Monday, December 11, 2006

R-65 Christmas, pagans and religious divergence

Christmas, pagans and religious divergence
Happy holidays!

Have I just offended you? If you are a member of the American Family Association, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights or the Committee to Save Merry Christmas, I probably have..... Yet there is a deep, and seasonal, irony here - one that might come as a shock to the "Save Merry Christmas" crowd.

For Christmas is, in its origins and its symbolism, perhaps the most pagan-inspired of all Christian holidays. Its dating derives from the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, which was determined by the winter solstice, that astronomical point in the year after which the periods of sunlight on Earth lengthen.

And that's not all that contemporary Christians have in common with neo-pagans. Most of the popular symbols surrounding Christmas - evergreen trees and other greenery, mistletoe and holly, the Yule log, candles and bonfires and holiday lights, mystical spirits with the ability to fly and to enter and leave a house through its chimney, tricksters who treat or taunt little children, not to mention those elves - all derive from older, pre-Christian Europe.

These pagan-derived symbols and customs are precisely the elements of Christmas that Christian activists are pressing to preserve and promote, in venues such as Target and Macy's. Compounding the irony even further, these are the symbols that federal and state courts have determined make a holiday display sufficiently "secular" to warrant its construction on public property at taxpayer expense. All of which goes to illustrate what's wrong when any one religious group or government entity claims the ability to determine what constitutes "religion" in America.

In fact, nothing could be more in keeping with the "Christmas spirit" than to embrace and celebrate religious diversity. And nothing could be truer to the spirit of the First Amendment than to honor American war dead as they and their loved ones would wish. No single group of self-proclaimed Christians holds a premium on the meaning of this magical season. And no government agency should decide what "qualifies" as an appropriate religious symbol.

And so, no offense intended, but season's greetings.

**************************** says a me comment ******************************

Did you also know that "Christsmas" is not mentioned in the bible and that Easter is also only mentioned once in after thought sort of way.... Says a lot for the two most important Christian holidays and also how twisted the Christian religion really is...

"Food for thought"


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