Athens, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem

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Jon Rowe mentioned a "Secular Defense of Christmas" post from three years ago. It's still worth reading, particularly for his contention that "Christmas can be separated from its religious message:"

What the Hell do Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Christmas Trees, and the date of December 25 have to do with what's written in the Bible? Absolutely nothing, of course. (And there are the universal messages of peace on earth and goodwill towards fellow man, that are not Christian per se).

Rowe continues, suggesting that "Instead of asking whether we can separate the 'Christian' elements from Christmas, maybe we should be asking whether we can separate the 'Pagan' elements from Christmas:"

Christmas perfectly exemplifies the larger phenomenon of the unique culture that is the West which has a religious (Jerusalem) and a Secular-Pagan (Athens) origin. Culturally, the West presently is and always has been every bit as much of a Pagan society as it is Christian.

And what makes the West special is this unique combination, this tension between Athens and Jerusalem. The orthodox and the Pagan agree on some matters, vehemently disagree on others, borrow from one another and create separately and together. Indeed, this tension enabled the West to be the greatest creative force there ever was.

Pass the eggnog!

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on December 26, 2007 1:22 PM.

Neil Jumonville & Kevin Mattson: Liberalism for a New Century was the previous entry in this blog.

what are they trying to hide? is the next entry in this blog.

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