‘Tis the season for the usual rants. “Keep Christ in Christmas!” “Remember the Reason for the Season!” And of course, the good ol’ Christmas tree. While we typically throw out the typical rebuttals, there’s another elephant in the room that often gets missed. Or rather, a tree.
According to Jeremiah 10:2-4 (here I’m referencing the King James Version, but other versions have the same basic info):
Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
Huh. Imagine that. That big ‘ol Christmas tree? It goes against the bible. Not that it’s a new thing to go against it. That angel and nativity scene? Exodus 20:4: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”
Do I put up a tree? Yes, I do. I enjoy the tradition, and it puts me in a festive mood. I don’t associate it with what christians do. To them (and what I used to), it represents god’s everlasting love, etc. To me, it’s a memory of years past, and a point of focus for the holiday. Little ornaments to remind me of people past, and loved ones still with us.
Seth Andrews, host of The Thinking Atheist, has put together an incredible video which describes exactly how I feel:
Happy holidays, everyone.