Today’s Americans are extraordinarily twee about religion. On the one hand they print ‘In God We Trust’ on banknotes, insist their leaders have a religious belief, and cite ‘the Creator’ as granting the rights of the Constitution — at least 50 per cent say religion is very important to them, compared with 17 per cent in the UK. On the other hand, when it comes to Christmas, they row back. ‘Happy Holidays’ is the only acceptable greeting. Anything more specific might be judged offensive, intrusive, coercive. Jon Sopel, himself of Jewish stock, spotted a banner in Dulles airport, reading: ‘We hope you like our holiday trees.’ They were Christmas trees. ‘Don’t mention the baby Jesus, whatever you do,’ he wrote with amusement.