Yes, one supposes one had better, though one doesn't really need to. One assumes that had this not been an election year, the War On Christmas goofballs would have come out of the woodwork a day or two after Halloween. Perhaps Henninger is attempting to paraphrase the old Chesterton saw that people who don't believe in something will believe just about anything. I suppose his continued employment is proof enough of that.
For a professional scold, Henninger leaves this treacherous path from "good intentions" to "moral hazard" remarkably (if unsurprisingly) uncharted. To hear these bozos who blame the entire collapse on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- that is, the federal subsidizing of the working and lower-middle classes, as opposed to seven-figure Wall Street douchebags -- you would think that these poor, helpless bankers had been forced at gunpoint to grant no-money-down, no-questions-asked liar downs to people who couldn't calc out a simple debt-to-income ratio.
This sort of client vetting used to be the job of a person called an account manager, or a loan broker. It required awareness of the local market, the likelihood of regional overvaluation and imminent market corrections, and even somewhat rigorous oversight of the client's ability to pay the goddamned loan back in the first place.
Instead of doing those things, they sent people out -- again, apparently against their free will and rational self-interest -- to find suckers to sign on to these things, loaded with precipitous rate adjustments and payment schemes. The lure was the ability for those folks to then use their new house as an ATM to buy shit whose value would never be recouped. Vacations, new SUVs, whatever you need, baby. You've earned it.
Then the bad loans get bundled into a bunch of Excel hocus-pocus, and everyone shrugs their shoulders and wonders how this brilliant Ponzi scheme could have failed. Jesus H. Christ, it's actually surprising that it held out for as long as it did.
Anyway. Good intentions. Road to hell. Mad Max. Gotcha.
I'm almost on their side; Christmas would probably be more pleasant and meaningful if it were celebrated more like European countries do, with sacred cantatas and motets in impossibly old Romanesque cathedrals, ancient festivals of deeper cultural significance. But the culture of consumerism -- a culture, coincidentally enough, perpetuated in part by Henninger's own corporate bible and its clientele -- demands that we hang out in front of Wal-Mart for hours in the early post-Thanksgiving dawn, buy as much cheap shit as we can find, and culturally bond over the same Charlie Brown and Rudolph specials we've seen a thousand times.
And while Henninger has a reasonable point regarding the "R's", the first three were just as readily eschewed by the suits at the top as they were by the grasping rubes at the bottom. But only one of those groups is getting bailed out, the group who always, always finds ways to socialize the risks and pocket the rewards for themselves.
It has nothing to do with any spiritual belief, or lack of same, but rather it's symptomatic of a culture without an underlying ethos in general, secular or sacred. We've been conditioned for decades to buy stuff we don't need with money we don't have in order to die with the most toys or whatever, and now that everyone who hasn't yet filed for bankruptcy has gotten a clue and pulled back, now the problem is Not Enough Jeebus. Indeed, the megachurch mentality of reaping one's rewards while sucking up to an anglicized, idealized Jesus-like avatar, instead of letting virtue be its own reward, might have something to do with this as well.
Henninger and the rest of the Christmas Cops might do well to turn their stern gazes upon their own flock, who seem to have gotten the wrong idea about the ethical basis for their institutionalized superstitions.