Since its founding, our country has been a majority Christian nation. That's not to say that these Christians agreed on everything. It seems that there were as many different flavors of Christianity then as there were religions in the world and perhaps more; the same holds true today.
Because of these differences our founding fathers were wise enough to construct our Constitution on the foundation of liberty and freedom. They envisioned a public square not with an absence of religion but rather with a riotous tapestry of religious thought and expression; even if that religion was based on the faith that there's no God at all.
What these men from various religions and varying degrees of faith were most afraid of is that the government would choose one religion over the others even if that religion were a form of Christianity.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.Unfortunately over the last twenty or thirty years, one religious voice has gained a measure of dominance over the others. In the name of religious freedom this voice has worked tirelessly to reduce or even remove the voice of Christianity in the public square.
It's ironic but often true that groups will use the banner of freedom and tolerance to in fact restrict the freedoms of others. The freedoms of religion, speech, the press, and assembly are freedoms designed specifically for the expression of thought even or especially when that thought is religious in nature.
We've often held that if you do not allow your views or beliefs to be challenged, perhaps you need to re-examine those beliefs and the reasons for them. The same is true for religious belief. If your faith can not withstand the simple expression of "Merry Christmas," then perhaps you should re-examine your own faith - even if that faith is a certainty in the absence of God.
So... to those of you of the Christian faith (no matter which one) who will be celebrating Christmas, we wish you a very Merry Christmas. For those of you who are of different faiths - what ever they may be - we wish you a Merry Christmas as an expression of our faith not as an attack on yours.
----- Editors Note -----
This post first appeared December 24th, 2007. On this Christmas Eve when our freedom is under attack by the very people who have sworn to protect it, our expressions of faith are more important than ever.
Celebrate your faith and take joy in your freedom. Those things that go uncelebrated will exit our lives. Merry Christmas!