Give us our midwinter festival back!

Give us our midwinter festival back! December 12, 2008

The war on Christmas continues to bubble, with politically correct jobsworths insisting that traditional Christian symbols like pine trees and fairy lights are banned from the workplace. In Essex, we hear today, a choir has been forced out of a winter festival because their carols were ‘too religious’. According to the Daily Mail the Chairman of the Prayer Book Society, with the alarming name of “Prudence Dailey” (surely a spoof?) moans:

‘These politically correct winter festivals seek to make Christmas part of a ‘multi-faith’ mix and hark back to pagan winter solstice observance.

Well of course he’s right there. Christmas is a traditional mid-winter festival that’s been hijacked by the Christians, and we atheists would very much like it back. It wouldn’t need to change much – most Christmas traditions date back to pagan days or have zero Christian content. All we would lose are those wretched nativity plays!

But, let’s be politically correct here – we need to give Christians some time to celebrate their beliefs, no matter how weird. As one disgruntled parent said:

‘It’s ridiculous that you can’t sing religious songs. It’s Christmas – when can you sing them?’

There’s some good news on this front too. The Australian astronomer Dave Reneke has calculated that Jesus was most likely born in June:

He believes the famous Christmas star of the Nativity story was in fact a spectacular conjunction of the planets Venus and Jupiter. They came together forming an unusually bright beacon of light that may easily have looked like a newly formed star….Using a computer program to track the planets’ movements through the centuries, he arrived at the date June 17 in the year 2 B.C. (ABC News Blog)

I smell the makings of a compromise! Let’s move Christmas to mid-summer, and let the moral majority get on with our traditional mid-winter party.

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