2005

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Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Christmas

"Christmas: Paganism, Sun Worship and Commercialism" by Vexen Crabtree (2008)

Hello, stranger! Good to see you back!

There's been a lot of discussion about this bogus 'war on Christmas' perpetuated by the Religious Reich Right on several of my communities. dark_christian even has a post with a photo of a banner hanging on one of those horrid 'megachurches' saying "To HELL with the Holidays- put CHRIST back into CHRISTmas".

If they only knew.

People who know that I am not Christian ask me if I am upset that there's a Manger Scene on the grounds of my State Capitol. Heck, no! That's the most Pagan thing out there! Bring 'em on! Hail Dionysus! Hail Mithras! Hail Amun-Ra! (Ra wasn't born in a manger, but he's a sun god...)

I do not believe that Coca Cola designed Santa's uniform. It was the description in the poem "The Night Before Christmas" that solidified his image in the popular culture. The poem was written well before Coca Cola came on the scene- in 1823. Coke just popularized it in the Thirties.

Dude, while I do think I seen a site claiming a different origin for the red suit, it is not from the poem "T'was the night before christmas". It states quite clearly "He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;" it goes on to describe his red nose and cheeks, but that is it. You did not get red fur back then and their is nothing in that to suggest a red cloth suite trimmed with fur like we have today.
Now of course I have to go look up where it really started because I am sure Coca Cola stole it from somewhere!

Snopes

StraightDope

Verdict: Coca Cola propagated and solidified, but did not invent/design, the image of SANTATM.

I'm waiting for some greed-addled corporation to slap a copyright on Santa's laugh.

Well Personally I'm not anti-commerical or anti-popularist or even anti-secularist

I am anti-BS and a purist: I'm fine with pagans doing their thing (it's their right, jsut as I have mine); I just reject 'Christians' ('my people') joining in, but then trying to pass it off, not only as [not pagan] but actually as 'Christian'.

I might be a little cynical though.

Astute assessment; enjoyed.

So, are pinko commies allowed to be down on christmas as well (it's not like you can be a commie without being anti-capitalist/commericalist and secular...)

Commies could celebrate a kind of communal christmas - you know the tradition of a school running a collection of food to give to the poor - that's quite socialist! The rest of the commercialist junk that people buy is just fuel for the capitalist system though...

There is a shop somewhere in England (I know of it but I like to keep things vague) run by two Hindu men. They put a sign up saying "Merry Christmas to all our customers" and they were sent a letter saying that the sign might be offencive to certin people mentioning Hindu's in the letter.

*heh* Shall have to remember that - though can you at least tell me which council it was (I'm guessing it was a council)?

Down with Santa! Bring back Father Christmas. I remember him. This time of year was much better before Santa took over.

I take it your disapproval of Chrimbo will mean that you won't be listening to David Bowie and Bing Crosby's version of "Little Drummer Boy"?

Ha, I'm so uninterested that I don't know the original track, nor do I know that there is a cover I should be avoiding!

Ignorance is bliss!

(Deleted comment)
I've only read 'Jesus Mysteries', I will pick up the others but at the moment I've got a pile of unread books, I'm trying to cut down! Also, I've been saturated with "Christian origins" type material at the moment, but Freke & Gandy are powerful and I'll get round to them again at some point!

Yup, which is why I'm still happy to celebrate Christmas, although I tend to call it Yule in a nod to my pre-Christian mid-winter celebration of choice.

I find it absolutely hilarious when Christians whine about how everyone's forgotten the "reason for the season". I do wonder what they'd say if I pointed out that the reason for the season is mostly to do with the return of the Sun God and the festival of the God Saturn.

Yeah it is funny when they say "people mustn't forget the TRUE meaning of Christmas..." ... indeed.

Christmas

(Anonymous)

2006-01-31 06:23 pm (UTC)

Jesus was not born on December 25th. He was born sometime probably in June. It would do ALL of us REAL Christians a lot of good to move Christmas to June and totally make it what it should be ... the celebration of the birth of Christ, etc. You pagans, etc. can then make December 25th whatever hedonistic thing you want it to be. Then leave our worship in June of Christ alone! However, we would always invite you to partake in the most important event in human history to take place. :>

25 dec

(Anonymous)

2007-12-22 06:28 am (UTC)

And that many proves that 25th dec is not Jesus birthday and celebrating of christmas is paganic practice , why christians still holding this date as a holiday. Don't you people read a Bible. This shoyld not be offens. Hey I just would like to see people using common sense what God gave , and not following of words of some people who did not know what they are believing, or they were afraid to show it. Inquisition is way behind us.

Re: Christmas

(Anonymous)

2008-01-21 06:11 pm (UTC)

The actual date of the birth of Jesus has been lost to history. However, this does not matter. Christmas is merely the time of year that was chosen to celebrate his birth.

The reasons for that decision are rather irrelevant, as is the way in which it is celebrated insofar as it is not inconsistent with the bible; faith is more about intention than result.

Granted, past practices contribute to the way in which people interpret, and indeed celebrate, such special events. This again is irrelevant insofar as it is not inconsistent with the bible. Every day should be celebrated; it is merely human nature that has led to the celebration of a particular day, as we do similarly for each person we know i.e. family and friends.

There is reams I could write correcting or at least debating many of the comments made, however, I do not have the time at present.

I will correct the comment regarding putting the meaning back into Christmas and speak more generally about the site. I think that there are too many people who attempt to destroy Christianity thinking it is funny or that they are clever. I do not oppose free speech insofar as it is legal and considerate and actively encourage debate, particularly around sensitive issues where there is normally misunderstandings and widespread prejudice. However, many comments seem particularly short sighted and narrow in there interpretation. Some of the conclusions reached are correct based on the assumptions which one has to imply, however, these assumptions are flawed leading to an irrelevant conclusion. I think that worthwhile debates/discussions can be had but not between the people who do not listen (that includes Christians and non-Christians). For example, putting the sentiment of Christ back into Christmas is a perfectly sensible slogan for a church. The comment about ‘if they only knew’ and that line of thought between the similarities of Pagan and Christian festivals is just such a view (there are probably better examples but will not go back to check and comment etc). If you look up Christmas in the dictionary (I used the OED) you’ll find “The festival of Christ's birth celebrated by most Christian Churches on 25 December”. The celebration of Christ’s birth has no Pagan worship involved unless you think that any unintentional acts could count as worship i.e. does any celebration on the 25th Dec count towards Pagan worship etc. The answer to that will probably have to be ‘no’ as again, faith-based worship requires intention rather than mere mindless action….

I’m afraid I have to run but will hopefully be back just to finish this article.

On a slightly lighter note, I enjoyed parts of the website which linked to this discussion board.

Take care all :)

advertising

(Anonymous)

2014-06-20 10:10 pm (UTC)

Hi,

Who can I speak with or to regarding advertising today?

Thanks,

Gary



gary@socialreality.com

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