Is Christmas Pagan?

Now and again a myth popular in some Evangelical and non-faith circles raises its curious head: somehow early Christians appropriated a non-Christian festival and baptized it into a celebration of Christ’s birth. True, some aspects of our contemporary Christmas celebrations have their counterparts in  pre-Christian religious rites (mistletoe and the like). However, we should avoid the correlation is causation fallacy; just because two things are similar does not necessarily mean one caused the other.

In this informative December, 2003 article in Touchstone Magazine, Prof. William J. Tighe, associate professor of history at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, presents what I believe is a convincing case for the opposite: that a non-Christian Roman emperor tried to create an alternative to Christmas.


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