Conservative Christians waged the first “war on Christmas”

The American Puritans, a group of conservative Protestant Christians who were very dominant in Americas early history (and can be considered spiritual precursors to today’s Evangelicals) banned the celebration of Christmas in the 17th century.

Here is the actual law:

“Such festivals [are] superstitiously kept… to the great dishonor of God and offense of others: it is therefore ordered by this court… that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, by feasting, or any other way, every such person, so offending, shall pay… five shilling as a fine.” (1)

Here is an ancient public notice that calls Christmas a “satanical practice.”


The Puritans in America were not alone, for example, a leading Puritan in England, “Oliver Cromwell preached against “the heathen traditions” of Christmas carols, decorated trees and any joyful expression that desecrated “that sacred event” (2)

The celebration of Christmas we are used to is rather new. Then “in 1851, Pastor Henry Schwan of Cleveland OH appears to have been the person responsible for decorating the first Christmas tree in an American church. His parishioners condemned the idea as a Pagan practice; some even threatened the pastor with harm” (2)


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