“The most wonderful time of the year” is also the time of the year when we start hearing some denounce Christmas celebrations and Christmas paraphernalia. While we may expect this from atheists, we are sideswiped unexpectedly when it comes from a Christian.
It all comes down to celebrations on December 25th are thought to have pagan roots. Same with the Christmas tree. So if you celebrate on December 25 and have a tree, are you supporting and maybe even celebrating paganism?
Humor me and allow me circumvent that historical topic of paganism for now. In fact let’s just assume, for the sake of argument, that yes, Christmas and the tree really have pagan roots. Maybe on December 25th witches used to worship the trees too. If we go that far, maybe Hitler even used that day and the tree to murder the most people of the year. Far fetched, but let’s just say this is true. What should we make of Christmas on the 25th, and the tree?
Do you want my reaction? Well this is it: SO WHAT! That no prove not’ing!
Actually, the pagan root argument is not really an argument, in fact it really does not tell us anything about the morality of the day or tree. This type of thinking happens to be a fallacy. It’s called a genetic fallacy. For example, consider the Volkswagen company, it was birthed out of Nazi Germany. Hitler himself, the way I understand it, had a direct hand in the company and in the making and designing of some vehicles. So my question to you is this, should we not drive VW’s?
Now the history of the event may be interesting and a novelty of knowledge, but again, it does not say if it is moral or not. If the action or the item itself is immoral, that is the key, not the origin necessarily. Something is good or bad, right or wrong because of the rightness or wrongness or goodness or badness of the thing itself and what it means to the present culture.
Is the thing itself evil and has the general culture ascribe some sort of evil to it is the question, not the origin. Last time I checked, the evergreen with some lights on it is not evil in itself, nor does it hold an evil meaning to those in our culture.
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Songs, Songs, and more Songs
For example, I can guarantee that some Christian songs you sing have a melody or lyrics originating from one with different theological background than you. So? I will even say that some songs were even written by atheists. That type of criteria does not necessarily make a thing wrong, rather what is the content?
Growing up, I remember a Christian song that had very catchy melodic melody. The woman who wrote it later divorced her husband and became a lesbian. Many, including myself, denounce these actions. But many denounced the song too, since she had left Christian teaching and life. However, that is a logical fallacy.
Talking about songs, some claim that singing about trees, such as “O Christmas Tree”, is wrong because it is worshiping the tree. This type of rhetoric is silly. I don’t know of one person who worships a tree like this, but even if one did, that doesn’t make it wrong for another to sing the song. Some worship themselves, a house, fishing, sports, or a job. But none of those things are sins in themselves. Just because some “worship” something, does not make it wrong for you or me, if we are not worshiping that thing.
Maybe one does not want to sing this or other songs because they don’t care for the song. Maybe one would rather just sing songs that specifically speak of Jesus’ birth (which some versions of “O Christmas Tree” does). Maybe some do not want to sing it so as to not “offend” other Christians. OK, those are somewhat fair positions.
But singing to or about trees does not mean one is worshiping the tree. If so, what about patriotic songs, love songs and songs of remembrance? Poetry is used in all these situations. Is that worship to those things as well? No, of course not.
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You are Not The Grinch Or Scrooge
To finish off, I did want to make one qualification, just because you don’t want to celebrate on the 25th or have a tree, does not make you a Grinch or Scrooge. First off, if it still “offends your conscience” to celebrate, don’t. However, you do now know why these should not offend your conscience.
Second, many are struggling financially, it would be unwise to spend lot’s of resources on the the paraphernalia of Christmas. If that is you, I would encourage you to not celebrate, you have no obligation to keep up with your neighbors. Live on beans and rice till you get on your feet again.
The third one is much like the above, except that some may just feel it is a waste of resources to celebrate extravagantly, fine. I very much sympathies with this and think it is a legitimate objection. In fact, this is basically my position. The amount of time some put into building their trees, decorations and complex lawn decorations is almost embarrassing.
I have a passion to have answers for Christianity as Peter taught us to do. I would love for you to come along with me and not miss a post! In the future, I plan on giving more resources and answers you can share with both believers and unbelievers. Plus, I want to send you a Free Quick Guide why I think science points to God. I would love for you to have this Free Quick Guide and the latest posts straight to your inbox.
What are your reasons for celebrating Christmas or not celebrating Christmas? Please post them below.