Though "Culture Wars" may rage over Christmas, the holiday brings a rare point of consensus among secular scholars and devout theologians: It ain't the birthday of Jesus, bub.
So little is known about the actual life of Jesus that the starting odds against it being December 25 are 365 to 1. Scholar Reza Aslan says the Gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus are mythical signposts intended to point to Christ's divinity. Former Pope Benedict XVI doubts both the date and the year. Those who take the Scriptures as evidence point out that even in the Middle East December is a cold and snowy month. No way shepherds would have kept watch over their flocks all night at that time of year.
In fact, the holiday we call Christmas was invented centuries after the founding of Christianity to redirect myriad folk celebrations tied to the apparent rebirth of the Sun after its winter dip below the southern horizon. But why should we be bound by the fascist dictates of a Roman emperor nearly 1,500 years ago? Let's move Christmas to where it best suits our needs.
That would be February 28. With apologies to Letterman, here are the top 10 reasons why:
#10 - Current Christmas is too close to Thanksgiving. By the end of February, we'll be ready to eat turkey again.
#9 - People injured in Black Friday melees will have healed enough to get out there and shop again.
#8 - Joy of the Season peaks way too early, followed by the most depressing months of the year. We need something special to look forward to before the spring thaw.
#7 - The new Christmas will overshadow the oh-so-sappy Valentine's Day and the all-too-awkward "Presidents Day." (Blend two birthdays and then shut down the mail? Is that any way to honor our most heroic leaders?)
#6 - Every four years, on the Leap Year, Christmas will be a double holiday. February 29 can be National Return and Regift Day!
#5 - At that time of year, there's a decent chance that Alaskan snows will ground Sarah Palin and prevent her from further spreading her theocratic revisionist history of Christmas in America.
#4 - The unpaid entertainers of collegiate football who currently work through the holiday preparing for meaningless "bowl" games will get to spend Christmas with their families for a change.
#3 - New Year's resolutions can be about hopes instead of regrets. ("I hope to be 10 pounds thinner by Christmas!")
#2 - Maybe moving Christmas to February, aka Black History Month, will help poor Megyn Kelly get over her insistence that an imaginary character called Santa just has to be white.
And the No. 1 reason to move Christmas to February? Bill O'Reilly would have an outrage seizure, and the asinine "War on Christmas" would finally be over.
Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward All.