First things first, if you think Bill O’Reilly is an American hero because he’s leading the counter-war against those who are trying to remove Christ from Christmas, then this post is for you; and no you will not like it.
According to Bill O’Reilly, Kirk Cameron, and others, people are removing the word “Christmas” from their holiday vocabulary and this is an assault on both Christmas and apparently American traditions. Moreover, many accuse others of removing “Christ” from Christmas by using x-mas on signs and banners, etc. (Note: the “X: is the ancient Greek letter symbolizing Christ. It is completely in line with traditions created BY CHRISTIANS to use “X-mas”).
Additionally, the Christmas traditions such as the Christmas tree are being re-named or re-branded to be more inclusive. Thus, it’s further removing Christ from Christmas. Even worse, some companies are
replacing Christmas items with generic items that won’t offend anyone. One such case is the 2015 Starbucks red cup controversy. Apparently, making the cups red without putting any Christmas logos on them is just another way of removing Christmas from society.
Somehow, removing certain icons or certain Christian traditions from cups, signs, or ads is an assault on the values of our nation. I was not aware that reindeers, santa, and sleigh rides were the bedrock our great nation.
The most ridiculous part of this whole cup ordeal is that the cups previously only had winter time decorations. It’s not like they previously had Jesus Christ printed on the cups. Heck, the cup contains a large icon of the Greek mermaid goddess, Siren, who symbolizes the underworld in mythology. The underworld is a symbol of death. So, the expectation that somehow Starbucks needed to carry on some great American Christian tradition is already a bit silly given that they clearly are not a Christian company and they already have another God pictured on their cups.
The Problem With The War ‘FOR’ Christmas
1. Christmas is not a Christian holiday
First, Christmas itself is a product of society, not of Christ and not of Christianity. In fact, Christmas started as a pagan holiday, where the Romans would have a week long festival called Saturnalia.
Saturnalia was eventually imported by the Chrisian empire in the 4th century, as were many of our other holidays, like Easter. It was a season for generosity to the poor, gift exchanging, and even decorating trees. However, they didn’t worship the new born savior. Instead, it was a celebration for the God Saturn.
When Christian’s became dominant in the 4th and 5th centuries, almost all of the pagan holidays were replaced by Christian alternatives. Not much differant than how Christian T-shirts and slogans are done today. This is further noted by the fact that Jesus’ birthday was most certainly NOT even in December.
So just to be clear, Christmas was invented to appease the pagans who wanted to continue their typical festivals and rituals. The Christian authorities just slapped new labels on them in an attempt to solidify the empire under one religion.
2. We have religious freedom in America
It does not matter what society wants to call the Christmas season. We cannot expect everyone to celebrate and participate in OUR Christian holidays. We should not expect this to happen any more than the Jews should expect Christians to start recognizing their holidays. No one should be forced to celebrate any religious holidays since religion is not compulsory.
I would also add that forcing our public school and public institutions to celebrate Christmas is also a violation of the 1st amendment. If we want our kids to sing Christmas carols and hand out Christmas cards during the holiday then we can still have them do that. We do not need our public schools to force them to do such things. If you don’t like it then send them to a Christian school. Can’t afford a private school? Too bad, it’s your problem. Pull yourself with those boot-straps you’re always talking about and maybe you can afford it next year for your kids.
3. It is unrealistic (and selfish) for America to acknowledge only one holiday in December
Since America is made up of many religions it shouldn’t surprise us that many people celebrate other holidays while Christians are celebrating Christmas. What is the response of retailers, manufacturers, and advertising?
Naturally they are going to try to appeal to every one as best they can, so they can increase profits. It is not a war on Christmas, it’s a war for profits and since businesses are not religious institutions they shouldn’t care less which holiday they are making money on. Do you actually think Jesus would be upset that people are not celebrating the same holidays as he is?
Furthermore, it would be unchristian to force everyone to recognize our Christian holidays. Do you actually think Jesus would be upset that people are not celebrating the same holidays as he is? No, of course not. Their is nothing offensive about letting people celebrate whatever holiday tradition they are a part of.
4. Holiday neutral marketing is a natural function of the free markets
The Christian right in America are always talking about the free markets and how if just left alone (impossible) they would make America rich and prosperous and all our dreams would be fulfilled. Last time I checked, holiday season marketing to multi-religious holiday shoppers is a function of the free market. So, let’s not get upset that businesses are just doing whatever the “free market” is dictating.
5. The counter-war on Christmas is total hypocrisy
If Christians really wanted to keep Christmas pure and untouched by heathen society, they would stop putting up Christmas trees, stop indulging in gluttonous eating traditions, pretending santa exists, and other practices that do not pertain to Christ. Stop putting up Christmas trees, stop indulging in gluttonous eating traditions, pretending santa exists, and other practices that do not pertain to Christ.
Previous Christian generations understood this well. In the 1600s Christmas was straight up banned! Under Oliver Cromwell, the holiday was banned all-together from being practiced.
If Christians are going to be taken seriously on this issue, they should look inward at themselves first, and ask: “is what I am doing honoring Christ and this season of devotion to Him?” If the answer is no, then stop doing it.
6. Nothing about the war on Christmas prevents me from celebrating it the way I want
The strangest thing about the war on Christmas is that absolutely nothing prevents me from celebrating the Christmas season the way I want to. No one is making me say happy holidays. I understand that some businesses have their employees do this but if you don’t like it; quit your job!
As a Christian absolutely ZERO of my Christian beliefs or traditions have been hindered by those who do not celebrate Christmas or by those who want to make the Christmas season into the “holiday season.” I still decorate my house. I still give to the poor and hungry a bit extra. I still say merry Christmas when ever I want. I still go to church. I still set up a nativity set. I still do everything I was able to do before.