Extra-Big (Holiday) Quote(s) of the Day

“I support all of my Christian neighbors’ desire to keep the Christ in Christmas and to celebrate this most important holiday in whatever way their tradition dictates. But if you’re going to keep Christ in Christmas, you had also better keep Christmas the same place I keep Bodhi Day, Muslims keep Ramadan and Hindus keep Divali — at home, in church, with family, in private. Nowhere in our Constitution does it say that the majority religion gets special rights to public property for its displays or time in public schools for its celebrations.”Cressida Magaro (Salon.com Letters)

“The tree was a symbol of year-end festivities long before Christianity existed. It is completely secular and pagan.”Pascal Pagny, mayor of Lagny-sur-Marne, France

“Today, however, the real message of Christmas has been all but lost under a heap of commercialism where banknotes and credit cards are the real complements to the season. This is partly because Britain has largely become a pagan country. Figures in a recent national census showed that spiritualism is the eighth-largest faith group in the country, and that there is also a sizeable group of registered pagans. According to The Times of London, the Pagan Federation of Great Britain states among its three main principles a “recognition of the Divine which transcends gender.” To my mind a paganism which recognises the Divine at all seems to be a contradiction in terms.”Alf McCreary, The Belfast Telegraph

“But what about that winged figure in white at the top of the tree? That was no angel, county attorney Bill Fishering insisted. ‘It?s just a well-dressed pagan woman.’ Thank God. The Commissioners aren?t observing the birth of Christ at all; they?re just celebrating next Tuesday?s winter solstice.”Kevin Leininger, Fort Wayne News Sentinel

“Our ancestors understood this need to face down the darkness at the turning of the year. By the Middle Ages, improved agricultural practices made it possible to provide fodder and thus keep stall-bound animals alive, but the ancient feasts held on into the Christian era, with their pagan subtext of misrule and masked revelry, storytelling and revenants still intact.”Elizabeth Hand, Washington Post

“I have been known to wear out mistletoe, generally to no avail. Anyhow, we owe this, along with a number of other Christmas traditions, to those tree-hugging pagan Druids”Tom Richards, The Post-Crescent

“Pagan-Americans, for example, typically mark their new year in the spring. Does anyone care about them?”Anonymous Editorial, The Free Lance-Star

“Nevertheless, at this time of year, some unsuspecting person will inevitably harangue me about the allegedly pagan characteristics of Christmas. Whether made by a triumphalist Jew or a disaffected Christian, the claim will be that Christmas, and especially a number of its symbols, were adopted from pagan practice and are not nearly as spiritually elevated and original as Jewish holy days and their symbols. Invariably, my first response is to remind the person that many aspects of some Jewish celebrations also have pagan origins “Barry Block senior rabbi of Temple Beth-El.

Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Chas S. Clifton

    That’s Liz Hand, author of Waking the Moon that the Washington Post is quoting? She’s a fine one to talk: another Catholic conspiracy buff, as you may read here.