It's that time of year again when the christian right are victims of this imaginary threat from liberal secularists who apparently want to ban Christmas.
I would like to take this opportunity to put the paranoid christian rights mind at rest and assure them that secularists don't want to ban Christmas. We enjoy Christmas too - probably because it has very little to do with Christianity and is an excuse to eat and drink to excess.
But Christmas hasn't always been this well protected, It once did have a group who were devoutly intent on removing Christmas and all of it's association to Christianity. Unfortunately for the christian right this group were puritan Christians. And they succeeded.
For 22 years after 1659 celebrating Christmas became a criminal offence and anyone found "feasting" or generally enjoying themselves were subject to an on-the-spot fine of 5 shillings. Even after the ban was lifted it took decades for Christmas to be celebrated again. In England king Charles I ordered soldiers to patrol the streets looking for anyone preparing food for Christmas and shops were ordered to stay open and trade on Dec 25th. Church mass was also outlawed on this day.
The christian puritans didn't think that people were conducting themselves in a "holy manner" and didn't even believe that Jesus was born on the 25th December as the bible has no mention of his birth date (which seems odd considering the other trivial details it includes).
So next time one of you right wing Christians want to start flapping your arms and pretending to be victims remember that the only people ever to ban Christmas were Christians who thought it was un-christian.