December 06, 2004


Mark Steyn, whose site is still on hiatus, returns to the pages of the National Review:

Christmas, according to Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1999, is when those in that particular faith tradition celebrate "the birth of a homeless child." Or, as Al Gore put it in 1997, "Two thousand years ago, a homeless woman gave birth to a homeless child." For Pete's sake, they weren't homeless they couldn't get a hotel room. They had to sleep in the stable only because Dad had to schlep halfway across the country to pay his taxes in the town of his birth, which sounds like the kind of cockamamie bureaucratic nightmare only a blue state could cook up. Except that in Massachusetts, it's no doubt illegal to rent out your stable without applying for a Livestock Shelter Change of Use Permit plus a Temporary Maternity Ward for Non-Insured Transients License, so Mary would have been giving birth under a bridge on I-95.

Controversy over Christmas has never been as great in Australia as it is in the US, although things are trending that way. Those who sponsor a World Vision kid, however, will have been pleased to receive this year's card, which boldly proclaims: "Have a Merry Christmas." Of course, World Vision is a Christian organisation, but these days that's no guarantee of a Christmas mention.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 6, 2004 10:08 PM

While at the post office today I checked out a display of John Sands Christmas cards. Those with any actual reference to Christ's birth were in a sub-category- 'religious.' Blimey. Oh well, as long as atheists and anti-Christians aren't so hypocritical as to take a day off work, on December 25th.

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at December 6, 2004 at 10:22 PM

Poverty? It's all Australia's fault. (Second story: 'Embarrassingly pathetic'.)

They starve because we drink caffe lattes. Or at least, if we didn't, and contributed their value, Africans would survive.

I've never drunk a caffe latte in my life.

Lefties, get the hell outta those cafes and start saving African lives. Your lattes are killing children.

Posted by: ilibcc at December 6, 2004 at 10:43 PM

Oh please. Christmas is not and should not be treated as a religious holiday. Jesus wasnt even born in December, more like April or so.

I agree with Mark, but his pollitical swipe was beyond brainless.

Posted by: Nic White at December 7, 2004 at 04:12 AM

Nic, are you brainless?

Easter isn't the date when Jesus was slapped on a cross, either. The queen's birthday isn't Liz's day of birth. There's no evidence any Muslim or Jewish religious feast occurs on the day that happened in history either.

Christmas was a religious feast even before Christianity.

It's like saying, "I'm sorry, mate, I can't go to your birthday party - it's not on the exact day."

You really are stupid.

Posted by: Quentin George at December 7, 2004 at 05:22 AM

Nic, raw facts aside, it's only fair to ask - would you protest if we decided to celebrate Christ's birth on, say, May 1?

Thing is, QG's comment is really pertinent here. The Church, to aid its mission, will not just baptize people, but their cultural practices and ideas. Plato and Aristotle (to name but two) contributed to the thought of the theologians, for example. And rather than outright ban celebrations of pagan festivals, the Church chose to put them on more solid footing, converting them into (for example) Christmas and Easter.

It's a real-life Rumpelstiltsken operation - straw, spun into gold.

Posted by: Nightfly at December 7, 2004 at 07:31 AM

..Christmas is not and should not be treated as a religious holiday...

LOL! Maybe not in your world, Nic. Sacrificing your VISA card to Mammon this year?

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at December 7, 2004 at 09:08 AM

As an aetheist I demand my right to eat and drink to excess so that I have a valid reason to stay on the couch all boxing day and watch the test and start of the Sydney-Hobart. This must be a human right by now. Is there a UN convention tht supports it or something?

Posted by: Razor at December 7, 2004 at 11:02 AM

Next thing you know, the ABC will scrap the Queen's Speech on Christmas Day. I'm sure the collective already have plans to replace it with a Sorry Day workshop on indigenous wimmins' rights. Oh wait, I forgot, that's on SBS. The ABC will have Clover Moore on the meaning of Christmas.

Posted by: mr magoo at December 7, 2004 at 02:06 PM

Im aware of the facts. Christmas was originally a pagan festival, as was Easter but the Church restamped them to aid with the assimilation of the worshipers of the Roman pantheon religion. I think most people know that.

I am religious, but I celebrate both holidays in a purely secular manner without any of the religious aspects. Christ never wanted us to celebrate his birthday, regardless of what date it was on. And we are supposed to remember his death and ressurection every Sunday.

But since the holidays exist I will use them, but in a secular manner.

QG, the difference with the Jewish passover is that they were actually instructed to celebrate that day each year, whereas christians were never instructed to observe christmas or easter, and early chistians observed neither as they were an invention of the catholic church.

Posted by: Nic White at December 7, 2004 at 05:34 PM

You're such a priss.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 7, 2004 at 09:50 PM


You are a fuckwit lying scumbucket.

I could go into detail, but I don't see the point.

Posted by: jlchydro at December 8, 2004 at 01:05 AM

Oh, I forgot.


Mark Steyn is first only to Tim Blair.

Come back Mark - we need you: as PM of Canada

Posted by: jlchydro at December 8, 2004 at 01:08 AM