Saturday, December 25, 2010
War On Christmas Bill O'Rielly.....Really?
Let me start out by saying that “Religion” is just another business no different than any other business. Marketing agents will come up with what ever they can to gain more market shares of the population’s expendable income and the “Business of Religion” is no different. Hence the marketing message to the populous lemmings that, THERE IS A WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!!
Below are some real facts on Christmas in the United States that goes back long before there was a United States.
1. One of the recent non-issues alarms that The Fanatical Religious Conservative Right, like Bill O’Rielly, is propagating that there is now TODAY a War On Christmas!!
In sounding their alarm, the Fanatical Religious Right does not pass on that it was illegal to celebrate Christmas in the colony of Massachusetts in 1681. The Pilgrims had Christmas outlawed because it was too Catholic. Yes, the pilgrims, the very Christian religious English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs. The Puritans made it illegal to mention St. Nicolas' name, people were not allowed to exchange gifts, light a candle, or sing Christmas carols. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. That Christmas was ignored in this country for the first hundred years of its existence because it was viewed as an idolatrous Catholic invention...until retail stores discovered it was a way to make $$$. Christmas is the major holiday today because of retailers, so ranting against retailers for modifying their message is well...intellectually dishonest, especially when it comes from the same people who claim to represent the views of our founding fathers who didn't even recognize the holiday.
Presbyterians, Baptists, nor many Methodists, particularly those converted by revival during the Great Awakening of the 1740s and 1750s even recognize the celebration of Christmas. So the holiday did not have a prominent role in the community at the birth of the new United States of America.
No state legally recognized a Christmas holiday until 1836, and the federal congress did not acknowledge such a holiday in legislation until 1870, just six years before the nation's centennial. Santa Claus was invented in the 1840s by a committee of New York businessmen who wanted to promote sales. They borrowed the tradition of "Sinter Klaas" brought to New York by Dutch immigrants, originally a variation on St. Nicholas.
The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.
In 1819, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday. In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly. In Irving’s mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status.
Irving’s fictitious celebrants enjoyed “ancient customs,” including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule. Irving’s book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended; in fact, many historians say that Irving’s account actually “invented” tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season.
2. Another point that The Fanatical Religious Conservative Right gives as proof that there is a War On Christmas is the use of the letter “X” in Xmas.
The "X" in Xmas came from the Greek spelling of Christ and is as old as the Christian religion itself. The word Christmas originated as a compound meaning “Christ’s Mass.” "Cristes" is from Greek “Christos” and "mæsse" is from Latin "missa" (the holy mass). In Greek, the letter “X,” pronounced “chi,” is the first letter of Christ, and it, or the similar Roman letter “X,” has been used as an abbreviation for Christ. Hence, Xmas was returned to popularity by retailers in their advertising as a cost issue and not for any anti-Christ aspect.
So in closing, my Christmas message to those claiming The Fanatical Religious Conservative Right, is be more critical and check the facts on what others would pass onto you because……
A little Learning is a dang'rous Thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:
There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.