Many American newspapers reprint in their Christmas Eve editions the famous editorial from the 1897 New York Sun, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," and we are no exception. The full text of the editorial is reprinted today on this page.
Like the author of that editorial, Francis P. Church, our thoughts this Christmas Eve also turn to some of the letters we received from readers during this Christmas/Holiday Season. And like Church it's the pessimism of many of those letters that we would seek to dispel.
In case you are not a regular reader of this page, the letters we are referring to are those that take a stand one way or another on how Americans should express or not express their religious views in public places such as businesses, schools and public property.
Strong feelings have been expressed over the past few weeks on these issues, and this year, it would appear, the feelings run deeper and stronger in the wake of the presidential election just past, in which the candidates' "moral values" were reportedly at issue. It is our view that that aspect of the election has been over-emphasized, that George W. Bush was re-elected because Americans believed that overall he was a better candidate. It is also often overlooked that Bush was the incumbent, and ousting a sitting president is an uphill battle under any circumstances, but particularly in a time of war - no matter how unpopular that war may be.