Rediscovering American Values this Christmas

As 2006 draws to a close and the Christmas season is upon us, it’s a time for all of us to count our blessings — and look ahead to a New Year.

As for blessings, our families and loved ones come first of course. As you may know, I am a grandfather of two. The America my grandchildren will inherit is my inspiration and motivation to win the future each day.

And it may sound sentimental, but I am also grateful this Christmas season to be an American, to enjoy the blessings of liberty and the comfort of prosperity that is the result of our unique American civilization.

Our Values Are Not What Is Wrong With America: They Are What Is Right

America’s reputation abroad has suffered some blows this year. But there is an America here at home that works — brilliantly so. We are the most creative, innovative, compassionate and productive nation in history– and we shouldn’t be afraid to say so. Not because we need to gloat about our wealth and success, but because the American values that created this wealth and success are under attack.

What are these values? Hard work. Believing in a better future. Personal responsibility. But too often, elites and the liberal media see hard work as exploitation. They call a belief in a better future cock-eyed optimism. And they think the words “personal responsibility” are code for indifference to poverty and misfortune.

But these values are not what is wrong with America. They are what is uniquely right about our country. In the weeks and months ahead, I will be talking about how we can combine these values with advances in science, technology and productivity to create a better American future.

There’s Nothing Controversial About Christmas in America

And there is another American value that is under assault this Christmas: our belief that our rights come from God, and how this belief has shaped the history and traditions of America.

Are you as tired of the so-called “war on Christmas” as I am? The fact is, despite the best efforts of liberal special interest groups and activist judges, there’s nothing controversial about Christmas in America. Americans overwhelmingly celebrate and enjoy Christmas. And even most of those who don’t acknowledge the holiday don’t begrudge their fellow Americans’ getting in the yuletide spirit.

95% of Americans are Not Offended by ‘Merry Christmas’

Consider those two little words that have become “controversial” in the holiday season: Merry Christmas. The Zogby Poll found that 95% of Americans are not offended by being greeted with “Merry Christmas” when holiday shopping. In fact, 46% actually take offense when they are greeted with “Happy Holidays.”

This is not about forcing your religious beliefs on anyone else. It’s about not allowing a very small number of unelected judges and advocates to turn our freedom of religion into their freedom from religion.

America is founded on the idea that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. That means our rights come from God, not the government, and acknowledging our Creator in our public spaces — be they our courthouses or our shopping malls — is an indispensable part of who we are.

So this holiday season, take a break from the war on Christmas — your fellow citizens will thank you for it. Just go ahead and say it: Merry Christmas, America

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

P.S. – Do You Have a New Year’s Resolution for Washington?

Last week in “Wining the Future,” I told you about my hope that 2007 will be a year of solutions and dialogue, not negative politics as usual. In that spirit, I am asking you, the “Winning the Future” community, to send me your New Year’s resolutions for Washington. Tell me what you hope gets accomplished by our leaders in the nation’s capital in 2007. They can be anything from what you would like to see done to transform our health care system to how we can protect and support expressions of faith in our public spaces. Send your New Year’s resolutions for Washington to The best will be featured in the New Year’s edition of “Winning the Future.”

P.P.S. – For more about the role of our Creator in the history and heritage of America, read my book, Rediscovering God in America.