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Christianity: Happy Holidays? Bah! Humbug!

Christianity: Happy Holidays? Bah! Humbug!
VITAL SIGNS\r\nCHRISTIANITY\r\nHappy Holidays?\r\nBah! Humbug!\r\nby Tom Piatak\r\nI n 1938, Whittakcr Chambers broke\r\nwith the Communist Partw hi Witness,\r\nChambers describes his Christmas\r\nthat year as one of great joy, in which he\r\nfirst told his children the Christmas story,\r\nshared with them the Christmas ornaments\r\nthat had decorated his childhood\r\nChristmas trees, and enjoyed the Christmas\r\ncarols his daughter was then learning.\r\nAt first glance, it is surprising that\r\nChristmas 1938 should hayc meant an\\-\r\nthing to the Chambers famih'. ^After all.\r\nChambers was not yet a Christian, and\r\nhis wife had neyer been a Christian. Yet\r\nsuch vyas the splendor of Christmas as\r\nonce celebrated in America that Chambers\r\nhad felt its pull even when he was\r\nstill a communist. Chambers remembered\r\nthat "Christmas had always been\r\nour one great holiday when 1 was a boy,"\r\nand, as a Part}' member, he introduced\r\nhis family to as much of the Cliristmas\r\ncelebration as the Parts' permitted.\r\nA contemporary of Chambers, Fr.\r\nGereon Goldmann, experienced a very\r\ndifferent Christmas half a world away. As\r\na conscript in the SS, Goldmann was\r\nforced to celebrate not Christmas, but a\r\nbizarre winter holiday concocted by the\r\nNazis:\r\nOn Christmas Eye, there vyas a celebration,\r\nnot a Christian one, but a\r\npagan German julfest. We were all\r\ntogether and had to sing some trash\r\nabout the night of the clear stars\r\nand other sad...

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