Feel Free to Have a Christ-Free Christmas

Amanda Marcotte thinks the Christmas story isn't relevant anymore

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 24, 2012 11:10 AM CST

(Newser) – Suppose you're a basically non-religious parent. Do you have a responsibility to tell your kids the story of Jesus this holiday season? Andre Park at Salon tried, and soon found himself awash in questions he couldn't answer: "Where's Galilee? Who's Herod? What's Myrrh?" He ultimately gave up, but he's glad he made an effort. "The main byproduct of these holidays' religious roots—an emphasis on expressing our love and caring for others—is a good thing," he argues. But Amanda Marcotte at Slate thinks he shouldn't have bothered.

The truth, Marcotte argues, is that "the myths and legends of a desert-dwelling people from 2,000 years ago don't have much symbolic or cultural relationship to the Christmas of our imagining," which is essentially a secular holiday, filled with snowmen, gift-giving elves, and mistletoe. Heck, you'd be better off raising your kids on Dickens' A Christmas Carol, "which emphasizes the importance of love and generosity," as opposed to "how virgins are better than non-virgins," and how newborns can be "superior to everyone else by accident of birth." Click for Park's full column, or Marcotte's full column.

The Nativity Scene set up in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican is seen Dec. 21, 2012.
The Nativity Scene set up in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican is seen Dec. 21, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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