T Nation

Christmas is to Celebrate Christ!

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
We LIBERALS got Christmas TOTALLY cancelled last year, and we’re doing it again this year!!!

WATCH OUT!!! The War On Christmas continues!!!

Bwhahahahahahahahaha!!![/quote]

Regardless of its pagan origins, Christian trappings, and association with unchecked consumerism, Christmas symbolizes peace on earth and goodwill to all people. Are these the ideals that you are fighting a war to abolish? What kind of liberal are you?

And anyway, what would you call it if the conservatives made war on Passover or Hanukkah?

Oh that’s a joke. I forgot this is an international forum, sorry.

See in America we have these jackasses on TV like Bill O’Reilly, plus other folks who lead kooky socially conservative Christian groups… you know, the type who don’t believe in any sex outside of marriage… not just for themselves, but everyone else too. They talk about the Gay mafia, that kind of crap. Nutty stuff.

Anyway these jackasses get a lot of publicity every year by claiming there’s a War On Christmas, by LIberals and “secularists” (I guess that’s anybody who believes in a separation of Church and State). Anyway, by talking up a phony War On Christmas they can raise tons of money for themselves.

Maybe you didn’t know this but Christmas is the biggest holiday we have in America, and it’s literally everywhere you look, for at least 2 solid weeks. So the idea that Christmas is at risk or under organized attack is ludicrous, but again, it’s a big moneymaker when it comes to getting donations.

I was making a joke.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:

Oh that’s a joke. I forgot this is an international forum, sorry. [/quote]

No need to apologize, Actually, I mistook you for someone else, who had been beating the same horse over on another thread. My mistake.

Oh, and I’m aware of the significance of Christmas in the United States, thanks. Yeah, my profile says “Japan” but I’m originally from California.

Believe it or not, for being such a secular country, Japan also goes all-out to celebrate Christmas…or at least, to participate in the American-style shopping orgy that Christmas has become.

The Grinch that stole Christ. Come on, if you’re offended by a nativity scene during a christmas event, you’re looking to be offended.

No ‘Nativity Story’ ads at Christmas market: city

November 28, 2006
BY DON BABWIN
City officials sent a message to a movie studio that hoped to help sponsor a Christmas festival with ads for a film about the night Mary and Joseph couldn’t find a room at the inn: There’s no room for you.
Worried that ads for “The Nativity Story” would offend non-Christians shopping at downtown’s traditional German Christkindlmarket, the city asked the German American Chamber of Commerce to reconsider New Line Cinema, which made the film, as a sponsor.

The group then told the studio it would not be part of the bazaar that began Thursday.

The reasoning has at least one prominent Christian group shaking its head. “The last time I checked, the first six letters of Christmas still spell out Christ,” said Paul Braoudakis of the Willow Creek Association, a group of more than 11,000 churches.

Besides, he said, there’s a nativity scene on display at Daley Plaza, and some vendors sell items related to the nativity.

But city officials say advertising plans, including a loop of the new film that was to be played on TVs at the festival, might offend non-Christians, and run “contrary to acceptable advertising standards suggested to the many festivals holding events on Daley Plaza.” AP

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/151601,CST-NWS-nativity28.article

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
Oh that’s a joke. I forgot this is an international forum, sorry.

See in America we have these jackasses on TV like Bill O’Reilly, plus other folks who lead kooky socially conservative Christian groups… you know, the type who don’t believe in any sex outside of marriage… not just for themselves, but everyone else too. They talk about the Gay mafia, that kind of crap. Nutty stuff.

Anyway these jackasses get a lot of publicity every year by claiming there’s a War On Christmas, by LIberals and “secularists” (I guess that’s anybody who believes in a separation of Church and State). Anyway, by talking up a phony War On Christmas they can raise tons of money for themselves.

Maybe you didn’t know this but Christmas is the biggest holiday we have in America, and it’s literally everywhere you look, for at least 2 solid weeks. So the idea that Christmas is at risk or under organized attack is ludicrous, but again, it’s a big moneymaker when it comes to getting donations.

I was making a joke.[/quote]

Y’think it finally blew over? The War On Christmas, I mean?

It’s almost December, and while the radio and the shops are in full-blown Yule frenzy, I haven’t heard O’Reilly or any of the other ninnies at Fox mention the WOC, yet.

Am I just hoping against hope?

[quote]harris447 wrote:
Brad61 wrote:
Oh that’s a joke. I forgot this is an international forum, sorry.

See in America we have these jackasses on TV like Bill O’Reilly, plus other folks who lead kooky socially conservative Christian groups… you know, the type who don’t believe in any sex outside of marriage… not just for themselves, but everyone else too. They talk about the Gay mafia, that kind of crap. Nutty stuff.

Anyway these jackasses get a lot of publicity every year by claiming there’s a War On Christmas, by LIberals and “secularists” (I guess that’s anybody who believes in a separation of Church and State). Anyway, by talking up a phony War On Christmas they can raise tons of money for themselves.

Maybe you didn’t know this but Christmas is the biggest holiday we have in America, and it’s literally everywhere you look, for at least 2 solid weeks. So the idea that Christmas is at risk or under organized attack is ludicrous, but again, it’s a big moneymaker when it comes to getting donations.

I was making a joke.

Y’think it finally blew over? The War On Christmas, I mean?

It’s almost December, and while the radio and the shops are in full-blown Yule frenzy, I haven’t heard O’Reilly or any of the other ninnies at Fox mention the WOC, yet.

Am I just hoping against hope?
[/quote]

Actually, O’Reilly has started it.

See the Back of the Book Segment:

[i]Back of Book Segment
Reviewing the war on Christmas

Guests: Author Peter Shankman & Julie Reem, Wal-Mart

After the much-debated “war on Christmas” in 2005, some retailers have apparently been infused with a new Christmas spirit, encouraging their employees to return to traditional greetings. Wal-Mart’s Julie Reem explained her store’s change of heart. “We did make a change because last year our customers told us saying ‘Merry Christmas’ was much more meaningful than ‘Happy Holidays.’ We always listen to our customers, and we’ve encouraged our employees to greet people with whatever glad tiding they wish.” Public relations expert Peter Shankman advised stores to use a wide variety of greetings. “Say ‘Merry Christmas,’ say ‘Happy Hanukah,’ say everything.” The Factor reported that other stores are following Wal-Mart’s lead but at least one retailer, Best Buy, is again avoiding the “C” word. “I don’t understand the holdouts. To tell your employees we’re not going to say ‘Merry Christmas,’ that is suicidal.” [/i]

I personally am not too big on Dec 25th.

Varqanir has done some interesting mythology studies. What’s really interesting though, is all those other gods were forgotten long ago. But not Jesus Christ.

Found this tidbit on O’Reilly and his “War on Christmas” as well:

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/11/28/oreilly-crate-barrel

[quote]Mr. Chen wrote:
I personally am not too big on Dec 25th.

Varqanir has done some interesting mythology studies. What’s really interesting though, is all those other gods were forgotten long ago. But not Jesus Christ.[/quote]

That’s like saying “Rome, Greece, Babylon…all those empires have fallen, but not the United States of America!”

Jesus is a more recent arrival than the rest, and has been institutionally worshipped as a god for only 1,694 years.

Mithras was worshipped for nearly 2,000 years, from about 1400 BC until the 6th Century AD, replaced in the Roman Empire only after the institutionalization of Christianity.

Osirus and Horus were worshipped for nearly 3000 years, until worship of the Egyptian deities was replaced by Coptic Christianity and Islam. Horus was syncretized during the Hellenic period and worshipped in Greece as Dionysus, god of wine.

There are theories that claim that the story of Jesus itself was the result of syncretism of the Horus/Dionysus myths, resulting from the wide-scale Hellenization of Palestine at that time.

If these theories are correct, then Horus, Dionysus, Mithras and the other “only begotten sons of God” have not been forgotten at all, but live on in the form of Jesus.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
Mr. Chen wrote:
I personally am not too big on Dec 25th.

Varqanir has done some interesting mythology studies. What’s really interesting though, is all those other gods were forgotten long ago. But not Jesus Christ.

That’s like saying “Rome, Greece, Babylon…all those empires have fallen, but not the United States of America!”

Jesus is a more recent arrival than the rest, and has been institutionally worshipped as a god for only 1,694 years.

Mithras was worshipped for nearly 2,000 years, from about 1400 BC until the 6th Century AD, replaced in the Roman Empire only after the institutionalization of Christianity.

Osirus and Horus were worshipped for nearly 3000 years, until worship of the Egyptian deities was replaced by Coptic Christianity and Islam. Horus was syncretized during the Hellenic period and worshipped in Greece as Dionysus, god of wine.[/quote]

Jesus Christ is worshipped globally and especially cross culturally in a way that the others were not. For example, The Chinese government has been trying to restrict Christianity since the 1940s, yet it continues to grow. It grows in other non-western nations like Vietnam and India. Even in the Middle East, it grows despite fierce persecution of converts.

[quote]ALDurr wrote:
harris447 wrote:
Brad61 wrote:
Oh that’s a joke. I forgot this is an international forum, sorry.

See in America we have these jackasses on TV like Bill O’Reilly, plus other folks who lead kooky socially conservative Christian groups… you know, the type who don’t believe in any sex outside of marriage… not just for themselves, but everyone else too. They talk about the Gay mafia, that kind of crap. Nutty stuff.

Anyway these jackasses get a lot of publicity every year by claiming there’s a War On Christmas, by LIberals and “secularists” (I guess that’s anybody who believes in a separation of Church and State). Anyway, by talking up a phony War On Christmas they can raise tons of money for themselves.

Maybe you didn’t know this but Christmas is the biggest holiday we have in America, and it’s literally everywhere you look, for at least 2 solid weeks. So the idea that Christmas is at risk or under organized attack is ludicrous, but again, it’s a big moneymaker when it comes to getting donations.

I was making a joke.

Y’think it finally blew over? The War On Christmas, I mean?

It’s almost December, and while the radio and the shops are in full-blown Yule frenzy, I haven’t heard O’Reilly or any of the other ninnies at Fox mention the WOC, yet.

Am I just hoping against hope?

Actually, O’Reilly has started it.

See the Back of the Book Segment:

[i]Back of Book Segment
Reviewing the war on Christmas

Guests: Author Peter Shankman & Julie Reem, Wal-Mart

After the much-debated “war on Christmas” in 2005, some retailers have apparently been infused with a new Christmas spirit, encouraging their employees to return to traditional greetings. Wal-Mart’s Julie Reem explained her store’s change of heart. “We did make a change because last year our customers told us saying ‘Merry Christmas’ was much more meaningful than ‘Happy Holidays.’ We always listen to our customers, and we’ve encouraged our employees to greet people with whatever glad tiding they wish.” Public relations expert Peter Shankman advised stores to use a wide variety of greetings. “Say ‘Merry Christmas,’ say ‘Happy Hanukah,’ say everything.” The Factor reported that other stores are following Wal-Mart’s lead but at least one retailer, Best Buy, is again avoiding the “C” word. “I don’t understand the holdouts. To tell your employees we’re not going to say ‘Merry Christmas,’ that is suicidal.” [/i]
[/quote]

In my best Stan from South Park voice: godammit.

The lengths some assholes will go to feel persecuted just astounds me.

[quote]Mr. Chen wrote:

Jesus Christ is worshipped globally and especially cross culturally in a way that the others were not. For example, The Chinese government has been trying to restrict Christianity since the 1940s, yet it continues to grow. It grows in other non-western nations like Vietnam and India. Even in the Middle East, it grows despite fierce persecution of converts.
[/quote]

An Egyptian deity worshipped by Greeks, and a Persian deity worshipped by Romans is definitely cross-cultural.

These gods were worshipped throughout the civilized world, such as it extended at the time. Had there been an infrastructure of communications and transportation linking all the peoples of the world then as now, Mithraism and Horus-worship would likely have become as globally widespread as Christianity is today.

And if rapid growth is the most important criteria for determining the legitimacy of a religion, then perhaps Islam is the way to go.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
Brad61 wrote:
We LIBERALS got Christmas TOTALLY cancelled last year, and we’re doing it again this year!!!

WATCH OUT!!! The War On Christmas continues!!!

Bwhahahahahahahahaha!!!

Regardless of its pagan origins, Christian trappings, and association with unchecked consumerism, Christmas symbolizes peace on earth and goodwill to all people. Are these the ideals that you are fighting a war to abolish? What kind of liberal are you?

And anyway, what would you call it if the conservatives made war on Passover or Hanukkah?[/quote]

I’m pretty sure he was joking, with this stuff called… umm… sarplasm? Sarcasm? That sounds right…

[quote]Beowolf wrote:

I’m pretty sure he was joking, with this stuff called… umm… sarplasm? Sarcasm? That sounds right…[/quote]

Oh, I’m positive he was joking, because he told me in his next post.

What was even funnier was that when I wrote that response, I wasn’t paying too close attention to his screen name, and I thought he was you! Hence the remark about Hanukkah and Passover. No hard feelings.

Sarplasm? Isn’t that the fluid that oozes from a malignant tumor?

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
These gods were worshipped throughout the civilized world, such as it extended at the time. Had there been an infrastructure of communications and transportation linking all the peoples of the world then as now, Mithraism and Horus-worship would likely have become as globally widespread as Christianity is today.
[/quote]

I don’t know. It doesn’t seem that we have anything left of Horus except some interesting stories and images. Did he himself say anything worthy of other people recording and debating?

And just as a clarification, Jesus Christ and the promised Messiah of the Old Testament are the same in my book, and of course to all those Jews in the Jerusalem that converted at the time of Christ, and from thereafter. So I think we should make that a total of 3500 years for the Jewish Messiah, Emmanuel.

[quote]Mr. Chen wrote:

I don’t know. It doesn’t seem that we have anything left of Horus except some interesting stories and images. Did he himself say anything worthy of other people recording and debating? [/quote]

I suspect that perhaps you haven’t understood what I mean by “syncretism”.

Let’s begin again. As the myth of Horus spread, it was adopted by other cultures, some of whom worshipped him as an Egyptian god, others of whom modified the story to fit their own culture, as in Greece, where Horus became Dionysus, a god born of a mortal virgin, in a cave, on December 25, who incidentally also walked on water and changed water into wine. Sound familiar?

Now, thanks to Alexander and his conquering army, Palestine was thoroughly Hellenised by the time Jesus arrived on the scene. The mystery cults of Horus and Dionysus were in full swing. Alexander was, among other things, a Persiaphile, so worship of the Persian god Ahura Mazda and his “only begotten son” Mithra also made inroads into Hebrew culture.

It is possible that many of the legends of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection were borrowed from the current mythology of the time. Some theories suggest that the Jesus myth is in fact an evolution or even a plagiarism of the Horus/Dionysus myth: the old gods in new, Jewish clothing.

I would not go that far, but there is enough similarity between the all these gods to warrant accepting the idea that at least some syncretism took place. I also understand that as a devout Christian, perhaps you have no option but to reject this idea.

As I’ve mentioned, the cult of Mithra was Christianity’s biggest rival until the 4th century AD, and overt worship only started to die out after Constantine made it illegal.

Worship of Ahura Mazda was pretty much stamped out by the Muslims, but pockets of adherents still remain. We call them Zoroastrians, after their prophet Zarathustra. We’ll come back to Zoroastrianism in a second.

[quote]
And just as a clarification, Jesus Christ and the promised Messiah of the Old Testament are the same in my book, and of course to all those Jews in the Jerusalem that converted at the time of Christ, and from thereafter. So I think we should make that a total of 3500 years for the Jewish Messiah, Emmanuel.[/quote]

Hmmm. I’m not sure I am following you here. 3,500 years ago, Jesus was not being worshipped by anyone, the Jews had not been promised a Messiah, and indeed, there was no such thing as a “Jew”.

The Yahweh cult and Mosaic law began around 3,300 years ago, after the Exodus, and “Judaism” as such did not begin until later still, after the apportionment of Canaan among the twelve tribes (Judaism being the law and culture of the people around Jerusalem, who were members of the tribe of Judah).

The messianic tradition seems to have been picked up by the Jews in the 6th century BC, when they were living in exile in Babylon, after it had been conquered by the Persians. The Persians, as you no doubt will recall, had a well-developed monotheistic religion that we now refer to as Zoroastrianism, and which contained some very unique features: belief in angels and a devil, in heaven and hell, and in the coming of the anointed one: a Messiah. All of this was absorbed by the Jews and incorporated into their religion. The messianic prophesies of Isaiah were likely written at this time.

That gives us at best 2,545 years from the beginning of the Jewish Messianic tradition until today. The Christian tradition of identifying Jesus as that messiah, of course, came much later. Christianity as a discrete religion from Judaism has a history of under two thousand years, and the widespread worship of Jesus as a god has a history of between 1,700 and 1,800 years.

Varq’s posts make me smarter, and for that I am always grateful for his input.

I did not miss your point about “syncretism”, but of course, it is merely your opinion.

My point was that, even though Horus worship was widespread, it after all is just mythology. I know, you would classify Jesus Christ as the same. That’s why I asked if Horus had ever said anything worth writing down or debating. Quite unlike Jesus Christ, he did not. I don’t think you can honestly compare the cultural impact of the two.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
That gives us at best 2,545 years from the beginning of the Jewish Messianic tradition until today. The Christian tradition of identifying Jesus as that messiah, of course, came much later. Christianity as a discrete religion from Judaism has a history of under two thousand years, and widespread worship of Jesus as a god has a history of between 1,700 and 1,800 years.[/quote]

I date first mention of the Redeemer from the Book of Job. Maybe you date the Book of Job different than I do though. No matter.

Jesus wrote something?

I mean, I have read a lot of things that contain quotes of things that he was supposed to have said, as well as things that people think what he said were supposed to mean…

Where are his direct writings hidden? I’d be curious to see what they contain. After all, why should we accept third party heresay when we have the direct words themselves?

Anyway Chen, something to stew about, today’s religion is tomorrows mythology.

At least that is the way it used to be - I suspect the printing press and related technologies created the stability needed to stop the inevitable drift that occurs in a belief or culture maintained via spoken words and interpretation.

Fear not, faith and knowledge can coexist, they don’t each require the rejection of the other.