Tuesday, 27 December 2011
A secular perspective of celebrating Christmas
As the late Christopher Hitchens pointed out, what do flying reindeers and decorated confier trees have to do with resurrection myths originating in bronze age Palestine? I have as much reason to believe in Father Christmas as I do the impregnation of virgins, and of course, Yahweh. But we can certainly appreciate the cultural existences deriving from Christian faithfulness. John Betjeman was correct to campaign for the restoration of Anglican churches, and "Silent Night" is a profoundly beautiful hymn to me. I will happily be a Larkin-style church goer. The Christmas festival itself derives from the cultural amalgamation of the pagan solstice that has existed for thousand of years, with early Christianity, to make invading cultural enforcement more palatable with the peasant dwellers of Europe. This is accordingly why it made its way to North, South and Central America, and Australasia through colonialism of other forms. The Jehovah's Witnesses sect are theologically consistent in this regard. Christmas accords to false idolisation and detraction from Biblical patriarchy, and is therefore inherently Satanic (or perhaps Santanic) in its now faded but underlying cultural paganism of millenia. We do of course have as much reason to dislike and reject purposeless consumerism, that is just as unattuned to humanity as the Abrahamic primitivism that prohibits Xmas as a minority cult. What difference is there between opportunistic post-Christmas consumerism and the riots and looting of past August? Currency and vandalism. Relevant is Philip Womack's post on J.G. Ballard's perception. We appreciate the festivities for basic human reasons: compassion, comfort and appreciation for that which we might take for granted.