Let me start by saying YES, I do believe in the Christian faith. NO – this article has zip to do with Santa being “white,” which might I add is the dumbest thing to argue over ever (grown people fighting over the ethnicity of an imaginary person)! I’m here to tell you that there is NO left wing conspiracy to get rid of Xmas. I hope that you (the reader) aren’t one of the people stuck in the right wing echo box who gets fed this “news” with very little ground to stand on. This is just another case of the right attempting to be mad about something there’s simply no reason to be mad about – imagine that.
Saturnalia: The Original “Christmas”
Fact number 1– the bible does not give an actual birth date for Jesus Christ. If anyone has told you otherwise, they’re simply lying. All the way up until the Renaissance which seen the birth of the Protestant religions, Catholicism was the only form of Christianity in existence (as all others were considered heresy). That didn’t happen until the Roman emperor Constantine took power in 306 AD and began to form what we know today as Christianity (hence the term Roman Catholic), including creation of the modern bible at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD.
Fact number 2– the origins for December 25th are actually rooted in a pagan holiday called Saturnalia (along with sol invicta which celebrated the winter solstice). To easily summarize this – before Romans were converted to Christianity they worshiped Pagan gods (we all know the Roman/Greek mythology) and even after the start of the Christian conversion of the Roman Empire many people were reluctant to switch over. So, the Romans then started a campaign to convert these people who still were Pagans to Christianity by allowing them to “keep” their celebration – which for them was Saturnalia – and just call it something else. This proved to be effective and helped convert many Pagans.
Fact number 3– almost all of our Christmas traditions have roots in Paganism. The Christmas tree is a “17th century German invention” that actually comes from the pagan tradition of bringing greenery indoors to decorate for midwinter. Even mistletoe has roots in the Saturnalia festival. Santa Clause (who’s race still remains unknown… sarcasm) is our version of the English “Father Christmas” but all incarnations of this story derive from the Pagan belief that spirits traveled through the sky during midwinter. Some say Santa Clause has his origins from Saint Nicholas (which wasn’t made popular until 19th century American literature), who was actually a member of the Council of Nicea that I referred to earlier. There’s even a story that he was jailed for slapping another bishop over their disagreement on what should be placed in the bible. Then there’s “Kris Kringle” which is rooted from the German “kristkindl,“ an adaption created by Martin Luther during the Protestant revolution of the Renaissance which is one of the first European versions of the “gift giver.” Point being – there is no consensus on Santa.
Fact number 4– the bible actually has passages that some have interpreted to suggest you shouldn’t celebrate birthdays, and this is the reason Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays or Christmas. An example of that is Ecclesiastes 7:1 “
Fact number 5– Xmas isn’t an abbreviation meant to take “Christ” intentionally out of the word Christmas. The X is actually a Greek symbol for Christ as depicted in the image displayed above. If you know anything about biblical history, you know that the New Testament was supposedly first authored in Greek. Starting to make sense yet?
The Real War on Christmas Has Been Waged by Christians
What if I told you that the biggest movements to eradicate Christmas from our traditions were waged by none other than other Christians? Many fundamentalist through the history of Christianity knew that the creation of this holiday had roots that were not founded in Christian principles or customs.
When being educated on the creation of Protestantism one of the biggest names you learn is John Calvin. A chief opponent of the Roman Catholic church in the 16th century, many of his teachings are still rooted deeply in the Presbyterian church community. One thing they may tend to skip over when learning about Calvinism is that he wanted to get rid of Christmas. His view was simple, Christians should only observe things that are actually in the bible. All the man made things had no place in religious practice.
Multiple locations in Europe began to ban the celebration of Christmas as a direct result. In 1550 Geneva issued a ban on Christmas, followed directly by the Scottish. The puritan movement spread to England which eventually seen the banning of Christmas in 1647 that lasted an entire 13 years. The movement then spread across the Atlantic to America where the state of Massachusetts banned Christmas in 1659 and that lasted all the way until 1686; in fact Christmas wasn’t even recognized as an official holiday in the state until 1856. In addition to that let’s take it a step further to bring up how Congress didn’t even make Christmas an official American holiday until 1870. The French Revolution seen Christmas become outlawed when the “Cult of Reason” took power as well. Outlawing Xmas swept through many regions of the world at one point or another.
Even in modern society there is an evangelical movement to get rid of Christmas in America. Christopher J. E. Johnson is a big proponent of this, as you can see here in this video, or by reading this article on the website for Creation Liberty Evangelism. He even claims that saying “Merry Christmas” to one another is literally translated as meaning “happiness to your rejecting Christ.” Yikes. To be fair, they also believe that Dinosaurs existed (and still do) on Earth with humans. Double yikes. Though there are some that are less extreme that share the same thoughts on Christmas due to its Pagan origins, such as G.I. Williams. It’s clear that Christmas is not something that all Christians agree on.
The Modern “War on Christmas” in America
Oh America, there is no better place in the world. Where feelings hold more weight than facts, where bacon, ranch, and cheese can practically be a topping on anything, and where misinformation is the biggest source of news for many of its citizens. We live in a country where the President-Elect pictured above is running a smear campaign about Christmas. Making statements such as “it’s okay to say Merry Christmas again” in an attempt to paint President Obama as the Progressive Grinch whole will force your family to say Happy Holidays forever! This couldn’t be further from the truth. Just last year Obama released an official Merry Christmas statement directly from the White House website. You can go here to see him say it countless times. This is just a culture war aimed to make you upset at the other side.
When you live in a country as diverse as America, what is so wrong with saying Happy Holidays as well as Merry Christmas? Why does it have to be one or the other? What is the issue with attempting to show respect to everyone? I truly don’t get it. The problem is – once again – BOGUS news reports in a lot of cases. A prime example is the VA Hospitals getting rid of Christmas trees being painted as a Liberal act of war, though the law was passed in 2002 under GW Bush. People simply just don’t fact check or research, and due to this are easily manipulated because they let emotion drive their opinions rather than stopping to take the time to use logic instead.
The roots of this war against Christmas in modern American culture can be linked to the 1920’s when Henry Ford wrote about Jew’s supposedly trying to suppress the holiday. Or the John Birch Society distributing pamphlets saying that Christmas was under attack by Communists in 1959. Yet Christmas just keeps on winning. Conservatives even lashed out on private sector companies for not using “Christmas” in ads such as Target, who later said they never had any intent on not using the word yet the right still kept pushing the issue.
Which brings me to my final point: the Conservatives claim to be “standing up for businesses.” They claim they’re anti-regulation and businesses need more freedom to make the choices they want to make. Yet when a private sector company makes a personal decision on something as simple as a phrase used during the holidays they lose their minds. The people in the federal government should not be telling companies what they should or shouldn’t say during the holiday season, that’s absolutely absurd. You can’t be an advocate on the freedom of choice and then go completely against your own stance once you don’t agree with the choice that is being made.
I personally enjoy Christmas. Even if it is rooted in a Pagan tradition we as Americans celebrate it as something else and that’s okay with me. The holiday season brings family together and allows us all to spend valuable time with our loved ones. However to say there’s a War on Christmas is too much, it’s simply not true. The real war here is the war for TV ratings and the ability to sell books. If we are going to have an argument on this, let’s do one based on the real facts and history rather than superficial television talking points. When you look at the history of the holiday and see it’s biggest opponents have been other Christians who have wanted to ban it entirely – while having valid arguments to do so – it’s going to be very difficult for me to get upset about a Starbucks cup.