33 thoughts on “Merry Christmas, all our readers and contributors!

  1. BTW: I really admire something about materialists celebrating holidays that totally contradict their beliefs… I don’t know what that something is exactly though…

  2. J-Mac: BTW: I really admire something about materialists celebrating holidays that totally contradict their beliefs… I don’t know what that something is exactly though…

    Missed the part where Jesus was born under a Christmas Tree while Santa and the Reindeer look on.

  3. J-Mac: I really admire something about materialists celebrating holidays that totally contradict their beliefs…

    I really admire Christians who wish everyone a merry Christmas. It’s clear that the Golden Rule means a great deal to them. If they were living in an Islamic nation, they would yearn for everyone to greet them with “Ramadan Mubarak,” and to expect them to reply with the same.

  4. Merry Christmas, Christians. Happy New Year, everybody.

    (And many thanks to Donald Trump for letting me say “Merry Christmas” again. It was so difficult for me having to suppress my urge to say those words in years past. It turns out that what Christians have really needed all along was an admitted pussy grabber who hates the poor. Whoda thunk it??)

  5. walto,

    All is not yet lost. Opponents need to organise and present an alternative that the poor, women, ethnic minorities will get out and vote for at the mid-terms. Maybe try and persuade the religious lobby that their pact with Republicans has done them no favours.

  6. J-Mac:
    BTW: I really admire something about materialists celebrating holidays that totally contradict their beliefs… I don’t know what that something is exactly though…

    Sure I celebrate Christmas. What’s not to like? Presents, music, family, friends, goodwill, food, lights, the passing of the shortest day … I may be atheist, but I’m not stupid.

  7. I had a lovely Christmas with my family. We’re all agnostics, with varying degrees of apatheism, but for us Christmas is about family, togetherness, gifts, cooking, drinking, and walks in the snow with the dog.

    The idea that “the meaning” of a holiday is fixed in advance and for all time by the originators of that holiday seems quite odd to me, and more than a little silly. People are always investing rituals and ceremonies with new interpretations and new meanings. That’s part of what humans do.

  8. KN,

    The idea that “the meaning” of a holiday is fixed in advance and for all time by the originators of that holiday seems quite odd to me, and more than a little silly.

    It makes me wonder if J-Mac is even aware that Christmas started as a pagan holiday.

  9. It is a curious thing how much pagan there is in both Christmas and Easter. Holly and ivy, bunnies and eggs … I mean, the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox? C’mon!

  10. Neil Rickert: Is there any holiday that is more materialistic than Christmas?

    I agree that probably there isn’t one….I have objected to the corporate brainwashing that is focused on buying rather then what it supposed to be…

    I’m not going to comment on those who celebrate the holiday that at least at it’s root is the complete opposite what they believe… It could be compared to Sal and I celebrating Darwin’s birthday…

  11. J-Mac,

    I’m not going to comment on those who celebrate the holiday that at least at it’s root is the complete opposite what they believe…

    Are you aware of Christmas’s pagan roots?

    Now, what were you saying about those people?

  12. Not sure that “pagan” is the right word.

    The Christian writers gave the name of Pagani to those persons who adhered to the old Roman religion, because the latter continued to be generally believed by the country-people, after Christianity became the prevailing religion of the inhabitants of the towns

    Link

  13. The canonical Gospels appear to be Israelite rewrites of ancient Mediterranean pagan mystery religions, including the cults of Osiris, Dionysus, Attis, Isis and Mithras.

    By no remarkable coincidence; Paul of Tarsus (whose writing preceded the first three synoptic Gospels) interpreted his version of the “Jesus’” story along Christological lines of a Mediterranean Pagan Mystery Cult remarkably similar to the pagan Mithras cult already existing in Tarsus.

    The Christian gospels (written in Greek by former Hellenistic Pagans and followers of Pauline Christology) plagiarized extensively from pagan sacred texts including all the familiar stories of Jesus’ life; such as the details of his unlikely birth, his miracles, his crucifixion and resurrection. The early church fathers fended off charges of blatant plagiarism with the counter-charge of “diabolical mimicry”. According to church fathers, the devil was confounding the faithful by pre-empting Christian history. Satan, in diabolical anticipation, invented parallel pagan mythology before Christ’s birth.

    Confusion abounded when in 345 Pope Julius I decreed Christmas to be December 25, the date of the pagan saturnalia when pagans celebrated the birth of their Sun Gods. One hundred years later, Pope Leo the Great had to undo the damage by explicitly exhorting the faithful to stop worshiping the sun.

    Pope Leo the great must be now spinning in his grave to witness the reintroduction of pagan practice to the Vatican with an evergreen Christmas tree. The ancient pagans celebrated the rebirth of their sun gods with evergreens at this time of year as well. The irony is palpable; today’s Vatican rests on the ancient ruins of a temple to Mithras.

  14. History judges kindly, neither the Christian nor Muslim faiths. A jaundiced reading of the Bible has sanctioned slavery, burning of witches, polygamy, anti-Semitism, religious wars, genocide, brutal executions, and child abuse all committed in the name of Christ. In similar vein, primary Islamic sources such as the hadith , sunna, sira, and tafsir have provided cynical justification for theft, plunder, wife beating, rape, pedophilia, assassination, mass murder, genocide of Jews and terrorism.

    Religion can evolve and change for the better. Christian culture in its original form was quite venal, as the pope tacitly implied. The murder and dismemberment of Hypatia of Alexandria coincided with the obliteration of culture, civilization and philosophy presaging Europe’s dark ages. Christianity gave us “Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoset” or “Kill them all. God will know His own”. Christian culture, nasty and brutish, red in tooth and claw, persisted with the burning of countless women, innumerable Jews, all with ecclesiastical imprimatur; culminating in the vicious exploitation and enslavement of the poor and dispossessed during colonization of the Americas and elsewhere.

    Christian Culture eventually transcended Roman law by providing an ethic regarding mercy as a virtue, not a weakness. Generation after generation of Christian idealists sacrificed their lives with vows of poverty, obedience and chastity striving to make this world a better place by providing food, shelter, schools and hospitals to any in need. Christian culture eventually gave us the UN, Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights movement, Liberation Theology and Solidarnosc; to name just a few.

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