So no crèche

So one may be having difficulties again, at this time of year, with all the merry merry and the Christmas music. Maybe misplaced, if one considers that many view it as predominantly a secular holiday. Maybe one doesn’t want to be secularly merry, but that shouldn’t stop anyone else, including government, from being so jolly. So explains Associate Professor of Philosophy David Kyle Johnson in “Controversy over public religious Christmas displays in America is fueled by differing beliefs regarding Christmas and American history“, London School of Economics US Centre, December 16, 2013:

…despite the fact that the Church placed it on its calendar, “Christmas” is not a Christian or religious holiday. According to secularists, it was originally a pagan holiday, and has been primarily a secular celebration throughout its history. Christians have tried numerous times to co-opt it—to claim it for Jesus and make it their own—but such efforts have been unsuccessful. They have added religious elements to their own celebrations, such as nativity displays, but, in general, holiday celebrations have remained secular, even after people started calling it “Christmas.” Evergreens, gift giving, feasting, singing – nearly everything we associate with the holiday is of secular origin. Insisting that a government participate, and thus tacitly endorse, the Christian way of celebrating – e.g., by putting up a nativity – is just the latest in a long line of Christian efforts to “Christianize” Christmas, and to reinforce the notion that the U.S. is the “Christian nation” they believe our founders created. This, of course, must be fought given the dangers of mixing religion with government.

Confusing secular and non-secular Christmas music, though not confusing the all this happy family…

About brucelarochelle
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