You won't believe what happened to beloved winter holiday
Posted: November 21, 2008
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When you think of the people who founded America's original settlements in New England, what comes to mind?
People feasting on a Thanksgiving-style dinner?
Struggling for survival through harsh weather?
Praying to God for guidance?
Well, here's something you most likely have never been taught in school or even in church.
Many of these same Christians who founded America actually banned the celebration of Christmas.
Yes, you read that right. Christmas was banned in America, not by any representative of the American Civil Liberties Union, but by Christians themselves.
It was actually against the law to observe Christmas, and people could be fined if they happened to take part in any celebration.
This stunning fact is just one of hundreds pointed out in "Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You've Never Been Told" by Joe Kovacs, the executive news editor of WND.
"Despite the assumptions of many, Christmas was not a widespread holiday in much of colonial America," says Kovacs. "Shocking as it sounds, followers of Jesus Christ in both America and England helped pass laws making it illegal to observe Christmas."
Shock yourself, your friends and relatives with an autographed copy of "Shocked by the Bible," exclusively from WND's online store. If you prefer ordering by phone, call our toll-free order line: 1-800-4-WND-COM (1-800-496-3266).
And it wasn't just Americans in the 1600s who had "issues" with Christmas.
On Dec. 25, 1789, the first Christmas under the brand-new Constitution, the United States Congress was actually in session, with no day off for any holiday. In fact, the U.S. did not even make Christmas a federal holiday until 1870.
In "Shocked by the Bible," Kovacs explores the history of Christmas, and the concerns many of America's founders had with the day.
He also examines what the Bible actually says about the birth of Jesus, from an angel announcing to Mary she would bear the Son of God, to the slaughter of all male children in an attempt to extinguish the life of the Savior of mankind.
In the process, many myths and misconceptions are shattered about the Christmas story, including:
* "Three Wise Men" are mentioned nowhere in the story of Jesus' birth, and no wise men at all saw baby Jesus in a manger.
(They saw Jesus for the first time as a young child in a house).
* The Bible never specifically mentions the day, month, year or even season Jesus was born.
* There's no mention of a Christmas tree or any tree in the gospels recording Jesus' birth. However, there is a custom mentioned in the Old Testament that shows people decorating trees with silver and gold. You might be astounded to find out what God says about such a practice.
"I know that Christmas is a very sacred and special time to countless millions," says Kovacs. "But so many people are still in the dark about what's actually in their own Bible, and what's not. I just want them to crack it open and find out. They might be very surprised."
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