Thursday, December 29, 2005
I believe in angels because I had experienced in being pinned underneath a car and was immobiled while my jacket get caught in the hind wheel and could have been sucked into and underneath the car any minute; but fortunately, the driver, for some strange and unknown reasons had decided to go forward instead of continuing on to go backward that very moment, so the back of my jacket was free and I TOO was free...When the car moved forward and I stood up from the ground, everyone was so surprised. The only thing that was broken was my jade bangle, it was broken in half; but my body was saved from harm.
I believe I have met angel on that day.
May Lu a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)
I believe there are angels among us
Sent down to us from somewhere up above
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give
To guide us with the light of love --Macgyver
I believe in angels because I've seen them. They first appeared to me last month just before school ended. Leaning out the upstairs bathroom window brushing my teeth, I looked down on their heads. Three naked black girls with creamy white wings, throwing stones on my hopscotch board. They had long braided hair that reached to their bottoms. They carried translucent disks that looked like halos under their arms. They giggled to one another and rose up into the crab apple tree, picked blossoms for their hair and flew away. -- From the book Black Angels by Rita Murphy
Aren't angels cute? Don't you just want to take them in your arms and squeeze and squeeze until there isn't a breath of air left in their little tiny bodies?
Angel belief is a kind of belief you find in Parade Magazine among the collector plates and Precious Moments figurines It's like a belief in elves, or fairies, or that your toys come to life when you're not looking. It doesn't seem dangerous, until it interferes with your ability to tell fantasy from reality. When it stops being a belief in a child's representation of good and turns into a child's representation of evil--directed at your neighbor. Sorry, Goodie Goodwyfe.
But, since I am somewhat cynical, my biggest problem is not that angel-believers might stone me to death. I'm more concerned with the inconsistency of these beliefs. Sure, you might be able to find endless websites about angel encounters and go to seminars that teach you how to recognize your guardian angel in palm readings. But angels in scripture are not shoulder-buddies, ragdolls, or Anne Geddes posters. They are giant, terrifying soldiers of death.
The best look of angels we get is from an apocryphal book of the bible: The Book of Enoch. The Watchers. This is only mentioned in a very short passage in Genesis, but these angels, the Sons of God, were atracted sexually by women on earth, and took them for their wives. In other words, raped them. *
* How many rape paintings are there? A few thousand, give or take a few hundred.
These angels, including one that was mistaken for Satan, Azazel, made giant babies with humans, then proceeded to teach mankind to do evil things like put on makeup and paint houses, thereby daming them to hell and causing god to have to drown babies and cute animals, because He loves us. Unfortunately for Yahweh, it didn't work, because it seems that His Best Children have managed to remember all that Azazel taught, flood or not..
But it wasn't Yahweh Himself that took care (or will take care, depending on your church) of these lecherous angels. It was another non-cuddly angel, The Angel of Death. (It's a shame this book didn't make it into the Show. It would have been more interesting than the Book of Revelation. It wasn't even a mushroom dream! ) Michael would never make it as a Precious Moments figurine, and certainly doesn't have time to help you cross the street! He's much too busy, killing heretics, Egyptian firstborn, and checking doorways for lambs blood at Passover.
But wait! you say, I know that there are avenging angels, but it's those Cherubim that look so good in framed posters. Cherubim certainly don't hurt people. Cherubim are sweet and represent all that's innocent and good in the world!
Unfortunatley, according to the rules, Cherubim don't give a shit about any of us. Cheruubim are really nothing more than the Harem of Jehovah. Have you looked at the Adam/God painitng by Michelangelo recently? Those cherubs aren't just picking nits out of God's beard. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
The word cherub (cherubim is the Hebrew masculine plural) is a word borrowed from the Assyrian kirubu, from karâbu, "to be near", hence it means near ones, familiars, personal servants, bodyguards, courtiers. It was commonly used of those heavenly spirits, who closely surrounded the Majesty of God and paid Him intimate service.
Is that where we get the pedophilia from?
My feeling about the angels-as-pets beliefs is somewhat the same as my feelings about Christmas and Santa Claus: the creatures are simply not christian, but come from somewhere much deeper in the past. Obviously, the aunties and Grandmas with their calico angels and cherub figurines don't need scripture to get their beliefs. It comes from the same place where we got our beliefs in beneficient and malevolent spirits, ghosts and animal guides--between the ears. Too bad for Christianity, though. Nature wins again.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
We also had Francois' uncle and aunt there. We got a digi cam!
Those are the cookies I made. Of course, most of them are here again. They're good, but there was just so much damn food. We had all the regular stuff, then a big slice of salmon pie. On Christmas day, we had the leftovers au Vol au Vent. Always love that. And, of course, a big slice of pate au saumon. Just eat, eat, eat.
Huguette, my mother-in-law, is moving in a few days, so when we left, she loaded us up with food from the freezer. Filet Mignon, whole chickens, a Tourtiere, and, of course, a Salmon Pie. Not to mention the appliances she gave me for christmas.
I really enjoyed seeing the family home movies from the eighties. I got to see Francois at 10 (and I was in college!) playing the piano, in his little pajamas, big glasses, curly red hair, same mannerisms. Very cute. Mostly it was to see his dad when he was alive. That family really let loose at Christmas. I saw Francois as an 18 year-old with another family christmas (I felt like Scrooge with the Ghost of Christmas Past), working a karaoke machine. His uncle Bob tied his shirt in front with his uncle Yves and they did the Macarena. I saw his Grandma, who just passed away last year, singing a particularly baudy french song that everyone seemed to know. It's really something when an eighty-year-old sings "GODDAMN SONOFABITCH!" When that happens. profanity becomes cute. (Well, I think there's no such thing as profanity, but what are you gonna do?)
Nice. When we got home, we had a pile of presents to open from my family. My brother bought Francois a pair of converse hi-tops. I've never seen him in those. I hope they fit. He must wear them!
Oy am I fat.
Friday, December 23, 2005
From J-Walk Blog
You can read mine, probably at the bottom, and add your own.
And another one!
The Strangest Prayer
Stacy - Silverton, OR
Comments: Before a softball game, one team member prayed, ''please let the other team win...and let us win, too.'' Both teams win? Like a tie, perhaps? Except nobody wants to tie...somebody's gotta win. It was hard to not laugh out loud when I heard this prayer.
THO's Response: Stacy, it's good that you didn't laugh out loud; you did what is right. A big part of being a Christian is knowing when to laugh and when to laugh behind someone's back. The good thing is even though the latter takes patience and willpower, those times are usually way funnier so you can have an even bigger laugh at someone else's expense—an expense that they don't even know exists. The "cost" of laughing out loud in front of them is often paid by you, and sometimes comes in the form of the pastor stopping his sermon, claiming he's doing the best he can, crying, and later kicking you off the worship band, which was made up of a bunch of no-talent clowns and had a horrible keytarist, anyway!
THO's Response #2: Also, insiders tell us this is exactly what Bud Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball, prayed for before the 2002 All-Star Game.
I know, I know. But read it anyway.
Let’s back up even fucking further, shall we? Can anyone tell me how old Christmas is? Anyone? Two thousand years, give or take, right? Gee, who’s been reading their No Child Left Behind History Textbooks? Try fucking four thousand years. Huh. Twice as fucking long as your little baby king has been around. How could that possibly be, unless. . . waitaminute. . .
Christmas isn’t fucking Christian. Ok, now we’re talking.
Monday, December 19, 2005
1. First thing you did this morning?
Peed. Then blew my nose a whole bunch. This place is really dusty in the morning.
2. Last thing you ate?
A piece of fresh french bread. Franc's decided he's crazy about fresh bread, where he couldn't care less before. Now he can't get enough of it. It's very good with cream cheese and confit.
3. Is your cell phone a piece of crap?
Why do people assume everyone has a cell phone? I prefer to be away from communication for at least a few minutes each day.
4. What's the thing you look forward to most in the next 6 months?
Christmas, obviously. Getting some legal stuff taken care of. And many, many good meals.
5. What's annoying you right now?
Some bread crust in my teeth, and people who gripe about how "christmas is too commercial." What they mean is "I don't like that YOUR christmas is too commercial, thereby making me a victim of the way you have oppressed me with your personal style of celebrating. Now I am forced to be crass, because I'm too damned uncreative and wussy to celebrate the way I want."
6. What's the last movie you saw in a theater?
I honsetly don't remember! It may very well have been "The Two Towers." Oh--but I did see some home movies made by John Waters at his art exhibit in Manhattan.
7. Do you believe in long distance relationships?
Sheesh. They exist, don't they? But if by "believe," you mean do I think I could enjoy one, obviously not. Otherwise I wouldn't have moved 3000 miles to marry Francois.
9. Is there someone you miss?
Just reading that sentence makes me tear up. There is one, and I don't even want to think about it. So I won't tell you.
10. What inspires you?
People who have passion and work hard at it. People who will stay up all night working on a project.
11. If you could put together a concert of 5 bands or artists who would you choose?
"Bands?" I don't know...Le Tigre, White Stripes....Sonic Youth....Kiki and Herb....Esquivel. That would unfortunately be a cacophony. That actually might be nice.
12. Song that sums up your love life?
"Large people dancing the polka."
13. What are a few things you wish you were better at doing?
The things I am good at now. Drawing, playing the violin, painting. And things I am bad at, like maintaining friendships over long periods of time.
14. If you could be anywhere this second, where would it be?
In a jacuzzi.
15. What's your most vivid memory from 6th grade?
I was reading a really nutty story I wrote to the class, and I couln't stop laughing at how funny I was. Everyone in class was staring at me. It was some dumb story about alien abductions and people turning into aliens, with my schoolmates as the characters. It was perverted.
16. Latest addiction?
17. Have you ever had the slight urge to kill someone?
I'm married, aren't I?
18.How many people would you say are interested in you?
I hope a couple dozen. But probably maybe a dozen .
19. What do you love doing?
Cooking, writing, sculpting with clay, recording and editing, wrapping christmas presents, decorating for christmas, watching tv (yes, watching fucking tv), surfing the net, acting, simging, playing music.
20. Do you think someone thinks about you dailly?
Absolutely. Maybe that's why I'm generally happy. A nice number of people still do.
21. Who was the last person you saw or talked to?
22. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A Renaissance Man...Woman.
23. What is your favorite food?
Garlicy stir-fried chicken with 5-spice sauce and rice. Chocolate. Ice cream. Barbecue. Chili. Poached rainbow trout with garlic and herb sauce. Hot french fries from a greek restaurant with spicy gravy. Subway sandwiches. Chips and black bean and corn salsa. spicy bean soup with roasted red peppers. Sweet bell peppers and onions sauteed in butter and olive oil over pasta with parmesan cheese. Broccoli. asparagus. Shepherd's Pie. Salmon pie. Chicken Pot pie. Pizza.
24. How many people do you know with the same name as you?
Two. One was a girl in college, who was so strong and vibrant, that I wanted to be her. She was sort of round and Norwegian, and drew comics like Robert Crumb. She liked to walk around naked. Once, a German bakery owner set out the Stamptisch table for us. We think he was flirting with the sturdy, Germanic girls. Allison drew a picture of us wearing yolks and wooden shoes. The other girl was a lithe, ethereal little girl who worked for me for about 6 months at the children's theatre. She laughed a lot and went to an arts conservatory to study acting.
25. What was the last thing you spilled?
French bread crumbs on the floor. Then there was the spill I took today out on the football field!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Check it out here.
But I will tell you this, as we wage the war on the war on the war on the war on Christmas on our radio show. News Corp., Fox News, those people who have started this entire war on Christmas mean, fake war, they're having a holiday party.But since when were we supposed to assume that Christianity should be in the public square? So fucking what, if Christianity is "systematically cleansed" from the public square? Cleanse the hell out of it. And while you're at it, cleanse it from the addled minds. Sounds good to me. What is it that makes everyone so goddamned apologetic if someone uses that phrase? "Oh, no, we would never do that. We believe in this and that." Grow some ovaries, people.
President Bush saying "Happy Holidays." Tokyo Rose, Laura Bush, saying "Happy Holidays" to her dogs in the video, I'm sure you've seen it. I mean, these are the things that we should be talking about when we are waging this war in Iraq, we should be equating it to the war on Christmas.
KINGHT: This would be funny except it is serious to a lot of people who have seen their faith cleansed from the public square systemically.
Anyway, it was a cool clip. You can watch the clip from the blog, btw.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Dear Billy O'Reilly,
Your words are strong, sir. I have taken up the challenge to fight against you and your ilk in your War Against Christmas.
I'm gonna use all the power that I have on radio and television to bring horror into the world of people who are trying to do that.
That's right--you and Falwell, John Gibson who wrote that libelous rag, The War on Christmas. You want to destroy Christmas. I will take up that fight.
I am the atheist Champion for Christmas
Enough of this fancy schmancy talk.
History has proven that every time Christians like you have won your war against Christmas. you have banned it.Prohibited Christmas.
You do not own Christmas. Christmas owns you.. Christmas has you hornswaggled into performing pagan rites and using pagan symbolism. Christmas has you going against your religion, violating very important tenets--like not having anything to do with pagan activities, such as putting up trees, kissing under the mistletoe, decking the halls with boughs of holly, and burning yule logs.
And celebrating the solstice.
(Which is at the very root of your religion, by the way.)
Now, this information is more and more available to everyone. The Christians who can acknowledge that may be able to say "I can celebrate this season AND acknowledge my God's official arbitrary birthday, even though I know it's not his birthday at all," are the ones who are mature enough to loosen their grip on this imaginary thing and share the fucking month of December with everyone else.
Look--we don't even get any sass from Muslims about this. It can be done.
I'd like to hold you, Billy, to your promise. Along with the the horror and that nonsense,
you must now expose me, say my name and put my picture on Fox. But you won't, because I am on to your evil, diabolical plans.
I know, it won't happen. Besides--I am not opposed to Christmas. He is.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
"I believe in Santa Claus because..."
Believing in Santa Claus
I believe Santa Claus was a real person, and one who testified to and demonstrated the love of God poured out to us in the person of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. A study of Nicholas of Myra (or Bari), who was a "saint" by reason of his faith in Christ, and was titled "Saint Nicholas" by reason of the traditional Church's recognition of his love and good works, reveals a true believer and a genuine servant to mankind. All myth and legend evolving from this man, which is flavored with good and godly ideas of love, giving, caring, and helping, is well-grounded in fact; facts I believe in.
There is no good evidence that saint Nicholas existed. Even if he did, the legends that grew up around these mythical bones discovered in the 12th century come from the smae places that the Santa Claus legends come from. Religious Tolerance reports that
He is alleged to have attended the first council of Nicea; however, his name does not appear on lists of attending bishops.
Most religious historians and experts in folklore believe that there is no valid evidence to indicate that St. Nicholas ever existed as a human. In fact, there are quite a few indicators that his life story was simply recycled from those of Pagan gods.
Father Madden says,
"I believe in Santa Claus because I believe in God," he said. "The spirit of Christmas is a loving, kind and giving one, and I think that's the spirit of Christ. He came to earth to do that very thing. Once a year the Lord puts aside the garments of the Israeli person he was and puts on a red Santa Claus suit — and I think Christ is Santa Claus and Santa Claus is Christ."
Well, ok. Santa Claus is Christ, only he doesn't ask children if they are dirty Caananites, or if they believe in Jesus. at least, the real Santa CLaus would never do that. He's not an asshole. Strangely enough, German kids get their presents from the Christ Child, who is a blonde girl in a dress. But they are crazy, so it's ok.
But people who believe in Santa Claus because he is supposedly the spirit of good will and generosity tend to believe in carnal representations of other emotions--like the Spirit of Evil. Those folks should be avoided, and children should be shielded from them. Who knows when they might decide your child is possessed by the spirit of greed and violence or something?
Jaded Aspiring Lawyer says
Okay, just so we are clear. Maybe I'll define my point one more time just so everyone gets it. I believe in God, because it's nice to believe in, I believe in Santa Claus, because it's nice to believe in, I believe in the easter bunny. You get where I'm going with this.
Do you think I believe it with all my head? Would I not sound like everyone else who believed in these things if I did? I believe these things in my heart. Entirely different storage capacity. This is how I can be on both sides.
Maybe it will, only time will tell.
As far as the claims of the heart--well, that's just stupid and there's not much more to say there. Storage capacity? Where in the heart does one store belief? Is believing in stupid things a prerequisite for having emotion? It's good she decided to become a lawyer and not a doctor.
God is not nice to believe in. It is not nice to believe that something is all-powerful, yet allows disfiguring diseases for children. It's not nice to believe in an all-knowing God that allows people to be drowned in sea-water and sewage, leaving thousands of children orphaned, and imprisoned sex-offenders free to "help" them.
But it is indeed "nicer to believe that all of those children will be fine, and all of those sex-offenders will reform. Is it nicer to sit back and be happy with unfounded beliefs when you could do something about it?
Is it "nicer" to tell your children to hang their stockings and wake up to find nothing? It's not nice to believe in Santa Claus and then doubt his existence by going out and buying presents, is it? Maybe it's "nicer" to discourage your children from questioning Santa's existence when they get NOTHING.
I've always felt apart from any given group. Even when I briefly found the drama clique in school to be friends with for about a year and a half after my entire school life of being a loner, I felt apart from them. I never went along for the sake of going along. The wheels in my head were alwys turning apart from the group. Besides experiencing any event as it happened, my brain was writing an essay about it: how did I feel about what was going on? How would this look to me a year from now? How would I have felt about this last year? If only they could see me now.
As a kid, I cleaved to my small family because of this. we generally got along, and home was a place where I could express myself, unlike the outseide world. I was mt normal, loud and boisterous self at home, polite and passive at school.
Maybe that's part of why I like Christmas. My folks didn't have any money, as my dad was a teacher, and my mom was always going to school to be one.But they always managed to make Christmas shine for us. Mostly, it's because my mother loved it so much. She decorated the entire house. We always had a big, real tree. Or two or three, when they brought home the one from school. We always had music playing--actually, it wasn't bad stuff. We're all musicians, so we had jazz music and classical music on the Magnavox console. Mom was a great cook, so we had great food. Plus, I always felt her taste was above normal, so the decorations weren't schlocky. Mom was the one who taught me what schlock was, and Christian art was always the target of her derision. The Praying Hands was always one of our jokes.
One could assume that the only reason one might love christmas is because one had wonderful christmases as a kid. I don't know. My mother lived in a home with a terribly abusive, probably partly crazy father. They were really poor, too. What would make her love christmas? Well, her mother probably tried her best to make a christmas too. They were all musical, they probably had good music. They were all performers as well. They all did concerts and plays, just like we did. In fact, it was a Chrstmas Opera where my Mom and Dad got together.
There are so many things that come back each year that remind me of really good times. So I love christmas. I love the music, the decorations, wrapping presents, sending cards, and especially the food. But I'm not a christian, and I especially hate crowds, and I really hate dishonesty.
I have been to my big, extended family get together at christmas once in 15 years. I don't hate them. When I did go last year, I had a good time. They are christians, and prefer a christian celebration. They pray. I have to be careful not to offend. The thing is, they've changed. They used to sit and talk about how gays were disgusting. That was the last time I showed up in years, except to bring my gay partner to the Thanksgiving dinner. I've opened my mouth and offended a couple of times. I didn't mean to. I mentioned something I learned in college abotu comparative religion--the Egyptian creation myth. I didn't think it would offend. After all, my dead sainted grandmother was a mythology teacher. How I wished she had been there. One of my uncles said something like "well they learned their lesson in hell."
After that, I would go for vacation to my parents' house, but I would stay home with my brother for the reunion, or go back to school. It was nice.
I hate malls with a passion. I hate crowds, and I hate all the stores for young, tiny women. I hate the kiosks with stuff with your name on it. Or pseudoscientific nonsense. I developed my own way of shopping, before the internet. I found Christmas to be a great excuse to enjoy shopping in downtown seattle. And go by bus or train--NEVER my car in such traffic! I shopped in antique stores and boutiques. But the best was by catalogue. Why kill your spirit at a place liek the mall, unless absolutely necessary? The internet is the best thing to happen to christmas. Who needs to go to a mall?
But the one thing that made shopping fun was a tradition my brother and I developed one year. We decided to make shopping for Mom and dad a yearly event after one shopping trip that left us rolling on the floor. We shopped at Stan's Merry Mart.
You might know a place like this. Merchandise from 1980, still on the shelp, still with its original price. Shellacked log cookies with a semi-truck and a clock. Dolphin figurines as ugly as you can imagine. Velvet Elvii. Year after year we would find something so unimaginable I'd hurt myself laughing. My folks love their jigsaw puzzles. What better puzzle than Jock Ewing of Dallas, holding a Scotch? From there we would go to the mexican grocery, and buy strange fruits and candy: creamy jello. And what better stocking stuffer than a trout? It couldn't have been better if we had shooped at Archie McPhee and got them Famous Rabbi Trading Cards--which I did. They looked good wrapped in the green paper festooned with bacon strips (pictures, not real)
Voila! No more shopping hassle, no more unpleasant family dysfunction.
Things have changed for me quite a bit. I don't really know what the traditions are here, but I like my in-laws, so that's helpful. I miss my folks, so I have to travel out there at great expense. I have to create my own traditions now. But it doesn't have anything to do with what I think I'm supposed to do. Even though I still like some of the s'posed tos. I program my radio station with songs and Old Time Radio tales. I don't really want much. Just some room for a tree and a table for Smorgasbord. The rest of it I can shut out. Turn off the depressing Christmas specials. Go to a movie. Make a tradition out of whatever.
I think the better you arrange your situation, the better you can tolerate things you find distasteful of other people. Sure, we fight against Christianity. But that doesn't have much to do with Christmas, anyway. Why fight it? It's like trying to stop the sun from rising. And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
What is the "True Meaning of Christmas?"
Since we know that not only was Christ not born on December 25th--he was not born, this cannot be the answer. So I'm asking you.
I have been searching on the internet, and I cannot find even an opinion beyond Christ. I read people complaining that what Christmas is "nowadays" has killed the True Meaning tm of Christmas, but no one tells me what it really is, Charlie Brown, now that we have established that it is ours, not Jesus'.
Later, I will ask how it has been killed by 100 years and counting by buying things from stores.
When people say (B), they mean that Christmas is not mentioned in the Bible, nor is Christ's Birthday given a date (you'd think the Bible-writers would have had the courtesy to give the hour, minute, and second, too). Nor was Christ's Birthday important to Christians at first. Plus, the whole December 25th bit has more to do with the Winter Solstice and Saturnalia and Mithra than the Baby Jesus. And the Puritans didn't care for Christmas. Etc. All true.
Includes a lot of great christmas mp3's, (including a track "Put Christ Back into Christmas" 1950) so go check it out
The Carol was first published in a time of great religious controversy, and its absence of babes, wisemen,
stars, mangers and other icons* of the Chritsian Nativity inspired a multitude of sermons and pamphlets. Some religious leaders believed that any story fo Christmas without references to the birth of Jesus was self-indulgent and un-christian, and that the ritualistic celebrations in the story were pagan and sinful.
Although A Christmas Carol is generally associated with the Christian holiday season, for it does contain references to the Christian Jesus, its themes are not exclusive to Christianity and it inspired a tradition for decades in Christmas books and celebrations that appealed to many non-christians.
In other words, the traditional, seemingly meaningful (non-commercial) christmas of Dickens (published in magazines because Dickens was broke) was thought to be crass and heretical. This story was part of a general campaign to bring back Ye Olde Christmas which went out of favour in England after the Cromwellian Recolt in the mid 17th-century abolished it.
* The manger, wisemen, star, Frankincense and myrrh were elements of the birth of Mithra, a much older god than Jesus.
Monday, December 05, 2005
It's like this: Christmas is a celebration of Christ's birthday. If someone doesn't like that..sorry. But that's what it is.
I am not opposed to any other group celebrating any other religious holiday. Someone could celebrate Buddhas birthday for example. No problem.
Christmas is a celebration of "Christ's Birthday" in name only. As I have stated many times, the origin of the Christ's mass being placed on the day is in Rome (Constantius II), where Christ's Birth was officially placed on the day of the Birth of the sun, Sol Invictus, for obvious and completely unhidden reasons.
A star cult, sun-worship, became (in the third century A.D.) the dominant official creed, paving the road for the ultimate triumph of Judaeo-Christian monotheism. So strong was the belief in the Invincible Sun (Sol Invictus) that for example Constantine I (d. 337), himself at first a devotee of the sun cult, found it, indeed perfectly compatible with his pro-Christian sympathies to authorize his own portrayal as Helios. And in 354 the ascendant Christian church in the reign of his pious but unsavory son, Constantius II, found it prudent to change the celebration of the birth of Jesus from the traditional date (January 6) to December 25, in order to combat the pagan Sun god’s popularity—his “birthday” being December 25.
So December 25th was not Christmas, and Christians did not have any particular reign over the month of December, as they feel they do today. Everything we know about the holiday, from the tree to the frankinscence and myrrh, belonged to another religion before. Christmas may be known as the celebration of Christ's birthday, but the actual celebration is not christian, but pagan, secular, and of course the observance of other major holidays of major religions.
I must emphasize the point that the celebrations can be interpreted as not only unchristian, but anti-christian. The rituals and symbols and the celebration itself often go blatantly against scripture. The bible and christian liturgy do not advocate the celebration of birthdays. Obviously, if it did, Jesus' birthday would be a clear and important date, a day for all to see in the book of Luke--or even prophesied in earlier books. But chritsianity, a religion that rejects life in the world and instead glorifies death, instructed its followers to do so. In old world christina communities, for instance, folks did not celebrate birthdays. They tended to be named for Saints. On the Death Day of a particular saint, a feast was traditionally given, and a little attention might be paid to the one, perhaps a child, whose name corresponds to the dead saint. Jesus has his feast. It's called Easter.
Christmas as a christian holiday is rather modern, and Americans who complai abotu consumerism have conumerism to thank for the religious celebration of their god's honourary "birthday." Americans did not see this celebration of bounty tempered by piety until a group of capitalists in England and New York campaigned for it, with such actions as the St Nicholas campaign and the Happy Christmas campaign. Business could simply not run as usual, with the pagan Season of Misrule ruling over the cities. In New York City for instance, people shut themselves in their homes in fear of aggressive wassailing, begging, protesting, Callithumpian Bands...
With the development of cities and industries "peasants weren't going to their local patron to feast-it was an emerging proletariat or working class. These were strangers from across town And the festivities became expressions of class and ethnic hatreds. In 1819 in St. Augustine, Texas, for example, merrymakers visited every house in town "kicking in doors and pulling down fences. As late as the 1850's gangs of young men called "Callithumpian bands" wandered New York, playing and singing, demanding money, smashing windows and beating people.
... and very drunk young men. This was Christmas. The Christmas that was not popular or widely celebrated in Americs--even outlawed in New England for a time.Not until Chritsmas became an opportunity for more wealth in communities -- as long as it was toned down -- was Christmas able to become a fun holiday for children and an opportunity to get lapsed christians back in the pews for the second time in a year.
So, what if Buddha's birthday is on December 25th? (Forgetting the fact that Buddhists say, if you see Buddha, kill him, not celebrate his birthday.) If someone were to say "Happy Holidays," to a group of people that included Buddhists and Christians (such as...."shoppers"), would you boycott?
"I am not opposed to any other group celebrating any other religious holiday. Someone could celebrate Buddhas birthday for example. No problem."
If you did, you would be ignorant, not only of the other religious and secular traditions that share in this yearly festival of the Sun, but of the history and scripture of your own damned religion.
This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. 5 Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk.--Jeremiah 10
The tree was a tradition of Saturnalia, of Solstice, of Yule, and of Chritsmas.
Don't you just love a Holiday tree?