Well folks, it’s that time of year again.
Soon our stockings will be hung by the chimney with care, gifts will be wrapped and placed beneath the tree, Christmas cheer will fill the air, and our Facebook news feeds will begin to be clogged with posts about “Keeping Christ in Christmas.”
Ugh. It happens every year. Especially with Trump as president, which is honestly just plain weird since he’s successfully taken Christ out of Christian.
Anyhoo, back in my right-wing days, I too was passionate of keeping Christ in Christmas and would recoil whenever I saw Christmas written as “Xmas.”
How dare those godless atheists try to take the baby Jesus out of my manger, and block out the word Christ with a big, black, X… I mean, the entire purpose of writing Christmas as Xmas is to take the offensive name of Christ out of the word, right?
Turns out, using the phrase “Xmas” instead of writing “Christmas” isn’t some conspiracy by our secular humanist neighbors to remove Christ from Christmas.
Yet every year, we Christians push back in the nonexistent war against Christmas and further make a mockery of ourselves– especially when we express offense at the term “Xmas.”
Writing Christmas as Xmas, as it turns out, is actually part of the historic Christian tradition.
Allow me to explain:
As shocking as this may be for some to realize, the Bible wasn’t written in English. Or by Trump. The New Testament is written in Koine Greek, and the Greek word for Christ is… drum roll please…
See where I’m heading with this yet?
In Greek, the first letter for the name of Christ is X, which is actually pronounced with a C/K sound. That funny “p” looking letter is the Greek equivalent of an “r”, and well, I’m guessing even without studying biblical greek you can now pronounce the rest of it just fine.
You see, when we recognize X is Jesus’ first initial things begin to take shape. Instead of always writing the full name Χριστος, we see in early Christian history a trend to abbreviate Χριστος as simply Χ. As Greg Carey, Professor of the New Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary writes:
“Early manuscripts of the Greek New Testament dating to the third and fourth centuries used “X” as an abbreviation for Christ…The abbreviation helped manuscript writers fit more words on a page, reducing the time and cost of producing the texts…”
Ouch. So, not only have we falsely accused secularists of coming up with the term Xmas to remove Christ, we actually find that it’s a tradition dating all the way back to the New Testament itself?
Well that’s embarrassing.
It might be time to insert a quick apology into some of our Christmas cards.
Furthermore, the trend of writing Christmas as Xmas is hardly anything new or born out of a secular culture. While it was commonplace in early Christianity to write X instead of Christ, the tradition of writing Xmas instead of Christmas dates all the way back to the 12th Century.
No, there is no war on Christmas– and claiming the term Xmas is evidence of such only serves to make us look silly and ignorant of our own Christian history.
If there’s any war on Christmas, it’s actually by those who spend an entire month out of the year celebrating a Palestinian refugee who grew up an undocumented immigrant across the border, who became homeless as an adult– and ultimately died as another unarmed person of color killed by the state’s security forces…but who spend the other 11 months out of the year supporting politicians and policies that would be really, really bad for Jesus.
This year, when we see Xmas instead of Christmas, let us remember that Xmas is actually part of Christian tradition, and that it’s not further evidence of bogus persecution.
The holiday season provides us a special opportunity to show our neighbors cheer and goodwill– so let us start doing that by knocking off the “Keep Christ in Christmas” stuff, and maybe start focusing our efforts on keeping Christ in Christian.
This is a good history lesson, but this sounds like one of those “controversies” that only exists on a narrow sector of social media. Who uses the term “Xmas?” that has supposedly outraged some Christians? Who gets upset by “Xmas?” “Exhibit A” looks like it was created using 1990s-era clip art. Out here in the real world, I rarely see Xmas used and have never heard anyone complain about it. But never miss an opportunity to fan the flames of a minor social media controversy in order to mock other Christians, right?
Why couldn’t we get the history lesson without the mockery and smug culture war flim flam? Gotta signal, right?
OH my ! More on taking the Christ out of Christmas debate but from the otherside. LOL . I like your article however I think you are stretching the concept as the common lazy writers of today likely have no Idea that it was used as an abbreviation in the past and certainly no connection to Greek. So in my opinion you are stretching it and they are full of it. IMHO ! Xmas is just a lazy way to write Christmas and no assault on Christ.
καλά Χριστούγεννα. Literally means Good Birth of Christ. I am biased, but I think the Greek language expresses it nicely. Keeping Christ in Christmas depends on how we as believers present ourselves to the world, not on whether we say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. Are we only espousing an ideology or are we truly following the Christ of the Gospels? He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30 Do people see Jesus when they encounter us?
Sad to see that some in the comments are still going with this stuff. We (Christians) have done more harm to Christmas than anyone else. We have bought into the commercialization, we have made the story of Jesus a fairy tale, we have not lived out incarnation, and on and on I could go. In America, Christmas – even to Christians – has become a time for the wealthy to buy “gifts” for the wealthy. The story of Christmas is that God, who is rich (the owner of all things) became poor, so that we who are poor could become rich. The X in Xmas doesn’t change that, and we need to start living it out. Thanks for the post!
Merry Christmas, Yeap I posted something similar to this entry myself not too long ago. I was searching Christian Christmas Blogs and came across your blog.
Jews at the time did not have last names. The word Christ is from the word crucifixion and refers to the crucified and resurrected person. His name would have been in Hebrew, not Greek. The name would have been closer to (this is misspelled) Yasu ben Yosef (assuming that Mary and Joseph were married when he was born).
Also, some of the new testament was originally written in the local language, Aramaic, and later translated to Greek. The only parts we can be sure were written in Greek were some of those written by Paul (Saul).
I’d like to know where the bumper stickers extolling us to “Keep Ishtar in Easter” are, please.
Actually it was written in Syriac Aramaic, but let’s ignore that reality as western Christianity has done for 2000 years.
Perhaps. But there is not much support for that conclusion. Koine Greek is the first choice. But why is that important for us to know?
“can be easily fixed with a little knowledge”. If fundamentalists would only understand knowledge was a good thing…garbage like “Taking the X out of XMAS” wouldn’t happen. Plus…Fox Lies wouldn’t have anything to report on from October to February.
Anyway…doesn’t these Xtians shopping at Xmas time all ready take X out of Xmas by making a lie out of what they are supposedly crying about?
What is wrong with “happy holidays”?
We remember that “X-mas” is “Christ-mas” but have we forgotten that the word ‘holiday’ comes from ‘holy day’? So even those who greet us with ‘happy holiday’ are wishing us a ‘happy holy day’ whether they realise it or not. And the day we remember the incarnation of Our Lord is definitely holy isn’t it?
Seems to me that Ginny finds the term Xmas disrespectful of God and Christ regardless or the origin. I’d say she’s entitled to that view, she’s not alone given the current cultural environment. But what I’d like to know is what exactly is the meaning of the term ‘progressive’? It is ambiguous to me. Are you restricting the word to describe a ‘brand’ of Christian or are you referring to a political viewpoint?
Ben might have a much better answer, but Patheos did a big series on the meaning of Progressive Christianity:
Christe se Rodi (as the Serbs would say in Latinica). Vaistinu se Rodi! (And peace to all.)
Actually, the X used by many to replace the name of Christ, is probably meant to negate His reality. It resembles the swastika.
Are you serious? Did you even read the article? It’s GREEK, and Christians have been doing it for 1900 years.
I do not know one true believer who replaces Christ’s name with an x, Ben. The name of Jesus Christ is above all others, deserving of our highest praise and esteem!
And absolutely nothing’s gonna interfere with your continuing not to know. A LOT of things, evidently.
She is determined to be willfully ignorant. She’s looking for confirmation bias because she’s afraid to question anything.
And all I hear is…
Ginny has been banned from the site for harassment, so you won’t be hearing a reply from her.
So I surmised, but I had been saving that picture for a while. Better late than never.
Actually, these days, the phrase “keep the Christ in Christmas” is not necessarily indicative of the Xmas abbreviation, but of the secularization of Christmas. Everyone celebrates Christmas, regardless of faith. Santa Clause and Black Friday have taken over, almost eliminating the meaning of Christmas (and yes, I know it was a pagan holiday before). It seems that with the hustle and bustle of the season, that has become the main focus-getting your gifts for the best price so your family will love you for another year, having the biggest and best feast and drinking yourself into a stupor, and then returning the gifts you got that you didn’t want. Not the fact that Christ came into this world with nothing in order to GIVE not receive.
First of all, the main focus of this piece is the misplaced hostility directed at the written word Xmas… not about making sure that December 25th is all about Christ’s birthday. It was intended to educate.
Also, “…getting your gifts for the best price so your family will love you for another year…” Really? What a bitter, cynical sentiment. Is that why YOU give at Christmas? If not (or even if so), then why project that onto others? And is “getting your gifts for the best price so your family will love you for another year” not just a really mean way of describing, y’know, giving — which is exactly what you’re lamenting is missing? And is it somehow un-Christian to want to keep the budget responsibly in check?
And no, everyone does *not* “celebrate Christmas regardless of faith.” There are many people who specifically do not celebrate Christmas because OF their faith. And aside from those folks… Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, etc., there are indeed people who celebrate lots of things this time of year, not all of which revolve around Jesus Christ. Sometimes… imagine this, it’ll blow your mind! … they’re just celebrating that rare chance, one that may not come along every year, to get their whole family together. (Shame on them, right, for celebrating at YOUR time of year?)
To cut to the chase: You seem to be just kvetching and nitpicking this to pieces by using a bunch of clichés… yet I still can’t determine from your post what your definition of a proper Christmas is (for “everyone” who celebrates it). This is exactly the sort of bad-tempered preachiness that alienates all but the equally holier-than-thou. Here’s hoping you have a lovely Christmas, anyway.
Meghan’s rather admittedly cynical point is that Christmas is no longer really about family, or Christ, or the original Pagan traditions, or the Eastern traditions… It’s about raw unbridled consumerism and Capitalism-fueled dog-eat-dog competition for arbitrarily limited sales.
And that MUCH of the people saying “put Christ back in Christmas” aren’t necessarily talking about the point of this article at all, don’t even CARE about whether you call it Xmas, Christmas, Chanukah, “The Holidays” or whatever. What they REALLY care about is getting rid of the petty cruel competitive capitalistic consumerist tradition that has completely devoured any and all of the old traditions. Their own personal preference just happens to be the Christian tradition.
There are many similar movements regarding the other old traditions being kept alive at this time of year despite the continued encroachment of capitalist consumerism. When capitalism eventually collapses, that those traditions actually manage to survive to the collapse could very well be one of the most important things we can strive to make sure happens.
And mark my words, the collapse of capitalism is getting very close indeed. What will follow it is yet to be determined. But there are those of us trying to figure out how to put something better in its place.
Bull. Anyone who complains about how OTHERS celebrate(or not) is just being a control freak.Don’t like people buying gifts? Then don’t buy any! Don’t like them hurrying or worrying then don’t do it yourself. Bottom line is LET PEOPLE be who they ARE and celebrate how they WANT!
But I also think that while we can take Si’s message as one way that people do not understand what the ‘X’ really means. How many people do not celebrate “Christ” at Christmastime? So I think if you look at it as people only celebrate the gift giving, the meals, and Santa Claus instead of the birth of Christ. Then Si is right on, we need to get back to what we are really supposed to be celebrating. CHRIST!!
Why? If it works for me to leave Christ out of it, why do you care?
People were celebrating what you now know as “Christmas” for thousands of years before Jesus was born. It’s simply the winter festival that marks the end/beginning of the year, because that’s when the day is shortest and the sun hits its southernmost point in the sky. Basically Christians repurposed a pre-existing holiday for their own religion. What you’re “really supposed to be celebrating” is the dying of the Old Year and the rebirth of the New Year. All the gift giving, feasting, etc is social bonding. It only requires “Christ” if you’re a Christian.
(My family doesn’t celebrate Christ at Christmastime. My kids don’t even know who Jesus is.)
If you -really- wish to celebrate the birth of Christ, then you might want to dispose of the tree (Yule, Saturnalia), Santa Clause (St. Nicholas, among many others), Celebrating on Dec. 25th (approximately the time of the Winter Solstice), and numerous other traditions. You would, instead, spend all day in church sometime in June, since technically Christmas is “Christ’s Mass”.
Either that, or accept the fact that there are several holidays being celebrated at this time of year, and just celebrate it as you want — without worrying about how others celebrate.
If “Happy Holidays” is evidence of a war on Christmas I guess it goes back at least to Perry Como, who recorded a song by that name. 🙂
Great article. I don’t mind Happy Holidays, Merry Xmas, or even “Have Yourself a Silly Little Solstice.” As long as people are wishing each other well, I’m okay with it. And yes, I’m a Christian and I’ve known about the X in “Xmas” for years, too. I also know about the fish symbol, too. Woo!
To me, it seems that the real thing about the “war on Christmas” is that it gives the people who scream about it something to feel holier than thou about. We’re being persecuted! No, you’re not. There’s a war! No, there isn’t. You want to see war and persecution against Christians, go to Syria.
Christmas vs. Xmas is not a meaningful issue in the “culture wars.”
However, it is extremely naive to assume that this means that anyone who is disturbed by the culture war is delusional or that there is no concerted effort to erase Christian values from our culture.
We should not accept this issue as a straw man that excuses or ignores the very real and ongoing assault against Christian values.
Neither should we believe that because no one is shooting, burning, or hanging Christians in the US, there is no assault here against Christian values.
Oh, there’s a serious assault going on, but it’s designed to erase not just Christian values, but ANY religious values from our culture. And who’s launching it? Corporations: there’s no room in our modern consumer economy for anything like religion, with its charity, generosity, and battle against the 7 deadly sins, especially greed. Oh, and political parties love to whip up the base by inciting one religion against another, or one denomination against another, and all against the atheists in order to get votes. But they never, ever, ever say a word against consumerism because that would be Communist. That’s why there’s such a fit about Pope Francis.
Actually, at their last convention, the Democrats voted to removed the word “God” from their platform.
Politicians are greedy for power and control over others, hence Obamacare.
And they put “God” right back in, at the personal request of President Obama.
All I’m going to say about the ACA is that I personally know a number of people with pre-existing conditions and very small pocketbooks who have signed up and are very, very thankful that at last they have insurance.
Molly’s right, we should all strive to be like those super-biblical Republicans. Because obviously the good book made a mistake when it said in Matthew 6:5-7:
“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But
you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.”
That’s not the way I remember it. While there was a very vocal group at the DNC that claimed the vote went the other way, the official vote was called in favor of putting “God” back in the platform (he could not be removed since he was already out) as well as dropping all of this nonsense of presuming to tell Israel, a sovereign nation by the way, that Jerusalem is not really their capital.
Oh teh h0rr0rz! The Democrats have made a decision to uphold the separation of church and state. It’s the end of the world!
It just seems like every year, the War on Christmas starts earlier and earlier.
All this time, I thought that it was the Wart on Christmas over which so much concern has been directed.
If you want to confuse people, spell it with a chi-rho!
Very interesting, Ben!
May the peace of X be with you!
And also with you!
(Or, “And with thy spirit!”)
Thanks so much for posting a very thoughtful and relevant piece. The “War on Christmas” and all has become very tiresome. I see so many Christians become angry at others for saying Happy Holidays when Happy Holidays is a way of incorporating whatever holiday someone may celebrate during this season of many into a greeting. I have no desire to impose a secular holiday season on everyone, but I do think that everyone should be incorporated during this season of love and gratitude. Just imagine how it would feel to not celebrate Christmas but celebrate a different holiday and how you would feel when everyone would say “Merry Christmas” to you when you don’t even celebrate Christmas. Why don’t we all focus on living in harmony and love regardless of what we believe? 🙂
Those of us who make it to Heaven will live in peace and harmony for all eternity! It will never happen on our privileged planet. Take a peek at the relationships between your own family members and tell me peace among over seven billion humans on earth is possible!
“There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace” – Isaiah 9:7
“I did not come to bring peace, but division,” said Jesus in Matthew 10:34 as well as in other places. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives,” said Jesus in John 14:27
Wow, voting down the words of Jesus on Ben’s page!. How does that make you feel, Ben?
Nope, just voting down the deliberate, biased misuse of His words for your own hateful agenda. Learn the difference.
EDIT: Stop taking things so personally.
Since you’re so smart, and the Bible must be too difficult for plain folk to understand, please do inform us all of the true meaning of His words.
Trying to have a reasonable, respectful discussion with you is like…
That’s the tactic all you progressives resort to when you are upset and know you have no reasonable answer, Ben.
In Isaiah 1:18, we are instructed to reason together, but that is only possible with those who have surrendered their allegiance to Jesus and obey His Father. Others are not afforded wisdom and right thinking.
That’s the first applicable verse you’ve quoted. And it applies as much to you as anyone else. Give it up, Ginny. You’re unreasonable, and you’re wasting your time.
Ben could return to the fold.
Ah, yes… I will return to the fold. The loving way you treat my readers has won me over. I want whatever it is that you have.
I don’t claim to know THE “true” meaning, but at least I don’t use it to promote hate and divisive behavior like you do. It’s clear from your comments you don’t want world peace. Otherwise you wouldn’t be contradicting Benjamin’s quote from Isaiah. You want Christianity to be a country club where everyone agrees with your narrow interpretation of the bible. I pity you. You must be an incredibly miserable person. And, if in fact you hate progressives so much, why do you continue to troll progressive blogs? Do us all a favor, and find something better to do with your time.
Ben purports to be a follower of Jesus. That does not jive with progressivism.
If this were my blog, you would have been banned for saying that. You are deliberately trying to start a fight. Progressive Christians follow Jesus more closely than conservatives like you. We actually care about the poor and oppressed, whereas conservatives tend to be the oppressors and use the bible to justify it, like you do. Anyway, I’m done with you, because your obstinacy makes it impossible to reason with you. I hope you let go of your hate and bigotry for everyone with whom you disagree. It’s ruining you.
It did. Apologies for letting her troll for so long folks– I’ve been trying to be tolerant of readers on all sides of issues giving room for diverse discussion, but her presence seems to be more of a harassment than an honest attempt at discussion.
Are you serious?! Jesus was VERY progressive; some would even say liberal. You’ve been drinking the republican koolaid for too long if you believe otherwise.
Indeed. Also, does anyone ever stop to consider that the New Year is celebrated just one week after Christmas, and is also a pretty big deal — across the entire world? How “Happy Holidays” got to be offensive to some is just… evidence of over-the-top selfishness.
There is also the Chi-Rho:
Widely used in early Christian art and the late Roman Empire.
Naivete much there, Ben? Of course all these lovely, loving progressive folks of whom you speak have studied the history of the meaning of the shortened term Xmas, and that’s precisely the reason they have chosen to use it! It has absolutely nothing to do with their hate of or disbelief in or rejection of Christ, right? And when they say, “Happy Holidays,” I have no doubt they realize they are truly proclaiming, “Happy Holy-days,” right?
Merry Xmas, Ginny.
How friendly of you all!
Grouchy much there, Ginny?
She’s always grouchy. She hates progressives with a passion.
Well, that is a sad passion to have. 🙂
> She hates progressives
Well, most of what we call “progress” is “the worst mistake in the history of the human race.”
“The progressivist party line…ended up with starvation, warfare, and tyranny.” ~Jared Diamond (May 1987) The Worst Mistake In The History Of The Human Race. Discover Magazine. pp. 64-66.
Yet strangely, “conservatives” (whatever it is they’re trying to conserve is lost on me) express extreme disdain of this article; “progressives” are somewhat more understanding.
Go figure. 😉
You are sitting at a computer communicating over a network of interlinked computers that transmit their signals in part over light waves beamed to and from satellites orbiting the Earth.
You are an adult, indicating you did not die of childhood diseases like measles, mumps, and diphtheria, or the myriad accidents that befell children in times past. I’ve read estimates that between 30% and 50% of children died before age 5 in the Middle Ages.
You probably chew your food, testimony to advances in dental science. The most common cause of young men being declared 4F in World War I was not having four teeth.
And yet you complain about progress.
> childhood diseases like measles, mumps, and diphtheria…teeth [cavities]…
Those are all recognized by the medical community as diseases of civilization, i.e., caused by the “progress” which Jared Diamond critiques. Paleolithic people didn’t suffer from them, as Mark Nathan Cohen shows in his “Health and the Rise of Civilization.” (Yale University Press, 1989) They also had nearly zero dental caries, unlike “progressive” man.
Many folks are realizing this, with the interest now in a “Paleo” diet and eliminating the “progress” of processed foods.
> And yet you complain about progress.
Sorry, I’m not complaining, I’m just willing to honestly analyze and even critique “progress.” If Forbes magazine (or NPR, if you prefer) can do it, you can too.
Well, Ginny, a lot of people who are now atheists and used to be believers actually know quite a bit about religion and history and stuff. Their path to unbelief went through study and research and education. For example, I’ve known that the X in Xmas was a Greek chi (cf. Chi Rho) since I was like, what? Thirteen or so. I also knew that the birth of Christ was arbitrarily set as December 25 to coincide with the Roman celebrations of the winter solstice (i.e. Saturnalia, the birth of Mithras–which originated in Persia, and the victory of Sol Invictus), and that much of our “Christmas” traditions are actually Scandinavian, German (inc. English), and Celtic Yule traditions that our ancestors never gave up.
I don’t mind saying Merry Christmas to those whom I know to celebrate it (I also have no issue when people say it to me either), but think it’s more inclusive to wish Happy Holidays so I don’t end up saying it to someone Jewish, Hindu, atheist, Buddhist, Sikh, Wiccan, or Muslim who is celebrating another holiday or no religious holiday at all. It’s about being cosmopolitan and having good will towards everyone, not just those of a particular tribe.
So have a Happy Solstice and pass the egg nog.
I don’t know about any other “progressive” folks, but I was born and raised in Italy, as a Catholic, of course (I was in fact baptized at St. Peter in Rome, but not by the Pope).
Since we call Christmas “Natale” we don’t really grow up with this controversy at all (Natale, by the way, means “The Birth”, in case you choose to misunderstand it as a progressive plot).
When I moved to the states, I encountered both the normal and abbreviated form of “Xmas”. In my naivete, I assumed that the X at the beginning was an abbreviation that had the added benefit to display a cross in place of the “Christ”. I made an assumption there, but I wasn’t far off the mark. I also figured that, like all abbreviations, in a formal writing situation I would use the full word, while informally I would substitute a cross or an X. In no way I imagined that that X would stand for “Eliminate”. Because that reading makes no sense.
When I discovered that some Christians took umbrage at the abbreviation I decided to research it (this was a few years ago) and discovered what the author here also found out: it is a very proper and semi-official abbreviation.
Incidentally, I am one of those “progressive atheists” you despise so much. Yet I have no animosity toward Christmas in no way or shape. In fact, I love Christmas. I even built a nativity scene when my daughter was little because that’s what we did in italy at Christmas. Even though I don’t believe, I like traditions.
As far as “Happy Holy-days” and “Merry Christmas” I always use the latter whenever I am sure of the people I say it to. Why not? After all, it is Christmas.
If I had to wish a good holiday season to a bunch of Ancient Romans, I would probably say something like “Happy Festivus” , and if my audience was not Christian or I wasn’t sure about their heritage I would say happy holidays.
I also say happy holidays as I get closer to Xmas and I know that I may not get to wish a “Happy New Year” to the people I am wishing well to. Because that’s actually the proper form.
I find it sad and hilarious that there are people like you in America, that are unhappy about anything that doesn’t follow strictly the rituals that you choose to deem “proper”.
I can see you curse (or maybe just disapprove of) people wishing you “Happy Holidays” and I can’t help think that one of the results of your faith is to despise and assume the worse about your fellow man/woman, one that is wishing you well, no less.
People like you often cite the luminous joy of being a Christian. I don’t see that at all. Berating, even just in your mind, the poor walmart greeter for wishing you happy holidays is not a nice trait. Presuming an evil plot against your religion where there is only a desire to include more people in the happy event is diabolical.
Sure, progressives like me often do battle about religious icons in the public square. But no one will ever come to your home or your business and take those icons away. We just don’t agree when tax dollars and government property is used to promote a particular faith. You would be far more militant if your city council desired to display Muslim symbols with your tax dollars on your Gov. property. The only reason why you can’t see that is because it hasn’t happened in America yet. But it will.
Unless some secular activist will be around to stop it.
Merry Christmas, Ginny. I hope you have a good one. With love, from a godless atheist. xx
Progressive Episcopalian here.
I’ve known that the use of “X” or the greek chi to denote Christ had it’s origins in the early church since I was old enough to write. I learned this from my mother who used the “X-mas” abbreviation when writing X-mas cards. She in turn learned it from her parents.
Understanding basic symbolism like the chi rho as well as alpha and omega is, in some denominations, considered part of religious education.
Frankly it never dawned on me that people where looking at “X-mas” and not understanding the actual significance of those letters. If people using this abbreviation thought they were deleting Christ from the holiday they were sorely mistaken and likely exhibiting their own ignorance.
Yours in Xp.
Yes, most people are unaware of what the X stands for, but maybe we can redeem the usage and it can actually be a witness to Christ.
So if there’s a war and these gawdless people are our enemies what happened to loving your enemies and carrying their coats etc,etc?
The “war” on Christmas is sadly an adaptation of the American dream of fighting and using violence on any thing you don’t like in order to get what you want.
Christians apparently would rather fight the perceived enemy than spend any time at all wondering how they have screwed up in order to lose the culture as it was in the 1700s.
Ginny, you’re not on my mailing list, but I just created and mailed this card out tonight, and want to share its sentiments with you:
Good point Ginny. Where have the brave, good men gone?
As a lovely, progressive folk myself, I can honestly say that I use Xmas because I’m lazy and appreciate abbreviations – not because of some nefarious plot to remove Christ from your equation. I am also too lazy to care about what other people believe in, much less try to change it. You’re giving us too much credit AND believing the worst in people. I feel for you.
Ginny Bain Allen: Just because you are ignorant (as in, lacking information) doesn’t mean that others are. In the same way that others are not snarky and full of ill will just because you are. Were you trying to win over some potential converts today?
Lets all play patty cake and give in to this diseased culture
Always love your history entries.
Thanks, Ryan. Church history was perhaps my favorite subject in seminary. I would have got a degree in it if there were any actual uses for the degree other than teaching, but I loved studying it.