For this episode, I reached out to my Facebook friends to hear their thoughts on the alleged “War on Christmas.” Is this a real thing?
The first friend of mine is a self-identified born-again Christian named Cathy, for the purposes of this podcast. In our conversation, she recounts a time she and her daughter experienced religious prejudice in her Girl Scout group when they brought in a nativity set around the holidays, part of an assigned show in tell for all members to identify how they celebrated the holidays. They were told to keep it short and “not mention Jesus.” We learn here one interpretation of the war on Christmas; the omission of (or frowning upon) religion around the season.
Others, who feel threatened by this “war,” have made their voices heard in the most recent Starbucks debacle, in which the coffee chain served drinks in a plain red cup sans any holiday or wintery ornamentation. Some Christians believed the bland cup was an example of Americans bowing to political correctness and failing to acknowledge Jesus as the “reason for the season.”
My Mormon friend Frank McDonough feels the political correctness extends a lack of religious Christmas music being played in public places. He remembers singing religious songs in his old elementary school in Charleston, but believes that doing this today would risk a law suit. My friends Theresa and Pepi, a married lesbian couple, are happy to include any Christmas music into their home, so long as it’s danceable.
This podcast examines the divide between the War on Christmas, whether it exists, and where religious inclusion lies.
Us & Them is a joint project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting and Trey Kay Productions, with support from the West Virginia Humanities Council.