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24th December, 2007

Seeing God articles
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Richard Dawkins, Rowan Williams and Santa Claus

Some Christian fundamentalists have labeled him “Satan Incarnate” due to his evangelistic fervor in denouncing God. Though he scorns those who believe in God, “Britain's most famous atheist”, Richard Dawkins, nevertheless does not lambaste Christmas — at least, not its observance as a national holiday, even though he, “has the same disdain for Christmas as he has for all other religious observances”. As reported on BBC's online news two weeks ago, Dawkins told his audience on the program “Have Your Say” that,

I'm not one of those who wants to stop Christian traditions. This is historically a Christian country. I'm a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims. So, yes, I like singing carols along with everybody else. I'm not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history.

Talk about bizarre! Dawkins attacks Christianity's right and proper fundamental underpinnings — the existence of God — while cozying up to its superstitious, mythical, ungodly, utterly inappropriate overlays. Normally, Prof. Dawkins never misses an opportunity to pour scorn on all religious belief systems, particularly Christianity. If anything presents him with a golden opportunity to convict the wavering as to the validity of Christianity, Christmas is it. Surely God does not have to whisper in our ear for us to suspect that He must heartily disapprove of Christmas's every facet save one — its celebration of the coming of the promised Seed of Blessing. Yes, an angelic choir sang with joy when Jesus was born (Luke 2:13-14). Just as John the Baptist leapt in his mother's womb at the sound of pregnant Mary's voice, Jesus' followers should fair quiver with excitement at the merest thought of the Incarnation. After all, their salvation is grounded on His work. It's hard to imagine that God

would object to believers incorporating a celebration of Jesus' coming into their liturgy. But Christmas?!

Loving truth and hating all manner of falsehood is enjoined upon believers throughout Scripture. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, “fessed up” earlier today to some of the errors that have been adopted within the Christmas tradition, acknowledging that, “the three kings with the one from Africa — that's legend; it works quite well as legend”, and that the tradition that Jesus was born on the 25th December is probably incorrect but was adopted by the church because, “it fitted very well with the winter festival.” What might God think about tradition's association of His own visit to humanity with a casual disregard for historical accuracy and, worse, with the pagan winter festival? Scripture not only demands a love of truth, it clearly instructs believers to scrupulously avoid embracing religious practices of pagans:

Take heed to yourself that you… do not inquire after their gods, saying: “How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise” (Deut. 12:30).

We may be tempted to not take such an “Old Testament passage” seriously. Jesus, however, told us that man shall live by, “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). He certainly did. Many of the customs associated with Christmas come from pagan sources — just check any encyclopedia.

How can those who take Jesus seriously condone combining the appropriate celebration of His coming with historical errors, silly lies about reindeers and chimneys, and pagan customs and… well… you name it. Oh that Richard Dawkins would quit attacking God and instead devote himself to exposing the errors and superstitions of Christendom and calling for a root and branch reform; then he would have this little turkey as an avid supporter.


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