Holiday trees. Seasons Greetings. Carols devoid of religious references. Is there a "war on Christmas," as some cable news commentators and politicians believe?
John Fea, a Messiah College history professor, does not deny that there has been a shift in how Christmas is celebrated in the United States in the 21st century. But as he looks back into the country's past, investigating arguments by conservative political personalities like Sarah Palin and Bill O'Reilly calling for a return to the United States' "golden age" of Christmas, he is not convinced that such an era ever existed.
A scholar who specializes in early American history, Fea says that the claim that the U.S. once placed "the incarnation and the birth of Christ at the center of American culture," simply does not hold up historically.
"I would argue historically that Christmas in the sort of truly Christian understanding of the idea—that Jesus Christ came in the form of a man—that has never, never in American history been the primary motivation for why people celebrate Christmas," Fea told The Christian Post.