And today, the TV, the newspapers, and the Facebook is seething with references to the Holiday Season Battles! The tired old efforts to make the winter solstice a time to fight among ourselves linger on.
'way back in early December of 2005, I got an email from an old friend which linked me to this, by Debbie Daniel. (It appears that this link to Debbie's Christmas rant has expired, and you will not be able to view it. She simply raves about the demeaning of OUR Christmas season by trying to "politically correctly" make it a holiday for everybody.)
I thought about what she said, and tried to apply it to what I think, and made the following response. I sent a copy to my friend, and another to Debbie. I don't recall any reply from my friend, but Debbie and I exchanged a couple of emails.
I found that she loves Santa Fe, as I do, and that, although we disagree on a lot of things (which, of course, makes her disillusioned), she's not nearly the nasty person I expected her to be.
OH, MY GOODNESS, I JUST TOOK THE TIME TO
FIND OUT WHO DEBBIE DANIEL IS!
And now it will no longer be necessary for me to take that e-mail message from my dear old friend seriously. Debbie is offended by everything. Although I’m offended by a number of things (old guy’s privilege), I could never live up to her standards.
I can truthfully say that I’m offended by our taking of the ancient American custom of Potlatch and incorporating it into the celebration of our Lord’s birthday.
I suppose I shouldn’t be offended, because such things have been standard practice throughout the history of Christianity. When the early Christians were getting started, there were pagans everywhere, and few Christians. In order to win friends and influence people, those early Christians were just oozing with political correctness.
The birthdate that we celebrate as that of our Lord Jesus was selected to conform to the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. The Christmas tree was originally a pagan symbol as well. These were good things for the Christian faith, because they helped to make converts.
There is nothing being done to keep Christians from celebrating Christmas in any way they choose. Our Constitution allows freedom of religion for everybody.
In the tradition of Potlatch, which is the core of the American Christmas celebration, is it not a noble thing that the merchants try to court as many potential customers as they can? The early Christians would have approved. They knew how to respect people’s cultures (as long as it suited their own purposes).
Hooray for Richard Branson!!!!! Debbie could never live up to his standards, and what’s more, he’s had fun doing it. In the spirit of our early Christian forbears, why not make a truly American holiday of ChristmaHanukaWansa, and decline to worry about Debbie Daniel being offended?
I think Jesus would say that his birthday could best be celebrated by doing good works for people less fortunate. Does Debbie practice that? Or does she just bitch?