Like many Americans, I find Christmas to be my favorite holiday—yes, despite the commercial hype and stress that often accompanies it. I love the carols and the camaraderie and the spiritual renewal.
But every year we must remember that the United States was not founded as a particular Christian nation—at least as envisioned by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and others. Religious autonomy and competition in religion (not state monopoly) are every bit part of our freedoms, and these will be curtailed if we believe that "one right religion" is tied up in the manifest destiny of America.
Below are the views of George Washington, who responded to a letter from Jews in Newport:
While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.
The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security.
If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.
The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. (emphasis added)
It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
In this letter Washington demonstrates his devotion to pluralism; we are not a nation of Protestants, or Catholics, or Jews or anything else. Good government is good government; good citizenship speaks for itself—and requires no oath.