Marriage is love.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Commercialize Christmas, or Else

From the New York Times:

Religious conservatives have a cause this holiday season: the commercialization of Christmas. They're for it.


This campaign - which is being hyped on Fox and conservative talk radio - is an odd one...There is also something perverse, when Christians are being jailed for discussing the Bible in Saudi Arabia and slaughtered in Sudan, about spending so much energy on stores that sell "holiday trees." What is less obvious, though, is that Christmas's self-proclaimed defenders are rewriting the holiday's history...America has a complicated history with Christmas, going back to the Puritans, who despised it. What the boycotters are doing is not defending America's Christmas traditions, but creating a new version of the holiday that fits a political agenda.

The Puritans considered Christmas un-Christian, and hoped to keep it out of America. They could not find Dec. 25 in the Bible, their sole source of religious guidance, and insisted that the date derived from Saturnalia, the Roman heathens' wintertime celebration...From 1659 to 1681 Massachusetts went further, making celebrating Christmas "by forbearing of labor, feasting or in any other way" a crime....