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FORUM LIST   »   CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION OUTLAWED   »   1659 law against Christmas reasonable at the time
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Author 1659 law against Christmas reasonable at the time

Karin Zachary
Joined: Dec 2014
Dec 25, 2014 21:04

I believe the early Massachusetts residents chose wisely in making this law because of the times they lived in. From the Moment I understand that the holiday was celebrated in a similar way to Halloween; the wassailing sounds much like trick or treat. The 4 first colonies, Massachusetts, New Haven, Plimouth, and Connecticut had founded their union with one another only 10 years before. Massachusetts was a much smaller place in those times. Survival was dependent on sobriety and hard work, and a lot of patience. I don't see it as "religious intolerance" as your teachers' title states, but an effort at civil cooperation and responsibility. Had the day been characterized by pious observance of the birth of Christ, I doubt there would have been a law forbidding Christmas!! However, the Church of England was seen as corrupt, which was why separatists were called Puritans (not by themselves), and little better than Rome. We know that the people of Plimoth desired to live simply as the early church had done, sharing property, and they weren't sympathetic to the Pope's holidays because of what they saw as corruption. Remember, the Christmas that was out-lawed in 1659 wasn't the sweet children's Christmas of 1856.

Karin Zachary

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