It’s that time of year when, once again, we are treated to the annual Fox News Channel “War on Christmas” diatribes. For some reason, the Fox pundits believe that wishing someone “Happy Holidays” is an insult to Christianity. It’s not. It’s simply a sentiment intended to include those of all religious backgrounds. Certainly, the majority of Americans call themselves Christian. But our population also includes Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists, Pagans, Atheists and more. If you don’t know someone’s religious beliefs (and not everyone wears a necklace with a cross, a star or other symbol of faith), wishing them “Happy Holidays” is not insulting. It’s simply being polite.
This year, the Fox nitwits have become even more extreme than usual. They now claim that Santa Claus (a largely mythical and secular character) is white. They have also stated that Jesus was white. (Yes, white as in Caucasian white.)
The story of Santa originated with Saint Nicholas, a man of Turkish origin who was known for his generosity to the poor. His ancestry would indicate that he was not white. And, although the real St. Nick was always depicted with a beard, he was hardly the portly, cherubic character that most kids think of today. Since today’s Santa Claus is a figment of the imagination, people can imagine him to be white, black, brown or green. It really doesn’t matter.
As for Jesus, he was Jewish, not Caucasian. Even the most devoutly revisionist Christians should know that! Yes, over the centuries, artists have often portrayed Jesus as white. But artists tend to represent historical figures according to their own cultural heritage. Such renderings should not be confused with reality.
Moreover, few historians believe that Christ was actually born on December 25. The exact date of his birth is unknown. Historians have placed the date sometime between March and October from 7 to 2 BC. Likely the celebration of his birth was moved to December 25 in order to coincide with the Winter Solstice, thus encouraging Pagans and others to adopt Christianity without giving up the celebration of one of their most important holidays. When we celebrate Christmas on December 25, we are also honoring an important tradition of Pagans and other ancient cultures.
The point of all this is that, if it wants to be taken seriously as a news source, Fox should get its facts straight. And it should stop trying to pit one religion against another and one group against another. It causes me no harm if you want to put the Christ back in Christmas. Nor does it cause me any harm if you want to put the Pagan back in the Solstice. However you celebrate the season, it should be a time to gather with family and friends. It should be a time of happiness and joy.
Happy Holidays everyone!