I love the phrase “The War on Christmas.” It’s so absurdly inflammatory, contradictory to the very idea of Christmas (peace on earth, goodwill to men, even those men who disagree with you), and most of all implies some sort of need to play defense, which unless you do all your shopping on Black Friday also seems fairly un-Christmasy.
But what bugs me most of all about the “War on Christmas” is when people declare that any use of the term “Xmas” is an attempt to take Christ out of Christmas.
Cross him right out! We don’t need him! Bring on Santa (who is a Christian saint but that’s inconvenient to mention so we’ll ignore it)! And elves! Presents! General hedonism!
Off topic, but do you realize we are also trying to take the CROSS out of traffic! Hello! More war on Christianity!
Anyway, if you’ve known me for 8+ years, you will know that my freshman year of college I thought taking intro to Ancient Greek was a really, really good idea. I was a religion major after all and needed a language credit. I didn’t happen to realize that the Greek class offered was actually classical (Attic) Greek and not what is known as New Testament (Koine) Greek. Basically, Attic Greek is so absurdly hard that people had given up speaking it 2,000 years ago. Because it’s HORRIBLE. And I almost failed it. I didn’t – I got a proud C (my only C ever thankyouverymuch) but still. Take any Greek lessons I give you from here on out with a grain of salt.
Back to this war on Christmas and heathens’ desire to take the Christ out of Christmas. Guess what? It ain’t so. “X” is not the crossing out of Christ, rather it is the Greek letter “Chi,” the first letter of Christ (Christos) in Greek. In the ancient church, Chi Rho (the first two letters) were often used as an abbreviation for Christ. Perhaps you’ve seen this around:
“Xmas” basically just means “Christ-mas,” perhaps an even better reminder that what we are celebrating is Christ. So rest easy, my friends, we can put down our battle axes for another day and fear not that we are losing in the war on Christmas.
Plus we will need to keep them extra sharp so we can chop down all those “holiday” trees in public buildings. Who do they think they are…