‘Tis the season, and that means it is the season of memes and pseudo-intellectual YouTube clips that shout from the rooftops that Christmas is just a pagan holiday. I may do more posts later on the larger issue of people throwing out memes and arguments that try to make it seem like Christians simply plagiarized from earlier pagan stories, but for now let’s just stick to the date of December 25th.
Before really getting into the claim, we should ask ourselves this: What exactly would this argument prove if it were true? Would it make the biblical account false? Well, no, it wouldn’t. The Bible gives no date of Jesus’ birth, and most Christians are pretty comfortable with saying that we do not know exactly when Jesus was born. This happens to be true for many historical figures, so it’s no big deal. In other words, even if this argument were correct, a Christian could shrug his shoulders and say, “So what? Christians modified existing pagan holidays to try to share their message instead. Who cares?” With this in mind, it is a bit amusing how some people find this argument to be some great problem for Christianity.
However, it is still worth looking into the claim because it shows an underlying problem with so many similar arguments, and that is a transparent desperation to look for the vaguest similarities with pagan religions, to assume pagan priority, to swallow memes wholesale, and then to strut around feeling smug and enlightened. I hate to break it to some people on social media, but memes rarely, if ever, constitute much of an argument, however entertaining they may sometimes be.