Celebrate Solstices but Forget Christmas

Lester Earnest  https://web.stanford.edu/~learnest/

2017.01.06

 

Long ago, after most people had become farmers, they began holding gatherings of families and friends to celebrate winter solstices because they had little work to do then, having stored enough food to get to the next growing season, and this marked the time when days started getting longer. For example, ancient Romans celebrated Saturnalia, honoring their god of farming Saturn, on December 17. These kinds of gatherings were, and are, an excellent way to socialize and get up to date on what friends are doing.

Christianity was later formed out of Judaism but even though the New Testament described the birth of Jesus in detail it neglected to mention the date of his alleged birth for a good reason that I will not go into here. However when the Romans adopted that religion hundreds of years later they decided that a birthday celebration was needed, so they moved Saturnalia a few days and renamed it “Christmas.”

In the last couple of hundred years, commercial interests figured out that Christmas would be a business opportunity if they could convince everyone to give presents to everyone else, so they invented a new saint called Santa Claus and have since promoted him and the gifting scheme into a very profitable venture even though that has little to do with any religion.

I believe we would be better off if we went back to winter solstice celebrations and drop the commercialized Christmas gifting. Note also that Christmas has long been a national religious holiday in the U.S. even though the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

 

So why has this illegal religious holiday been observed for over 200 years? Because most politicians don’t have the guts to offend the many people who pretend that Christianity takes precedence over all laws. So why do civil liberty organizations not have the guts to challenge this illegal holiday? I invite them to explain.