By Rachel Laser and David P. Gushee
One of us is getting excited to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the other just finished making her first batch of homemade latkes, but we both believe the claim that there is a “War on Christmas” is false. We walk city streets adorned in Santa’s sleighs and pine trees twinkling with red and green lights. We listen to secular radio stations broadcasting Christmas music 24/7 from the moment we have eaten our last piece of Thanksgiving turkey. Rudolph movie marathons grace several channels. And wishes of a Merry Christmas begin on Dec. 1 no matter what holidays you celebrate.
The reality is that you could not avoid a Christmas experience in America if you tried. Yet for some, this is not enough. The cries of a “War on Christmas,” a seasonal staple of the Religious Right, echo through the decked halls. Like your great aunt’s fruitcake (if you’re Christian), the claim comes back around every year.
The “War on Christmas” trope traditionally played mostly on conservative radio and the Fox News Channel until it was adopted by President Donald Trump. During the 2016 campaign, Trump insisted that we would say “Merry Christmas” again, asserting, without providing any evidence, that people had stopped.
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