Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pagan Christmas & Christian Willful Ignorance & Gil Smart's "The Faux War On Christmas"

Why do Christians like Bill O'Reilly believe there is a War on Christmas or they just cynically exploiting the notion.
"So much OUTRAGE. So little Time."
War on Christmas is Over (If You Want It)

Gil Smart wonders if the OUTRAGED right has thrown down its weapons in the "War on Christmas."

O Christmas Tree?
from gloriahallelujah who wants Christians to abandon the Christmas holiday as it is observed in modern times. That'll be the day.

A musical to Handel's "All We Like Sheep" (Isa 53:6) which illustrates the Prophet Jeremiah's chapter 10, where he cautions not to learn the ways of the heathen and follow the worthless doctrine of decorating a tree, which originated in Egypt and Babylon.

This is 'War on Christmas' because Christmas is a fraud and a deception and is not Christian at all as the world has been led to believe. It is nothing more than a contrivance by the religious elite and is in fact against God and Christ.

War on Christmas - Exposing the Roots
Serving God and Mammon

It is a wonder to me and many others who are not Christians know more about the real history of Christianity and its borrowings from earlier religions than many Christians. So how is it so many Christians are so ignorant about the history of their own religion and how in order to survive, thrive and grow the Church co-opted ancient beliefs and trappings .

So for instance the Holiday of Christmas was a non-Christian winter solstice festival chaned into a festival for the birth of the Nazarene/ Christ.

For example in an article from Firedoglake by Skeeter Sanders about Paganism & Christmas. Sanders summarizes how Christmas became a Christian Holiday after taking on the trappings and much of its meaning from older Pagan beliefs which predate the birth of Jesus by thousands of years. The Church found that by co-opting Pagan holidays it became easier to convert Pagans. Though the Church often as not came up with various excuses and a rationale for killing off millions of Pagans and other non-believers.

The odd thing for many non-Christians is that most Christians are not aware or are lied to about the Church's borrowing the trappings, the Tree, Yule Log, eggnog, lights and decorations and the idea of Christmas as a point in the middle of winter during the Winter Solstice that it is a time of hope and renewal.

If these Christians such as those like Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck wanted to remake Christmas into a wholly Christian enterprise then they should get rid of Christmas trees and ornaments and lights and th Yule Log and anything else which is Pagan in origin. But even the Christian leaders seem as ill-informed as the Christian Rabble (as the Romans would say) But if they did that they would have to do the same with Easter/Lent and the Mardi Gra . There could be no egg hunts or Pagan Easter Bunnies-the eggs represent the birth of spring and fertility and rabbits because they seem to be extremely fertile.

Every year it seems these questions arise about Christmas but most Christians ignore the facts and the history of this issue. But then again the majority of the New Christians whether Yuppie Prosperity Gospel enthusiast or Megachurch angry hate filled Evangelical Fundamentalists in their distaste for any knowledge or facts which question their beliefs they insist on ignorance. As I like to say so much for the Reformation the Protestants are as much slave to dogma and religious self-imposed ignorance as the Catholic Church. Neither appears to be any real modern day honest representatives of the Real Jesus. Instead they pick and choose which type of Jesus they will believe in. The wealthy and prosperous preach that Jesus was a Middle Class guy who was not against the state , nor was he in anyway hostile to materialism and the acquisition superfluous wealth he was also in favor of war and slaughtering all those who dare not to believe in his religion.The poor are told it is their own fault that they are poor but if they were true believers and not back-sliders they too would be blessed with more wealth.

So these Nouveau Christians like TV evangelists Pat Robertson, Pastor John Hagee,James Dobson etc. and dozens if not hundreds of others want to reshape America to reflect its Christian roots. And so they feed their American congregations with the belief that America is God's Chosen Nation and that "True" American Christians are God's chosen people and that America has been commissioned to spread Christianity to the rest of the world by the sword if necessary. This also means that whatever America does is sanctioned by God and when it goes against God there are signs sent by God ie 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Pacific Tzunami for instance showed that all those peoples in all those nations were no longer protected by the Christian God.

They also want the separation of Church and State to be ripped out of the Constitution and amendments or legislation based upon this secular notion. And they differ from Islamic extremists-How?

A Holiday Special: The Pagan Roots of Christmas By: SkeeterVT Dec. 21, 2009 By SKEETER SANDERS
(Original version published December 18, 2005)


Christmas has never been — and will never be — a Christian-only celebration and the time has come for Christian conservatives to stop denying the holiday’s true origins, for it didn’t start with the birth of Jesus in a Bethlehem stable. The truth is, the holiday the world celebrates each year on the 25th of December pre-dates the birth of Jesus by tens of thousands of years.

Indeed, it is the most ancient holiday on the planet.

What we now call Christmas is actually the Christian adaptation of the many millennia-old Pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. With the notable exception of the Nativity creche, all of the symbols and decorations that we associate today with Christmas — the tree, the wreath, the holly and the ivy, the lights, the mistletoe, the eggnog, the Yule log, the caroling and even Santa Claus — are of Pagan origin and have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus.

Indeed, the very word "Christmas," with its direct reference to Jesus as "The Christ" — which is derived from the Greek word kristos, or "savior" — is almost exclusive to English-speakers. In only nine other languages — Dutch (Kerstfeest), Farsi (Cristmas-e-shoma), French (Noel), Greek (Kristouyenna), Indonesian (Natal), Italian (Natale), Portugese (Natal), Spanish (Navidad) and Ukranian(Khrystouvym) — does the name of this holiday come even close to referring to the birth of the Christ child.

Many Americans often refer to Christmas as "the Yuletide." And no wonder: Yule is the winter solstice. Most modern Pagans still celebrate Yule. Even most Christians use "Christmas" and "Yule" interchangeably to describe the season without even thinking about its Pagan origins.

Yule — which this year is today (Monday) — celebrates the beginning of the sun’s light and warmth returning to the northern hemisphere after reaching its southernmost point on the Earth at the Tropic of Capricorn on the winter solstice.

It is one of the two very ancient Pagan holidays that are still widely celebrated in the Western world — and beyond — relatively intact. The other is our modern celebration of Halloween.

[In the interest of full disclosure, this writer is obliged to state for the record that I, a former Roman Catholic, am a Pagan; more specifically, a Wiccan. Yule has special significance for me personally, especially this year; today marks the 25th anniversary of my conversion in 1984 to Wicca, the largest and best-known "denomination" of modern Western Paganism.]


If you really want to be historically accurate, then the Christmas tree should rightly be called the Yule tree, for it dates back nearly 5,000 years to the Celtic Druids. They revered evergreens as manifestations of deity because they did not "die" from year to year, but stayed green and alive when other plants appeared dead and bare. The trees represented everlasting life and hope for the return of spring.

Best known today for their celebrations of the summer solstice in June at Stonehenge, the Druids decorated their trees for the winter solstice in December with symbols of prosperity: a fruitful harvest, coins for wealth and various charms such as those for love or fertility.

Scandinavian Pagans, particularly the Norse, became the first to bring their decorated trees indoors, as this provided a warm and welcoming environment for the native fairy folk to join in the festivities.

The Saxons, a Pagan tribe from what is now Germany, were the first to place lights on the their trees in the form of candles (an extremely dangerous fire hazard by today’s standards). For centuries, the ancient Romans decorated their homes with evergreens at the winter solstice festival of Saturnalia — which also marked the Roman New Year — and exchanged evergreen branches with friends as a sign of good luck.

Christians’ use of the tree symbol for the December holidays did not begin until the 16th century, when devout Catholics in what is now Italy brought decorated trees into their homes. The German-born Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, is credited with starting the tradition in England in 1841 when he brought the first Christmas tree into Windsor Castle.


Nature’s cycles of winter, spring, summer and fall (and everything else in between) are so much a part of human life and society on Earth that to acknowledge, celebrate and even sanctify those cycles is a primal need we simply cannot ignore. Just ask any ski-resort operator in winter or swimming-pool operator in summer — or any farmer, for that matter.

Yet those who follow the world’s three great monotheistic religions — Christianity, Judaism and Islam — have long been reluctant to do so and instead instituted their own rituals, holy days and festivals. The fact that many of the major Christian, Jewish and Muslim holidays — and even some civic and national holidays — often occur in tandem with the eight major Pagan holidays during the course of the year is no accident.

In addition to the winter solstice celebration of Yule on December 20-22 (depending on the actual date of the solstice itself from one year to the next), the other seven Pagan holidays are:

• Imbolg or Candlemas (Groundhog Day, February 2) — also known among Catholics as St. Brigid’s Day;

• Eostre or Ostara (Spring Equinox, March 20-22);

• Beltaine (May Day, May 1);

• Litha (Summer Solstice, June 20-22);

• Lammas or Lughnasadh (Midsummer’s Day, August 1);

• Mabon (Autumn Equinox, September 20-22);

• Samhain (pronounced SOW-en), the Wiccan New Year (Halloween, October 31).

This is why Easter (whose name in English is a derivative of Eostre) always falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox. And why Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, almost always falls near the autumn equinox.

Jews transformed the three ancient harvest festivals of the Canaanites into the three festivals of Creation (Tabernacles), Revelation (Pentecost), and Redemption (Passover). Likewise, Christians and Muslims transformed their ancient, Nature-based festivals into celebrations of the singular events in, respectively, the life of Jesus and the career of the Prophet Mohammed.


After Christianity was proclaimed the state religion of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine in 312 C.E. (Common Era), the early Christian church — now the Vatican — used the transformation of the ancient holidays and festivals as a tool to convert Pagans to Christianity throughout the empire and beyond.

Yet the church barred Christians from holding any kind of celebration to honor the birth of Jesus, primarily because the actual date of his birth was unknown — and remains unknown to this day, although there is some astronomical and archaeological evidence suggesting that Jesus was actually born in the spring.

The church’s ban was lifted in 350 C.E., when Pope Julius I proclaimed a feast day to celebrate Jesus’ birth — and deliberately chose December 25 as the date to hold "Christ’s Mass" to absorb and Christianize not only Yule, but also Saturnalia, which honored Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture.

Saturnalia was celebrated with feasting, gift-giving and role-reversal between men and women and between slaves and their masters. It was also marked by the unabashed enjoyment of sensual and erotic pleasures, which many conservative Christians today strongly condemn as wanton debauchery, but still survives in our time (primarily around New Year’s Eve).

And because Saturnalia also marked the Roman New Year under the Julian calendar, the changeover to the present-day Gregorian calendar in 1582 resulted in the one-week interval between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Upper-class Romans also celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the sun god, on December 25. It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For them, Mithra’s birthday was the most sacred day of the year — especially since the daylight from the sun began to lengthen on the 25th, following the winter solstice.

and so it goes,

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