secular gods, was RE: Rowling and religion

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 22 15:22:54 EST 2004


--- meparks at mtholyoke.edu wrote:
> Quoting Gili Bar-Hillel <gbhillel at netvision.net.il>:
> 
> >> tendency in English language books to write about
> Christmas as a universal
> > experience, ignoring the religious aspect of the
> holiday. Father Christmas
> > plays an important role in "The Lion, The Witch
> and The Wardrobe", which I
> > suppose is understandable as C.S.Lewis was
> religious; but even an author as
> > secular as Frank Baum, who was even anti-church at
> times , having been
> > seduced by theosophy and oriental mysticism, wrote
> Santa Claus into his
> > books (an incidental character in one of the Oz
> books, I think "The Magic
> > of
> > Oz"; not to mention being the hero of Baum's "The
> Lives and Times of Santa
> > Claus"). 
> 
> Yes, but what I find interesting here is how pagan
> Baum's Santa Claus is (to my 
> memory).  It's been at least ten years since I read
> the book, but I remember 
> lots of magic and things that would probably not go
> over well with the anti-
> Potter crowd.  This reminds me of one of the big
> debates in feminism--is the 
> tradition so integrated with its roots that it
> should be abandoned by those who 
> don't agree with it, or can it be removed from them?
>  In this case, can Santa 
> be secularized?  I'm one of those of Christian
> descent who has never celebrated 
> Christmas as a religous holiday (though I am
> occasionally motivated to act in 
> religiously-linked ways, ie the Christmas spirit of
> giving and joy and whatnot, 
> most notably after I read Connie Willis'
> "Miracle"--but this, too, can exist 
> secularly, right?), but I realize how different this
> is for those who are not 
> Christian.

I was brought up in a very Christian household where
Chistmas was not celebtrated in any form as my father
regarded it as a purely pagan celebration that had
been snuck into the litergy by satanic idoloters (ie
Catholics).

Jon


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