Calculating Christmas Not Based on Pagan Festivals

Nativity Christmas Starby William J. Tighe –
Many Christians think that Christians celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th because the church fathers appropriated the date of a pagan festival. Almost no one minds, except for a few groups on the fringes of American Evangelicalism, who seem to think that this makes Christmas itself a pagan festival. But it is perhaps interesting to know that the choice of December 25th is the result of attempts among the earliest Christians to figure out the date of Jesus’ birth based on calendrical calculations that had nothing to do with pagan festivals.

Rather, the pagan festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Son” instituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians. Thus the “pagan origins of Christmas” is a myth without historical substance. [Read more…]

Churches, the Constitution, and Christmas Celebrations

Nativity Display Churchby SpeakUpChurch –
Every Christmas season, it seems that the “war on Christmas” begins afresh and with renewed vigor.  For some, the season that proclaims “peace on earth” seems to be anything but, with demands to remove any and all religious references to the celebration of Christmas. And this year is no exception.

For instance, Western Piedmont College in North Carolina recently replaced the word “Christmas” with the word “holiday” in a student club’s announcement of a Christmas tree sale designed to raise money for charity.  It was only after attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to the college that it reversed its decision and reinstated “Christmas.” [Read more…]

Independence Day Reflection: Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness

Life Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness by F. K. Bartels –
Man’s natural desire for happiness is of “divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it” (CCC 1718). …

In June of 1776 Thomas Jefferson, seated in the second-floor parlor of a bricklayer’s house in Philadelphia, brilliantly composed the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence. After some revision, the bulk of the document was approved by Congress on 4 July, 1776. While the Declaration would soon become one of the world’s most significant documents, its second sentence is perhaps most famous:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” [Read more…]

On Independence Day: The Gift of Life

Life is a Gift from Godby Fr. James Farfaglia –
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776). We have heard and read these famous words many times. Yet, it should be interesting for us to note that of the three fundamental rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the founding fathers of our nation recognize life as the first of these three unalienable rights.

Why is the right to life the first of these God given rights?

Life is a gift from God. The first pages of the Holy Bible direct our gaze to the awesome gift of life. [Read more…]

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Nativity of Christ

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God,

Has shown to the world the light of wisdom.

For by it those who worshipped the stars,

Were taught by a star to adore Thee,

The Sun of Righteousness.

And to know Thee the Orient from on high,

O Lord, Glory to Thee!

– Troparion for Christmas Day

[Read more…]

Breath Of Heaven – Amy Grant

[Read more…]

In Defense Of The Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Not Pagan, Christian Origin by Fr. Daniel Daly –
The use of evergreens at Christmas may date from St. Boniface of the eighth century, who dedicated the fir tree to the Holy Child in order to replace the sacred oak tree of Odin; but the Christmas tree as we know it today does not appear to be so ancient a custom. It appears first in the Christian Mystery play commemorating the biblical story of Adam and Eve.

Several years ago during the Christmas season, a religious program on television caught my attention. The program featured a discussion on the dangers of cults, especially to young people. I found myself agreeing with the panelists as they warned young people about the hazards of involvement in occult or “new age” spirituality.

During the interview, however, one participant made a statement that shocked me: “…and the Christmas tree is pagan too…,” he asserted. The Christmas Tree? Pagan? [Read more…]

Happy Holydays

Saint Nicholas - Bishop of Myra, Defender of Orthodoxy

Saint Nicholas - Bishop of Myra, Defender of Orthodoxy

12/6/2010 – Lisa Fabrizio –
The conclusion of Thanksgiving, originally a day of solemn acknowledgement that all that we have that is good is a gift from God, brings us to the celebration of the greatest gift from our Creator: the incarnation of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And just as many have seen fit to ignore the giving of thanks to God on Thanksgiving Day, so too have countless others deigned to divorce the birth of Christ from Christmas.

The reasons for this disturbing disconnect vary, but the main one seems to be that the worship of the deity recognized by the great majority of those in this country might be the cause of offense for a few; God himself excepted of course. And so in a few weeks we will commence the season of attempts at discrediting Christianity and its founder while distancing Christmas from any connection with him.

One of the most common ploys will be to claim that the date itself is nothing more than a pagan observance. Most scholars have agreed that the date of December 25 derived from pagan Rome’s celebration of the Natalis Invicti; birth of the deity, Mithra, the Sun God. But this should not, as has become fashionable, justify the notion that Christianity is an offshoot of paganism, even though Scripture is filled with literary allusions to the Sun of God. [Read more…]

United States Declaration of Independence

United States Declaration of IndependenceIN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. [Read more…]