As Christmas approaches, the conservative war (purportedly on its behalf) seems decidedly unchristian. Sara Palin chides the President for sending out a holiday card that does not wish people a blessed Christmas. Of course, Palin knows that Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, and agnostics would receive these cards. Sending them a Christmas card would be insulting. Palin knows this too. The mystery is what Palin’s point has to do with Christianity. Similarly, conservative Christians demand that people in department stores say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” The same objection applies, but with a twist. Department stores are not spiritual beings. They will order their employees to say “Merry Christmas” if, but only if, it is profitable to do so. I am guessing that conservative Christians hope to use economic pressure to bring department stores around. If so, I understand the economic strategy; it’s the connection to Christianity that escapes me.
To put it another way, if the cross means anything, genuine Christianity is far removed from the will to power.