Did you know that early Americans did not celebrate Christmas? They considered it to be a pagan holiday. Aren’t you glad that isn’t the case nowadays?Although, you do have a lot of folks who get offended if you say “Merry X-mas” to them. Here’s how Christmas came to be what it is today, according to World Net Daily:
“Every December, a call goes out from the nation’s pulpits to “put Christ back into Christmas,” but growing numbers of Americans – including fundamentalist Christians – are claiming Jesus Christ had nothing to do with the holiday, and news items from across the country this week indicate that the U.S. has become the new battleground for Christmas.
Cases in point:
- A first-grade teacher in Sacramento Co., Calif., says her principal has prohibited instructors from uttering the word “Christmas” in class or in written materials;
- A school superintendent in Yonkers, N.Y., banned, then unbanned, holiday decorations that contained religious themes more than the generic “season’s greetings”;
- New York City schools are being sued for alleged discrimination against Christians;
- and atheists reposted their vandalized winter solstice sign in the Wisconsin Capitol, as they declare “Christians stole Christmas” from ancient pagans.”(End of First Excerpt)
“The fact that atheists view Christmas with disdain is not astonishing, since they’ve attempted to remove the phrase “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance and “In God we trust” from U.S. currency, as well as Ten Commandments displays from numerous publicly owned places.
What may be surprising, though, is that some devout Christians, many dating all the way back to the days of Jesus, never celebrated the birth of Christ, nor sought to. America’s early colonists banned observance of Christmas, and still today, there are many Christians abstaining from what millions more of their brethren joyfully celebrate as God’s coming in human form.
It explains “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church,” pointing out “first evidence of the feast is from Egypt” around A.D. 200 with attempts by theologians to assign not only the year of Christ’s birth, but also the precise date.
Historians agree that through the subsequent centuries, traditions from ancient pagan (non-Christian) religions became intertwined with those of Christianity, and depending upon one’s point of view, either paganism became Christianized, or Christianity became paganized.
In 1644, the English Parliament outlawed the holiday, compelling shops to be open that day, and condemning plum puddings and mince pies as “heathen.”
In his Pulitzer Prize finalist, “The Battle for Christmas,” historian Stephen Nissenbaum at the University of Massachusetts documents the American development of the holiday now ensconced in popular culture.
“In New England, for the first two centuries of white settlement,” writes Nissenbaum, “most people did not celebrate Christmas. In fact, the holiday was systematically suppressed by Puritans during the colonial period and largely ignored by their descendants. It was actually illegal to celebrate Christmas in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681 (the fine was five shillings). Only in the middle of the nineteenth century did Christmas gain legal recognition as an official public holiday in New England.”
Nissenbaum agrees with other historians that the first recorded observance since the New Testament recounted Christ’s birth took place hundreds of years after Jesus’ resurrection.
“It was only in the fourth century that the Church officially decided to observe Christmas on Dec. 25. And this date was not chosen for religious reasons but simply because it happened to mark the approximate arrival of the winter solstice, an event that was celebrated long before the advent of Christianity. The Puritans were correct when they pointed out – and they pointed it out often – that Christmas was nothing but a pagan festival covered with a Christian veneer.”(End of Second Excerpt) Read the article in it’s entirety here:(http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=29995