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Secularism and Christmas

January 02, 1994

Regarding your Dec. 24 "Spiritual Connection" editorial, you say, "Christmas is a secular holiday." Who decided that? I'm unaware of legislation in that regard.

You say, "Merry Christmas!" has yielded . . . to "Happy Holidays!" By whose count? I wish my Christian friends a "Merry Christmas!" and my Jewish friends "Happy Holidays!" You say, "The church campaign to put Christ back in Christmas is a faded memory." But how does one take Christ out of Christmas?

You say, "Even the clergy send generic Christmas cards." Has Gallup taken a survey on that? My own Christmas card greeting reads, "May your Christmas be rich in the peace, love and joy that Christ gives." And that would include editorialists who may not be fully in touch with their subject matter.

THE REV. DUANE A. WALKER

First Presbyterian Church

Oceanside

* I take exception to the description of Christmas as a secular holiday. Secular means not involving or belonging to a religion. Christmas, however, is a Christian festival commemorating Christ's birth. That many Christians have chosen to celebrate one of their holiest days by rampant commercialism and pagan symbols rather than purely Christian ones does not make it a non-religion-based holiday. It is clearly not the celebration of a President's birthday but rather the birth of the Christian godhead in human form. To refer to Christmas as secular is to presume the worst sort of Christian narcissism--that the non-Gentiles, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists--all see Christmas as secular too! Trust me, we don't. If it were truly secular, let us change its name and call it Winter Solstice or year-end break or even extend the celebration of the new year to a four-day weekend, like the secular holiday of Thanksgiving. If you want to create a genuine secular holiday, let us take the Christ out of Christmas.

BARBARA A. HOROWITZ

San Pedro

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