Mary Zeiss Stange writes a wonderful piece Christmas, Pagans, and Religious Divergence in today’s USA Today. She outlines the pre-Christian, pagan roots of our Christmas celebrations, and reveals the ironic inconsistency of the threatened boycotts by some Christian groups of retailers who wish patrons "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas." From her commentary:
Gone are the days when folks who worried about rampant materialism cautioned that it was time to "put Christ back into Christmas." Now it’s time to put Christ back into Kmart.
(To read more, click on the link above.)
I do not understand why Christians insist that merchants use the Christ Mass to sell their wares. It’s as if we’re encouraging the marketplace to use the name of our Lord – Christ – in vain. For Christ’s sake (oops), can’t we get our act together?
Despite my lament at how pathetic we Christians are, the thrust of her commentary is about the pagan roots of this holiday and our country’s inability to recognize paganism as a legitmate religion. This article is worth reading.
3 thoughts on “Putting Christ back in Kmart”
I’ve been tempted to write to some of these big box companies and tell them that I object to them using my Lord to sell merchandise. Unfortunately, I feel that I’d have to be consistant if I did that. I mean, I would have to not shop there either. I don’t have a lot of alternatives since the small stores are now out of business in my area.
And regarding the “Christians” that objected to the former greeting: well, consistance of thought just isn’t something that is taught, apparently, in Christian schools.
I think what has really pissed me off is Fox using the term “Chrismakah”. I mean, how many cultures can you offend at one time? Why not, “Chrismakahdan”? Or “Kwanchrismakahdan”?
It seems “Happy Holidays” is the preferable greeting to me in that case.
Imagine if Christianity were a minority religion and the majority religion had one of its big holy days around, say, Pentecost. How would it feel having everyone say “Happy Holidays” to include us and recognize our celebration of Pentecost while ignoring Christmas and Easter?
I have very ambivalent feelings about the whole thing. I’ve kind of resigned myself to the fact that there is a secular holiday called “Christmas” that happens to fall at the same time as the Christian holy day of the same name. A lot of the people celebrating Christmas don’t really care that Christians celebrate the birth of Christ under that name, and I’m trying to come to terms with that.
Throwing in non-specific names for the celebration really just confuses the issue.
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