Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas is not Christian

I got a call from a friend last night and she was laughing hysterically. She had received my Christmas card. You, sent a Christmas card? I can't believe it, she said. What, I said, I am not allowed to wish you a Merry Christmas because I am an atheist? Of course, she said, it is a Christian Holiday. No, it isn't.

The truth is that Christmas is no more owned by the Christians than the American government. Sure, there's some genuine Christian content to the holiday. Originally celebrated as early as 354 AD by the Christian church, it most definitely is a Christian holiday -- to Christians. Even so, modern Christians may not want to spend too much time pushing their own holiday's historical context. Through most of the Middle Ages, Christmas might have been a celebration of Jesus' birth in name, but it was a celebration of booze and debauchery in practice. It wasn't until the 19Th century that it became a child-focused family holiday

In a broader perspective, there has always been the needling realization by Christians in various times and places that very, very few of the traditional celebratory practices or images are about Jesus. They are much older, much more Pagan, and ultimately, at odds with the prevailing message of the Christian Christmas story.

To the Christians who claim there's a War on Christmas, here's the bitter reality: The only war is the one being waged by Christians trying to rewrite history -- again -- to make it seem like Christmas has always been some kind of love-fest for Jesus. American Christmas in particular has been almost the polar opposite. It was largely ignored until it became remade into a good story line for a children's movie -- not a movie about Christ's sacrifice, but a movie about a magical gingerbread house in the North Pole, and Jolly Old Santa, and Rudolph, and Frosty, and the Grinch.

Read more here.


Anakalia said...

Reminds me of my post last year: http://anakalianwhims.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/reason-for-the-season/

rick b said...

Again, I agree with you. As a Christian I dont believe
Christmas is a Christian Holiday. I dont argue with Christians and tell them it's not and I know many Christians that also dont believe it is a Christian Holiday, but they just go along with it and say Merry Christmas and buy gifts for friend or family. Also we have never taught our kids about Santa, we have Always told them the truth about Christmas and that santa is not real. If you want to see a good movie, it's fiction but tells about santa, it is called "Rare Exports" It is a not very graphic foreign horror movie.