Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let's Honor the True Meaning of the Season

On December 25th, 4 CE a child was said to have been born to a Jewish virgin as she and her husband traveled to the place of his birth to be counted in the Roman census. A bright star shone over the birthplace so that the faithful will know. And so began the Good News of the birthday of the Messiah, the Son of Man, God’s Only Son.

Of course, there was no written record of any such census; nor did a Roman census ever require an entire population to relocate from their place of residence; nor was any special star evident; nor do pregnant virgins exist … then nor now. In fact, there are zero corroborating eyewitness accounts of any such star, census, or personage of Jesus ever existing.

We do know that the Romans held a festival on December 25, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, "the birthday of the unconquered sun." It marks the pagan celebration of the winter solstice, when the shortest day of the year which occurs between the 20th and 23rd each year, now reverses signaling the lengthening of days. To many pagan cultures the Sun WAS god and life giver. Indeed, if anything could justify worship it would be the life giving sustenance of the Sun. The Christian cult just co-opted the pagan observance, substituting the rites of “rebirth of the Sun” with the “birth of The Son” … as they co-opted so many other myths and practices for their hybrid Pagan/Abrahamic dogma.

But none of that is important. What is important is that this man-god worshipping death cult which marks its make believe inception on December 25th has persevered for almost 2000 years, and with it came almost as many years of deception, misery, intolerance, hatred, persecution, torture, subjugation, intimidation, ignorance and murder by its devoted followers in the name of their god.

So as you open presents under the pagan tree, huddle around the burning pagan Yule log, and celebrate the lengthening of the days, take a moment to remember the true meaning and reason for the Season. Offer a toast of happy birthday to sun gods Sol Invictus (pictured above), Ra, Helios, and Apollo. Be sure to thank them for the warming rays of their countenance, and for not having inspired their followers to self righteous persecution in their name.

Merry Winter Solstice


Anonymous said...

One may be able to find the "Christmas" star if one is not stuck on Dec 25, 1 AD as the birth date, then the most likely date is June 17, 2 BC...



The Christmas Star, or the Star of Bethlehem, is mentioned only in chapter two of the book of Matthew, an account written between 50 and 70 AD. But this story of a bright star leading the magi, or wise men, to the birth of Jesus Christ has become an iconic symbol of the Christmas season.

What Was the Christmas Star at Jesus's Birth?
Looking at the story of the magi and the stellar beacon from a scientific point of view, is it possible to determine what exactly the "star" was that heralded the arrival of a baby boy to the wise men? If you believe the account was more than just a story and the star was more than a story-telling device, then you need to analyze the sky around the time of Jesus's birth to find what may have played the role of the Star of Bethlehem.

The three main astronomical objects that could be responsible for the unusually bright star denoting an important event include a comet, a supernova, or a conjunction of planets. But any search of history or tour with planetarium software will quickly reveal that none of these three events occured on or around December 25, 1 A.D.

However, most scholarly evidence points to the birth of Jesus occurring between 7 and 1 BC, with 4 BC being one of the most often used years. The time of year for Jesus's birth also points to a warmer month than December. One of the reasons is that the shepherds were out in their fields tending to their flocks when the angels came to them. This would happen in a warm month but probably not a winter month such as December.

Supernova, Conjunction, or Comet as the Star of Bethlehem?
A supernova did occur within the above time frame. Supernovae, once referred to as "guest stars," were regularly recorded by Chinese astronomers. And in March and April of the year 5 BC, a supernova appeared in the constellation Capricornus. This star that suddenly appeared glowed for approximately 70 days before fading again.

Comets were recorded in both 5 BC and 4 BC. The comet in 4 BC, in particular, is a good match because it fits with the year most commonly believed to be the actual time of Jesus's birth and the comet that appeared that year did not have a tail, making it more "star-like." However, comets were often considered ill harbingers, and not signs of good fortune.

Conjunctions of planets occurred throughout the years mentioned, but the one most often cited as a good possibility for the Christmas Star is the one which occurred on June 17, 2 BC. On this date, Venus and Jupiter appeared so close together in the evening sky, at a tiny 6 arcseconds apart, that they would have appeared to be one very bright star. Venus shone at -4.3 and Jupiter at -1.8 as they appeared to merge in the constellation Leo. This would have been a significant sign for ancient astrologers, who were viewed as scientists in those days, reading the heavens. Leo was the ruler constellation, and this impressive conjunction would have certainly been noticed by the wise men of the time.


Even moving the birth of "Jesus" to match up with the Historical Heavenly conjunction still doesn't prove anything though. As Hump sums up, there are many other elements of the story that don't add up.

- Fastthumbs

DromedaryHump said...

as usual, thanks for that information. good stuff

I guess what it comes down to is this:
a) Having a "heavenly" sign is a neat devise to have a god intro his newest man god .

b) there isn't a year in history where there havnt been some kind of heavnely event from eclipses, to meteor showers, to the convergences of planets.
So if one picks a year, they are bound to find a month or two or three that such a "sign" could be the fortelling of something.

Hell, a couple weeks ago the jupiter-venus-moon convergence clearly indicated I was having a hemmeroid flare up. :)

atty79 said...

Reading this blog, I'm reminded of an epiphany I had right before Christmas. Every year I'm flabbergasted by the blatant Christian observance of Santa Claus. In some respects, Santa Claus is the God of the season. Children are urged by their Christian parents to "pray" for the miraculous appearance of gifts on December 25. The Christian parents don't tell their kids to pray to God; rather, the children are directed to ask Santa Claus. "Write a letter to Santa."

It always killed me to see such blatant hypocrisy. After all, Christians are commanded by their God to worship only him. Idolatry is strictly prohibited. Yet, Christians all around the world have no problem directing their kids' believe in some super power that can materialize gifts for good children.

When thinking about it this Christmas, the answer finally hit me. It's all about conditioning. Some of the earliest studies in psychology that were based on science found that innate responses in animals can be misdirected. For example, dogs naturally salivate when they see food in preparation of eating the food. If you ring a bell every time you feed a dog, you condition that dog to associate the bell with food. Soon afterwards, you will get a dog salivating at the sound of the bell. What's more, you can transfer that neutral element, the bell in this case, to something else. For instance, without even showing the food, if you honk a horn when you ring the bell, the dog will soon be salivating when it hears the horn.

I realized this year that Christmas is about conditioning. It's about conditioning the young to have good feelings when they think about Christianity. Here's how it works. First, you associate a kid's happiness when they receive gifts with Santa Claus and all the accoutrements that go with Christmas. It doesn't take long for Christmas to become associated with happiness in the eyes of a child. Once that condition is set up, you can transfer the neutral element, which is Christmas, to the birth of Christ. At that point, when the child hears Christ, he is unconsciously filled with happiness that he received at Christmas.

So I realized that it is in Christian's best interests to celebrate Christmas -- not as the birth of Christ, but as a joyous celebration of miraculous gift giving by a jolly figure that kids can quickly associate with happiness. It's the reason for the season -- brainwashing.

DromedaryHump said...

perhaps. But a pavolovian response to an annual event can just as well be secular as religious.

The more secular the imagry of christmas, santa,elves, presents, and the less religious (virgin births, baby jesus, dead crucified jews , et.c) the better I like it. It infers a a continung departure from the mindlessness ofthe religious iconic imagry and nosense, and the secularization of the winter holiday.

Thats why some fundamentalists are all up in arms about the reduced usage of "Merry Christmas" and substitution of Happy Holidays, and decry the commercialization of Xmas.

I know when I opened my presents Xmas morning, Jesus never crossed my mind, nor the minds of anyone in my family :)