More on Armstrongism, Christmas

I’ve been informed this morning, by my mom and my Aunt C., that Armstrong didn’t come up with that Santa Claus and Jesus argument–you know, the one that says kids who believe in Santa Claus and find out he’s not real will then conclude that Jesus Christ is not real. I’ll take their word for it, since Herbert Armstrong was a plagiarizer. I once read Armstrong’s United States and Britain in Prophecy, and it read so much like an earlier book, J.H. Allen’s Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright. But did Armstrong give Allen any credit? Nooooo!

But it was an honest mistake on my part. After all, how many Christians do you know who don’t tell their kids that Santa Claus exists? I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re out there, but I don’t remember too many of them from when I was a kid in the small town of Brazil, Indiana. In those days, virtually everyone around us kept Christmas. But we didn’t, because we thought it was pagan. We kids were told at an early age that there is no Santa Claus. And we did not hesitate to express our beliefs to other kids, or those annoying adults who asked, “What did Santa bring you for Christmas?”

It’s not hard to think that only the Armstrongites prominently attacked Christmas. But, then again, I guess there are also the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who get their literature into a lot of people’s hands (whether the recipients want it or not).

How do I feel about not having kept Christmas when I was a kid? I don’t really care. We always got presents on our birthdays and the Feast of Tabernacles. Plus, we were allowed to participate in the Christmas festivities at school, which I can’t say about the Jehovah’s Witness kid, who had to sit in the library. (I don’t think he stayed a Jehovah’s Witness when he grew up). I suppose that those in my family who really wanted to fit in disliked being different. But part of me relished being right while the rest of the world was wrong (in my mind), or at least having something interesting to share with people. Plus, I got to observe the biblical command to avoid paganism. How many Christians can claim that? Well, then again, with the explosion of Wiccan and New Age religion nowadays, probably more than I think, but Brazil, Indiana was predominantly Protestant back then. It still is, to a large extent.

So those are my ramblings. I have some more posts to write for today, so stay tuned!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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