Holiday celebrations embrace First Amendment
The First Amendment of our U.S. Constitution grants us the right to express ourselves openly through freedom of speech and freedom of the press, to assemble freely and peaceably, and to worship freely as suits our own beliefs. All of those freedoms, in full dynamic range, were on display Saturday, Dec. 21, on The Circle in Georgetown, the seat of government for Sussex County.
The date is important because it represents the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere – the shortest day and longest night of the year. The solstice has been celebrated for thousands of years by pagan cultures because it signals the end of the sun’s retreat and the return of greater daylight hours. Given our dependence on the sun, that has long been an important natural phenomenon worthy of celebration.
Some Christian historians believe establishment of Christ’s birth so close to the winter solstice – the most important pagan holiday – helped with the acceptance of the new religion that grew out of his teachings. The annual date of the other holiday at the top of the Christian hierarchy, which celebrates Christ’s resurrection after crucifixion – Easter – is no less tied to pagan observances.
The holiday falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.
Such natural phenomena as solstice and equinox are at the core of First State Satanist annual celebrations. On the contrary, Satanists don’t believe in the many supernatural phenomena central to Christian faith. The Satanists seized the opportunity to express their religious beliefs and freedoms on the winter solstice in Georgetown.
They assembled peaceably at the same time as the Good Ole Boy Foundation and local churches were assembling peaceably on The Circle to stage their multi-night live nativity scene in honor of Christmas.
None were there to force their beliefs on others. All were there to celebrate their own beliefs and freedoms, peaceably and responsibly.
All were under the protection of our Constitution. Isn’t this a great country?