Friday, December 26, 2008
Just to follow up on the excerpt from The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford I posted, here is a commentary by one A.W.R. Hawkins, a columnist for Human Events (an outlet that seems to think Ann Coulter is a serious political voice):
It's Christmas time but Christmas cheer isn't abounding as it did when we were kids.Riiight! It's not the recession, or the fact that unemployment filings reached a new 26 year high, that is making this Solstice Season a somber one, it's the news media refusing to ignore the biggest economic news perhaps since the Great Depression and secularists refusing to accept the Puritan's hope of making the American colonies a theocracy that is at fault, and to hell with little historical realities like the Puritans fining people who celebrated Christmas.
The lack of cheer is not due to the recession (which the mainstream media can't quit talking about) but because of the myriad atheistic "Grinches" who have made it their life's goal to steal Christmas.
The way in which Europeans have long referred to Christmas as "holiday" as always bothered me. I've understood it for what it is: an example of their cultural secularization. But when I see the same tendency here in the United States, a nation founded in large part by Puritans who sought to "build a shining city on a hill [to] glorify God," I am not only bothered but surprised, for I never dreamed that citizens of "one nation under God" would allow Leftists and a bunch of two-bit fringe groups to intimidate them into trading the Christmas message for secular, Euro-talk.
It's always puzzled me why our conservatives, who supposedly revere tradition, are so willing to make history up to suit their present beliefs.
A couple points.
1. The Puritans did not found the United States. They were founding a British colony. One where they were free to practice their religion, although they didn't believe others should be free to practice theirs.
2. The Puritans weren't big fans of Christmas. They saw it as basically a pagan holiday with a few Christian trappings, which means corruption. Also Christmas = mass of Christ, a catholic notion, which in itself would have disturbed Protestant ears. In fact, they hated Christmas and banned it several places including Scotland and the Massachusetts colony.