Daniel Mach, director of ACLU’s program on freedom of religion and belief, is quoted in a recent USA Today article about Sarah Palin’s new book Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas:
“Culture warriors have spread the myth of a fanciful ‘war on Christmas’ for years. This is largely a manufactured controversy. Christmas celebrations in this country are alive and well.”
Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia adds,
“There is no war on Christmas.”
I have lived through 82 Christmases, and the celebration of Christ’s birth has changed substantially since the Thirties when:
- “Merry Christmas,” not “Happy Holidays” was the standard greeting.
- Schools offered Christmas Concerts, not Winter Concerts.
- Christmas carols were sung in schools.
- Christmas cards outnumbered Holiday cards.
- People decorated Christmas trees, not Holiday Trees.
- Store clerks were permitted to wish customers a "Merry Christmas."
In the past 100 years, Christmas practices have changed dramatically, but the fact remains December 25 is not simply a “holiday.” It continues to be a celebration of the birth of Christ, and no amount of semantic manipulation can change that fact!