...while there isn't a war against Christmas, there is a significant chunk of this country - the most educated chunk, the chunk that runs the high-minded magazines and writes for the big newspapers and makes most of the movies...and teaches at the major universities and generally controls the commanding heights of the culture - that doesn't much care for Christianity, at least if it's practiced seriously and its basic dogmas are left intact. This reality is what drives the siege mentality among many Christians, and the popularity of O'Reilly-style conspiracy theorizing - the awareness that our majority-Christian country is saddled, for some reason, with an elite that approaches religious belief with a mix of bemusement, ignorance, and fear.
Of course the other side, the secular elite, feels under siege as well - they're in the minority, they don't control the the government, they thought we were past all that Christianity stuff, and they can't quite understand why a twenty-first century educated class should have to put up with a bunch of benighted yahoos who buy tickets to The Passion of the Christ and elect Presidents like George W. Bush. (The Europeans don't have to deal with this kind of nonsense, after all . . .) So everybody feels disempowered, and everybody has a point - which is why the Christmas wars are fake, but the culture war is real.
December 20, 2005
Ross Douthat writes:
Posted by TS at 12:55 PM