can leave a comment below. Or, you can talk with friends on Facebook. You’re also free to print out these columns and use them to spark discussion in your class or small group.