Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Wars: The Final Salvo

Before we say goodbye to take some time off for the holidays, we at Holier Than Thou wanted to add one final word to the ongoing Christmas Wars.

While our friends on the Religious Right insist that, as a Christian nation, celebrating Christmas has been a central part of our history and our heritage, a true reading of history presents an alternative point of view.

Thus, we thought we’d leave you with a few questions about how our Christian forbearers celebrated December 25 in years past.


1) On the first Christmas Day in the New World, December 25, 1620, the Puritans spent the day:

A) Working
B) In church
C) Exchanging gifts
D) Burning witches at the stake


2) From 1659 to 1681, the colonists of Massachusetts made celebrating Christmas:

A) Mandatory
B) Traditional
C) Fun
D) Illegal


3) In 1827, an Episcopal bishop complained that the Devil had stolen Christmas and:

A) “Converted it into a day of worldly festivity, shooting and swearing.”
B) “Turned it over to the anti-Christian human secularists”
C) “Given it to The Grinch.”
D) “Auctioned it off to the highest bidder.”


4) And in 1855 New York, Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist churches were closed on Dec. 25 because:

A) They did not view Christmas Day to be holy.
B) It fell on a Sunday.
C) Their parishioners were too busy buying last-minute gifts.
D) The Giants were playing the Jets.


ANSWERS

1) A: Working, and pretty much ignoring the fact that it was Christmas. The Puritans were lead to ignore Christmas by the fact that the date December 25 is not in the Bible. Instead, they insisted the date was derived by Saturnalia, a Roman wintertime celebration.
2) D: Celebrating Christmas was a crime.
3) A: It was considered to be a day full of shooting and swearing.
4) A: Christmas still wasn’t considered to be a holy day as late as 1855.


We at Holier Than Thou wanted to take this opportunity to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We’ll be back again on January 3 — assuming, of course, that the Religious Right keeps on keeping on well into the new year. Somehow, we’re sure they will.

3 Comments:

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Mike said...

ug, thanks for saying what i wish i had.

 
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