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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/why-is-the-word-christmas-so-politically-16285172.aspx

Subject:  Re: Merry Non-sectarian Winter holiday! Date:  12/14/2001  1:44 PM
Author:  catdaddy1 Number:  421 of 572

Why is the word Christmas so politically incorrect?

It is a national holiday and a part of our American heritage, whether you personally celebrate it or not.


I think the whole point is that many Americans like to celebrate this time of year, but they aren't necessarily Christians.

The only reason to call it Christmas is because, as you state, tradition has dicated so. The tradition of celebrating around the Winter Solstace far outdates the birth of Christ, though, so I see no reason to get bent out of shape when people without Christian faith refer to things like Yule, "The Holidays", Channukah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, or whatever, unless you are bent at getting everyone to accept this time of year as being the sole possession of those of the Christian faith.

So, which tradition is better? I submit that neither one is better and neither is worse. Yule celebrations predated Christ. Romans celebrated Mithra's birthday on Dec 25th. as well as Saturnalia a full month from the Winter Solstace on. Germans honored Oden this time of year. So why should the Christian celebration be the only valid one? These others existed first. If we are to be guided by tradition then we should stay with the oldest tradition, right? All of these traditions predate Christ's birth and obviously the formation of any tradition in America.

It wasn't until the 4th century that Jesus' birth was celebrated by The Church. Pope Julius I created the celebration and appointed 25Dec as it's date (most scholars actually believe that Christ was born in the Spring and that Julius simply chose to accomodate local traditions of Solstace-time celebrations by plunking Christmas in the middle of it).

So what makes it necessary for us to refer to it as anything in particular or anything at all, for that matter? It is by individual choice that we decide to celebrate or not and it is by individual choice that we decide where our traditions should lie. Some of us would even think that Julius' decision to establish his own tradition is no less important than their ability to establish theirs, to include celebrating Holiday Hams, if they like. So I say: let them call it whatever they like. Let people have fun, worship, not worship, be festive, be kind, be rowdy, or whatever. I don't see the harm in establishing new traditions or following existing ones to each person's own desires so long as no one is being hurt. I also see no reason to insist that the populace should be forced to call Dec 25th Christmas, unless you are now submitting to us that we all must be Christians or we must leave, in which case I will say that you'll be hard pressed to get me to leave.

Happy Holidays.

catdaddy



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