Christmas Martyrs

I don’t have a Christmas tree this year, and I miss it.

This is due a combination of factors – the Calladus household has seen difficulties in the last couple of years, and along with a brand new 13.5 pound curious kitty who likes to climb… well, a tree just didn’t seem like a good idea. Still I’m sad that I have no where to hang my Bumble and Star Trek ornaments.

I did manage to get some mistletoe and an evergreen wreath, which have a couple of ribbons and is hung out of Cisco’s reach.

But I miss not having a tree. I miss the irony, the non-Christian symbol that is so embraced as “Christian”. I think it is so odd that Christians completely miss just how badly the Christmas holiday warps their religion with crass consumerism and pagan symbolism.

And Santa. I mean come on, how stupid can you get? Don’t get me wrong, I love the gentle, loving teasing game between parents and their kids – first telling stories about Santa, and later teaching them to recognize fictional characters. Santa has an elaborate backstory, and a huge conspiracy of adults who would never think of spilling the beans to a 5 year old. It’s great to see a child’s wide-eyed wonder, and it is just as great to see a child grasp the basics of reasoning.

But this is stupid if you are trying to teach a child that some miracles are real, and others are not. When a child discovers that the wonderful, miraculous figure of Santa is only a fiction, what is to stop them from generalizing and applying their new knowledge to Jesus; the other not quite as wonderful fictional character? Am I the only one that sees a problem with this approach? Teaching a little bit of critical thinking might be a bad thing when you are attempting to brainwash your kids into a religion.

And there is nothing about December 25th that is even vaguely correct about celebrating Jesus’ birthday. Gift giving is Zoroastrian, as is a midwinter holiday. The tree is Druidic, and Santa is of course Father Christmas, or “Old Man Winter” who in a pagan ritual carried winter with him. Giving him food and drink (cookies and milk?) ensured that winter would be favorable to the host. And of course commercialism has pretty much destroyed the holiday. But Christians protect Christmas like it was invented by Jesus himself (who was incidentally born in spring, not near the winter Solstice.)

Last year, Annie Laurie Gaylor was interviewed on Fox News as an opposing voice to a representative from the American Family Association. She spoke of this sort of Christian irrationality in last December’s Freethought Today magazine:
I was in New York City, and I appeared briefly on a Fox News weekend report opposite a representative of the American Family Association (who is never happy unless hysterically calling a boycott). I mentioned the irony of the Christian right demands.

"The Christians stole Christmas," I observed, pointing out that today's tokens of Christmas, which the far right is so eager to promote, stem from pagan festivities practiced for millennia around the time of the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

He pricelessly responded that he had never heard of "this Winter Solstice."

The original Puritans certainly knew about it. That's why they banned the celebrations of Dec. 25, correctly viewing the partying, gift exchanges, festivals of light and decorating with evergreens as vestiges of the infidel past. Christmas carols often plagiarized traditional music (the love song "Greensleeves" became "What Child Is This?"). The custom of Christmas cards only came on strong with British Victorians, along with the decorated tree.

There is no reference to "Christmas" in the bible. New Testament references would place the supposed birth of Jesus in spring, not winter. It is actually the returning sun, not the birth of a son, that is society's traditional reason for rejoicing. As is typical with vanquishing religions, Christians found it useful to absorb some of the favored customs of their missionized prey. Then they conveniently forgot the origins, to the point today where a majority of believing Christians do not know they are actually observing a "natural holiday"-- the shortest and darkest day of the year, the harbinger of the new year--in a manner similar to that of pagan predecessors.

The December "war" is not being waged by nonChristians, it is being waged against them. Turning our public schools into Christian-celebrating factories, assaulting commercial attempts to include all customers, is the opposite of "Peace on Earth, Good Will to All."

I can attest to the "No Peace for Infidels, Malice to All (nonChristians)" mentality. Two five-minute appearances on the Christmas subject on Fox News, including The O'Reilly Factor, have yielded hundreds of poorly spelled, ungrammatical and mainly vicious emails from pious believers (I'm told I am a "drunken whore" who "should be kept off the airways"). In two brief (and sober!) interviews, I was outnumbered two to one.
“Malice to All NonChristians.” This is the basic symptom to the “I’m a Victim / Martyr” mentality that Christians so often display in America. The Atheists in America (all approximately 3 million of us) are waging a war against the poor, helpless, outnumbered Christians (all 220 million of them.)

I get passive-aggressive email from devoutly religious acquaintances this time of year. I can predict who will send it, and I can predict that it will arrive two or three weeks before Christmas. This is sad considering that I go out of my way to be pleasant during Christmas. Why must Christians go out of their way to be unpleasant?


Me - in Progress... said...

"Bumbles bounce!"

I am a relatively new atheist (finally came to the conclusion after years of soul searching there really is no soul and no god) but I still love Christmas. I love the fact that I have so many memories of my wonderful family getting together and sharing with each other. Looking back now, I can see it was never - for us - really Christian event. Instead, it was a celebration of my family.

I tossed out the creche years ago, but I still have ornaments that are 30+ years old. I'll likely always have a Christmas tree, too.

By the way, we used to secure the tree to the ceiling since our cats considered it a giant scratching post.

Anonymous said...

Wish you were here so you could see our tree do the ..ermm... "lower branch wiggle"... courtesy of Cisco's sister, Butch and Jones the Charmer.