The real meaning of the War on Christmas

Of course Christmas is at war — but Starbucks has nothing to do with it

The meaning of Christmas can not be found in a red cup.
(Image credit: Creativ Studio Heinemann/Westend61/Corbis)

The Gospel of Mark begins innocuously enough: "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."

Innocuously enough — to our ears. The Greek word for "gospel," evangelion, means "good news" and was well known throughout the Greco-Roman world: Whenever the Roman Emperor won a smashing new military victory, his heralds would fan out across the empire and announce the evangelion. Starting with Caesar and Augustus, Roman emperors were typically deified — declared to have become gods — upon their deaths, and so the emperors bore the title of "divii filius," son of the the divinized one — shortened in Greek to "huios theou," son of god. This royal title was embossed on most coins, the mass media of the Mediterranean world.

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