The other night while Keith and I were sitting here in the living room, something he heard on Bill O'Reily about the endless Christmas wars prompted him to say...tongue in cheek...
"The Pagans are upset about Christmas because they want their holiday back."
I "got the joke" because I know the pagan origins of so many of our Christmas traditions...many of which came from the celebration of the Winter Solstice. Apparently the AFA either doesn't know or chooses to ignore this. There is another page on their site dedicated to the new commercial from the Gap..."Happy do whatever you wanukkah." Lyrics and video follow:
Two, Four, Six, Eight, now's the time to liberate
Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, Go Kwanza, Go Solstice.
Go classic tree, go plastic tree, go plant a tree, go add a tree,
You 86 the rules, you do what feels just right.
Happy do whatever you wanukkah, and to all a cheery night.
Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, go whatever holiday you wanukkah.
About the commercial the AFA says the following:
Did you notice it? Gap compares Christmas to the pagan holiday called "Solstice." Solstice is celebrated by Wiccans who practice witchcraft!
Ahhh...yeah...so what's your point? News flash American Family Association. Christmas IS an adaptation of the Pagan Holiday...the Winter Solstice. The Gap did not make this up. Whether or not Wiccans practice witchcraft...or observe the Solstice is a subject to take up with google...or a Wiccan. About the relationship of Solstice to Christmas, Religious Tolerance says the following:
CHRISTIANITY: Any record of the date of birth of Yeshua of Nazareth (later known as Jesus Christ) has been lost. There is sufficient evidence in the Gospels to indicate that Yeshua was born in the fall, but this seems to have been unknown to early Christians. By the beginning of the 4th century CE, there was intense interest in choosing a day to celebrate Yeshua's birthday. The western church leaders selected DEC-25 because this was already the date recognized throughout the Roman Empire as the birthday of various Pagan gods. Since there was no central Christian authority at the time, it took centuries before the tradition was universally accepted:
- Eastern churches began to celebrate Christmas after 375 CE.
- The church in Jerusalem started in the 7th century.
- Ireland started in the 5th century
- Austria, England and Switzerland in the 8th
- Slavic lands in the 9th and 10th centuries.
Many symbols and practices associated with Christmas are of Pagan origin: holly, ivy, mistletoe, yule log, the giving of gifts, decorated evergreen tree, magical reindeer, etc. Polydor Virgil, an early British Christian, said "Dancing, masques, mummeries, stageplays, and other such Christmas disorders now in use with Christians, were derived from these Roman Saturnalian and Bacchanalian festivals; which should cause all pious Christians eternally to abominate them." In Massachusetts, Puritans unsuccessfully tried to ban Christmas entirely during the 17th century, because of its heathenism. The English Parliament abolished Christmas in 1647. Some contemporary Christian faith groups do not celebrate Christmas. Included among these was the Worldwide Church of God (before its recent conversion to Evangelical Christianity) and the Jehovah's Witnesses.
For more on this (and to prove that neither the Gap nor I made this up) see the following web sites....This one