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Article: Christmas Was Opposed By Protestants Until It Became Capitalist And Secular

Posted by Job on December 18, 2007

When it was a religious holiday, Christians rejected it as paganism. But when it became a secular “family values” holiday associated with status and wealth, it was embraced. How odd. How American.

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3 Responses to “Article: Christmas Was Opposed By Protestants Until It Became Capitalist And Secular”

  1. Laz said

    Job,
    Yeah it might be an indicator that folks put up all sorts of elaborate lights and inflatable sets (Santa riding a hog, the Santa band, and the ubiquitous snow globes come to mind, ) but hardly any of these festive folk put up nativity scenes.

  2. Job said

    Laz:

    Well, to be honest, when I was growing up (I appear to be a bit older than you, though not by much!) there WERE a lot more nativity scenes. The nativity scenes seem to have decreased over time. I actually think what happened was that they stopped selling them in stores. My wife and I wanted to put up a nativity scene simply to act as a counterweight to all the Santa stuff (as well as some things that are actually beginning to overtly look, well, pagan), and we actually saw them in stores at that time. But we procrastinated, and let a couple of years slip by, and so by the time we decided “OK, we are going to go ahead and do this” a few years later, we could not find a single nativity scene ANYWHERE. Of course, if you want one badly enough you can still acquire one from a specialty store or something like that, but we just took it as a sign of the times and let it go.

    Also, when I was a child, people used to explicitly say “Christmas” and “Baby Jesus” in association with the event. Now it is referred more and more as “the Holiday season”, “the spirit of the season”, etc. and it is all about Santa. But it really does show what a huge effect capitalism has had on Christianity these past 200 years.

  3. Eden Hadassah said

    I love the “holiday” season. It is a “cultural thing” more than a religious thing for me. I guess I always had a problem with “Christmas Day” because there is no proof that Jesus was born on that day and it doesn’t say that we should proclaim it as a lasting ordinance. With that said, I have always loved this time of year, with the lights and music and of course…the Christmas tree. There are so many different thoughts about Christmas time, that sometimes I just try to stay neutral. My kids weren’t brought up to believe in Santa, and they weren’t brought up to believe that Christ was born on Dec. 25th. Honestly, it doesn’t say when he was born, so I have chosen to be honest with my children about that too, and let them know that it is a time just to celebrate his birth. When Christians start demanding that Christ be kept in “Christmas”, when in fact we all know that he wasn’t even born on December 25th, doesn’t that constitute lying about the messiah? Saying he is real, yet lying about the date of his birth? I guess some do not feel that strongly about it, but I do understand from a different point of view that non-christians have no reverence for Christians that lie about the date of his birth and then demand that He be honored, although they have not honored Him by lying about the date of His birth. I don’t mind honoring him on December 25th, it is tradition…the problem that I guess I personally have with it is that so many Christians will argue and fight for a day, as though it was the real day of his birth, and have convinced themselves of this as though it was a fact.
    We know that almost all of the traditions that we celebrate seem to be pagan in origin. From the ‘tree’, to ‘lights like twinkling stars’ to ‘figurines of the nativity’ that depicts what looks like ‘graven images’, in my heart, I struggle with it all. Striking the balance is hard in our culture. I have friends that do not have any kind of decorations for any holiday accept the high holy days…who grapple with christmas and easter,(militant messianics) and I have friends that have every image under the sun represented at their homes at all the holiday events. They have santa’s and baby Jesus, frosty and enough lights to bring sight back to a blind man.
    I guess for me it comes down to tradition of our culture.
    Maybe I am just rambling now, sorry if anyone was offended by my comments. I know that this is a touchy topic.

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