Shortly after Thanksgiving Faux News trotted out its annual Jeremiad about “The “War On Christmas” allegedly launched by atheists and liberals. This is just fundamentalist claptrap.
Despite its sacred name and origin Christmas has become an essentially secular national holiday, one of many collective celebrations (like Thanksgiving) that bind us together as a nation. If anything has secularized Christmas it’s the transformation of this holiday into “Merchants’ Day,” which is preceded by a month-long orgy of frenzied commercial exploitation of the symbols fundamentalists say they revere. This was not an act of secular “warfare” by progressives or atheists. We are all responsible.
Here at the profoundly secular Data Port we celebrate Christmas as one of the great solstice festivals. We are not at war. We read the stories, decorate the tree, sing carols and rejoice with friends and family right through 12th Night. There are other celebrations at this time of year, of course…Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, and so forth…and we’ll joyfully join with you in whatever celebration is part of your solstice tradition. We’ll respond with a cheerful “Merry Christmas.” No offense taken or intended.
If anyone understood Christmas it was Charles Dickens. In “A Christmas Carol” there is little or nothing that is explicitly ‘religious’; no Magi, no manger, no Christ Child, no camels or star. Scrooge does not undergo a religious conversion, he rediscovers the value of being a caring human being.
Scrooge’s nephew sums it all up this way:
“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that–as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time.”
And so it is. Merry Christmas to all from the gang at The Data Port.