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War on Christmas? Get ready to have fun talking politics over the holidays

2016I get a news release this week from Fairleigh Dickinson University about a poll that the school had conducted on the War on Christmas nonsense, and should have thrown it out for the trash that it is.

But then the namesake for our publication started burning to the ground over similar fundamentalist claptrap, and I did a doubletake.

Forty-seven percent of those surveyed by FDU agree with the statement, “There has been a concerted effort by politicians to take ‘Christ’ out of Christmas.”

Forty-eight percent disagree. Two years ago, the last time people responsible for this kind of stuff at Fairleigh Dickinson ran out of other stuff to poll about, the split was 65 percent disagree/28 percent agree.

“Many have complained about an effort to strip the holidays of a Christian influence,” said Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of PublicMind. “Starbucks bore the brunt of the criticism this year with its plain red holiday cups. The public is also unhappy with politicians sidestepping the Christmas word.”

Really? Obviously I’m missing out on … a lot. I knew about the stupidity involving Starbucks. I don’t even like coffee, but I’ve made it a point to go through the drive-through several times since that artificial flashpoint got lighted.

But this politicians avoiding saying Christmas … interesting.

Doesn’t it seem like some people are going out of their way to be upset about nothing? It has been forever since Christmas wasn’t primarily an orgy of secular greed wrapped around an iota of religious meaning.

The popular meme “Don’t take the Christ out of Christmas” was obsolete before memes were even a thing.

The War, such as it is, has already long since been lost, or won, depending on one’s perspective.

Not surprisingly, there is a partisan divide on the extent of the issue. Thirty-six percent of Democrats agree that politicians are “taking Christ out of Christmas,” whereas 64 percent of Republicans hold that view.

That number seems way low, incidentally.

FDU’s pollsters gauged opinion on another related matter: involving talking politics at holiday gatherings.

(Yes, they actually referred to them as “holiday gatherings” in the press release. Who’s taking Christ out of Christmas now?)

Anyway. No, we don’t want to talk politics over Christmas. Sixty percent said, no politics, with 35 percent saying, sure, I can’t wait for my drunk uncle to go off on Obama.

(No, the question wasn’t actually worded that way.)

Bad news for half of you: your Republican family members can’t wait to talk politics. Well, just less than half of them (49 percent). Sixty-three percent of Democrats want more egg nog.

“Even though opinion is divided among Republicans, it looks like you’re going to have an easier time getting a Republican to debate you at a gathering than it will be if you find yourself in a war of words with a Democrat. The 2016 presidential election seems to animate GOPers more than those on the other side,” Jenkins said.

Which is another way to put it.

– Column by Chris Graham