December 10, 2011

Dear Pagans

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 5:21 pm

It’s Christmas time, so we are reminded quite a bit that most if not all of our Christmas traditions had Pagan origins. And, as such, you’re quick to complain that Christians “stole” your holidays. I covered this before but let’s go over this again.

1. Everybody already knows trees, wreaths, holly, and other symbols had Pagan roots. This isn’t new information. Do you also go to Italian restaurants and remind people there that the Chinese invented spaghetti and the Italians “stole” it?

2. So what?

3. There’s a pretty good chance these “blessed” traditions of yours that the Christians apparently sullied were already someone else’s before YOU “stole” them.

4. The word “Pagan” is a blanket term for just plain anyone who doesn’t follow an Abrahamic religion. By combining this complaint of stolen traditions, the specific people who had them originally are still being erased even by those claiming to defend them. Saturnalia, holly, evergreen trees, and Mithras each came from DIFFERENT cultures.

5. Also, how exactly is anything “stolen”? As in #3, cultures’ icons and celebrations mix and match all the time. These things evolve over time. While Christians were certainly trying to make some of the icons about Jesus so to encourage or force conversions, this is hardly specific to Christians, and just because the Christians are trying to say the shamrock is the holy trinity or the holly represents Jesus’s crucifixion somehow doesn’t mean it has to mean that to you. Which brings me to…

6. Go ahead and celebrate Saturnalia or Yule or whatever. No one is stopping you. In fact, I highly encourage it. Have a party. Invite people. Do traditional things for whichever culture’s Winter Solstice celebration you’re having. And you know what? It’s a fun, unique, and even educational experience that does a way better job of reminding people of the “real” origins of some of these things than does whining that Christmas “stole” it from you. More fitting for the season, too.

7. And this I say to Pagans AND Christians and anyone else… quit worrying about how OTHER people celebrate during the holiday season and worry about how you are. 😉

Anyway, the sun starts heading back this way in about 11 days. Get celebrating. However you want.

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