Terry Mattingly at the Get Religion blog is on my wavelength on the Bush's-clumsy-over-Christmas issue (as opposed to my pal Kathryn Lopez, who suggests I shouldn't be spouting silly Bush wimp nonsense.) He says Bush's joke the other day cheekily replacing Jesus with Santa as our Christmas savior is "a sign of how tone deaf the whole Bush clan is about the cultural style and lingo of evangelical Christianity. I know there are people who think that George W. is a raging theocrat, but I just don’t see it." He contrasts this year's joke with 2002's earnest Christian commentary.
I'm not saying Bush's Christianity isn't sincere, and he's not just president of Christian America. But he does seem quite spooked out of being a public personal Jesus freak like he was in the 2000 primaries. It's easy to see how the freaked-out secular liberal media might discourage you. Perhaps it's never been the same since 2001 began the Era of We're Not At War With Islam, the Peaceful Religion. If the Christmas card flap started by the Washington Post is much ado about nothing (and I can be sympathetic to that view), it's also worth noting that it wouldn't ruin him to stick to a few statements like his Christmas message in 2002.