Freethought Today · Vol. 24 No. 10 December 2007

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Pagan Pulpit

Those Heathen "Christmas" Trees

This antisermon" aired on the Dec. 22, 2007, broadcast of Freethought Radio.

By Dan Barker

We all know that the word "Christmas" does not appear in the bible.

Most of us know that Matthew and Luke contradict each other regarding the date of the birth of Jesus, either 4 BCE or 6 CE, take your pick.

We know that Jesus, if he ever existed, would not have been born in the winter: it happened "while shepherds watched their flocks at night," which was more likely in the spring.

We know that December 25 was the birthday of pagan deities, such as the Persian god Mithra, whose birth was witnessed by shepherds and Magi bearing gifts.

We know that most of the so-called "Christmas" traditions were stolen from the pagans.

We know there is no biblical command to recognize the birth of Jesus and that the Puritan colonists actually prohibited the celebration of Christmas.

We know there are no "Christmas trees" in the bible, but I bet it would surprise Christians to learn that the bible actually forbids them!

In Jeremiah 10:2-5, we find these words:

"Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, . . . For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers . . . be not afraid of them."

The next time you see a natural evergreen tree renamed as a "Christmas tree," tell the believers that they are acting quite vain, and very, very heathen.

Dan Barker is co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and author of Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist. Freethought Radio streams live from airamerica.com Saturdays 1-2 p.m and broadcasts on more than 20 Air America affiliates. To check local broadcast information, listen to archives or sign up for the podcasts, visit: ffrf.org/radio


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