In an opinion piece in the New York Times the Freedom From Religion Foundation claims that Christians stole Christmas from pagans and that if the U.S. government were truly fair they would replace Christmas with a universal celebration of Winter Solstice on December 21st:
The winter solstice is, after all, the reason for the season. It signals the rebirth of the sun and the natural new year. For millennia, our ancestors in the Northern Hemisphere have greeted this seasonal event with festivals of light, gift exchanges and feasts. The federal governmentâ€™s description of Christmas as a federal holiday claims: â€œDecorating houses and yards with lights, putting up Christmas trees, giving gifts, and sending greeting cards have become holiday traditions even for many non-Christian Americans.â€ But it is the Christians who stole Christmas. We donâ€™t mind sharing the season with them, but we donâ€™t like their pretense that is the birthday of Jesus.
The piece was written by FFRF co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor. In it she suggests that Congress can either establish December 25th as “Family Day”, similar to Uruguay, or replace Christmas with a celebration of Winter Solstice.
The media, and pro-Christmas factions like the Liberty Council and the American Family Association, likes to paint the FFRF as being “at war” with Christmas. We would suggest that the FFRF’s real problem is with recorded history.
The declaration of Christmas as a federal holiday happened not as a passionate, religiously driven movement way back in 1870. It was actually a fairly quiet resolution to a sticky holiday dilemma for federal workers. The establishment of the holiday then or since had nothing to do with religious observance or the imposition of religious devotion by the government. It was and has been merely a declaration of “time off”. Nobody from the government mandated worship of anything.
The Supreme Court has ruled on this many times. So many times, in fact, it becomes tiresome to discuss it. Perhaps that is why the FFRF is publishing this latest rant on President’s Day.
But Ms. Gaylor and the FFRF have an even bigger problem with ancient history. While they are quick to recognize the Winter Solstice they fail in their arguments that the Winter Solstice in many societies is as much a religious observance as Christmas is for many today. Why replace one religious observance promoted by the government for another?
More importantly, they fail to recognize the origins of pagan sun worship and specifically its ties to….Christianity.
It appears the FFRF wants to deny religion before Christ. History doesn’t support that. It appears the FFRF wants the Constitution to forbid religious connection of any sort. But the Constitution does not support that. And it appears that the FFRF wants to impose its belief of non-belief on everyone.