December wouldn’t be complete without obligatory “Jesus is the reason for the season” commentary and this year it’s delivered by Ronald S. Martin of CNN.
This whole push to remove Christ from the Christmas season has gotten so ridiculous that it’s pathetic.
Because of all the politically correct idiots, we are being encouraged to stop saying “Merry Christmas” for the more palatable “Happy Holidays.” What the heck are “Seasons Greetings”? Can someone tell me what season we are greeting folks about? A Christmas tree? Oh, no! It’s now a holiday tree. Any Christmas song that even remotely mentions Christ or has a religious undertone is being axed for being overtly religious. And I’m sorry, forget X-M-A-S. Malcolm X? Yes. X replacing Christ? No.
It never fails to strike me how rude Christians can be in the name of their messiah. People celebrate a variety of things during this time of the year and heaven forbid a Christian getting caught recognizing that by using an inclusive, generic greeting like “happy holidays”. Their god might strike ‘em dead or something.
Of course, Martin’s column is really just another example of the seemingly American Christian imperative to consume all things, regardless of the evidence or the logic. In truth, it takes an amazing amount of ignorance to claim this holiday as being Christian in origin.
Jesus has not been excluded from Christmas, he’s been drafted onto it. The season is much older than Christianity and Jesus only became the reason after the Christian church appropriated the season.
A recently discovered pagan shrine dedicated to Rome’s legendary founder Romulus and his brother Remus is being linked by a scholar to the first celebration of Christmas held on the date that still marks the festivity today.
Last month Italian archaeologists unveiled an underground grotto which they believe ancient Romans worshipped as the place where a wolf nursed the legendary twins.
Now, a top Italian scholar says that because of that shrine, 4th century Emperor Constantine chose the site to build the church where Christmas was first marked on Dec. 25. The choice was part of efforts in the early days of Christianity to link pagan practices to Christian celebrations.
One should also keep in mind that while no one knows when Jesus was born, should he have actually existed, most scholars are pretty sure it was not December 25th, but during sometime the spring. Further complicating things is the cult of Mithras, a semi-rival to early Christianity in Rome, which celebrated the birth of their sun god on December 25.
Of course, there’s also the fact that there isn’t one integral thing about Christmas that can be solidly connected to Christianity. In fact, the Bible expressly forbids one of the biggest symbols of Christmas – the decorated evergreen (emphasis added):
Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. (Jeremiah 10:2-4, KJV)
Even if we pretend that these verses are not about modern Christmas trees, it cannot be denied that cutting down trees, dragging them into the house and decorating them predates Christianity by at least 500 years as Jeremiah was written between 627BCE and 585BCE.
Of course, Christians seem to have a knack for pretending that the only religions to exist prior to theirs were the Roman pantheon and Judaism. Hell, one of them recently stated that nothing existed prior to Christianity.
In conclusion, there’s only one way to claim that Christmas, as it is celebrated by millions, is a Christian holiday and that would be not only sheer ignorance, but intentional ignorance.