The pagans must be entertained.
This Christmas the NBA has seen fit to schedule five, count them, five games on Christmas Day.
The cultural disrespect for virtually all things Christian began several decades ago when local governments abolished "blue laws." Those laws, while seemingly anacronistic in our age, upheld certain cultural norms that were thought, at the time, to promote the general welfare.
And while people were free to observe Christmas -- or not -- in their own way there was a concensus that prohibitions against the purchase of certain items and indeed the opening of stores on Sundays and Christmas was something to be discouraged.
Now, of course, anything goes, and Sundays and Christmas Day are just another day to make money.
Even Lakers coach Phil Jackson said this week ""I don't think anybody should play on Christmas Day ... I don't understand it. ... It's like Christian holidays don't mean anything to them anymore."
Jackson is right. Entertainment has replaced Emmanuel and self-indulgence has replaced the Savior in our culture.
But no one has the power to take the Christ out of Christmas because he defines the day and he stand astride eternity.
Cal Thomas is America's most widely read newspaper columnist and a Fox News contributor.
Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America". Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.