Taking the Christ out of Christmas

Talk about anything and everything not related to this site or the Dreamcast, such as news stories, political discussion, or anything else. If there's not a forum for it, it belongs in here. Also, be warned that personal insults, threats, and spamming will not be tolerated.
Post Reply
User avatar
Stormwatch
DCEmu Fan
DCEmu Fan
Posts: 2090
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2002 11:55 pm
Location: Brazil
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Taking the Christ out of Christmas

Post by Stormwatch » Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:29 am

Christmas Should be More Commercial
by Leonard Peikoff

- - -

Christmas in America is an exuberant display of human ingenuity, capitalist productivity, and the enjoyment of life. Yet all of these are castigated as "materialistic"; the real meaning of the holiday, we are told, is assorted Nativity tales and altruist injunctions (e.g., love thy neighbor) that no one takes seriously.

In fact, Christmas as we celebrate it today is a 19th-century American invention. The freedom and prosperity of post-Civil War America created the happiest nation in history. The result was the desire to celebrate, to revel in the goods and pleasures of life on earth. Christmas (which was not a federal holiday until 1870) became the leading American outlet for this feeling.

Historically, people have always celebrated the winter solstice as the time when the days begin to lengthen, indicating the earth's return to life. Ancient Romans feasted and reveled during the festival of Saturnalia. Early Christians condemned these Roman celebrations -- they were waiting for the end of the world and had only scorn for earthly pleasures. By the fourth century, the pagans were worshipping the god of the sun on December 25, and the Christians came to a decision: if you can't stop 'em, join 'em. They claimed (contrary to known fact) that the date was Jesus' birthday, and usurped the solstice holiday for their Church.

Even after the Christians stole Christmas, they were ambivalent about it. The holiday was inherently a pro-life festival of earthly renewal, but the Christians preached renunciation, sacrifice, and concern for the next world, not this one. As Cotton Mather, an 18th-century clergyman, put it: "Can you in your consciences think that our Holy Savior is honored by mirth? ... Shall it be said that at the birth of our Savior ... we take time ... to do actions that have much more of hell than of heaven in them?"

Then came the major developments of 19th-century capitalism: industrialization, urbanization, the triumph of science -- all of it leading to easy transportation, efficient mail delivery, the widespread publishing of books and magazines, new inventions making life comfortable and exciting, and the rise of entrepreneurs who understood that the way to make a profit was to produce something good and sell it to a mass market.

For the first time, the giving of gifts became a major feature of Christmas. Early Christians denounced gift-giving as a Roman practice, and Puritans called it diabolical. But Americans were not to be deterred. Thanks to capitalism, there was enough wealth to make gifts possible, a great productive apparatus to advertise them and make them available cheaply, and a country so content that men wanted to reach out to their friends and express their enjoyment of life. The whole country took with glee to giving gifts on an unprecedented scale.

Santa Claus is a thoroughly American invention. There was a St. Nicholas long ago and a feeble holiday connected with him (on December 5). In 1822, an American named Clement Clarke Moore wrote a poem about a visit from St. Nick. It was Moore (and a few other New Yorkers) who invented St. Nick's physical appearance and personality, came up with the idea that Santa travels on Christmas Eve in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, comes down the chimney, stuffs toys in the kids' stockings, then goes back to the North Pole.

Of course, the Puritans denounced Santa as the Anti-Christ, because he pushed Jesus to the background. Furthermore, Santa implicitly rejected the whole Christian ethics. He did not denounce the rich and demand that they give everything to the poor; on the contrary, he gave gifts to rich and poor children alike. Nor is Santa a champion of Christian mercy or unconditional love. On the contrary, he is for justice -- Santa gives only to good children, not to bad ones.

All the best customs of Christmas, from carols to trees to spectacular decorations, have their root in pagan ideas and practices. These customs were greatly amplified by American culture, as the product of reason, science, business, worldliness, and egoism, i.e., the pursuit of happiness.

America's tragedy is that its intellectual leaders have typically tried to replace happiness with guilt by insisting that the spiritual meaning of Christmas is religion and self-sacrifice for Tiny Tim or his equivalent. But the spiritual must start with recognizing reality. Life requires reason, selfishness, capitalism; that is what Christmas should celebrate -- and really, underneath all the pretense, that is what it does celebrate. It is time to take the Christ out of Christmas, and turn the holiday into a guiltlessly egoistic, pro-reason, this-worldly, commercial celebration.

- - -

About the Author: Dr. Peikoff was associate editor, with Ayn Rand, of The Objectivist and The Ayn Rand Letter (1971-76). He is author of Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. He is founder of the Ayn Rand Institute.
Lines join in faint discord and the Stormwatch brews
. . a concert of Kings as the white sea snaps
. . at the heels of a soft prayer
. . whispered
Veggita2099
Janitor 2nd Class
Janitor 2nd Class
Posts: 9018
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2001 7:44 pm
Location: Chesapeake, Ohio
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Post by Veggita2099 » Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:47 am

Too much for me to be bothered to read, but if he is basicalyl saying Christ shoudl be taken out of Christmas he is wrong. The holiday was started because of christ. IT is like saying you should take your kid out of a birthday party. If people want to celebrate X-mas then fine its a free country/world and they can do whatever they feel fit. But the holiday despite what people want to think is christian based and thats all there is too it.
Wii number: 1227 6854 1080 3665
User avatar
Zealous zerotype
zerotype
Posts: 3701
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 7:11 pm
Location: Nashville,TN
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Post by Zealous zerotype » Sun Dec 12, 2004 11:12 am

I thought it was based on a fat man in a red suit.You dont hear no kid going "Dear God I baked your sona cake for his birthday I hope he enjoys A-men" Hell no they dont even care about jesus(most kids anyways) they care about the presents and why should'nt they?
SCO=SCUM=M$=SCO it keeps repeating :P
i'm a randite :worship:
DYTDMFBSB?
There must have been some mistake
I'm not the one who should be saved
My divinity has been denied
Mary and me were both fucked by God
Egotistical EvilN
DCEmu User with No Life
DCEmu User with No Life
Posts: 3516
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2001 12:34 am
Location: Birmingham, Al
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Post by Egotistical EvilN » Sun Dec 12, 2004 12:19 pm

Veggita2099 wrote:Too much for me to be bothered to read, but if he is basicalyl saying Christ shoudl be taken out of Christmas he is wrong. The holiday was started because of christ. IT is like saying you should take your kid out of a birthday party. If people want to celebrate X-mas then fine its a free country/world and they can do whatever they feel fit. But the holiday despite what people want to think is christian based and thats all there is too it.
Actually, it was originaly started in north germany. During the winter in this part of germany, its dark for long periods of time. They decorated the trees, believing that the trees were a sign from nature, and basicly asking nature to provide them with light. Then came along christians, who turned the holiday into their own, aka christmas.

Edit:Which was exactly what the article was talking about.
Image
Image
Veggita2099
Janitor 2nd Class
Janitor 2nd Class
Posts: 9018
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2001 7:44 pm
Location: Chesapeake, Ohio
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Post by Veggita2099 » Sun Dec 12, 2004 12:40 pm

The original christmas started when Jesus was born. At that time it didn't have Santa and Christmas trees and such, but it is meant to celebrate the birth of Jesus. How the other thigns was added to it is a whole other story.
Wii number: 1227 6854 1080 3665
User avatar
greay
DCEmu Ultra Poster
DCEmu Ultra Poster
Posts: 1938
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:59 am
Location: 24 hours from Tulsa
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Post by greay » Sun Dec 12, 2004 1:15 pm

Yeah. we already know.
I'm a lone wolf looking for trouble.
groundbeef
DCEmu Junior
DCEmu Junior
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2004 4:10 pm
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Post by groundbeef » Sun Dec 12, 2004 4:57 pm

Such eloquent garb.

[quote]Life requires reason, selfishness, capitalism; that is what Christmas should celebrate -- and really, underneath all the pretense, that is what it does celebrate. It is time to take the Christ out of Christmas, and turn the holiday into a guiltlessly egoistic, pro-reason, this-worldly, commercial celebration.

Christ is not about guilt or recognition. Stop whining about how others believe. If it is your will to lie to children about a false hero, then keep on living that way. Christmas is another example of paganism trying to force out truth. It is another way to humanize and materialize everything in society. Who cares whetehr I make it to heaven when I can have a Playstation 2, right?
User avatar
AuroEdge
DCEmu Mega Poster
DCEmu Mega Poster
Posts: 1667
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Anywhere
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Post by AuroEdge » Sun Dec 12, 2004 5:05 pm

Fountain Square in Cincinnati is what Times Square is to New York City. Anyways, a recent repeal of a law allows crosses to be displayed in Fountain Square. I think the reason they were originally outlawed was b/c the Klu Klux Klan would always put on up.
Image
"The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is
that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too." -Oscar Levant
Skater_dusto
DCEmu Cool Poster
DCEmu Cool Poster
Posts: 1121
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2002 9:05 pm
Location: Canada
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Post by Skater_dusto » Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:20 pm

Who in the mother fuck really cares? People are too damned politically correct nowadays. Christmas was fine before everyone had to put in their stupid opinions. Now it's like a race to see who can screw christmas over the most.
User avatar
|darc|
DCEmu Webmaster
DCEmu Webmaster
Posts: 16183
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2001 6:00 pm
Location: New Orleans, LA
Has liked: 25 times
Been liked: 5 times
Contact:

Post by |darc| » Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:24 pm

Veggita2099 wrote:The original christmas started when Jesus was born. At that time it didn't have Santa and Christmas trees and such, but it is meant to celebrate the birth of Jesus. How the other thigns was added to it is a whole other story.
Actually, the original christmas started with those other things. At that time it didn't have Jesus and such, but it was meant to celebrate with those other things. How the birth of Jesus was added to it is a whole other story.
It's thinking...
User avatar
greay
DCEmu Ultra Poster
DCEmu Ultra Poster
Posts: 1938
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:59 am
Location: 24 hours from Tulsa
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Post by greay » Mon Dec 13, 2004 2:19 am

Christmas started as a feast celebrating Christ.

The date it falls on was chosen to coincide with other holidays, and most of the customs associated with it have roots far pre-dating Christianity. The earliest recorded Christmas was somewhere around ~300CE. If people want to honor their savior by decorating a tree in the manner that people have done for thousands of years before Jesus was born, does it matter? Does it make their faith any less real that they don't know the names of the gods that used to be honored in the same way? Are their families going to stop coming together once a year to exchange gifts because the pagans used to do the same thing around this time of year?
I'm a lone wolf looking for trouble.
User avatar
Ender
DCEmu Super Poster
DCEmu Super Poster
Posts: 1314
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 4:01 pm
Location: Canada, first igloo on your left.
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Post by Ender » Mon Dec 13, 2004 2:31 am

It makes me sick when I hear people say that capitalism should be applauded.
Image
User avatar
Quzar
Dream Coder
Dream Coder
Posts: 7488
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2002 12:14 am
Location: Miami, FL
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 3 times
Contact:

Post by Quzar » Mon Dec 13, 2004 2:54 am

Taking Christ out of christmas? well ok.. but i think "mas" isn't that good of a name for a holiday :?
"When you post fewer lines of text than your signature, consider not posting at all." - A Wise Man
User avatar
Skynet
DCEmu T-800
DCEmu T-800
Posts: 8595
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 6:27 pm
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:

Post by Skynet » Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:07 am

Merry Mas everyone! :mrgreen:
Live gamertag: SKYNET211

Steam gamertag: SkynetT800
Post Reply