27th December 2011

“A lot of Americans celebrate Christmas like they participate in yoga: unaware and unconcerned about its religious roots.”

Ed Stetzer

8 Responses to “27th December 2011”

  1. Dan Says:

    “A lot” is rather vague. And since I’m one of those who decorate a tree and pretend that Santa Claus exists, knowing full well of it’s pagan roots, I tend to think that there are also a lot who celebrate Christmas completely aware of its roots.

  2. captainzero Says:

    It’s actually pretty hard to find a Christian that will admit that:
    1. Jesus’ birthday is nowhere near Dec-25.
    2. The Christmas tree is pagan, as is the significance of mistletoe.
    3. The original holiday was Saturnalia, a pagan feast squatted on by jealous christian zealots.
    4. Easter was Eoster, another pagan fertility celebration.
    5. Lots of virgin birth stories pre-date and post-date that of the supposed ‘christ’.
    6. Shellfish is an abomination. As is wearing mixed fibers.

  3. Dan Says:

    Captainzero,
    LOL — Love your #6!!!

  4. Atheist MC Says:

    I’m not sure whether this quote means that Americans celebrate Christmas unaware of it’s Christian significance, or that American Christians celebrate it unaware that it’s pagan.

  5. Reason Says:

    This time of year is when I get a few lovely phone calls from disgruntled parents. They call and say something to the effect of, “Your son told my child that Santa Clause doesn’t exist. Now my child is asking difficult questions and I don’t know how to answer them!”

    Apparently, out of all the parenting books I have read, I missed the bit about how important it is to lie to my child so that he can further the lies of other parents.

    On a lighter note, the best bit is their reaction to my “excuse”. After I explain to them that my family is atheist, they change demeanor very quickly. All of a sudden they soften their tone and quietly retreat, as though I had just told them my entire family has a terminal illness.

  6. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Wow! The posts are rolling like a freight train avalanche down the mountain today! Great stuff everybody! It will be difficult for me to compete, thank goodness this isn’t a competition?

    Well I read an article a few weeks back that called those “loosely defined as religious” as “Nones”

    Nones are the undecided of the religious world
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/11/opinion/sunday/americans-and-god.html

    I’m sure these folks are nice people but I have some difficulty promoting this kind of apathy. I think you are better off taking a chance, getting in the game, and participating in something over standing back and hemming and hawing between two points: vacilating.

    The article describes these folks as perhaps hopeful or optimistic that some convincing religious authority will enter in and lift them out of their aparthy but it doesn’t really convince me they’d ever get onboard.

    Today’s quote “unaware and unconcerned about its religious roots” is really the very center from where these folks rooted.

    For what I’ve been exposed to in mty life it seems to me most people are on religious autopilot. Not really faithful, defacto atheists. Few atheists see a necessity to declare their lack of faith or that it more socially acceptable to just pretend.

    The line from the Catholic priest “Plenty of people claim to be on the team but few show up for practice” speaks volumes.

    As you are all hitting on this celebration predates “Christmas” and the larger question might be “Why do so many people from so many places and from different points in human history decide late December is celebration time?”

    It is easy to understand why the dominant religion of the day would hijack these holidays and pretend they own them, that is not very interesting, why they need late December is.

  7. electrabotanical Says:

    If you’ve watched the movie Zeitgeist, part one speaks directly to the reason christians celebrate the birth of the SON (SUN) on December 25th. The three stars in Orions belt are known as the three kings. They follow a bright star in the east which points to the place where the SUN will rise on the 25th. The 25th is significant because this is the day when the sun moves visibly north after residing in it’s southernmost position for the entire year at the solstice. The sun is “dead” for three days at the solstice and reborn on the 25th. There’s also a connection with Virgo the Virgin who carries a sheath of Wheat, also translated as Bethlehem.

    So…sun worship becomes son worship and they never admit THAT in the babble.

  8. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    I appreciate the Roman/Chriatian/astrological explanation Electra and yes I’ve seen the movie but I was thinking of more than just the astrological:

    A winter festival was the most popular festival of the year in many cultures. Reasons also included the fact that less agricultural work needs to be done during the winter, as well as an expectation of better weather as spring approached. Which can loosely be construed to be astrological in nature but,,,

    Think about these as a variety of example:

    Buddhist Bodhi Day: 8 December
    Winter Solstice: 21 December-22 December – midwinter
    Chinese Signature of the Constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan): 25 December
    Saint Nicholas’ Day: 6 December
    Christmas Eve: 24 December
    Christmas: 25 December
    Anastacia of Sirmium Feast Day: 25 December
    12 Days of Christmas: 25 December through 6 January
    Saint Stephen’s Day: 26 December
    Saint John the Evangelist’s Day: 27 December
    Holy Innocents’ Day: 28 December
    Saint Sylvester’s Day: 31 December
    Watch Night: 31 December
    Germanic Yule: late December to early January.
    Pancha Ganapati: December 21–25.
    Jewish Hanukkah: Starting on 25 Kislev (Hebrew) or various dates in November or December (Gregorian)
    Yalda: The turning point, Winter Solstice (December 21).
    RomanSaturnalia: the Roman winter solstice festival
    Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Day of the birth of the Unconquered Sun): late Roman Empire – 25 December
    Sikh Guru Gobind Singh Gurpurab, birthday of the Guru Gobind Singh, generally falls on December or January.
    Zamenhof Day: (15 December) – Birthday of Ludwig Zamenhof, inventor of Esperanto; holiday reunion for Esperantists
    Quaid-e-Azam’s Day: (25 December)
    Malkh-Festival: (25 December)
    Boxing Day: (26 December)
    Kwanzaa: (26 December – 1 January)