Happy Hypocrisy!

17 12 2009

Problem Girl blogged about how her husband called her a hypocrite for celebrating Christmas while not believing in God. I tend to receive similar flack, so, I thought, why don’t I blog about it too? ‘Cause I’m original like that.

Where do you get off celebrating the birth of our Lord, Godless Heathen?

Okay, most people don’t word it exactly that way, but I do get asked variations of the question every single year. First off, no offense Christian friends, but you don’t own the holiday season or even the 25th of December.

The Origins of Christmas are Pagan

You see, the celebration of December 25th goes all the way back to ancient Babylon (so about 2300 BCish). The Godess Semiramis married her son (yes, that’s what I said), Nimrod. Nimrod met his demise in an untimely fashion, and afterward his widow/mother reported that from that point on, a fully grown Evergreen would rise from a dead tree stump each year, and Nimrod would leave gifts under said tree. On his birthday. Which just happened to be December 25th.

Alexander Hislop describes the Babylonian origins of Christmas in his classic “The Two Babylons”:

  • *”Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honor of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven. It may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ adopted the same festival. This tendency on the part of Christians to meet Paganism halfway was very early developed; and we find Tertullian, even in his day, about the year 230, bitterly lamenting the inconsistency of the disciples of Christ in this respect, and contrasting it with the strict fidelity of the Pagans to their own superstition.”
  • *”That Christmas was originally a Pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, and the ceremonies, with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin. In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, ‘about the time of the winter solstice.’ The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among us — Yule-day — proves at once its pagan and Babylonian origin. ‘Yule’ is the Chaldee name for an ‘infant’ or ‘little child’; and as the 25th of December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, ‘Yule-day,’ or the ‘Child’s-day,’ and the night that preceded it, ‘Mother-night,’ long before they came in contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character. Far and wide, in the realms of Paganism, was this birthday observed.”
  • Early Babylonian Pagans of course also celebrated the “rebirth” of the sun god on December 25th, a few days after the Winter Solstice, when the days start to become noticeably longer again.

    I’ll Celebrate My Way, You Celebrate Yours

    Personally, I love the Pagan concept of celebrating the beginning of the rebirth of the Earth after the Winter Solstice. I obviously see no value in celebrating the traditional “reason for the season” as far as Christians are concerned, as someone with no belief in gods. The fact is, however, that we live in a ChristMAS nation. Winter break from school, everyone’s time off at work, most people’s friends’ and families celebrations all center around it. In my household, this had led to the combo holiday, Solstmas. We take part in most of the typical non-religious traditions of Christmas, but the reason for our season is the Solstice.

    No matter what you call your holiday, or why you choose to celebrate it, the season is supposed to be about celebrating your connections with the people in your life. About giving not just gifts, but love and appreciation to your friends and family.

    It’s not about the stuff and it’s not about separatism.

    Peace and happy holidays.

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    3 responses

    10 03 2010
    Stacy

    People give me shit because I call myself a Jew but I don’t really believe in God or practice my “religion.” However, I will never stop calling myself Jewish – it’s more of a race than a religion to me, and a cultural identification. Does that make sense?

    10 03 2010
    amburgular

    Absolutely, Judaism is set apart from other religions because it is so much more than just that. It is an actual ethnicity. So, you’re an Atheist Jew. Or a Jewish Atheist, whichever you prefer! 🙂

    10 03 2010
    Stacy

    I’m just going to start celebrating Festivus and put an aluminum pole up in my apartment. It will serve two purposes – celebrating Festivus, and entertaining my boyfriend. Haha.

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