Mangers banned from the front of town halls; children forbidden from wishing one another Joyeux Noël. Welcome once again to the battle for Christmas!

It may look like Christianity is under serious attack from civic officialdom, but that’s not where the true danger lies.

The real bias against the Christian faith comes from the world of ideas. It is tempting to blame the “new atheists,” writers like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens, who became bestsellers by arguing against God. But if Christians want to understand why people have abandoned the church, they should look beyond these very public atheists.

If my encounters with students mean anything – not to mention the data from Statistics Canada that identify growing numbers of people who believe in God yet don’t belong to a church or other worshipping community – there is a significant preference in our culture (among younger people at least) to identify ourselves as “spiritual but not religious.”

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