Saturday, 21 April 2012
[This is reposted as part of our Best-Of Revelife Week. It was originally posted on September 26, 2010.]
Various Christians of various stripes refrain from celebrating a variety of holidays, ostensibly on Christian grounds.
- Some Christians do not celebrate Halloween, because of its devilish imagery.
- Some Christians do not celebrate patriotic holidays such as Independence Day or Thanksgiving, because of the possibility of idolizing the nation-state. In particular, Thanksgiving can be seen as an alternative creation story, and a simulacrum of the communion table.
- Some Christians do not celebrate Valentine's Day, because of its glorifying a commercialized version of romance, and its origins in pagan Rome.
- Some Christians do not celebrate birthdays, because they see it as self-glorifying, and the only characters in the Bible who celebrate birthdays are negative examples like King Herod.
I'm sure this will surprise no one, but the only holidays I avoid celebrating are the patriotic ones. I do try to qualify my celebration of Christmas and Valentine's Day, which culturally speaking are celebrations of mass marketing and consumerism. I also tend to avoid announcing my birthday, but that's strictly because I don't like people making a big deal of it, and has nothing to do with theological considerations.
What do you think? Are there any holidays Christians might want to either avoid or qualify their participation in? Are there holidays Christians should especially get behind?