If you love Christmas, thank a Pagan



G

GQ

Guest
If you love Christmas, thank a pagan
By SUSAN GABLE
Judging from recent columns and letters, it seems many readers believe
Christians were the first to have the idea of a midwinter holiday.
It's time to set the record straight.

Many, if not most, early pagan cultures celebrated the winter
solstice. The ancient Romans celebrated Saturnalia, in honor of the
god of agriculture, in December. It was a time of masquerades in the
streets, festive banquets, visiting friends, decorating with garlands
of green accented with candles, and exchanging good-luck gifts.

The upper-class followers of the Persian god Mithra celebrated his
birthday on Dec. 25, the ''Birth of the Unconquerable Sun.'' Ancient
Mesopotamians celebrated Zagmuk, when they believed their chief god
Marduk would do battle with the forces of chaos for 12 days near the
winter solstice.

The Norse celebrated yule from the solstice into January, with the
burning of the yule log and feasts. Germanic countries honored Oden in
December. It was believed that he made nocturnal flights, checking up
on his people and deciding who would prosper and who would perish
during the coming year. Throughout Europe, people had ways of
celebrating the return of longer days as the winter solstice passed.

Around 350 AD, Pope Julius I was the first to declare Dec. 25 as the
day to celebrate the birth of Christ. Earlier observances of the birth
of Jesus had been solemn remembrances on different dates.

Church leaders apparently hoped that the pagan holidays celebrated
then would eventually be celebrated simply as Christmas. For the most
part, they succeeded in transferring the customs from the old gods to
the new one, though the custom of coming home from church to start a
raucous, drunken celebration was probably not entirely what they had
in mind.

After the Reformation, some Protestant groups banned the celebration
of Christmas altogether on the grounds that it was primarily a pagan
celebration. The Puritans noted that the Bible gives no date for the
birth of Jesus as part of their argument against observing Christmas.

Celebrating Christmas was illegal in Boston from 1659 to 1681.

Congress was in session on Dec. 25, 1789, the first Christmas under
the new Constitution, a remnant of the Puritan rejection of the
holiday. Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until 1870, after
waves of new immigrants had arrived bringing their Christmas customs
with them.

In short, anyone who enjoys the traditions of the season - decorating,
visiting with friends and family, feasting, exchanging gifts - should
thank a pagan and wish him ''Happy Holidays.''

Susan Gable lives in Mashpee.

http://www.capecodonline.com/archives/7days/thurs/myview.htm
 
X-No-archive: yes
GQ wrote:
> The upper-class followers of the Persian god Mithra celebrated his
> birthday on Dec. 25, the ''Birth of the Unconquerable Sun.''


There is very little if any evidence for this in the historical record,
however.

The idea that modern Christmas has pagan origins is not true, in our
culture at least.

All the best,

Roger Pearse
 
P

Peter Aitken

Guest
<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> X-No-archive: yes
> GQ wrote:
>> The upper-class followers of the Persian god Mithra celebrated his
>> birthday on Dec. 25, the ''Birth of the Unconquerable Sun.''

>
> There is very little if any evidence for this in the historical record,
> however.
>
> The idea that modern Christmas has pagan origins is not true, in our
> culture at least.
>
> All the best,
>
> Roger Pearse
>


I have to disagree with you on this. The Christians were very good at
co-opting earlier ceremonies and festivals, and almost all of the things
associated with modern Xmas - evergreens, yule logs, gift giving - were part
of pagan winter solstice ceremonies. It's actually more accurate to say that
modern Xmas has no Christian origins. It was at best a very minor Christian
holiday for centuries, and at worst was ignored or actively condemned by
some Christian groups. Modern Xmas is more an invention of retailers and
card merchants.


--
Peter Aitken
 
M

Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to send

Guest
I second the motion. My secular history textbook at a secular college
said that the reason why the Roman Empire made such phenomenal conquests
is that they would incorporate the pagan religious customs of each group
into some Roman Catholic ritual(s) in order to more easily attract
them so they could be more easily conquered. If you think about it, it
was a really intelligent way to assimilate them.

Peter Aitken wrote:
>
> I have to disagree with you on this. The Christians were very good at
> co-opting earlier ceremonies and festivals, and almost all of the things
> associated with modern Xmas - evergreens, yule logs, gift giving - were part
> of pagan winter solstice ceremonies. It's actually more accurate to say that
> modern Xmas has no Christian origins. It was at best a very minor Christian
 
B

Bob (this one)

Guest
[email protected] wrote:

> The idea that modern Christmas has pagan origins is not true, in our
> culture at least.


Without parsing that sentence down to it's split hairs, much of what
combines to be modern Christmas has been brought into the whole thing
from outside influences; pagan, cultural, social or whatever. For
examples: the Romans and their Saturnalia festival timing, the northern
"barbarians" and their trees, and the legends surrounding St.
Nikolas/Sinterklaas/Santa Claus.

The reverse position holds no strength, that Christmas is a purely
Christian creation owing nothing to anyone else.

Pastorio
 
O

Ophelia

Guest
"Bob (this one)" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> [email protected] wrote:
>
>> The idea that modern Christmas has pagan origins is not true, in our
>> culture at least.

>
> Without parsing that sentence down to it's split hairs, much of what
> combines to be modern Christmas has been brought into the whole thing
> from outside influences; pagan, cultural, social or whatever. For
> examples: the Romans and their Saturnalia festival timing, the
> northern "barbarians" and their trees, and the legends surrounding St.
> Nikolas/Sinterklaas/Santa Claus.
>
> The reverse position holds no strength, that Christmas is a purely
> Christian creation owing nothing to anyone else.


I think the OP was being disingenuous.

O
 
G

Gregory Morrow

Guest
The Pagans I've encountered are just about the stupidest persons I've
ever known...they fall into the "New Age" category and IMNSHO that
should re - named the "Moron" category...

--
Best
Greg "I think it's time to get re - birthed..."


GQ wrote:
> If you love Christmas, thank a pagan


[SNIP idjit twaddle]
 
P

Pan Ohco

Guest
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 08:14:35 -0800, Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to
send wrote:

>I second the motion. My secular history textbook at a secular college
>said that the reason why the Roman Empire made such phenomenal conquests
>is that they would incorporate the pagan religious customs of each group

This was done before Christianity. As in the Romans incorporating
Greek gods and practices in to their religion.

> into some Roman Catholic ritual(s) in order to more easily attract
>them so they could be more easily conquered. If you think about it, it
>was a really intelligent way to assimilate them.
>
>Peter Aitken wrote:
>>
>> I have to disagree with you on this. The Christians were very good at
>> co-opting earlier ceremonies and festivals, and almost all of the things
>> associated with modern Xmas - evergreens, yule logs, gift giving - were part
>> of pagan winter solstice ceremonies.

Agreed.

>>It's actually more accurate to say that
>> modern Xmas has no Christian origins. It was at best a very minor Christian

Christmas is one of two core beliefs in christianity.
The "x" was use as replacement for "Christ" during years of
prosecution. Until modern times when it is being use, to remove the
word "Christ" from Christmas.
 
K

kevnbro

Guest
>The Pagans I've encountered are just about the stupidest persons I've ever known...they fall into the "New Age" category and IMNSHO that should re - named the "Moron" category...

Yet another fine example of "believe what I believe or you're a
moron/evil/unpatriotic/going to hell/immoral/unethical/a liberal/a
terrorst etc. etc. etc. etc. insert self-rightious accusation here".
Kev
 
D

Damsel in dis Dress

Guest
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:17:21 -0600, Pan Ohco <[email protected]> wrote:

> Christmas is one of two core beliefs in christianity.
> The "x" was use as replacement for "Christ" during years of
> prosecution.


> Until modern times when it is being use, to remove the
> word "Christ" from Christmas.


That bugs me. I don't consider myself a Christian at this point in my
life, but have in the past.

And never having been a Roman Catholic, I'm still offended by one
church in particular, in the St. Paul area. It's called Presentation
of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They refer to her as BVM. I think these
things show a lack of respect.

Keep the Christ in Christmas. I used to take a ceramics class. I
made a music box that shows Santa on his knees, showing respect for
the baby Jesus. I love that piece. It plays Silent Night.

Carol
--

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/head_trollop/my_photos
 
G

Gregory Morrow

Guest
kevnbro wrote:

> >The Pagans I've encountered are just about the stupidest persons I've ever known...they fall into the "New Age" category and IMNSHO that should re - named the "Moron" category...

>
> Yet another fine example of "believe what I believe or you're a
> moron/evil/unpatriotic/going to hell/immoral/unethical/a liberal/a
> terrorst etc. etc. etc. etc. insert self-rightious accusation here".



Yet you cannot refute the veracity of what I said - go ahead, TRY...

--
Best
Greg
 
J

jmcquown

Guest
Gregory Morrow wrote:
> kevnbro wrote:
>
>>> The Pagans I've encountered are just about the stupidest persons
>>> I've ever known...they fall into the "New Age" category and IMNSHO
>>> that should re - named the "Moron" category...

>>
>> Yet another fine example of "believe what I believe or you're a
>> moron/evil/unpatriotic/going to hell/immoral/unethical/a liberal/a
>> terrorst etc. etc. etc. etc. insert self-rightious accusation here".

>
>
> Yet you cannot refute the veracity of what I said - go ahead, TRY...


Thank you for calling me stupid.

Jill
 
G

Gregory Morrow

Guest
Ophelia wrote:

> "Bob (this one)" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> > [email protected] wrote:
> >
> >> The idea that modern Christmas has pagan origins is not true, in our
> >> culture at least.

> >
> > Without parsing that sentence down to it's split hairs, much of what
> > combines to be modern Christmas has been brought into the whole thing
> > from outside influences; pagan, cultural, social or whatever. For
> > examples: the Romans and their Saturnalia festival timing, the
> > northern "barbarians" and their trees, and the legends surrounding St.
> > Nikolas/Sinterklaas/Santa Claus.
> >
> > The reverse position holds no strength, that Christmas is a purely
> > Christian creation owing nothing to anyone else.

>
> I think the OP was being disingenuous.



Or merely stupid...

--
Best
Greg
 
K

Kate B

Guest
"Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to send" <[email protected]> wrote in
message news:[email protected]
> I second the motion. My secular history textbook at a secular college
> said that the reason why the Roman Empire made such phenomenal conquests
> is that they would incorporate the pagan religious customs of each group
> into some Roman Catholic ritual(s) in order to more easily attract
> them so they could be more easily conquered. If you think about it, it
> was a really intelligent way to assimilate them.


What are you talking about and please identify the "secular" college that
had text books that taught that the Roman Empire was operating with the
Roman Catholic church as its guiding light? Christianity was not exactly
popular during the empire building era of ancient Rome. While I agree with
what Peter Aitken said what you contributed is pure and utter BS.

Kate
>
> Peter Aitken wrote:
> >
> > I have to disagree with you on this. The Christians were very good at
> > co-opting earlier ceremonies and festivals, and almost all of the things
> > associated with modern Xmas - evergreens, yule logs, gift giving - were

part
> > of pagan winter solstice ceremonies. It's actually more accurate to say

that
> > modern Xmas has no Christian origins. It was at best a very minor

Christian
 
W

William Wagner

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Damsel in dis Dress <[email protected]> wrote:

> On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:17:21 -0600, Pan Ohco <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > Christmas is one of two core beliefs in christianity.
> > The "x" was use as replacement for "Christ" during years of
> > prosecution.

>
> > Until modern times when it is being use, to remove the
> > word "Christ" from Christmas.

>
> That bugs me. I don't consider myself a Christian at this point in my
> life, but have in the past.
>
> And never having been a Roman Catholic, I'm still offended by one
> church in particular, in the St. Paul area. It's called Presentation
> of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They refer to her as BVM. I think these
> things show a lack of respect.
>
> Keep the Christ in Christmas. I used to take a ceramics class. I
> made a music box that shows Santa on his knees, showing respect for
> the baby Jesus. I love that piece. It plays Silent Night.
>
> Carol


Perhaps some music


Silent Night.... Rotary Connection


Minnie Ripperton alas no longer here.


Bill

--
Garden Shade Zone 5 S Jersey USA in a Japanese Jungle Manner.39.6376 -75.0208
This article is posted under fair use rules in accordance with
Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and is strictly for the educational
and informative purposes. This material is distributed without profit.
 
C

Curly Sue

Guest
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 13:23:16 -0500, William Wagner
<[email protected]> wrote:

>In article <[email protected]>,
> Damsel in dis Dress <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:17:21 -0600, Pan Ohco <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>> > Christmas is one of two core beliefs in christianity.
>> > The "x" was use as replacement for "Christ" during years of
>> > prosecution.

>>
>> > Until modern times when it is being use, to remove the
>> > word "Christ" from Christmas.

>>
>> That bugs me. I don't consider myself a Christian at this point in my
>> life, but have in the past.
>>
>> And never having been a Roman Catholic, I'm still offended by one
>> church in particular, in the St. Paul area. It's called Presentation
>> of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They refer to her as BVM. I think these
>> things show a lack of respect.
>>
>> Keep the Christ in Christmas. I used to take a ceramics class. I
>> made a music box that shows Santa on his knees, showing respect for
>> the baby Jesus. I love that piece. It plays Silent Night.
>>
>> Carol

>
>Perhaps some music
>
>
>Silent Night.... Rotary Connection
>
>
>Minnie Ripperton alas no longer here.
>


My guess it was one of the high notes in "loving you" that did her in
:)

Sue(tm)
Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
 
G

GQ

Guest
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:17:21 -0600, Pan Ohco <[email protected]> wrote:

>On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 08:14:35 -0800, Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to
>send wrote:
>
>>I second the motion. My secular history textbook at a secular college
>>said that the reason why the Roman Empire made such phenomenal conquests
>>is that they would incorporate the pagan religious customs of each group

>This was done before Christianity. As in the Romans incorporating
>Greek gods and practices in to their religion.
>
>> into some Roman Catholic ritual(s) in order to more easily attract
>>them so they could be more easily conquered. If you think about it, it
>>was a really intelligent way to assimilate them.
>>
>>Peter Aitken wrote:
>>>
>>> I have to disagree with you on this. The Christians were very good at
>>> co-opting earlier ceremonies and festivals, and almost all of the things
>>> associated with modern Xmas - evergreens, yule logs, gift giving - were part
>>> of pagan winter solstice ceremonies.

>Agreed.
>
>>>It's actually more accurate to say that
>>> modern Xmas has no Christian origins. It was at best a very minor Christian

>Christmas is one of two core beliefs in christianity.
>The "x" was use as replacement for "Christ" during years of
>prosecution. Until modern times when it is being use, to remove the
>word "Christ" from Christmas.


LOLOLOLOL Actually, most people use the "x" just to shorten the word
and nothing more. I am sure some use it to not use the word Christ but
more often than not is for shortening the word and nothing more. Do
you also see conspiracies in a can of corn?
 
G

GQ

Guest
On 17 Dec 2005 09:03:28 -0800, "Gregory Morrow"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>The Pagans I've encountered are just about the stupidest persons I've
>ever known...they fall into the "New Age" category and IMNSHO that
>should re - named the "Moron" category...


Unfortuately that seems to be the case for a goodly portion of them
but there are true Pagans that people would not even know because they
just live their lives without belittling others and without bothering
others.
 
G

GQ

Guest
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:58:02 -0600, "jmcquown"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Gregory Morrow wrote:
>> kevnbro wrote:
>>
>>>> The Pagans I've encountered are just about the stupidest persons
>>>> I've ever known...they fall into the "New Age" category and IMNSHO
>>>> that should re - named the "Moron" category...
>>>
>>> Yet another fine example of "believe what I believe or you're a
>>> moron/evil/unpatriotic/going to hell/immoral/unethical/a liberal/a
>>> terrorst etc. etc. etc. etc. insert self-rightious accusation here".

>>
>>
>> Yet you cannot refute the veracity of what I said - go ahead, TRY...

>
>Thank you for calling me stupid.
>
>Jill
>

Just ignore it Jill.
 
P

Peter Aitken

Guest
"Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to send" <[email protected]> wrote in
message news:[email protected]
>I second the motion. My secular history textbook at a secular college said
>that the reason why the Roman Empire made such phenomenal conquests is that
>they would incorporate the pagan religious customs of each group into some
>Roman Catholic ritual(s) in order to more easily attract them so they could
>be more easily conquered. If you think about it, it was a really
>intelligent way to assimilate them.
>


I think you need to check out that history book again. The time of the Roman
Empire's great conquests was well before christinity was accepted as their
official religion.

--
Peter Aitken
Visit my recipe and kitchen myths page at www.pgacon.com/cooking.htm