Letters to the editor for Friday, Dec. 27, 2013

Apartment complex’s sidewalk is dangerous

I live on Hot Springs Road. Now our sidewalks are clear of ice and snow. I am stuck in a power wheelchair, and this is the only way to get around town.

There is a little apartment complex next to where I live, but the owner will not remove the snow and ice in front of his complex, Quik Stop all the way to Walmart. No one has done a thing about it.

How are we to get to the store to buy food and pick up our medications? It is unjust to handicap seniors like myself and others. Where can we get help to make the owners do the snow and ice removal? Walmart has done nothing, neither has Quik Stop or the complex on the east end of where I live. We need help getting there, but no one want to help us. Pleas help us.

Lester McGarrah

Carson City

Christmas, previous pagan holiday merged

William Lepore Sr. is offended that “schools do not have a day or evening prior to Christmas having a small performance in honor of the birth of Jesus, our Savior.” He insists that “the decorated tree is a Christmas tree” and that Christmas is not a winter festival.

Something tells me Mr. Lepore doesn’t realize that Christmas wasn’t always so popular in America. The Puritans believed that Dec. 25 was a heathen festival that was actually a thinly-veiled excuse for sinful behavior and drunkenness. They ordered shops to stay open on Christmas Day and insisted that work go on as usual. They banned holiday cakes and candles and even had Christmas declared illegal in Massachusetts from 1659 to 1681. After independence, the United States Congress remained in session on Christmas Day every year until 1851.

Those Puritans were on to something. Dec. 25 only became a Christian holiday when the Roman Church instituted “Christ’s Mass” in opposition to Saturnalia, a pagan fertility festival celebrated on the same day. Over time the two celebrations cross-pollinated, and the Christian commemoration of Christ’s birth got mixed up with Germanic and Nordic beliefs and practices involving elves, Yule logs, mistletoe, and gods living in evergreen trees.

The fourth century church leaders who created Christmas to keep the faithful away from such pagan practices would no doubt be shocked to see how thoroughly intertwined their once-holy day has become with ancient traditions they so disdained and vainly tried to eliminate. Saturnalia carols anyone?

Rich Dunn

Carson City


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