Friday, December 23, 2011

Banned in Boston

Fox News is beating the drum to awaken us to its truth that Christianity is under attack once again. Stories warn us about things we might never have seen on our own, like the President's secular greeting cards, but cards that say "Happy Holidays" are only the beginning of this threat, which may be worse than even Fox had imagined.

Religious leaders in Boston once worried about Christmas, too. They worried about it dishonoring God, so those radical religionists banned it instead. From the records of the General Court, Massachusetts Bay Colony, May 11, 1659:

"It is therefore ordered by this court and the authority thereof that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shilling as a fine to the county."

In archaic English, Christmas was so anti-Christian to the Puritans that they made it illegal, and then one year it was not, and both the Republic and the church survived.

As in so much of our public life, we need not panic, nationally or in Sun Valley. The winter solstice holiday season is, and always has been, a blend of traditions, worship services, family events and public celebrations with skiing and boarding thrown in for good measure.

There will be revelry and mirth, prayers and meditations, parties and people alone. So ignore rants about attacks on Christmas, ignore rants of all types, and have a great holiday season, however you plan to do so.

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