Attacks on Christmas originate most often from the secular left but this year journalists have begun highlighting Yuletide criticism from disgruntled commentators on the religious right. These simultaneous assaults from both edges of the philosophical spectrum suggest that the sensible, middle-of-the-road approach to the holiday-- with its emphasis on jolly, joyous and distinctively American traditions-- remains worth cherishing and defending.
In USA TODAY, religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman filed a story under the headline “Where is Christ in Christmas?” and the newspaper illustrated it with a moonlit image of Santa on a rooftop, planting a giant cross in the chimney. The article cites the work of Michael Horton, professor of theology at Westminster Seminary in California, who suggests that “Christmas without the specter of the cross, without awareness that this is a baby born to die for mankind’s sins, is a fancied up fraud.” Professor Horton warns that “Santa becomes a substitute for Christ. He’ll give you presents whether you were good or bad. It’s hard to imagine Santa returning to judge the human race and consign anyone to hell. But that is what Jesus came to save us from.”