(belated upload is belated). This broadcast launches the “official” War On Christmas, 2014…which will really be a series of discussions on privilege, but the holiday timing and impulsive, reactive media make it fair game. Amanda Novotny (South Dakota director of American Atheists) and I chat for a couple of hours regarding Christmas and Thanksgiving traditions, and their roots. Pertinent, given two key facts:
- There is nothing….nothing, in the various Christmas traditions that are actually unique to Christianity. From the whole idea of an incarnate God and the date chosen all the way through the various cultural celebrations, everything about Christmas is actually borrowed from other religions and traditions, most of which are pagan in origin.
- Thanksgiving is not actually a secular holiday in origin. The various decrees which instantiated our Thanksgiving traditions in the United States were clearly religious. It is a day of giving thanks. To whom? To God, of course. There is an interesting interplay between Christianity’s acceptance of this holiday for secular use, whereas devout Christians tend to get bent all out of shape about the “secularisation” of Christmas. Funny stuff.
Please listen in for a lively romp through these traditions. We’ll cover some of them in a little more depth (and a bit more clinically, I hope) starting next week.