The recent statement by a Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly illustrates well why historical Jesus research is so important. Jesus has become a powerful myth, indeed more than one, and has been coopted in the service of a great many ideologies. Nothing provides as effective a counter to the infinite range of things that Jesus has become and may yet become, than historical evidence does.
Ironically, Kelly was emphasizing that Santa Claus was white, just like Jesus (and equally historical, it sounds like). Santa Claus the myth can become any color, just as Jesus the myth can. But the historical St. Nicholas, from the region of modern-day Turkey, was probably at most only a shade closer to Kelly's definition of whiteness than Jesus was.Of course, historical evidence is only effective as an antidote to ideological distortion of evidence, if people are willing to listen. And so willful ignorance can provide an antidote to the antidote.