Catholics believe that faith cannot exist without reason. In fact, reason justifies faith. Additionally, it is important to us when we reach the limits of human reason. This man, Pat Robertson, belongs to a school of Christian thought where faith is independent of reason i.e. no relationship between the two exists. Additionally, any similarity between the two is pure coincidence. For example, he once said that one could get AIDS if you use towels in Kenyan hotels. He just believes that this is so yet he is without enough reason to guide him towards this conclusion.
Robertson makes statements of faith without bothering to substantiate them. For example, he believes that Christmas is pagan based on what reason. His statement is inconsistent. The Saturnalia he speaks of ran from December 17 to December 23. Christmas is on December 25. He tells of a monk who calculated the birth of Jesus using events in the Bible and got close to the real date. His words show that the time settled upon by the Catholic Church has a Biblical basis. After saying that, his only problem is that the monk gave a definite date. He cannot dispute that time, yet he disagrees with it. That is not rational.
Pat Robertson, John Hagee and others believe that the Catholic Church is the anti-Christ. Even when proved wrong with reason, they persist. Most Christian traditions including Christmas stem from Catholic teaching so, as they try to oppose Catholics, they resist these traditions. Unfortunately, they do so without enough reason. More importantly, these evangelicals cherry pick which traditions/teachings to keep and which ones to throw out even though each tradition/teaching is relevant to the other.
Why did Catholics choose December 25? Early Christians had a deep reverence for this date. They did so independently i.e. without reference to any coinciding festival. For example, people celebrating on December 25 may do so because it is their birthday and not necessarily, because it is Christmas. Linking the two is a fallacious assumption especially when the elements defining the festivities differ remarkably. The Church has no authority to set aside December 25 as a day of great significance to the Christian faith without a sufficient amount of reason to do so. It lacks authorization because those early Christians were closer to Jesus’ time than we are.
Therefore, we can only speculate about why they choose this date. Using the Passover, one could calculate an estimated month for the death of Jesus because he died during this festival. The Passover took place from around March to April and as such, Easter (celebrating the death & resurrection of Christ) falls in March or April. An assumption then is that great men lived in full years. Example, if conceived in March, you would die in March. Therefore, since Jesus’ death was in March or April then his conception would be around March to April according to this assumption.
Just to divert a bit, another theory is that creation of the world started in March. It makes sense since spring is in March. Everything comes alive in spring even today. Creation was through the Word of God. Since Jesus was the Word of God, then it is only proper that the Word, Jesus, comes to the world he created in the same month i.e. March.
Returning to the point, if conceived in March or April, then his birth would be in November or December. Calculations of exact dates supporting the Early Christians’ reverence for December 25 exist, but some calculations dispute them. In truth, the exact date of Jesus’ birth is of no theological consequence to the teaching of the Catholic Church. Recognizing this fact, the Church does not celebrate December 25 as the day of his birth. Instead, it only holds a mass on this day remembering that his birth took place.
Remember, Christmas is a short form of Christ’s Mass. It commemorates the birth of Christ, and it respects the traditions and authority of the Early Christians. Moreover, it downplays the relentless focus on dates that have no theological consequence to the teaching of Christ.