Would Jesus fight in the Christmas Wars?

By Becky Garrison Wonder what Jesus thinks of those family values Republicans who push to keep Christ in Christmas but … Continued

By Becky Garrison

Wonder what Jesus thinks of those family values Republicans who push to keep Christ in Christmas but yet pull moves like giving tax breaks to the rich and refusing to give health benefits to 9/11 first responders? Now, I don’t claim to have the mind of Christ. But I can easily imagine heaven resembling a Monty Pythonesque sketch right about now. As these faith fights spin out of control, Jesus pleads with a Terry Gilliam depiction of the Almighty, “Dad, I can’t believe you sent me down to earth so I could die for this!”

Some days, the jokes seem to write themselves. But I fail to find the humor in touting American exceptionalism as though the United States represents this City on a Hill, an exemplar of Christian virtue by those who turn in a political performance that would make the Grinch green with envy.

I can’t think of a more inappropriate present to give the baby Jesus than to bag the Beatitudes (Matthew 5-7) during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Just who do these Republicans think Jesus is referring to when he talks about “the least of these?” With over 3,000 references to poverty in the bible, it’s pretty clear that Jesus’ priorities lay with the poor. Without a doubt, he would turn the tables on a family-friendly agenda that advances a form of biblical capitalism where those in power evoke the name of Jesus as though the will of Christ is in synch with their own ambitions.

Furthermore, what’s Christlike about abandoning those very first responders who pulled a John 15:13 by laying down their lives so that others may live? I would like to echo Jon Stewart’s plea that effective immediately, Republicans are banned from using 9/11 as a political tool. Let’s declare a moratorium on draping the cross with the American flag as though this faux patriotism bears any resemblance to the actual teachings of Christ. Heck, not even Ebeneezer Scrooge would praise 9/11 heroes to the heavens only to then kick them to the poorhouse by refusing to cover their medical costs for illnesses they occurred in the line of duty. Where are the Three Wise Men when we need their counsel now more than ever?

Speaking of the nativity story, have those fighting to keep Christ in Christmas ever contemplated how the Lord and Savior might have commemorated his birth? Well, for starters historians aren’t exactly sure of the exact date Jesus of Nazareth was born, though one could safely assume shepherds probably wouldn’t be out tending sheep on a cold winter night in Judea.

Also, despite depictions of Christmas trees and festive decorations in contemporary churches, such artifacts would not have been on display in the house of Joseph. As blogger Cathryn Thomas reminded me, “Like any good Jew, Jesus would have celebrated Hanukkah.”

Along those lines, the rituals that have come to symbolize Christmas have pagan roots like the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature), which was celebrated by the Babylonians on December 25th and the Winter Solstice festivities in ancient Rome and Europe. In fact, Christmas didn’t become an official church holiday until 350 CE when Pope Julius I decreed that Christ’s birth should be celebrated on this day, a move designed to make conversion a bit easier for the pagan Romans, who represented the majority of the population.

So in the holiday spirit, can we call a truce to these Christmas wars once and for all? Perhaps the best gift Christians could give in this increasingly pluralistic society would be a pledge to follow the teachings attributed to St. Francis, “Preach the gospel at all times. And if necessary, use words.” What might happen if followers of Christ became known by their deeds and not their screeds?

Becky Garrison’s books include Jesus Died for This?: A Satirist’s Search for the Risen Christ.

  • WmarkW

    What would Jesus think of the Christmas Wars? “Gee, I thought I was born in August.”

  • allknowingguy

    as one who has read the new testament, i would say that jesus, if he existed at all, would definitely voice strong opinions in the so-called “christmas wars”. read the quotations ascribed directly to him and you can see that he got into people’s faces, and didn’t back down from an argument. So much so that the very people he claimed to be leading – the jews – literally begged the romans to kill him, which they eventually did.

  • fishnoises

    Um….why is it that the same people who insist on a separation of church and state also preach that the Gospel is all about promoting social justice!!! Why bring Jesus into the picture NOW??? What a bunch of hyprocital nonsense. You have to have a relationship with Jesus to even begin to have clue as to what he would do!!!! Keeping religion and faith out of politics only when you think it offend others, and then bringing it in to promote social agendas is pathetic. You can’t pick and choose thsoe areas int he gospel to suit your desires. It isn’t about you!!! It isn’t about Christianity! It’s about Christ.

  • jonnywang

    Yes, of course Jesus was a proponent of big government programs as the primary vehicle of charity in society. Just look in your Bible. It’s right there in….umm, just a second, let me find it….Oh well, I can’t find it, but I’m sure it’s in there somewhere. “Progressives” worship government like Conservatives worship God, so I shouldn’t be surprised at how they are incapable of understanding how charity can be delivered by means other than government and equally unaware at how inneffective government charity tends to be. But it still irks me every time a smartest-girl-in-the-room progressive mocks small government conservatives as hypocrites. Oh well, what else should I expect to read in the WaPo?

  • jinnyhann

    What exactly does “Christmas wars” refer to? The practice of Christianity and other religions/faith/pagan traditions in the depth of winter, in a pluralistic society? Or how anyone speculates Jesus would feel about tax cuts for everyone — including the wealthy — during these economic times? In either case, maybe the use of this term is just divisive. Aren’t there enough real problems to solve and things to argue about, without fanning the flames of derision among people of different political and other persuasions? Or maybe this simply makes for interesting online conversation, and selling of newspapers. After all, no conflict, no story, right?

  • samsara15

    Christmas is Mithra’s Birthday, not Christ’s. The Christians stole it to make it easier to recruit the Roman legionaires who were devoted to Miithra. I thought all bloggers knew that. I agree that Jesus, like Mithra, may not have ever existed. In any case, the early Christians,and their cousins, the Gnostics, who were purged, spoke with many voices. Many voices, voices which were also so frequently forged that it is hard to discern who said what about what. It’s all myths anyway.

  • ggilby1

    “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Fundamentalists want their religion to dominate the public square when they should be focused on their hearts and homes and churches. Why the whining when a government building or school doesn’t promote your religion? You are free to pray, but not to force others in your prayer.

  • weylguy

    Great article, Becky, and I agree with all the points you made.I am a Christian who cannot help but shake his head constantly wondering how on Earth Christ has been mauled and manipulated so badly by the Republican Party. People believe what they want to believe, and I think self-proselytization and self-delusion are mostly to blame, although that tends to be the case with most faiths. Hubristic exceptionalism and religious intolerance have reached truly dangerous levels in our country, and those illnesses, coupled with the desire to attack other countries in order to steal their resources in the disguise of democratization or God’s will, are what’s really wrong with this country.

  • eezmamata

    this war on christmas bs was declared by the right wing social conservatives as a way to divide everybody.They want christians to feel more christian I suppose, and look how well it’s working – look at the unmitigated hatred coming out of the christians when they have anything to say to anybody who doesn’t do christmas according to their rules.You people are despicable.

  • abowen32

    And what would Jesus think of a religious editor who supported taking the name “Christ” out of Christmas and prayer out of our schools???

  • Hector6

    When Jesus said render unto Ceaser what is Ceaser’s and unto God what is God’s Ceaser did not provide welfare, medicare or unemployment insurance. Thoes were church issues paid with the 10% tithe. Helping the poor was certainly a core message for Jesus but he did not preach it to Rome or Herrod but in the Synagogue. Nothing in our founding documents says the government is a social work organization. This is a function our churchers and private charities should control, not government.

  • MrBethesda

    Jesus saves but Moses invests.

  • wizzard30

    Thankfully, I’m an athiest, and unaffected by all this bovine manure.

  • garoth

    Hector6, you are ignorant, both of the message Jesus was sending, and of scripture as a whole. If you would actually bother to read the story, you would see that the context was that there were two sides plotting to do him in, and thus the question concerning the payment of taxes. If he answered in the affirmative, “Yes, pay them!” he would lose the crowds, which were among the most heavily-taxed people in history (how about 70-80% as your required tax load?); if he said, “No, don’t pay them,” he would be guilty of insurrection, and crucified (as he finally was). He asked those who were trying to trap him to give him a coin. The one they gave him bore the figure of the emperor, and the words, “Caesar is Lord,” on it. The very fact that they had this coinage, rather than the temple coinage, showed who they belonged to, and exposed their hypocracy. Then Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God, the things that are God’s.” The question then becomes, “What is Caesar’s, and what is God’s?” To those of faith, everything belongs to God. To those whose God is Caesar, everything belongs to him (in Jesus’ time, that is – now we are willing to make a little “spiritual” area of life “not Caesar’s.” Here everything seems to belong to him – God gets heaven, “some day and far away,” but not here, where Caesar rules.).The answer to this lies in what Jesus said about care for the poor, what the Apostle’s said, and the example of the early church, as found in Acts, and in the message of the prophets, who decclared that it is the first duty of the state – even more so than protecting itself – to care for the poor and those who cannot protect themselves. The king is to act toward them as God does – he was to protect them against the interests of the powerful. It is only in this context that the state has the power to even defend itself, in that it is protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

  • jasonmason

    Right because a Christmas tree has nothing at all to do with a German tradition of reenacting the fall in Eden on Christmas Eve, to then celebrate the hope of redemption on Christmas morning. Nor why red ornaments are still the most popular color ornament sold. Ornament or apple?

  • MarkDavidovich

    Undoubtedly Jesus would be unhappy with those exploiting His good name for their own narrow political purposes. That includes those awful Republicans of the religious right.It also includes you, Becky. The difference between Becky and the Religious Right is that the Religious Right exploits Jesus as supporting moral values that they hold. Becky exploits Jesus to lambast moral values held by people disliked by Becky.

  • areyousaying

    Only a theocon bully, insecure in his or her own faith, would use the words “Christmas” and “war” in the same breath.

  • garoth

    Don’t you, sooner or later, just have to say to these folks, “Tehre are more important things to do than fight about nativities and “Merry Christmas,” if you are a Christian. Get a life – maybe Jesus’ life?”

  • mini2

    How long will it take the US citizenry to recognize, understand, and react to the blatant hypocrisy of the ‘Publicans?They wrap themselves in the Stars and Stripes and pretend to be PATRIOTS and in the pages of the Bible (preferably the OT), calling themselves Christians. Yet their stars do not serve in the military or do go AWOL, and their “principles” are out of Ayn Rand.As to Christ, if there was such a person, I believe he would weep.

  • acebojangles

    Fishnoises, JohnnyWang:You don’t have to be a Christian to point out that many Republicans are hypocrites for fighting these bogus “Christmas wars” in Jesus’ name on the one hand while preaching war and “greed is good” on the other. Pointing out such hypocrisy is also not the same as saying Jesus is on the side of liberals.These Christmas wars are nothing more than old men bemoaning the fact that their set of beliefs no longer dominate US society as they did in the past. There’s probably also a bit of political expediency involved. The GOP does not pass up an opportunity to fear monger and suggesting that some moral degenerates want to take Christmas away is great for stirring up part of the base.

  • garoth

    Hector6, you are still uninformed, and are conflating differing historical times. The church did not have a “tithe” that went throughout the church. That was peculiar to Israel, and some of it, sometimes, went to help the poor. Usually, if these matters were handled at all, it was by extended family or tribe – don’t have those today, but they were also societal constructs; today we have Medicaid, etc. because many people do not have people to take care of them, and they provide a ‘safety net” in a modern world, where people have to travel to find work, where people often live past their forties, etc. The Jewish culture was a bit better about taking care of societies’ underside than Rome, which simply left poor people to starve to death.As I said, for an example of the state’s responsibility, go back to the “Old” Testament; it is very clear there. It is also in line with Jesus’ teachings about care for the “least.” Jesus did not speak to Herod or Caesar, but he did speak to the Sadducees, who were in charge of the temple, proclaiming this same message to them. Simply because he did not speak to Caesar or Herod does not mean that his message would have changed, or that it would not remain in line with the prophets – in fact, at least according to the “New” Testament, he saw himself as in line with the prophets and their message.And again, although our Constitution does not proclaim its business to be ‘social work,” it’s business is, according to it, “to provide for the common good.” Welfare is part of that, and has passed – many times – the question of “constitutionality.” More to the point in this discussion of “faith,” is what the Bible says about the function of government. The Bible is very clear. How about reading it?Oh – and if you want to make charity the business of churches, how about imposing a ten percent tax on everyone so that we can do that? I’d happily agree to that. Otherwise, you’re just blowing hot air.

  • eezmamata

    Come on now, MINI2, at least Ayn Rand wrote her own stuff, and really existed.

  • bobdog3

    There is nothing very Christ-like in Christianity.

  • MaryC4

    I wouldn’t be surprised if non-believers stop beating Republicans with the Jesus-club shortly after Republicans stop insisting on creches on the courthouse lawn, prayers at political meetings and the prohibition of same sex marriage on the grounds that it’s against God’s plan.If they invoke religion to support some of their policies, why are they surprised if someone points out that, by-golly, some of their other policies make the baby Jesus cry?

  • eezmamata

    Hey GAROTH, why don’t you an Hector6 get a room, ok?Even more fun than hearing rabid christians screaming at those of us who don’t believe is hearing rabid christians screaming at those who believe the “wrong thing”Yup, christians hate apostates even more than they hate atheists. Hey, t’is the season.

  • Catken1

    “And what would Jesus think of a religious editor who supported taking the name “Christ” out of Christmas and prayer out of our schools???”I don’t know. But I do know that no one is trying to take the name “Christ” out of Christmas – all anyone is trying to do is include all the public in public celebrations of winter holidays for which our tax dollars pay, not just Christians. Christians are still and always have been perfectly free to celebrate the religious aspects of their holidays themselves. From where I sit, churches all over are advertising their Christmas services and choir concerts, Nativity scenes and other Christmas-specific decorations appear on lawns all over the neighborhood, Christians walk around singing carols happily or wishing others “Merry Christmas”, and I’ve no doubt that many houses around me resound with reverent prayers on a nightly basis. That’s all just fine. If you go to church, pray whenever you feel the urge, sing hymns at the top of your lungs, and celebrate a religious holiday with religious reverence, why should it bother you that the local taxpayer-funded parade or town center decoration or whatever is called by a nonsectarian title, and does not refer to religion? If you get cards with Nativity scenes and devout messages on them from your friends and family, why should it bother you to get a generic “holiday” card from a local politician who represents constituents of multiple faiths, or a local business that serves customers of multiple faiths? If you can buy a bulletin board and advertise your faith to anyone within miles, why should it bother you that an atheist group can do the same? Why should you need government and government-sponsored activities to promote your holiday, when you seem to do such a good job of celebrating and enjoying it yourselves?Christian children, and all other children, are likewise free to pray in school, as long as they do not interfere with other children’s right to learn. What they may not do is enlist the teacher or other publicly-paid employee to promote their prayers and their faith for them, or use peer pressure and school time to push their faith on other kids.Which is fair, and if you don’t think so, how would you feel about having your child pressured or ordered by the teacher to pray in the Muslim fashion, or to pray to Thor, Lakshmi or Amaterasu, or to recite a statement affirming atheism? It is just as offensive to push non-Christian children to recite Christian prayers with you.

  • eezmamata

    You know, my atheist friends, my agnostic friends, my Jewish friends, Muslim friends, Hindu friends, Buddhist friends, foreign friends and American friends — we’re all enjoying the Christmas season really fine, thank you.It’s good to spend time with each other, to smile with each other, to wish each other the best … it’s just good. And none of us are telling anybody else how they’re supposed to do being doing it.It seems the only people who aren’t enjoying the season are … Christians. Strange, you hear all this talk about love and peace on earth and blah blah blah. Nobody hates christmas like a christian.

  • sux123

    ” Well, for starters historians aren’t exactly sure of the exact date Jesus of Nazareth was born,..”

  • sux123

    well said, Catken1! Thank you.

  • arimathean

    Where to start . . .1. Jesus probably did not celebrate Hanukkah. If that feast was even observed in the first century, it was not have been a big deal.2. Isis is not Babylonian (she’s Egyptian) and nature is not her main portfolio (which includes motherhood, magic, and fertility). I’m not familiar with her son Horus being celebrated on December 25. The big feast in Egypt occurred 11 days later when the Nile flooded.3. We know for a fact that Christmas was already being celebrated on December 25 in the Western Roman Empire by AD 311, and it might have been celebrated as early as ca. 250.4. The theory that Christmas was instituted to take advantage of an existing Roman feast is a popular and plausible idea, but no actual evidence has even been found to support the theory. It is just as likely that the feast of Sol Invictus was instituted in 274 in an effort to paganize an existing Christian celebration.

  • Catken1

    “Everyone should leave Christians alone – and allow them to celebrate CHRISTMAS as they see fit.”Who’s denying you the right to celebrate anything as you see fit? Go ahead, by all means.You are not entitled to taxpayer money or the services of the government to do so, of course, unless such money and services are available to all religions and to atheists and agnostics likewise. But with your own money, on your own time, you can celebrate openly, visibly, and to your heart’s content. Christians are doing that all over, in case you hadn’t noticed. No one is actually stopping you from talking about Christ, Christmas, religion, worship, Christianity, or any other related topic. You can stand on the street corners and tell everyone you meet about Christ and how Christmas is all about him, if you like. You can print brochures and hand them out. You can put Nativity scenes or write Christian messages in big red letters on your lawn (if your HOA doesn’t object, and I’m not responsible for your HOA – hate the things myself). You can even make yourself obnoxious by obstreperously lecturing every harassed store clerk who wishes you “Happy Holidays,” because it’s FAR more important that you MAKE that clerk acknowledge that YOUR religion is more important than ANY of their other customers’ religions than that you accept cheerfully given wishes for your happiness in a courteous and friendly spirit. I’m sure it feels righteous and warm to think of yourself as a persecuted martyr unable to celebrate your most sacred holiday without being censored, but it really isn’t true. “It is not about INCLUDING YOU in someone else’s religion.”No one’s asking to be included in Christianity – but when a public government or agency is sponsoring a celebration, it is only fair that everyone they serve be included in that party. When public agencies throw parades or have parties or send out cards to constituents, it is only reasonable that all constituents be included in such, rather than having some publicly-funded events be private religious occasions For Christians Only. The spirit of the winter season and the festivals thereof are not all Christian, and not all your private property. If you want tolerance for your celebrations, and you should have it by all means, please extend that tolerance to others, and do not demand that public money and public government action be devoted to promoting YOUR faith’s holidays to the exclusion of everyone else’s.

  • captn_ahab

    Aramithean:Flavius Josephus the Jew mentions the celebration of Channukah. He lived very close to the time of Jesus. It is therefore likely that Jesus either celebrated Channukah or was certainly aware of it. One thing is for sure, as an observant Jew, he would not have been

  • veerle1

    I have a sharp pain in my posterior.It must be the “holiday season” again.You know, Xmas is like a bladder infection. Getting one once a year is too often.

  • morryb

    The Founding Fathers got it right. Anyone who wants to believe in his or her primitive superstitions is free to do so. Since the Christmas season is one of buying and receiving gifts maybe we should just call it Giftmas.

  • wydeveng

    This author has no idea about the true meaning of Christmas, and the Advent period preceding December 25th. Go to church once a week starting with the first Sunday of Advent (and listen.)

  • daweeni

    Why do we all have to kowtow to some Jew’s birthday?

  • ztcb41

    …”I agree with the article 1000 percent and I know Jesus would not like the Republicans “AT ALL!

  • pgibson1

    Jesus would have done exactly what the Pope said he did. no more, no less.It’s about storytelling, people.And fictional characters rarely demonstrate free will -It will be whatever you agree he did, is basically what he did.Recall how Galileo was going Copernican on the the Catholic Church, the Pope of the day had him Incarcerated: i.e. WRONG with the church?And you expected a little “truth” to go along with this option?Nothing that I know of the Jesus Church is based on reality, except your thinking it’s/he’s real. Really, really disturbing that you all think it’s/he’s real.

  • andrewkp99

    Becky, I enjoyed your article. Your St. Francis reference is particularly relevant. I have to think that the Christmas “wars” are a distraction for Christians. Much of the argument – and many of the comments – add much heat, but no light.For Bible Trivia buffs, Jesus did celebrate Hanukkah. John 10: 22 – 23 says that Jesus was walking in the Temple “at the time of the festival the of the Dedication… It was winter…” The books of Maccabees relate the story of the Jewish revolt from which the festival developed, but the passage in John is the only place in the Bible where the festival is mentioned by name.In all the debate, lets also remember what the Angels said: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will towards men – and women!

  • areyousaying

    Jesus wouldn’t fight in any of his followers endless wars.

  • areyousaying

    “Everyone should leave Christians alone..”Sure if they could leave everyone else alone but they apparently can’t.

  • Nymous

    I think he’d be a bit annoyed at anyone claiming to represent his values while acting nasty, birthday or not.However, these sorts of conflicts only serve to contradict the veracity of the believers dogma.

  • ivri91208

    SUX123, you claimed:”No source, outside the Bible which also mentions Giants, talking bushes etc., has any record of an historical jesus.”My response: This is a bold assertion, especially in light of the 1st-century Jewish historian, Josephus. Not long after Jesus died, Josephus wrote as follows:(63)”Now, there was at this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works — a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure…He was [the] Christ; (64)and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold…” (Josephus “Antiquities,” 18.3.3)Fact check this quote in William Whiston, trans. “The Works of Josephus, Complete and Unabridged.” Updated edition. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1987. Page 480.

  • cprferry

    Jesus often speaks of ethics, specifically character ethics. When he speaks of concern for the poor and the great example of those that sacrifice their lives he is making a statement upon the character, not the process. It is YOU that must do these things, not a third party. It is YOU that must do these things, not because of the act’s benefits and consequences, because He wants YOU to do them.When communists, secularists and other statists bring up these verses to justify their agenda, I can only think of John 12:6. “He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” It rings quite true I think. Party heads and bureaucrats do take a little off the top and use their authority to increase their own power and influence.On the “Christmas wars” Jesus was desperate for someone to advocate for him. Except though when they took up a sword. He gave every one (his disciples, Jewish authorities, Romans) countless chances to reverse their sin and acknowledge Him. I think he would have no problem with non-violent expressions that advocate for Him.

  • eezmamata

    This author has no idea about the true meaning of Christmas, and the Advent period preceding December 25th. Go to church once a week starting with the first Sunday of Advent (and listen.)There you go, that’s the real war on christmas right there. Christians telling everybody else how they’re suppose to enjoy christmas, telling everybody else what they’re suppose to say, how they’re supposed to greet each other, what they’re supposed to believe … boycotting stores which don’t kiss their delusion appropriately …What a disgusting display of just how juvenile religious people really are.

  • greenstheman

    So in the holiday spirit, can we call a truce to these Christmas wars once and for all? ””””””””My question to you Ms Garrison, who is it that attacks Christmas, is it not people that do not believe in Christ? is it not the atheists and pluralists?? Shouldn’t that question be addressed to people who don’t believe in God??As a Christian, I do not have a problem with other people who celebrate their holidays what ever they may be, because it’s different than mine, I do not attack their right to practice what ever faith they believe in, but I expect the same in return.Christmas is a Christian celebration, and as such, i fail to understand the attack by atheist billboard signs that say ” This season celebrate reason” that is inflamatory and confrontational to say the least. I would not find it as offensive if the billboard said for instance ” as atheists we take this season to celebrate reason” honestly i would not find that wording confrontational at all.I fail to see why this section is called ” On Faith” a more suitable title should be ” Against Faith” because that’s what it’s all about bashing people of ” Faith ” you ask if Jesus would fight in the Chrismas wars? As Christians we believe He died for our sins, and resurrected on the 3rd day. That is why we celebrate Chrismas and Easter.If you are not a Christian I do not see anyone demanding that non-Christians celebrate Christmas.I know people that celebrate the winter solstice, It’s their choice.

  • greenstheman

    The spirit of the winter season and the festivals thereof are not all Christian, and not all your private property. If you want tolerance for your celebrations, and you should have it by all means, please extend that tolerance to others, and do not demand that public money and public government action be devoted to promoting YOUR faith’s holidays to the exclusion of everyone else’s.””””””””””””””””Did I miss something??? who is asking for government/taxpayer money to celebrate Christmas??

  • greenstheman

    4. The theory that Christmas was instituted to take advantage of an existing Roman feast is a popular and plausible idea, but no actual evidence has even been found to support the theory. It is just as likely that the feast of Sol Invictus was instituted in 274 in an effort to paganize an existing Christian celebration.Posted by: arimathean | December 15, 2010 5:03 PM”””””””””””””””””’You may want to research about Constantine, the emperor it will shed some light on this for you.

  • greenstheman

    Did I miss something??? who is asking for government/taxpayer money to celebrate Christmas?? POSTED BY: GREENSTHEMANIf you want to put your religious crap on public property then that is just what you’re doing. Of course, we don’t expect you to understand this. You are gullible, credulous, and foolish about these primitive and barbaric religions you believe in, but you do know about tax dollars.””””””””’What is your problem man, I asked you a question. Answer me this how come it’s OK for the government to use taxpayer money to help build mosques in other countries, but it’s not OK a Christian prayer be held on Capitol hill and by the same token it’s okfor muslims to hold prayers on Capitol Hill.I won’t make judgements on you personally because I don’t know who you are,so show some restraint will you. Stop being prejudist against all Christians, you may even know one who you can actually get along with.

  • eezmamata

    GREENSTHEMAN, the difference between fools like you and the muslims is merely a bit of explosive. You’re just as much a believer in absurdities as they are.You are an idiot, I wish it weren’t so, but there we are.

  • Observer20

    The author fails to understand that it hardly matters that Jesus may not have been born on Dec 25th, or that the Christmas tree is from 18th century Germany and not Palestine or that shepherds were not out with their sheep in winter, or that there was no Santa then, or that no carols were sung because they had not been composed as yet. What matters is the celebration of the occurrence of the holy event, and if somebody picked Dec 25th some time ago for the celebration, let us celebrate it then. If some Germans 200 year ago decided to celebrate the event with a pine tree covered with family made ornaments, that is good enough, let us all do it. If some composers of the carols were drunkards, beat their wives, or were otherwise obnoxious, it does not matter; their carols are about Christmas and not about themselves, so let us sing it with gusto.

  • whocares666

    Remember George Walker Bush received divine guidance from his other father. So the answer to the question must be…

  • JDYoung

    I believe Jesus might have said, as he does in Matthew 16:7, “o ye of little faith…..”

  • wmpowellfan

    We hear nothing about “the Ramadan Wars” or “Hanukkah Wars,” etc., etc. — because you hypocrites are constantly sniping for Christianity. If you’re going to respect — or even tolerate — one religion, tolerate all. Or bash all. But this mocking and insulting Christianity alone shows how little evolved your minds are.

  • Kingofkings1

    Ok people. Shelve the nasty comments about others’ faith. Every faith is absurd and asks you to accept the implausible, including atheism. That’s why it’s called “faith”. So belive in your faith, and let the others believe in theirs, as the founding fathers envisioned.

  • wehutson

    Becky, The Holy Spirit tells us that Jesus said “You give them something to eat” (in St Mark’s Gospel, Chapter 6).Jesus didn’t say: “You twist a bunch of arms to get others to twist some money out of a whole lot of others’ pockets to get them something to eat.”Your whole article fails to distinguish between the person and the government. The message of the Gospel is stronger and more personal than you appreciate. This personal responsibility and correspondence to Jesus’s call to love has powerful and magnifying effects that taxing and coercion can never match.

  • schmitt_fam

    What a rude and dishonest article. There is a war on Christmas which is part of the larger war on Christianity. Liberals are trying to drive Jesus out of the nation and are using the power of the state to do so. This claim of fair handed action is bogus; you know it, we know it. Why the hate of Christianity? Because you know in your heart that there are moral standards and that you are guilty of failing these standards. Read Romans 1 and 2; Christians are as guilty of failing God’s standards as anyone. The difference is that we are willing to turn to Him for forgiveness. You can too instead of trying to drive Him out of your lives. Give it some thought.

  • TheHillman

    “Liberals are trying to drive Jesus out of the nation and are using the power of the state to do so. “See, now, it’s that sort of statement that opens American Christians up to ridicule.You automatically assume that people that disagree with you politically hate Jesus?Really?That’s just sad.Not to mention of course pretty much free of any pesky facts, like poll after poll that show the overwhelming majority of ‘liberals’ in the US are Christian.As for using the power of the state, I’d suggest that right wing Christians are at least just as likely as liberals to do this.Witness the far right’s use of the federal government to destabilize gay relationships.Exactly what is that if it’s not using the power of the state to attempt to force your religious views on others?

  • tinyjab40

    The better question is, “Would Jesus fight in any war?” I think the answer is, “No.”

  • westghentwitch

    Max Von Sydow had a great line in Hanna and Her Sisters: “I’m convinced that if Jesus came back today and saw what people were doing in his name,… he’d NEVER stop throwing up.”

  • lepidopteryx

    Jesus was Jewish – he didn’t celebrate Christmas.

  • Tuathe

    No matter your faith, religious affiliation or beliefs – Celebrations have always been around this time of year. It is the celebration of lights. The returning of the sun/son/mother/warmth/family. It is a time for all of us to reflect upon what this time of year means to us personally. I do not need a creche at the town square to help me believe. I do not need politicians to tell me they believe in God/Jesus in order to validate my own beliefs or faith. Too much of what is spouted is about religion, not faith. Faith is personal, religion is public. Basically the render unto Caesar quote is the rebuke that to be a person of faith you cannot worship mannan and God. You must choose, and only you can decide which road to follow. I saw this little story a few days ago – it is a good one to remember.A selfish man died and was greeted by an Angel who said nothing more than follow me. The 1st room was a banquet table laden with a magnificent banquet of foods. The dinners, thin, skeletal, sat with their hands taped to the end long spoons and forks, where they dug into the food and tossed into the air to feed themselves. The man said this is H3ll. Follow me. The next room too had a long table filled with food and the dinners also held long forks and spoons. The difference was they were laughing and eating abundantly as they feed each other joyously. The Angel now replied, return to life and change your ways.

  • Catken1

    “My question to you Ms Garrison, who is it that attacks Christmas, is it not people that do not believe in Christ?”No one whatsoever is attacking your right to celebrate Christmas just as you please. Atheists may argue with your reasons for doing so, even publicly, but that is their right. Your ideas are not immune from debate or criticism simply because they are “religious,” and debating or criticizing them does not count as persecuting or oppressing you.”Christmas is a Christian celebration, and as such, i fail to understand the attack by atheist billboard signs that say ” This season celebrate reason” that is inflamatory and confrontational to say the least.”Well, then, it’s equally inflammatory and confrontational to say, “This season celebrate Christ,” or “Christ is the reason for the season.” It is still your right, and their right, to speak your mind – the First Amendment protects inflammatory and confrontational speech. If you feel bashed by atheists arguing for reason, then how do you think atheists feel when Christians tell them they will burn forever after death, that this is right and good, and that the aforesaid Christians will continue to praise and worship the god who tortures their brothers and sisters forever and ever? Christians are not short on inflammatory attacks on atheists, by any means.

  • Catken1

    “There is a war on Christmas which is part of the larger war on Christianity. Liberals are trying to drive Jesus out of the nation and are using the power of the state to do so.”Oh, I’m so sorry. I failed to see your churches burning, you jailed for worshipping as you pleased, your Nativity scenes taken away, your carols outlawed…Get a grip. You are not being persecuted. You are being denied the ability to force your religion on others via the secular law, but that is not oppression. “Because you know in your heart that there are moral standards and that you are guilty of failing these standards”Because no other religion, and no non-religious person, has any moral standards whatsoever, right? Of course, you’re the only good and decent people on earth. Talk about ego.

  • US-conscience

    In the first place, there’s no direct biblical commandment to celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25. There’s nothing in the Bible that would even indicate that Jesus was born on December 25. In fact, there’s much in the New Testament narratives that would indicate that it didn’t occur during that time of year. It just so happens that on the twenty-fifth of December in the Roman Empire there was a pagan holiday that was linked to mystery religions; the pagans celebrated their festival on December 25. The Christians didn’t want to participate in that, and so they said, “While everybody else is celebrating this pagan thing, we’re going to have our own celebration. We’re going to celebrate the thing that’s most important in our lives, the incarnation of God, the birth of Jesus Christ. So this is going to be a time of joyous festivities, of celebration and worship of our God and King.” I can’t think of anything more pleasing to Christ than the church celebrating his birthday every year. Keep in mind that the whole principle of annual festival and celebration is deeply rooted in ancient Jewish tradition. In the Old Testament, for example, there were times when God emphatically commanded the people to remember certain events with annual celebrations. While the New Testament doesn’t require that we celebrate Christmas every year, I certainly see nothing wrong with the church’s entering into this joyous time of celebrating the Incarnation, which is the dividing point of all human history. Originally, it was intended to honor, not Mithras or any of the other mystery religion cults, but the birth of our King. Incidentally, Easter can be traced to Ishtar in the ancient world. But the Christian church coming together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus is hardly something I think would provoke the wrath of God. I wish we had more annual festivals. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, celebrates with great joy the Feast of the Ascension every year. Some Protestant bodies do, but most do not. I wish we would celebrate that great event in the life of Christ when he was raised up into heaven to be crowned King of kings and Lord of lords. We celebrate his birth; we celebrate his death. I wish we would also celebrate his coronation.

  • joe100821

    We the American people must correct the problems in Congress. In 2012 we will have the opportunity to remove inept,corrupt, and greedy elected representatives that quite frankly should have been removed many many years ago. Our country will never recover from its serious economic ills until we the people take action on this grave matter.

  • Catken1

    “What matters is the celebration of the occurrence of the holy event, and if somebody picked Dec 25th some time ago for the celebration, let us celebrate it then. If some Germans 200 year ago decided to celebrate the event with a pine tree covered with family made ornaments, that is good enough, let us all do itTHE celebration of THE holy event? As if there were only one holy day and one holy event this time of year.Let US celebrate it, let us ALL do it – as if we all must celebrate YOUR holy day for it to be meaningful to you.Celebrate your holy day when and as you please. But do also recognize that others have different holy days, some of them also falling at this time of year, and respect their rights to celebrate as they please, too. And if you want to have public celebration and promotion of your holiday, you must accept that others, yes, even atheists, have the right to the same. No less and no more.

  • bobmoses

    As usual, OnFaith is provides yet another partisan liberal screed wrapped in the fig leaf of faith.OnFaith is by far the most extreme and partisan column/blog operated by the Post.

  • Catken1

    “As usual, OnFaith is provides yet another partisan liberal screed wrapped in the fig leaf of faith.OnFaith is by far the most extreme and partisan column/blog operated by the Post. “Read this: WAAAAH! On Faith is not solely dedicated to articles praising Christianity, telling everyone that Christians are the only moral people, and arguing that everyone ought to be Christian, by force if necessary! WAAAH! They say things I disagree with sometimes! They say things which aren’t entirely complimentary to me and my beliefs! They actually have the gall to suggest that free speech and freedom of religion applies to people other than my kind! WAAAAAAH!

  • david6

    bobmoses -Oh, yes, there is partisanship in some of these columns, but Cal Thomas, among others here, will take offense if you claim he is liberal.Religions teach whatever people what them to teach. They always will. If people own slaves, they will break the Baptists apart to create a Baptist convention that approves of slavery. God has nothing to do with it.

  • mightysparrow

    The “War on Christmas” is really a war on Judaism, Hanukkah and all non-Christian faiths. Saying “Happy Holidays” doesn’t exclude Christmas, it includes Christmas, Hanukkah and other religious holidays celebrated by various faiths during the same time of year. However, radical Christians appear to want to deny to non-Christians the acknowledgment of their holidays and observances – thereby forcing Christianity and only Christianity on us all. This nothing but arm-twisting bigotry.The phrase Keeping Christ in Christmas is merely a smokescreen for Excluding Non-Christian Religious Beliefs from the season, thereby discouraging people from observing non-Christian faiths. And that is the real, un-American agenda behind the War on Hanukkah. When I see postings saying things like “I can’t think of anything that would be more pleasing to Christ than celebrating his birthday,” I am afraid of people who have so much hubris and self-centered ethnocentrism that they think they personally know best what Christ would think. Truly frightening. I worry about the future of religious freedom in the U.S.A.

  • talbritton

    This argument makes me think of the preacher who told me Jesus would support capital punishment. “Definitely”, he said. I asked: “Capital punishment killed Jesus, the most innocent of men. Why would he be for it?” He looked at me, speechless, as if he had never considered what was to me the first question to be pondered. I think millions of “christians” don’t even know who Jesus was. My Jesus would not carry political signs, and certainly not a gun. And for those who do these things in his name, he might throw up his hands, shake his head, and mutter to himself: “I give up!”

  • syzito

    Christ was concerned with the salvation of mankind not social agendas like the modern churches seem to think.It fact most of them aren’t even Christian by definition of what a Christian is.Watering the doctrines down to a social level destroys Christian theology and changes it into a secular do-good feel-good theology that has nothing to do with true Christian beliefs.

  • shorstman1

    What a mess of misunderstandings and gibberish. Think about what Merry Christmas means, Can You? Do you have the Willpower? For those that don’t get it, Jesus was in fact born, this is historically correct. Read the Bible! Wait the Bible may be to hard for certain individuals to grasp. But for those above who fight for GOD and truly know by faith alone that he is real then, Thank you. Don’t let the unbelievers shake you up. We celebrate the Birth of our Savior and for the rest of the people that don’t believe, I don’t know what they celebrate.

  • cprferry

    “Jesus was Jewish – he didn’t celebrate Christmas.Jesus was a Jenovah’s Witness – he didn’t celebrate Christmas?

  • greenstheman

    eezmamata Wrote:GREENSTHEMAN, the difference between fools like you and the muslims is merely a bit of explosive. You’re just as much a believer in absurdities as they are.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;Think of me what you will, I do know that Jesus loves you too.

Read More Articles

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

shutterstock_134310734
Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

concert
Why I Want to Be Culturally Evangelical

I’ve lost my faith. Do I have to lose my heritage, too?

shutterstock_37148347
What Is a Saint?

How the diversity of saintly lives reveals multiple paths toward God.

987_00
An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.