Of Christmas and Paganism

Birth of Jesus Nativity Scene, Unsplash / Walter Chávez

It is that time of year again where people are busy buying presents, playing Christmas music, getting stressed, and being judged for using pagan elements.

Wait, what?

Near as I can figure it, there are three sources for accusations of Christmas having a pagan origin or incorporating those elements: atheists, sanctimonious Christians, and pagans themselves. If a pagan had accused me of using elements of their religious activities, I didn’t know it. Normally, it’s the other two groups of tinhorns.

Professing atheists frequently exhibit both ignorance and bigotry when making accusations — which is both annoying and amusing when they do so on an article they refused to read that debunks their claims. Ironic, huh?

Self-righteous Christians also show ignorance, often acting like atheists in their caustic remarks. They, too, refuse to read/watch material that has a proper historical perspective, preferring instead erroneous traditions. Then they show that they have the “right” beliefs by bashing Christians who do celebrate, violating Colossians 2:16-17 and others. Pastor Sourjowels would be pleased.

What we do not experience is scorn from people who have some historical knowledge.

There are many myths about Christmas, such as Joseph and Mary being turned away from a hotel, the Magi showing up at the time of Jesus’ birth, and others. A few minor errors that most folks don’t know about are not reasons to reject celebrating Christmas.

We also give each other gifts to celebrate the ultimate gift of God, the incarnation of God the Son, the Creator, as Jesus. Also, because the real Nicholas was a gift-giver.

Some Christians say that we shouldn’t celebrate because we’re not commanded to. So? God gave us holidays (holy days), and people have instituted holidays and observances as well. Indeed, Hanukkah was not one of the original holidays that God commanded the Jews to keep, but Jesus participated (Christians can do it as well). There are a couple of Black Cat Appreciation days. Governments set up holidays. This child has set up Question Evolution Day on 12 February. Holidays and observances happen.

The early church was arguing about when to celebrate Easter back in the 2nd century, not if it should be observed. Similarly, Christmas was celebrated in secret (because of Roman persecution) at about the same time as Easter, and has also been celebrated ever since. Naysayers don’t have church history in support of their views.

25 December for the birth of Jesus has supporters and detractors, and unfortunately some get dogmatic about it. A popular belief is that this date was established to Christianize a pagan festival. Studying the Roman calendar, Saturnalia was over by the 25th. Another candidate was Sol Invictus for sun god worship, but that was established long after Christians were celebrating Christmas.

If y’all choose to not celebrate, great. But don’t pass judgment on those of us who do. In the same way, those of us who do celebrate should not look down on those who give it a hard pass. Both groups have freedom of Christian liberty. You savvy that, pilgrim?

The article linked below covers much of what I’ve touched on in detail, and some other items as well. The history is enlightening, to say the least.

Every year I get “love letters”—can I call them that? You know, those letters blasting me with the same old claims that “Christmas was pagan.” For some reason, I’m supposed to repent of not believing the pagans when they insist that their “holiday” is the true one. I’m chastised for not giving Christmas back to the pagans and locking myself in my house from the four Advent Sundays to the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing or poking fun at people for not celebrating Christmas, the resurrection, or their own birthdays. But I think it is wise to refute these claims from time to time as a reminder that pagans usually don’t get it right. Polytheistic and pantheistic pagans—including believers in evolution, Roman and Greek mythology, ancestor worship, Wicca, etc.—attack Christianity with fervor.

I hope you’ll see fit to read the rest and learn, just click on “Was Christmas Pagan? — And Other Attacks on Christmas.” You may also be interested in “The War on Christmas — Book Review.”

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Jesus and Santa-ism

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Misotheists try to prove their intellectual superiority to us st00pid dujmb theists by using risible logic, which includes invalid comparisons.

“We don’t believe in God in the same way we don’t believe in Santa Claus”, or “We don’t hate Jesus, nor do we hate Santa, the Easter Bunny, etc.” Let’s give a look-see on why such remarks are ridiculous. Instead of going at this as a formal logic lesson, this article will take the reader along a different trail.

At first glance, this may remind people of an argument from silence, and I’ll allow that there are superficial similarities. (A quick example of an argument from silence is that in the comments area of a post, I responded to the request to mention a movie that needed its ending explained. I asked for The Quiet Earth. No responses. To assume that nobody can answer would be fallacious.) What follows can be more properly considered an argument from conspicuous absence.

Santa Claus from the Victorian era from Free VINTAGE Illustrations
Notice how this is very different from modern portrayals

There really was a Saint Nicholas of Myra in the 4th century, and he was a generous, godly man. Legends and modern mythology have very little to do with the real person. It is highly unlikely to find a sane adult who actually believes in the fat guy at the North Pole who has elves working for him, flies around the world pulled by reindeer on Christmas Eve, and defies physics. Ain’t happening, Hoss.

There are other things that won’t be found:

  • Science supporting his existence, including physics, archaeology, biology, paleontology, and more.
  • Gatherings of people who sing his praises, offer worship, and give exegetical teachings from the Book of Santa.
  • Prophecies that have been fulfilled, and others waiting to be fulfilled, from that same book.
  • Testimonies of people who have experienced miracles or had their lives changed by Santa.
  • Folks coming to the door or talking in the park, imploring people to come to salvation through the Claus Clause.
  • Disaster relief efforts spearheaded by organizations like Santa’s Purse.
  • Schools, hospitals, and so forth being built by believers in the modern version of Santa Claus.

For people who claim that they take Jesus as seriously as they do Sinter Klaas, they sure do spend a passel of time hating God, but no effort to hate Santa. For that matter, many professing atheists seek their personal value and identities railing against someone they claim doesn’t exist! However, they do know that God exists (Romans 1:18-23). They need to repent. It would be great if they did it at Christmas time.