Tag Archives: Jesus

Raining On The Christmas Parade

I confess to not liking Christmas much. All the compulsory gift-giving, mandatory office parties, forced and uncomfortable family gatherings, crowded stores and general holiday chaos and hoopla is quite a bit more than this cynical introvert can cope with.

That said, I do still participate in the festivities to a degree. I started the whole tree and presents thing when my son was a baby, and I don’t think it’s fair to abruptly snatch it all away just because I’m beginning to like it considerably less with each passing season. But I am trying to gradually tone it down with the hope of eventually bypassing it completely.

It’s interesting, though, to observe and listen to Christians discussing the holiday and what it “really” means, occasionally reminding each other not to forget the “Christ” in “Christmas”. Having been a practicing Christian for the vast majority of my life, I know that this is a reminder that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, Savior of the world who was born of a virgin in a manger in Bethlehem and, well, I’m sure we all know the story, Christian or not.

The really awkward part of that whole “reason for the season” is the fact that the circumstances surrounding this miraculous birth are neither original nor unique to Jesus or even to Christianity. I’ve known this for quite some time, but a post by my friend, Gary, entitled Christmas and Mithras got my wheels spinning again and there’s no time like the present to go ahead and write about it.

Gary talks about how he very nearly became infected with a Christmas bug upon seeing some pretty lights on a tree. He was quickly cured before too much damage was done by watching a video clip from QI, which Gary has embedded in the above-linked post for your viewing pleasure.

In it, Stephen Fry and those on the panel discuss why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. In doing so, Fry also outlines some of the characteristics of Mithras (2000 B.C.E.) and the story surrounding his life:

  • Called Savior
  • Sent to Earth to live as a mortal
  • Through him, sinners could be reborn
  • Died for our sins
  • Came back to life the following Sunday
  • Born of a virgin in a manger or perhaps a cave
  • Attended by shepherds
  • Known as the light of the world
  • Had twelve disciples with whom he shared a last meal before dying

My goodness! Where have I heard that before?

But Mithras wasn’t the only god to share these striking similarities. Horus (3000 B.C.E) shared them all and the following as well:

  • Mother’s name Meri
  • Annunciation by an angel to his mother
  • Heralded by a star
  • Announced by angels
  • Witnessed by three solar deities (wise men)

More here and here.

There was also Krishna (1200 B.C.E) who shared most of the same attributes, plus these:

  • Second person of the Trinity
  • Adoptive human father was a carpenter
  • Spirit or ghost was his actual father
  • Was without sin
  • Criticized for associating with sinners

More here and here.

So, you see, the so-called “Christ in Christmas” did not originate with Christianity at all. The story behind the Christian celebration of Christmas is a scrapbook of hand-me-down legends and myths that predated the Jesus figure by several millennia. In fact, the tenets of Christianity most significant to Christians; the very foundation of Christianity itself — the virgin birth, and the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus — are all borrowed from previous religions and gods.

Now, I say this not to criticize Christians for their beliefs or religious practices and celebrations. The fact that the story of Jesus is not original or unique doesn’t matter one bit to me. I do find the parallels very interesting, however, and of equal or perhaps even greater interest is the fact that so many Christians who make an effort to focus on the “reason for the season” seem completely unaware of it all.

But celebrate or don’t for whatever reason you choose, or for no reason at all. Whether you gain a new perspective from reading this post or dismiss it altogether, it doesn’t really matter: I am writing this for informational purposes only. Do with it what you will.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or Bah Humbug; it’s all the same to me!

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


The God Who Wasn’t There

In a discussion at Rutherford Lawson’s blog, Postman linked to thegodmovie.com. The God Who Wasn’t There has been out since 2005, so some of you may already be familiar with it. I’ve never seen it myself, but I have every intention of doing do so the minute I can lay my hands on a copy. I saw the trailer and then found a ten minute clip on YouTube which I immediately decided to post here.

But first, from the above linked website:

In this critically acclaimed film, you will discover:

  • The early founders of Christianity seem wholly unaware of the idea of a human Jesus
  • The Jesus of the Gospels bears a striking resemblance to other ancient heroes and the figureheads of pagan savior cults
  • Contemporary Christians are largely ignorant of the origins of their religion
  • Fundamentalism is as strong today as it ever has been, with an alarming 44% of Americans believing that Jesus will return to earth in their lifetimes

Now, on with the show:

Thanks, Postman!


Saturday Cartoons: Hailin’ Palin

What if, by some miracle, McCain actually wins the election? And what if, tragically, something were to happen to him, and Sarah Palin became President? Would Jesus be Palin’s VP? For the cold hard facts of one possible future (hey, if the Dobsonites can do it…) watch this cartoon:

BoundlessMultimedia

Funny side note: When I was adding tags, I accidentally typed “theocrazy” instead of “theocracy”. Hmmm….


Forgiveness According To David Jordan

My old pal, David Jordan (DJ) has written a lovely post on forgiveness. It might also sound like he had a heart, if I didn’t keep hearing the words “lazy class” in my head as I read it. Let me show you what I mean:

The point Jesus is making here is that those who have been forgiven of a debt they could have never payed have absolutely no right to demand ‘payment’ from others. The one who has been forgiven the unfathomable cannot demand the miniscule. Instead, he should, out of a heart of pure thankfulness, freely let go of the debts (wrongs) incurred by others.

To forgive means to release someone from a debt- the debt of your expectations.

And yet he can’t forgive people the debt of accepting public assistance because, he says, they are taking something from him. I would think a few scraps of public assistance (even if taking it is wrong) would be the “minuscule” here. By DJ’s own statement, he should forgive, and release the debt of his own expectations.

Even if people are collecting public assistance (taking from DJ) because they’re lazy, he has no right to expect apologies or repayment or anything, for that matter. After all, DJ has been forgiven the unfathomable, and out of pure thankfulness for that he should freely let go of the debt (wrongs) incurred by the people who are “taking from him” (wronging him) by accepting public assistance.

In Matthew 6, Christ shows us how to pray (The Lord’s Prayer) and in this prayer, we find the phrase, “…forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors.” This is huge!!! We are asking God the Father to forgive us our shortcomings ACCORDING TO how we forgive others. How can we ask God for mercy if we are not showing mercy? How can we ask God for grace and not show that same grace to those who have wronged us?

Can DJ be forgiven his shortcomings when he hasn’t let go of being “wronged” by people who “take from him” by accepting public assistance? How can he expect mercy from God when he shows no mercy toward those he calls the “lazy class”? By DJ’s own statement and his own doctrine, he dare not even ask for it:

When it comes to expecting apologies, Christians don’t have a leg to stand on, for the only reason they stand at all is the imputed righteousness of Christ. All we can do is forgive and release the debt. How dare we expect apologies after such a debt has been lifted from us?

And yet he exhibits relentless bitterness toward those members of the so-called “lazy class” because he believes they are taking from him. He refuses to forgive and release them of their ‘debt’.

What can all this mean for David Jordan?

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On


Just Waiting To Die

Back in June, I commented under a post declaring that George Carlin is no longer an atheist, that he is now a believer because he’s burning in hell, or whatever.

I stopped commenting when a couple of folks decided that racism makes good entertainment. The discussion is still going (gah!) and it keeps showing up in My Comments. I usually glance through it and move on, but today this got my attention (I think D.J. is obsessed with me):

What is logic and rationale? How do you know what is logical or rational? Oh, and I believe Lottie got struck by God after that last post! Man, listen. You’ve got nothing because if you’re atheist, what is life but just waiting to die?

Is this guy serious? If anyone is “just waiting to die”, wouldn’t it be those who believe in an afterlife?

Before I go any further, this is not a Christian-bashing post. I’m not even claiming that Christians are waiting to die. I’m simply pointing out the flaws in D.J.’s reasoning here. That said, on with the show:

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This and That

So the work-at-home gig is going well. I haven’t actually worked in the nude yet, although I do spend most of the day in my pajamas. The most unexpected thing about this new arrangement is the fact that I feel slightly guilty about it. I know I’m doing the work correctly, but it just seems too easy; too relaxed. I keep thinking how odd it is that I’m actually being paid for it.

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