Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas

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It's the holiday season, but if you're not calling it Christmas this year, watch out. After twenty years of seeing Christmas parades turn into holiday parades, Christmas vacations into "winter break", and town hall Nativity scenes into snowmen, Christmas crusaders from Jerry Falwell to Bill O'Reilly and more say they've had enough.

America's Puritan forebears may have shunned Christmas as a heathen blowout. It's 20th century defenders may have despaired at its commericialization. But its latest champions see a new culture war to win and want Christmas everywhere. "We're kicking their butts," says Falwell. And Merry Christmas to you.

Hear about Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and the greetings of the season.


Bill Hendrick, features writer, Atlanta Journal Constitution. His article "Happy Holidays? The Flap over Christmas" appeared in Tuesday's paper.

Robert Schenk, President, Faith and Action, a Christian public policy organization. He is a board member of the Evangelical Church Alliance, the oldest association of evangelical clergy and churches.

Melissa Rogers, professor of religion and public policy at Wake Forest University Divinity School. She is former executive director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Stephen Nissenbaum, professor emeritus of History, University of Massachusetts. He was a Pulitzer-Prize finalist for his book "The Battle for Christmas: A Cultural History of America's Most Cherished Holiday."

This program aired on December 9, 2005.


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