Sunday, December 18, 2005

Feliz Chrisma-hana-kwanz-ica

I can't tell you how much I am enjoying The War on Christmas, so much so in fact that I decided to rank my three favorite wars in order or win-ability:

(1) The War on Christmas (winnable)
(2) The War on Drugs (un-winnable)
(3) The War on Terror (less-winnable than The War on Drugs)

More coverage of The War on Christmas [1] | [2] | [3] | [4] | [5]

Before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, it's not Jesax (the proto-Jesus) I'm lobbying against, it is in fact Hallmark. Anyone who has paid attention knows:

1. Jesus was not born on or anywhere near December 25th according to the New Testament narrative.

2. The apostles and the early church never celebrated December 25 nor any other day as the birthday of Jesus.

3. Though the events surrounding the birth of Jesus were prominent in the New Testament, they were never associated in Bible times with any annual celebration of his birth.

4. Rather, the only celebration kept in honor of Jesus was the celebration of his death. Further, that observance did not coincide with the pagan observance of Easter, (the name comes from Ishtar, or Astarte, the ancient goddess of spring", as is done today, but it was on the day of the Jewish Passover as is well documented in the Bible.

5. The pagan festivals known an Saturnalia and Brumalia, associated with December 25th, were being celebrated during the time of Jesus's life and for centuries before. It would have been considered outright pagan for Jesus or his disciples to celebrate December 25th.

6. Saturnalia was celebrated very much like Christmas is celebrated today, with the decoration of homes and trees and garlands, round orbs, crosses, mistletoe, yule logs, wreaths, etc. It was all done, however, in honor of Mithras, the sun god.

7. Ancient Rome derived its pagan religious activities from even earlier forms of paganism in Egypt and in Babylon, condemned widely in the Bible as the worship of Baal.

8. These pagan practices were incorporated into the church in the 4th century, by the Roman emperor Constantine to further his political agenda. The church that emerged from that period was a travesty and the church of today is nothing like that of the first century.

9. Christmas celebration was exclusively a Catholic practice until as late an the early 1800s. Legends concerning Santa Claus and others have been layered upon the earlier observance since 1830 to produce the quasi-secular holiday that has become popular in our time among the protestants and the secular.

So while any good C&E Christian can tell themself that you're celebrating the birth of their savior by putting presents under the tree, they're really just helping retailers make their Q4 targets and celebrating the expansion of Capitalism.

Bill O'Reilly is all worked up about the War on Christmas, but he has no right until he gets his facts straight. Maybe Chanukkah is more his speed, or Stickmas

And Jesax, while he doesn't get a cut of those profits, still thanks you Christmas spending. I'm almost certain that Reagan had something to do with this mess.

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