Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » BAH! HUMBUG!

    Filed at 8:39 am under by dcobranchi

    I’m sick of Christmas. Or, more precisely, I’m sick of all the nonsense surrounding the so-called “War on Christmas.” Check out the LttE of my local paper today. Five out of six. What a waste of electrons. I blame Fox News.

    8 Responses to “BAH! HUMBUG!”

    Comment by
    December 13th, 2005
    at 11:18 am

    Lets see, the “Christmas Tree” comes from Pagan traditions of Northern Europe that predate Christmas, the date corresponds with the traditional dates of various mid-winter celebrations coming from Egypt, Babylon, Persia and other ancient civilizations: the celebration of the goddess Mythra, the celebration of the rebirth of Addonnis, Saturnalia, etc. and probably has nothing to do with the actual birth of Jesus of Nazareth. (Which was more likely in the Spring.)

    I turned on my car radio on October 31, to hear Neil Diamond singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” (A Jewish guy singing a Chirstian carol on a Pagan holiday, and two months early at that! Oy Vey!)

    If “Jesus is the reason for the season,” then perhaps it is time to return to His teachings. Before a Christian criticizes a merchant for choosing not to offend someone, he should check out Matthew Chapter 7, Luke 20:19-26, Matthew 15:7-9 and John 15 & 16.

    “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt 7:20 KJV)

    Comment by
    December 13th, 2005
    at 11:18 am

    The winter solstice on Dec 21 was a festive occasion for the pagans. Humans have been celebrating the week of Dec 25th since before Jesus walked the earth.

    Comment by
    December 13th, 2005
    at 9:12 pm

    one more:


    Comment by
    December 13th, 2005
    at 9:52 pm

    Out here, some folks put the birth of Jesus on April 6, but the actual date isn’t really relevant, other than to point out that Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly on the season. My point is that if a Christian is to “love [his] neighbor as [him]self” (Matt 23:29)as Jesus commanded, then it’s not very “Christian” to criticize someone for making a choice to be non-offensive to his neighbor. Not only does it take the other person to task for doing as Jesus commanded, but it violates the prohibition against judgment in Matt. 7, and the issue was clearly prophesied by Jesus in John 15-16 as part and parcel of following Him.

    The actual date of December 25 comes from the Persian god Mythra:

    Mythra was originally an Iranian warrior god who, according to the Avesta (Zoroastrian scripture) assisted the God of supreme Goodness and Light, Ahura-Mazda, in his cosmic battle against the Lord of Evil and Darkness, Ahriman. Somehow the Roman Mythras (not Mythra) gained autonomy from his Iranian roots as worship of him spread across the Greek and Roman worlds.

    In the Roman cultic version, Mythras was a sun-god born miraculously in a cave. The miracle pointed to future miraculous accomplishments (not unlike Horus or Jesus). His birthday was celebrated with the kindling of lights just after the winter solstice: namely December 25–a date that was considered as well to be that of the birth of the sun. Early Christian celebrated Jesus’ birth on January 6, currently the date of the feast of the Epiphany. January 6, by the way, may have also been a holdover from more ancient rites, as it was considered the date of the birth of Osiris. Christmas was later moved to December 25.

    The Winter Solstice was also the time of celebrating the rebirth of Tammuz/Dumuzi (Adonis in the Greek panthenon), according to Durrant, who was the Summerian/Akkadian God of Vegitation who was gored to death by a bull in the heat of summer (hence the dying of vegitation in the fall), and rescued from Hades by Istar (Venus) in order to bring Spring back to the world. (It took a while for Ishtar and Tammuz to emerge from Hades; Istar had to put all of her clothes back on!) As Tammuz & Istar passed back through the seven gates of Hades, the days became longer and warmer until Spring arrived. This legend not only predates Christianity, it predates the Hebrew captivity in Egypt, and there are indications that the Hebrews worshiped Tammuz for awhile. BTW, Tammuz was supposed to have been miraculously born in a cave too.

    Comment by
    December 14th, 2005
    at 8:46 am

    As a Christian myself, I don’t care what store clerks say to me as long as they are polite and ring up my purchases correctly. I thought we Christians were supposed to disdain the commercialization of Christmas, and now we are asking retailers to make us feel all fuzzy inside while we load up on more junk in honor of our savior. Makes no sense to me.

    As to these comments about Christmas coming from pagan celebrations, there may be some truth to that. The Church may have “baptized” the revelry in honor of the returning light by placing the celebration of the birth of the Light of the World at the winter solstice. There is, however, some evidence that this is not the case. While Jesus was most probably not born on December 25th, there is a case to be made that the date of Christmas was not selected because of pagan holidays. See touchs...-012-v .

    Comment by
    Scott W. Somerville
    December 14th, 2005
    at 9:44 am

    My mom (a devout Evangelical) is totally opposed to any celebration of Christmas, especially on Dec. 25th, which she believes to be utterly pagan. Since she lives with me (there are 12 people in my happy household!) and since I LOVE Christmas (and the whole Christmast season!) we have had some interesting discussions about this.

    World Magazine just ran an article on the history of Dec. 25th, which added some new raw material for our discussions. Here’s their contribution, for what it’s worth.

    The date, Dec. 25th, seems to have originated with math. The Feast of the Annunciation, which is March 25th, appears to have been established BEFORE Christmas Day was ever picked. Dec. 25th, as you can see, is exactly 9 months after March 25th.

    The Feast of the Annunciation, according to World Magazine, was based on the Jewish concept of the “integral year.” They claim that Jewish tradition held that the “major prophets” lived an integral number of years. In other words, they died on their birthdays. Since birthdays really weren’t a big deal in the ancient world, the “integral year” could run to the time of conception instead of the time of birth. Either way, the idea was that the lifespan of a “major prophet” would always be an exact number of years.

    Since Jesus was crucified on Good Friday (which floats around March 25, depending on the phases of the moon and the timing of Easter), an “integral year” for Jesus would place his conception or his birth around that time of year. Some Christians have claimed that He was born on April 1 (and there are those who say this is where the idea of an “April Fool” comes from), but others appear to have pinned the Feast of the Annunciation to that timeframe.

    If World Magazine is right on the history of all this, the Dec. 25th date was probably NOT just picked out to displace some preexisting pagan ritual. It certainly was not originally inspired by any Germanic rituals from cold, dark Northern Europe. As Christianity spread out from the Mediterranean, the Christmas holiday picked up more and more cultural baggage.

    Now that Christmas has reached modeern, capitalist, multicultural America it is packed out with Frosty and Rudolph and stockings and sales. My mom (and a lot of other devout Christians) hate the very day of Dec. 25th.

    But I love it…

    Comment by
    December 14th, 2005
    at 12:58 pm

    Scott & Renee make good points, and a healthy debate on the subject would be interesting, but the fact remains that there are many non-Christian traditions surrounding the Winter Solstice and many Christian traditions that have been adopted from non-Christian sources. To be offended because someone choooses to say “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” is silly and bigoted. It’s a “you ain’t like us, so back of the bus” mentality. It is certainly not Christ-like.

    The flip side of this is that minority religions are offended by having their beliefs marginalized and ignored, which then results in Frist Amendment cases. Then you end up with this rot: PISD wants O’Reilly retraction

    The Plano school district is fighting back against national television and radio talk show host Bill O’Reilly, saying he falsely accused a school of outlawing the colors of Christmas.

    Mr. O’Reilly told his television audience Friday that a Plano school told students they could not wear red and green because they are Christmas colors.

    “That’s flat-out fascism,” he said during a segment on The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel.

    The Christmas red & green and the Winter white have been replaced with claims of fascist black and yellow journalism.

    Comment by
    December 22nd, 2005
    at 7:34 pm

    I feel that if a person wants to wish me a happy, merry, or blessed Christmas that is fine I am a Unitarian and I feel that all religions should be held in a high regard no matter where they come from or who believes in them. My wife is a wiccan and I don’t judge people for their faith. My hope is that the world will one day realize that even when we stand back and see all of the differences in the world that we each have a light inside of us that joins us to the world and to each other that we are in a Symbiotic relationship with each other and the sooner we realize that the world will be a better place and we can live in peace. That is my Christmas, Yule, Hanukah, and Etc Etc

    Blessed Be To All