Those that believe that atheists are fighting a successful “War on Christmas” with billboards, need to look back at history. In particular the long parliament and rule under The Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell in England.
The Long Parliament, in fact, met and worked as usual on 25 December 1643. In late 1644 it was noted that 25 December would fall on the last Wednesday of the month, the day of the regular monthly fast, and parliament stressed that 25 December was strictly to be kept as a time of fasting and humiliation, for remembering the sins of those who in the past had turned the day into a feast, sinfully and wrongfully ‘giving liberty to carnal and sensual delights’. Both Houses of Parliament attended intense fast sermons on 25 December 1644.
The war extended to “the abolition of the popish and often sinful celebration of Christmas, as well as of Easter, Whitsun and assorted other festivals and saints’ days.” The puritanical group also wanted to rename it Christ-tide. Sunday was to be the only holy day. The second Tuesday of the month would be a day off without statutory church attendance.
During the late 1640s attempts to prevent public celebrations and to force shops and businesses to stay open had led to violent confrontations between supporters and opponents of Christmas in many towns, including London, Canterbury, Bury St Edmunds and Norwich. Many writers continued to argue in print (usually anonymously) that it was proper to mark Christ’s birth on 25 December and that the secular government had no right to interfere, and it is likely that in practice many people in mid seventeenth century England and Wales continued to mark both the religious and the secular aspects of the Christmas holiday. At the Restoration not only the Directory of Public Worship but also all the other legislation of the period 1642-60 was declared null and void and swept away, and both the religious and the secular elements of the full Twelve Days of Christmas could once again be celebrated openly, in public and with renewed exuberance and wide popular support. The attack on Christmas had failed.
So a devout puritanical religious group used the power of the secular government to wage war on Christmas. Let us be honest the war on Christmas by the American Atheists is like someone using a pea shooter in comparison. Mind you gets you to look – they just want you to think about it!
Looking forward to free people having a mass celebration in their own way.
Here endeth the lesson.
Related blog: Survival Guide for Atheists at Christmas
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog