Nah, scoffs the Washington Post, there's no war on Christmas. It's all in the mind of well, you know ... "Kirk Cameron can breathe easy: the War on Christmas is over. Jesus won," writes the Post's Chris Ingraham. "That's the implication of a new Pew Research Center survey."
Conservatives such as Fox News talk-show hosts Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly have long warned of a “War on Christmas,” citing moves by retailers, public schools and local governments to remove references to Christmas from displays and celebrations.
But Cameron had nothing to worry about when he created this year's Yuletide hit, "Saving Christmas," writes the Post reporter.
Well, Ingraham reasons that nearly three-quarters of Americans -- 73 percent -- believe that Jesus was literally born to a virgin, according to the Pew survey. "This is especially surprising when you consider that only one third of Americans say that the Bible is the word of God and should be understood literally.
"In other words, about 40 percent of Americans say the Bible should, in general, not be taken literally, but they nevertheless believe in the virgin birth. In addition, 81 percent say Jesus was laid in a manger, 75 percent say that the three wise men brought him gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh, and 74 percent say that his birth was announced by an angel to the shepherds."
"In all," writes Ingraham, "Pew reports that 65 percent of Americans believe all four key elements of the Christmas story are to be taken literally. This is more than the percentage who express confidence in evolution, global warming, or the efficacy of vaccines.
"Another sign that the War on Christmas is over: 72 percent of Americans say nativity scenes should be allowed on government property. 44 percent say nativity scenes should be allowed even if symbols from other religious faiths are prohibited. Only one in five Americans say nativity scenes shouldn't be allowed on government property at all.
"Or take this datapoint, from 2012: when asked whether they prefer 'Merry Christmas' or a generic holiday greeting, a plurality said it didn't matter. Among those with a preference, Americans preferred 'Merry Christmas' by a 4-to-1 margin. Even non-religious Americans prefer 'Merry Christmas' by nearly 3-to-1.
"So, looking at this data, it's hard to find a true War on Christmas," writes Ingraham, who in typical Washington Post tradition chose to ignore a news release delivered to its front desk that AtheistTV has unveiled its “War on Christmas” line-up on their little-viewed television channel.
The line-up features “original programs proclaiming the truth about Christmas on December 24 and December 25, featuring scholars and celebrities from the atheist community,” writes Valerie Richardson in the Washington Times.
“Christmas is hard for many atheists, so we will provide programming free from superstition and fairy tales that allows families to watch together and not worry about being preached at,” American Atheists President Dave Silverman said in a statement.
AtheistTV’s slate of “holiday-inspired specials” probably won’t make anyone forget “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” notes Richardson. "They include a speech by Council for Secular Humanism Executive Director Tom Flynn and an episode of the atheist viewpoint titled, ‘Is Christmas a Religious Holiday?'”
There’s also the “Xmas 2009” episode of The Atheist Experience and episodes of The Atheist Voice with The Friendly Atheist blogger Hemant Mehta, according to the press release.
The AtheistTV channel was launched worldwide on July 29 and can be accessed via Roku set-top boxes or as a free online stream at www.atheists.tv, the release said.