Monday, 26 December 2011

Not Debunking Christmas.

I was going to make the long post about why I think that what the Pope said in his Midnight Mass sermon was both silly and fraudulent. It was going to be about why the whole Bethlehem nativity story is almost certainly a fabrication. It was going to be about the question of why people not only believe what they read in the Bible, but also how they’re told to interpret it.

If I did that, it would have little effect because it would be seen largely as a miserable old git’s debunking of Christmas purely for his own miserable old gittish reasons. And that’s something else that wouldn’t be true. So let me just say this.

Let’s take both the commerce and the religion out of Christmas. We can still keep the name for old times sake because it’s cosy and we’re used to it. But let’s see it in terms of its true origins – as a social tradition celebrating the cycle of the seasons.

Nobody has a clue where Jesus was born or under what circumstances, and nobody knows what his real motivations were or what he really taught. So let’s take the dear chap – for whom I have a lot of respect based on my own suspicions – out of the picture and get back to basics. Then Christmas can mean something profound and I can shut up.

2 comments:

Mei-shan Lin said...

What I have learned from 'the one I should not think of' is Jesus was born in September, was not the son of God and was the tribe leader who was the ancestors of all royal family in Europe including presidents of the US. in bloodline. He said Christianity is political. Jesus and Christianity is the form of monarchy while Satan stands for democracy.

I am not Catholic or Christian so this theory/facts (?) don't influence me. I do not think of converting people like he does in his books and blog posts.

Christmas means to me for part of my family (especially my elder brother and my nephew) and friends are Christian/Catholic. It is time for them to gather and I can send them messages of love. It does not feel different to Chinese New Year when I think of it in this meaning.

JJ Beazley said...

Sounds to me like your friend subscribes to the 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' school of thought. I wonder where he gets the idea that Jesus was born in September. How can anybody know WHEN Jesus was born? There are even those who point to the fact that everything in the Christian story is a re-hash of earlier traditions and question whether Jesus existed at all, although I think it likely he did.

And yes, my point exactly. It's just a holiday to provide a framework, for feasting, gift giving and getting together.