The War on Christmas

Reference: JSource Original

The “War on Christmas” is a term used by the Conservative Christian Right to signify a conspiracy to destroy the Christmas holiday in America. The phrase first came into widespread use during the early 2000s as concerns began to rise that the recognition of Christmas as a federal holiday was contradictory to the separation of Church and State.

Many government funded institutions, such as public schools, had begun to ban overt religious displays such as nativity scenes, in consideration of non-Christians. In recognition of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other winter holidays, many secular organizations (particularly retail stores) began to replace the phrase “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays,” an action that produced a major backlash in the Conservative Christian community. They responded with boycotts, rallies, and even Supreme Court cases (however unsuccessful), while spokespeople such as FOX News pundit Bill O’Reilly made claims that Liberals had declared war on Christmas.

Some within the Christian community view the War on Christmas from another side: they express concern that using the Birth of Christ to promote American consumerism is, in itself, anti-Christian. They propose that the manner in which Christmas is celebrated—emphasizing the exchange of gifts, and diminishing prayer and church attendance—is the real War on Christmas.

For Further Reading: Alex Altman, “A Brief History of the War on Christmas” (Time Magazine)