Ok, I totally get that if I want to avoid hypocrisy, I need to follow my own advice.  Therefore, I have rewritten “Jesus vs. Santa” with an intent to remove the hurtful tone that alienated my audience.  This is serious introspection here, folks.  But feel free to mock me if my humility seems insincere. 

America is truly a unique collection of diverse faces and faiths, and no place is this more evident than in our holiday celebrations.  But across all winter traditions, this season remains a time of love, joy, and peace.  While Christmas is the most widely honored winter holiday in the country, its origins come from a variety of religious and non-religious practices and it is one of many winter holidays celebrated by Americans. Although Christianity remains the most prevalent organized religon in the US, there are millions of Americans who celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Ramadan, Winter Solstice and other winter traditions.   It is a marvelous testament to the unity of our people to see a growing movement toward a secular holiday with both a public and personal emphasis on tolerance and respect. This desire to blend the winter holiday celebrations is not an effort to exlude any particular faith, rather it is recognition that each American celebrates this season as a unique representation of their heritage and beliefs.  Many have elected to send cards with more inclusive messages, and businesses, politicians and mainstream media have molded their efforts to appeal to our ever-changing populace. 

America has always been a diverse nation, but  over the course of a generation or two we have diversified to the point where non-Christian religious practices have become far more popular than the times of our grandparents.   Although some traditionalists resist a government  acknowledgement of a secular winter holiday tradition, the foundation of this country rests upon a bedrock of personal liberty and religious freedom preventing the government from making laws that “respect an establishment of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof.”   When our leadership recognizes these months as a season of giving, no citizen is excluded. Everyone may decorate their homes as they choose and attend religious ceremonies in their places of worship, while partaking in the national atmosphere of  brotherhood and acceptance. 

The current trend to remove nativity scenes and other Christmas symbols as government sanctioned icons has been met with displeasure by some well-meaning Christians.   Yet, these changes promote an environment of tolerance that, if embraced by everyone as a conscious desire for inclusion, can only serve to unify us as a nation.  When we agree on a united secular representation, we come together in a national celebration of the magic of the season.   

Afterall, this is the season of family and forgiveness.  It is only fitting that we should recognize this period in a way that welcomes every American and every person as a valued member of the human family.  

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