Monday, December 11, 2006
Like It Or Not Christmas Is A National Holiday
Thanks and praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Just a little reminder that Christmas is a National Holiday that marks the traditional birth date of Jesus Christ. Yes, that is exactly what it is. A lot of Americans are afraid that we Christians are somehow infringing on others rights. Specifically the separation of church and state. But on December 6, 1999, the verdict for Ganulin v. United States (1999). declared that "the establishment of Christmas Day as a legal public holiday does not violate the Establishment Clause because it has a valid secular purpose." This decision was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on December 19, 2000.
America, as a whole, does not know which way to turn because the bottom line is money. No company or organization that is for profit wants to offend anybody because that could lead to a loss of revenue. Some would and do sell their soul every Christmas because of money. Say Merry Christmas, Don't say Merry Christmas say Happy Holiday. Now some are going back, say Merry Christmas. Hello, does anyone know there is a war going on where people are being killed everyday, some of them Americans. Christmas is what it is, get over it or get with it. Either way get off the fence and stand for something. I pray it would be for Christ. To our enemies around the world this is exactly how they see us as a society afraid, period. Afraid to take a stand, it may cost them votes. Afraid to make a decision, it may cost them some money. Friend I am here to tell you that life is very short compared to eternity. Where will you spend yours?
During the Reformation, Protestants condemned Christmas celebration as "trappings of popery" and the "rags of the Beast". The Catholic Church responded by promoting the festival in an even more religiously oriented form. Following the Parliamentary victory over King Charles I during the English Civil War, England's Puritan rulers banned Christmas, in 1647. Pro-Christmas rioting broke out in several cities, and for several weeks Canterbury was controlled by the rioters, who decorated doorways with holly and shouted royalist slogans. The Restoration of 1660 ended the ban, but most of the Anglican clergy still disapproved of Christmas celebrations, using Protestant arguments.
In Colonial America, the Puritans of New England disapproved of Christmas; its celebration was outlawed in Boston from 1659 to 1681. At the same time, residents of Virginia and New York celebrated the holiday freely. Christmas fell out of favor in the United States after the American Revolution, when it was considered an English custom.
By the 1820s, sectarian tension in England had eased and British writers began to worry that Christmas was dying out. They imagined Tudor Christmas as a time of heartfelt celebration, and efforts were made to revive the holiday. Charles Dickens' book A Christmas Carol, published in 1843, played a major role in reinventing Christmas as a holiday emphasizing family, goodwill, and compassion over communal celebration and hedonistic excess.
During the early part of the 19th century, interest in Christmas in America was revived by several short stories by Washington Irving in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon and "Old Christmas", which depicted harmonious warm-hearted holiday traditions Irving claimed to have observed in England. Although some argue that Irving invented the traditions he describes, they were imitated by his American readers. The numerous German immigrants and the homecomings following the American Civil War helped promote the holiday by bringing with them continental European Christmas traditions still upheld in Catholic and Lutheran countries on the continent. Christmas was declared a U.S. federal holiday in 1870.
In the later part of the 20th century, the United States experienced controversy over the nature of Christmas, and its status as a religious or secular holiday. Some considered the U.S. government's recognition of Christmas as a federal holiday to be a violation of the separation of church and state. This was brought to trial several times, including in Lynch v. Donnelly (1984) and Ganulin v. United States (1999). On December 6, 1999, the verdict for Ganulin v. United States (1999). declared that "the establishment of Christmas Day as a legal public holiday does not violate the Establishment Clause because it has a valid secular purpose." This decision was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on December 19, 2000.
Concerns regarding Christmas' combined Christian and secular nature continued into the 21st century. In 2005, some Christians, along with American conservative commentators such Bill O'Reilly, protested against the perceived secularization of Christmas. Some believed that the holiday was threatened by a general secular trend, or by persons and organizations with an anti-Christian agenda. The perceived trend was also blamed on political correctness.
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday that marks the traditional birthdate of Jesus of Nazareth. Christmas combines Christian celebrations of the birth of Jesus with various secular traditions and customs, many of which were influenced by ancient winter festivals such as Yule and Saturnalia. Over time, many popular Christmas traditions have developed, including the display of Nativity scenes and Christmas trees, the exchange of gifts and cards, and the arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Popular Christmas themes include the promotion of goodwill, giving, compassion, and quality family time.
Christmas is traditionally on December 25. It is preceded by Christmas Eve and in some countries is followed by Boxing Day. Some Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on January 7, which corresponds to December 25 of the Julian calendar. These dates are merely traditional and neither is thought to be the actual birth date of Jesus.
Christmas is celebrated in most countries around the world, owing to the spread of Christianity and Western culture, mixed with the enduring popularity of existing winter celebrations. Various local and regional Christmas traditions are still practiced, despite the widespread influence of American and British Christmas motifs disseminated by film, popular literature, television, and other media.
The eleven recognized Federal holidays are:
|January 1||New Year's Day||Celebrates beginning of year, marks traditional end of "holiday season"|
|Third Monday in January||Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.||Honors Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights leader; combined with other holidays in several states (traditionally January 15)|
|January 20, every fourth year, following Presidential election||Inauguration Day||Swearing-in of President of the United States and other elected federal officials. Observed only by federal government employees in Washington D.C., and certain counties and cities of Maryland and Virginia, in order to relieve congestion that occurs with this major event. Note: Takes place on January 21 if the 20th is a Sunday (although the President is still privately inaugurated on the 20th).|
|Third Monday in February||Washington's Birthday||Honors George Washington. Often popularly observed as "Presidents' Day" in recognition of other American presidents. (traditionally February 22)|
|Last Monday in May||Memorial Day||Honors the nation's war dead; marks traditional beginning of summer. (traditionally May 30)|
|July 4||Independence Day||Celebrates Declaration of Independence, usually called the Fourth of July.|
|First Monday in September||Labor Day||Celebrate achievements of workers and the labor movement, marks traditional end of summer.|
|Second Monday in October||Columbus Day||Honors Christopher Columbus, traditional discoverer of the Americas. In some areas it is also a celebration of Italian culture and heritage. (traditionally October 12)|
|November 11||Veterans Day||Honors all veterans of the United States armed forces.|
|Fourth Thursday in November||Thanksgiving Day||Traditionally celebrates the giving of thanks to God for the autumn harvest, and customarily includes the consumption of a turkey dinner.|
|December 25||Christmas Day||Celebrates the Nativity of Jesus which is traditionally observed on 25 December. Secular aspects of this holiday include giving gifts and decorating a Christmas tree.|
Write to your local Reresentative or Congressman to change these. Good luck.
1: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2: Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3: When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4: And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5: And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6: And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7: Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8: And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9: When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10: When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11: And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
12: And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
13: And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14: When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
15: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
16: Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
17: Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,
18: In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
19: But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20: Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
21: And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22: But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
23: And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.