The Fox News editor O’Reilly is upset that the Governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee, called a christmas tree a season’s tree. The editor starts out by calling names. He calls anyone who disagrees with his view of Christmas, “far-left”, “far-left loons”, launching a vitriolic smear campaign, etc.
He then continues to explain: “No intelligent person could possibly see a secular display of Christmas as an imposition of religion.” What? A secular display of a Mass for Christ, the son of God? How does this guy understand logic? Nothing about the worship of God or Christ can be named secular.
He takes a comment from an atheist about the right not to partake in religous practices, as a starting point for his argument. Arguing that christianity is not a religion, “it is a philosophy”. No way, Mr O’Reilly! Any “philosophy” that claims there is a God commanding worship, is a religion. There are no two ways about it. There are many directions or diverging churches within the christian faith. Just as there are different ways of practicing islam or judaism. And by the way, the expression “faith”, reveals that it is a religion.
He asks which christian church the federal government is promoting. But that is of course completely beside the point. The American constitution does not mention God. It sometimes refers to a “creator”, but this may just as well be understood as something other than a God, for example biological parents or evolution and natural selection. But religion, implicitly christianity, was imposed step by step on the American people, and most clearly by the former witness (as in Jehova’s witness), President Eisenhower. He was the one who introduced God into the Pledge of Allegiance and on the dollar bills. This has gravely deminished the secular state of the USA.
O’Reilly shows his private copy of President Coolidge’s christmas greetings to the American people and claims there was no religous message in it. Well, duh? With all the ingredients of the naisence of Christ present? Only complete ignorants can miss that message.
He argues that by not calling a christmas tree, a christmas tree, tradition is ruined. Well good, some traditions needs to be discarded. If O’Reilly wants a thorough description of the history of christmas trees, he may be in for a schock.
Christmas is as I described in the opening, a “mass for Christ”. More precisely his supposed date of birth. The season is in english also known as Yuletide, or in Scandinavian languages Juletid. This has nothing to do with christianity. The word goes back to heathen times when the turning of the year marked by the mid winter solstice was an important event that needed celebrations and offerings. A good place to perform ritual offerings was a sacred grove, which is a place with (often) large trees in a spacious setting alowing for a gathering of worshipers. The offerings were often hung in the branches of the trees.
When christianity was imposed on the Nordic people, this mid winter celebration was dedicated to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. But the season was not renamed, it was still called Jul. People brought a reminder of pagan rituals at the grove, with them through time by bringing one juleträd, a “yule tree” to their home, erected outdoors. Still hanging an “offering” in a branch. This practice was taken indoors in Germany in the 15th century. They named it the Tannenbaum, which translates to the “spruce tree”. When this custom came “back” to Scandinavia the tree was called a julgran “yule spruce” and there was still no sign or mentioning of Christ associated with the tree.
So the governor is right, it is a season tree, the tree of Yule tide or Yule season, bringing season’s greetings to everyone. The adamant practice of calling it a christmas tree (in english) is imposing a christian view of the tradition upon the tree ceremony and practice.
Norwegian linguists are about to publish a scientific paper in which they claim evidence of the english language being evolved from the Nordic languages. This comes as no surprise to those of us who for a long time has pointed to the much more frequent similarities between old Nordic dialects and english than the acadmeic view that the Nordic languages are stemming from german. For those of you who read norwegian or swedish, here are links to interviews with the authors.
On the subject of secularity in government, I am steadfast that this has to be the case. God does not have the right to vote here, and those who claim to vote in his place should be expelled from representing us in parliaments and public office. Conservatism often preach the virtue of religion. This is a dangerous path for republics and democracies. Conservatism in this mode is a collectivistic ideology that hampers the rights of the individual. Just as bad as socialism. To the individual it does not matter if his freedom is limited by the party officials or by the church elders. I fear that American conservatives will drive their nation into a religious civil war if they continue to pursue the religious (christian) view of politics.
Mr O’Reilly is most certainly aware that it is a sin to tell a lie. This notion was held also by the old Vikings and Norsemen.
This blog is dedicated to freedom, individual liberty, property rights and other views on contemporary politics that catches my interest. Todays post is number 1000 since the start, six of them contributed by other authors.