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By Michael Ettlinger:
I don’t watch Bill O’Reilly’s Fox show very often, but I know one of his pet themes is the War on Christmas. He finds some story about a councilman in the City of East Whatever (pop. 23,000) who doesn’t want the town putting decorations on the city’s street lamps and uses it to prove that the secularization of America is destroying our culture and turning Christians into an oppressed minority.
He also harps on retail chains putting signs up in their stores that say “Seasons Greetings” or other such nondenominational postings instead of “Merry Christmas” or “Celebrate the Birth of Jesus.” This is also part of a conspiracy in his eyes. For a guy that loves the free market, you’d think he’d recognize the market at work. America’s major retailers certainly like to sell to Christians. But they are equally happy to sell to Jews, Muslims, Atheists, and Wiccans.
Putting a “Merry Christmas” sign in a shop window isn’t the same as putting up a sign that says “Only Christians need shop here.” But when a company spends millions of dollars on stores to make them both obviously and subtly welcoming and comfortable places that encourage good feeling and the laying down of cash and credit cards, why would they possibly want to put up a sign that identifies them with a cultural heritage of which a portion of their potential customers are not a part?