Dawkins Surprise

In Uncategorized on December 10, 2007 at 1:14 pm

The BBC News is reporting Richard Dawkins’ response to recent discussions in the UK about the political correctness of Christmas. Religious leaders are saying that pushes to make the Christmas holiday “safe” have taken a toll on the historical aspects surrounding Christmas and that Briton’s Christian culture will not survive if forced to appease everyone. Leaders claimed that the recent surge in anti-religious writings, conferences, and entertainment, if left unchecked, would leave the average Briton’s knowledge about their country’s history severely lacking.

One of the most vocal proponents of anti-religious materials has been Richard Dawkins. He responded in an unusual way given the typical tone of controversationalim (defined: using controversy for sensational purposes) he uses in his delivery. His response seemed to be a clarification of sorts:

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.

Reading through any of his writings, you will find that his stated purpose is to purge society of all religious thought. I’m curious as to what would be left of Christian history when Christian thought is purged from the minds of a nation’s citizens. Why would we celebrate the miraculous birth of Jesus if there was no real miracle?

So, why do I bring this story up, it’s not really news-worthy if you think about it.

When you grow up in a Christian culture, you do certain things out of tradition, for instance, you sing Christmas carols repeatedly and you get fairly used to them. You don’t think about the words. And they are glorious! I sang these words hundreds of times as a child, but only now do I understand them:

O Holy Night
J.S.Dwight & A.C.Adam, 19th Century

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night divine, O night,O night divine!

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend!
He knows our need, To our weakness no stranger;
Behold your King! Before the lowly bend!
Behold your King! your King! before Him bend.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name!
Christ is the Lord, Oh praise His name forever,
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim His pow’r and glory
evermore proclaim.

What would Christmas be where Christ is replaced with culture? You would go about singing “Long lay the world in sin and error pining, Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth” and never feel your soul’s worth.

  1. […] few days ago I posted an article on “famed” atheist Richard Dawkins’ recent comments on the Christmas holiday and […]

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