[quote="WJL, post:1, topic:273331"]
I've heard this claim several times before, but recently I seen someone who says they're a Christian on Facebook make these claims:
I've heard others claim that all major Catholic holidays such as Easter and Christmas are supposedly "stolen" from pagan life-death-rebirth fertility religions which supposedly occur on the summer and winter solstices and spring and autumn equinoxes. For example, some have alleged that Christians "stole" Christmas from a winter 'death' festival and Easter from a sping 'rebirth' festival, thus implying, at the most, the "Christ-myth" hypothesis or, at the least, that Christ's Death and Resurrection didn't really occur in the Spring / around Passover, like the Gospels record.
What is the proper response / answer to the allegations?
All the claims are nonsense, and have been dealt with at length on this forum. Most of the claims derive from 3 or 4 Victorian-era anti-Catholic crank books. You can spend an enormous amount of time trying to refute each claim, all to little purpose, as even when positively refuted, the people making the claims just pop up on another site and make the claim elsewhere. They are unable to cite any scholarship on the issue, they usually just claim "well, everyone knows that..." Seeing a picture of a sun on a monstrance, they decide the Catholics must be sun worshippers. They see a fish in the catacomb, and decide the Catholics worship Dagon. They see a photo of the pope caught in mid-shot as he lowers his hands from a blessing, and decide he is secretly (?) giving a satanic hand-sign, or is a Texas A&M graduate. That kind of nonsense.
Perhaps the best all-purpose retort is this: the early Catholic Church despised the pagan culture that oppressed them and murdered their fellow churchgoers, and wanted no part of it. They considered the pagan idols they worshipped not to be merely fictitious, non-existent gods, but actual demons who fooled their believers into believing they were divine.
Given all this, doesn't it seem completely unreasonable that such stiff-necked men and women, who would suffer martyrdom for their true faith, would willingly adulterate the worship of Christ with the practices of the worship of demons?