Many of the UK’s local councils are abandoning the true meaning of Christmas in their Christmas cards, a new study has revealed.
According to a Christian Institute survey, barely half of councils now send cards or other greetings which specifically mention Christmas.
On BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback show Simon Calvert, spokesman for the Institute, responded to secular calls for the removal of Christian messages from cards.
Debating with Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, Mr Calvert warned about secularists who want to “wipe out Christ from Christmas”.
Institute Director Colin Hart commended local authorities who decided to include a meaningful Christmas message in their cards:
“Well done to those public officials who have chosen to shun the saccharine sentiment of ‘Happy Holidays’ for Christmas cards that celebrate the coming of Jesus.”
He continued: “The birth of Christ is a cause for deep joy not PC inflicted embarrassment.
“The Scrooge-like approach of some councils to take Christ out of Christmas is a denial of the wonderful truth of the Christmas story as well as an affront to this country’s Christian heritage.
“This has all the hallmarks of another attempt by publicly funded bodies to airbrush Christianity out of public life.”
Banbridge Council in Northern Ireland is sending out a Christmas card which does mention the birth of Christ.
The message inside the card reads: “As we celebrate the birth of Christ may God’s love be with you this Christmas season and evermore.”
North Down Borough Council, also in Northern Ireland, chose to send a card designed by a schoolgirl which reads “Jesus loves us”.
However out of the 191 councils who supplied details of their official Christmas greetings, 27 per cent are not sending cards, reportedly due to budget cuts.
An additional 17 per cent are sending cards which do not even have a passing reference to Christmas.
Many of the messages offer variations of the phrase “Seasons Greetings”, while some simply wish people “all the best for the ‘festive period'”.