Photo: Doug Plummer/Getty
Americans as a whole are equally divided on whether religion has too much, too little, or the right amount of influence on politics. There are, however, large divisions between people with different political beliefs: almost half of Democrats think religion has too much influence and almost half of Republicans believe it has to little influence.
Read Article: Does Religion Have Too Much or Too Little Influence on Politics?
Christians and even most non-Christians typically regard Christmas as being at least innocuous if not a positive good. This opinion is not universally shared, though. Some are critical of Christmas, arguing that it has more negative aspects than positive ones - or even that there's nothing especially positive about it at all.
Read Article: Beware the Dangers of Christmas: Women Must Protect their Children from the Dangers in the Christmas Holidays
Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty
Sarah Silverman is a comedian who's become known for her biting critiques of religion which she incorporates in her stand-up comedy shows. It will thus come as no surprise that she describes herself as godless - such critiques can indeed come from believers, but they seem to come more often from nonbelievers who stand outside of religious traditions.
It's probably also no surprise that Sarah Silverman describes herself as "fascinated" by religion. Aside from the fact that her sister is a rabbi, people who don't care about religion don't also invest much effort into critiquing it. That said, though, what is a surprise - and a disappointment - is that despite admitting being godless, she thinks that other godless people are "obnoxious."
Christmas has long been a popular holiday in America -- largely due to the predominance of Christianity. Should it, however, remain an official government holiday? After all, the religious holidays of other faiths are not declared official holidays, so isn't this a form of favoritism towards Christianity? What this comes down to is a question over whether Christmas can/should be treated as a secular holiday (alongside whatever religious meaning which individuals might invest in it personally).
If Christmas is necessarily and inherently a religious holiday, then the government can't really get entangled in it -- which means the government cannot make it an official holiday with time off. If, however, Christmas is also a secular holiday without any necessary religious aspects, then the government is free to treat it like other secular holidays such as Memorial Day or the Fourth of July.
If Christmas were treated as a religious holiday, then some Christians would get uptight over the idea of not automatically having Christmas off from work, faced now with the prospect of actually having to use one of their own vacation or personal days in order to be home with their families. I can sympathize with this reaction, but what they fail to realize is that this is exactly the situation which has always faced the members of other religions. I wonder how many Christians have given any thought to how they can expect to have their major holidays automatically off while others have to use personal or vacation days -- assuming they can get off at all.
The status quo has traditionally been one of privileging Christians at the expense of other religions -- and since that privileging has persisted for so long, too many Christians have come to expect it as their right. They expect their holidays to be given priority over any other religion's holy days. A disturbingly similar situation has existed with every other case of Christianity losing its special, officially sanctioned status: school prayer, bible reading in school, etc. If our government treats Christian holidays like it treats other religious holidays, I won't be upset.
On the other hand, if Christmas is treated as a secular holiday, then Christians would be happy that they could continue to benefit, but wouldn't that be something of a pyrrhic victory? Christians who are most invested in the so-called "War on Christmas" would not be pleased, nor would any Christians who dislike how secular and commercialized Christmas has become. They can either preserve the practical aspect of a traditional privilege (days off from work) or they can preserve what they perceive as the Christian nature of Christmas. Which they choose will say a lot about what they really value.