Thursday, December 16, 2010

The War On Christmas started with... Christians

One of the themes of conservative talk radio this time of year is the "war on Xmas" or the removal of Xmas symbols from public property, which I think is stupid, but nevertheless... Do they understand that the war on Xmas was started by Christians?

From American Heritage magazine, December 1967, comes this short article:

Many a book, a magazine, a play, a movie, has been banned in Boston. But Christmas?

Yes, Virginia, Christmas was banned in Boston. On May 11, 1659, the legislature of the Massachusetts Bay Colony enacted the following: “For preventing disorders arising in severall places within this jurisdiceon, by reason of some still observing such ffestivalls as were superstitiously kept in other countrys, to the great dishonnor of God & offence of others, it is therefore ordered … that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by for-bearing of labour, feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shillings, as a fine to the county.”

You can read the rest of the history here, in the magazine's archives.