Saturday, December 24, 2011

more on Christianity and paganism

Thanks to a tweet by Lee, I was led to this detailed fisking. It makes some of the same points that I've made, such as:

Almost all of these debates about the ‘real meaning of Christmas’ seem to rely on the suspect assumption that the origins of a particular tradition or practice have some privileged claim upon its ‘meaning’ (and the idea that a feast such as Christmas is best understood in terms of what is generally meant by ‘meaning’ sounds fishy to me). I don’t see any reason why the ‘meaning’ of Christmas or any other such feast need be regarded as any more fixed and unchanging than the meanings of words. While there may be good reasons for seeking to preserve certain meanings, the original use of a word does not set in stone its meaning for all time.

Echoes of my argument that the sound "ah," though not originally or even uniquely English, is nevertheless totally English, and that by the same token, pagan elements of Christianity, though not originally or even uniquely Christian, are nevertheless totally Christian.


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