Two things many Americans have in abundance this Christmas are fear and uncertainty.

Our debt profile is quite dismal with the average credit card debt now at $15,279. The biggest number is mortgage debt, which now averages $149,456 per household. Student loan debt is second, now averaging $32,140, which marks a 12.3 percent increase over last year.

The Affordable Care Act is filled with uncertainty. With the Baby Boomer generation aging and with a possible doctor shortage looming because less people are going into medicine, a perfect storm is facing the health care system.

The anxiety level soars when health coverage affects us personally, such as losing your doctor, being denied access to medication or seeing medical bills go through the roof.

When facing fear and uncertainty, faith often becomes an anchor for many Americans. That's why a billboard recently posted by an atheist organization in Times Square is causing such outrage.

It states: "Who needs Christ during Christmas? Nobody." Then, it says, "Celebrate the true meaning of XMAS!" That is supported with words, including charity, family, Chinese food and the Rockettes.

When asked how Christmas can be celebrated without Christ one priest said it's like saying that the Winter Solstice should be celebrated without winter. It just doesn't make sense.

The secularization of Christmas has been going on for decades but attacks have sharpened in recent years. That's sad because personal stress levels are also escalating.

For many of those needy or in dire straits, faith offers a bastion of hope.

By Jim Zbick

editor@tnonline.com