Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the term Merry Christmas a religious greeting?
A: No. The term has its origins in England. The word merry means pleasant or joyous. To wish one a “Merry Christmas” means to wish them well in celebrating a season of festivity or rejoicing. Over time some such association of the word became connected to raucous celebration and, more specifically, drinking. That is why the phrase “Happy Christmas” is sometimes more commonly used in the U.K. There is nothing remotely religious in saying “Merry Christmas”.

Q: Does Christmas have to be a religious celebration?
A: No. History well documents Christmas celebration completely unconnected to anything religious.

Q: Was Christmas celebrated before Christ?
A: Definitely. And that celebration was completely religious. Ever hear the words “For unto us a Child is born…”? Those were penned by the Bible prophet Isaiah more than 500 years before Bethlehem. The coming of Christ was anticipated and celebrated widely in religious societies as noted in a variety of scriptures.

Q: Can Christmas be celebrated in public schools and on public property?
A: Yes. The Supreme Court has ruled on this many times.

Q: Can a government building or property be used to display a Nativity scene?
A: Yes. The Supreme Court has supported this many times as well. Most localities adopt a policy of allowing equal time and space for many views. These are free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Q: Does the U.S. Constitution prohibit government acknowledgment of Christmas?
A: Absolutely not. The Constitution prohibits the establishment of religion by the government. Christmas songs performed in schools, Christmas trees in airports, and Christmas decorations on public property do not establish a religion.

Q: Did Christians steal Christmas from pagans?
A: No. While there are many elements of Christmas such as the use of evergreens with clear pagan roots Christmas even out dates most pagan histories. The more appropriate question is “Does paganism have its roots in Christianity?”

Q: Is Santa an anagram for Satan?
A: Only in English and only amongst the extremes. Santa Claus has many ancient ties, some consider evil and others considered quite holy. The modern image of Santa was largely crafted over the course of the past 200 years and it is nothing like any of its ancient origins.

Q: Does Christianity frown on the celebration of Christmas or the use of Christmas trees?
A: Some do, embracing the same argument that some humanists do about the pagan roots of many modern Christmas symbols. These ideas are historical short-sightedness.

Q: Is it wrong for retailers to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas?
A: No. Happy Holidays is an American phrase that originally embraced the combined holiday season of Christmas and New Years. Using it is not anti-Christmas.

Q: Is there a War on Christmas?
A: Not really. Christmas is merely a vehicle employed by those fighting the presence and influence of religion in society or by opposing forces with media influence to denounce anti-religious proponents. For those who celebrate Christmas in whatever way they choose Christmas shows no signs of diminishing or going away.

Q: Was Christmas as a holiday established in the United States as a federal religious holiday?
A: No. It was crafted as a means to resolve a labor dispute. Federal workers wanted Christmas off just like their private sector counterparts. Religion had nothing to do with it.

Q: Why do atheists hate Christmas?
A: Most don’t. In fact, many atheists celebrate Christmas. Some atheist organizations claim hate for Christmas and represent atheists in that light, much to the chagrin and regret of atheists who keep Christmas in their own way.

Q: Some godless individuals celebrate Winter Solstice instead of Christmas. Does that make sense?
A: Not at all. Winter Solstice was anciently celebrated as a purely religious observance. Adoption of Winter Solstice by humanists as a protest against Christmas is wildly ironic and, in many ways, ignorant.

Q: Is Christmas sacred or secular?
A: It is both.

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