Ross Douthat–Christmas is A Tough Season for Believers

Christmas is hard for everyone. But it’s particularly hard for people who actually believe in it.

In a sense, of course, there’s no better time to be a Christian than the first 25 days of December. But this is also the season when American Christians can feel most embattled. Their piety is overshadowed by materialist ticky-tack. Their great feast is compromised by Christmukkwanzaa multiculturalism. And the once-a-year churchgoers crowding the pews beside them are a reminder of how many Americans regard religion as just another form of midwinter entertainment, wedged in between “The Nutcracker” and “Miracle on 34th Street.”

These anxieties can be overdrawn, and they’re frequently turned to cynical purposes. (Think of the annual “war on Christmas” drumbeat, or last week’s complaints from Republican senators about the supposed “sacrilege” of keeping Congress in session through the holiday.) But they also reflect the peculiar and complicated status of Christian faith in American life. Depending on the angle you take, Christianity is either dominant or under siege, ubiquitous or marginal, the strongest religion in the country or a waning and increasingly archaic faith.

Read it all.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Christmas, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, History, Religion & Culture

4 comments on “Ross Douthat–Christmas is A Tough Season for Believers

  1. David Wilson says:

    And to tag on to the final point ….. And we all know what happened to the Roman Empire!

  2. Scatcatpdx says:

    Oh boy, more Chistless Christianity. I do not have any problem with Christmas, Christmas is about birth of our savior. I can car less what the world do. I do not expect Wall-Mart to acknowledge Christ, it not their job to be the church. Christians forget this is not a Christian world, please read the for three chapters of Romans if you think I am wrong.

  3. Teatime2 says:

    I’m feeling some of this “believer angst.” While at church on Sunday watching the Christmas pageant that was very well done as far as pageants go, I couldn’t help wondering if the Lord even wants His “birthday” celebrated. In ANY manner. I mean, how DO you appropriately mark the Incarnation of the One Who has always existed? Oh my, I’m sounding like a Puritan!

  4. Larry Morse says:

    Well, @3, if you don’t want to have q birthday party for Christ, what DO you plan to do about it? Ignore it? Larry