Well I don't think there is any war on Christmas, but I do think there is a war on traditionalism. This war is called progress, something that has always been happening.
This is the most despicably commercial holiday ever. If you can think of a worse way to celebrate Jesus, let me know! I mean honestly, I can't think of a more horrific and ironic celebration of the life and teachings of Jesus than Christmas.
I don't mind getting the stink-eye when I say, "Happy Whatever Holiday You're Weirdly Touchy About," because THAT is the spirit of Whatever.
Last night before I went to sleep I tried to think of songs celebrating the birth or impending birth of a baby that weren't essentially Christmas carols, and I came up with only a single example (by Ginny Reilly, a singer with a devoted following here in the Seattle area).
late 14c., from Late Latin paganus "pagan," in classical Latin "villager, rustic; civilian, non-combatant" noun use of adjective meaning "of the country, of a village," from pagus "country people; province, rural district," originally "district limited by markers," thus related to pangere "to fix, fasten," from PIE root *pag- "to fix" (see pact). As an adjective from early 15c.
Religious sense is often said to derive from conservative rural adherence to the old gods after the Christianization of Roman towns and cities; but the word in this sense predates that period in Church history, and it is more likely derived from the use of paganus in Roman military jargon for "civilian, incompetent soldier," which Christians (Tertullian, c.202; Augustine) picked up with the military imagery of the early Church (e.g. milites "soldier of Christ," etc.). Applied to modern pantheists and nature-worshippers from 1908.
If it is "pagan" to actually observe the solstice by watching the sky instead of calculating it with a formula that's increasingly inaccurate, is that really a bad thing?
And in my experience the people most likely to have that kind of religious understanding are pagan.
The word is generally used to describe certain ancient societies, as explained above, without explicit or implied insult.
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