Clueless Kirk Cameron Says That Pagans ‘Stole’ Christmas, Ignores Actual History… Again

With a movie he produced about his favorite holiday opening on Friday, Kirk Cameron is hitting the (mostly Christian) talk circuit to plug it. “Saving Christmas” is, according to him, going to save Christmas while pissing off atheists. But why stop with atheists when you can piss off the Pagans, too? And historians. Must be some kind of weird Christian trifecta.

Talking to The Christian Post, Cameron displayed an appalling amount of ignorance about the holiday he claims to love. He asserts that everything about Christmas is, and has always and only been, Christian. In doing so, he ignores even scholars of his own faith, including those at the Liberty Council. Even the magazine he spoke with acknowledges the pagan roots of the holiday. But this makes no dent in Cameron’s willful ignorance. According to him:

“We don’t know this stuff, we kinda drink the Kool-Aid and believe pagans when they tell us they have ownership of these things.”

Except we do know this stuff. We have loads of historical information about the holiday as it was celebrated both before and after the advent of Christianity. For example, the date on which we celebrate Christmas, which was chosen by Bishop Liberius of Rome in 354 CE. This was done to help convert the celebrations from the pagan Saturnalia and Dies Natalis Solis Invecti — the birth of Mithras, the unconquerable sun — to the new Christian holiday. And it worked.

As for Jesus’ birth, the biblical account says there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. Shepherds in the Middle East would have only had their flocks in the fields from Spring into Fall. In December, the animals were brought in close to shelter to protect them from the cold and rain. Scholars believe that the likeliest date for the birth of Jesus falls in March, 6 BC.

The story of Christ’s birth itself has pagan influences. There are stories of similar births in Assyrian, Babylonia, Egyptian and Greek mythology. Matthew and Luke, who included some of these trappings in their gospels, must have known well these stories. John M. Robertson’s “Pagan Christs” is quite informative on the subject.

As for ownership… how can anyone own a season? Modern Pagans have no desire to “own” Christmas. That our traditions have been adopted as part of the Christian holiday does not connote ownership nor would we wish it to. This obsession by certain Christians — looking at you, too, O’Reilly — to need their holiday to be the preferred holiday of winter is asinine. There are lots of holidays that fall during this season, from many different religions. It’s an important time, both astronomically and religiously, marked in various ways. Acknowledging this truth doesn’t make Christmas any less of a holiday for those who celebrate it. This is not a zero-sum game.

So, no, Kirk Cameron. You are wrong. Christmas has pagan roots and that is a fact. Accept it and move on. Attempting to make money by creating a controversy is not something Jesus would be down with, I don’t think. A cynical person might conclude that this is your goal with your recent pot stirring.  If all you can think about is others putting a “…big wet blanket on the celebration,” then you don’t really love it as much as you claim to.

Many pagan traditions lie under the Christmas tree — itself a Germanic pagan tradition. Unwrapping them all should bring joy, not paranoia and arrogance. You celebrate your holiday in your way and leave others to do the same.We will all have a much more enjoyable holiday season without the constant whine about the nonsensical “War” on Christmas. Happy Holidays!

h/t Huffington Post