Saturday, December 03, 2005

Christmas Past and Present

From the Joe Scarborough Show:

HITCHENS: I came here to talk, not to listen to you. You invited me on for my opinions, not to listen to yours.


SCARBOROUGH: OK. Well, you know what, Christopher? I will never make that mistake again.

HITCHENS: Fair enough.

The deal with Christmas is it's a melding of two cultural traditions although I'm not sure how this happened so I'll have to regroup on that one, but it still is nonetheless: A Danish folk story, and the birth of Christ, mythical king of the Jews. It's admittedly an odd combo but that's America for you. We take from everywhere.

The founders were deists save for John Adams, so the idea that the US is founded by Christians is a false proposition. They simply didn't want persecution for belief as they had seen in Europe. But as Rhode Islanders could attest, had quite a history in Massachusetts. I like to think that's why Mass is liberal today, because they were so hardline Puritan conservative back then. The arguments for religion in the public square are straw men. We have freedom to worship wherever and whatever we want which was the idea. Those religions can't co-opt the country because of this freedom.

When one sees a Christmas tree think celebration of life and gifts, of which we have many and are staples of life on Earth. That's good enough for me.


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