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Farah on the True Meaning of Christmas

Joseph Farah’s Worldnetdaily has been simultaneously publishing articles that say Christmas is a pagan holiday and that there is a war on Christmas. But in a Christmas Eve (not Christmas Steve) column he says that the real story of Christmas is how Jesus gave up his omniscience so he could shit his diapers. Or something.

But, have you ever thought about what that experience was like for Jesus?

We all know how Jesus sacrificed himself for us at the end of His mortal life – the excruciating tortures he endured, the humiliation, the death on the cross. But at this time of the year, I often think about the sacrifice He, the co-creator of the universe, made temporarily to give up His omniscience, His omnipotence, His almighty powers and His seat at the right hand of God and to live inside the womb of a young Jewish girl named Mary and to submit himself to the protection of an obscure Jewish carpenter named Joseph.

He literally stepped down from heaven into a fallen world of danger and deception. He even, presumably, had to disengage from His own divine consciousness to become a helpless embryo. He had to be born under trying circumstances following a rough 70-mile walk by his parents from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

He gave up all the unimaginable riches and untold wisdom of the universe to be born in a barn and laid in an animal trough.

But, most of all, try to imagine what it was like sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven contemplating this idea of becoming utterly helpless and, for at least a period of time, presumably, clueless!

Like any other child, Jesus was born not knowing how to walk or talk. How many of us would be willing to trade our own lives and consciousness even as adult mortal human beings to re-enter the world that way, again?

Sounds legit, doesn’t it? Nope, not even a little bit.

Comments

  1. grumpyoldfart says

    I think he’s referring to the doctrine of kenosis in Philippians 2:7. Apologists often use it to help them with their explanations of the problem of evil and human freewill.

  2. dingojack says

    “But, most of all, try to imagine what it was like sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven contemplating this idea of becoming utterly helpless and, for at least a period of time, presumably, clueless!”

    Wait Jesus temporarily gave up being a make-work employee in daddy’s multiuniversal import/export business to slum it for a short time* writing for Whirled Nuts Daily**?

    Wow! What a sacrifice to do a shitty job for a split-second in the knowledge that he was gonna go back and be daddy’s right-hand man in a short while. Why does this come to mind?

    Dingo
    ——-
    * Relative to god’s (and the Jesus head emerging from god’s torso) estimated lifespan, ca. 1.76e83yrs.
    ** ‘presumably clueless’, remember

  3. Randomfactor says

    The saddest thing about this hypothesis is that apparently the removal of omniscience works in both directions, the Incarnation and the Ascent.

    Otherwise there’d have been a scene in Heaven like the Batman-slapping-Robin meme, with the Kid slapping the Father and calling out “WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING? DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE DOWN THERE?” Followed by a divine apology.

    Instead, Jesus just went back to giving kids cancer and shit.

  4. raven says

    We all know how Jesus sacrificed himself for us at the end of His mortal life –

    Which is and was barbaric.

    Even we humans don’t demand or perform human sacrifice to the gods much any more.

    It still happens but it mostly is a serious crime. Fundie xians sacrifice their children to their monster god by witholding medical care. It’s legal is many states, illegal in some. They also have a ritual of torture murder of children called “raising up a child” that is considered homicide these days.

  5. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Actually, the other major religion where gods incarnate–Hinduism–has a similar tradition. Indeed, there are myths of holy men cursing gods to be incarnated as humans.

  6. Michael Heath says

    raven writes:

    Fundie xians sacrifice their children to their monster god by witholding medical care. It’s legal is many states, illegal in some.

    This is not an attribute of the population of fundamentalist Christians; only a relatively tiny group of outliers do this. So it’s unfair to take the behavior of the most extreme whackos and smear all fundie whackos.

    raven writes:

    They also have a ritual of torture murder of children called “raising up a child” that is considered homicide these days.

    Please elaborate and provide a linkable cite this is true. I’ve never encountered this assertion nor am I sure what you’re even describing.

  7. thebookofdave says

    Did Joe just compare the level of shame and agony suffered during torture and public execution to that of being born poor and Jewish? Or am I reading something extra into this?

  8. fmitchell says

    Some people don’t understand the meaning of the word infinite. (Hint: it doesn’t mean “really big”.) If Jesus had unlimited power and knowledge, he wouldn’t “contemplate”; he’d know exactly what would happen, how it would turn out, and what it would be like.

    Also, as I understand the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, Jesus isn’t the “cocreator” of the universe, sitting to the right of the Father. The Son and the Father (and the Holy Spirit) are three “persons” in one “being”. They’re the same entity, sort of. The Son is the aspect of God that lived for a time as a mortal. but God is, was, and always will be God, outside space and time. God can’t give up being God any more than God can create a stone He can’t lift. (Or can he?)

    Then again, who knows what the Trinity actually means. As a former religion teacher said, “It’s a mystery!” (Yay?)

  9. raven says

    They also have a ritual of torture murder of children called “raising up a child” that is considered homicide these days.

    Please elaborate and provide a linkable cite this is true. I’ve never encountered this assertion nor am I sure what you’re even describing.

    Hana Williams: Washington adoptive parents Larry and Carri …
    http://www.dailymail. co. uk/…/Hana-Williams-Washington-adoptive-parents-Larr…

    Sep 9, 2013 – Larry and Carri Williams of Sedro-Woolley, Washington were found guilty Monday of … was found guilty of homicide by abuse as well as manslaughter. …

    part of a strict system of child-rearing outlined in a Christian parenting book. ……

    This is among others, that Pearl book that has sold 800,000 copies.

    Inside the extreme child-rearing guide that advocates whipping …
    w ww.dailymail. co.uk/…/Inside-extreme-child-rearing-guide-advocates-whi…

    Dec 12, 2013 – But the book has been courting controversy ever since it was …. According to Michael Pearl, To Train Up a Child has sold more than 800,000 copies and … lack of creativity in raising children, and from exploring many options.

    Pearl is a fundi xian… minister.

    It’s not known how many parents have sacrificed their kids this way. It’s at least 3. It’s not a good idea. They’ve all been prosecuted for homicide. If you are going to sacrifice your kids to your monster god, stick with faith healing and make sure you are in one of most states that allow this ritual.

  10. dan4 says

    @4: Uh, isn’t “raising up a child” a fragment from the longer “raise up a child in the ways of the Lord” exhortation from the Bible? So you believe that fundamentalist Christians believe that you can’t raise your child in the Christian faith without, uh, MURDERING them (“…that is considered homicide these days.”)? Seriously?

  11. Sastra says

    And right here we have another example of the Small Story where Jesus is like the human son of a human king running smack dab and splat into the Big Story where God and only God is without parts and all-powerful and all-knowing. It makes no sense and there’s no consistency.

    If Jesus/God really “had to disengage from His own divine consciousness to become a helpless embryo” then while Jesus was walking around on earth God was absent. We now know what a universe without God would look like: the 30 years or so which took place about 2,000 years ago everywhere else BUT where Jesus was literally present.

    Gee … not much of a sudden change anywhere. Looked the same as it did with God.

    I know, I know., Of course they massage it so God was simultaneously bereft of knowledge and powers on earth, was filled with knowledge and power on earth, and never left where He was and has always been. It’s a great Mystery. And a hidden secret of spin-doctoring.

  12. matty1 says

    It is a bit of a leap from, “child abuse including murder is found in a subset of fundamentalist Christians” to “child abuse including murder is a defining feature of fundamentalist Christianity”.

    Also, if I may be an arsehole for a second, what is with “fundi xian” this isn’t twitter, you can write words out in full you know.

  13. dingojack says

    Michael – so the idea that killing a child could be considered as homicide is difficult for you to accept without a link?
    WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU???
    I sure hope you don’t have kids, and if you do, perhaps the appropriate authorities should be alerted to the potential danger you pose toward your own children.
    Dingo

  14. raven says

    It makes no sense and there’s no consistency.

    The whole idea of the Trinity is incoherent.

    1. Jesus sacrificed himself to…himself. To get around rules that he himself made up in the first place.

    Why couldn’t he just wave his hands and change the rules? He is all powerful after all and it is his universe that he made himself.

    2. And like all previous attempts to fix his flawed creation, it didn’t really work. We are still the same old humans we always were.

    And only 28% of the world’s population are even xians, and an unknown number of those are Fake Xians.

    3. The next scheduled repair operation is the Apocalypse, that happy day when jesus destroys the earth and kills 7 billion people.

    All of god’s fixes seem to involve murder or genocidal mass murder. I suppose when your only tool is killing, everything looks like a potential dead body.

  15. matty1 says

    My understanding is that the incomprehensibility of the doctrine of the trinity is almost deliberate. It originated in the period of Church Councils in the late Roman Empire as the Christians reacted to becoming the official religion by trying to establish a unified organisation and ideology. In the process a lot of ideas about the relationship between God and Jesus were proposed and defeated in turn as different factions became dominant. Until in the end only ideas that were too vague or confusing to argue against were left.

  16. Sastra says

    raven #15 wrote:

    All of god’s fixes seem to involve murder or genocidal mass murder.

    I went to the movies a couple of days ago and saw the coming attraction for the new film about Noah, starring Russell Crowe and directed by the guy who did Black Swan. My feeble hopes that it might actually deal with the issue of God’s sociopathic attitude towards humanity faded as it became evident even in twhat little was shown that the people who were going to drown were all being framed as the Bad Guys. The enemy.

    There’s even a brief clip of masses of people storming the Ark as the waters pour down and looking exactly like Orks or zombis — inhuman and out of control and very, very dangerous. You’d be watching and hoping that the nice little family manages to escape. I suspect that Noah is going to be very dark and very damning — not an ounce of pity for the doomed, they’re getting what they deserve.

    The religious will love it. Oh, they’ll quibble here and there, but on the whole it will reinforce that God simply had to purge the earth of the unfit.

  17. raven says

    that the people who were going to drown were all being framed as the Bad Guys. The enemy.

    I assume the infants all looked like Rosemary’s baby.

    And the 99+% of all life that didn’t make it, including the nonavian dinosaurs were just collateral damage.

    And it didn’t work any way. That is why jesus had to show up and sacrifice himself to himself.

    I suspect that Noah is going to be very dark and very damning — not an ounce of pity for the doomed, they’re getting what they deserve.

    Sounds like xian death cult porn. I’m sure it will be popular in the usual circles.

    OTOH, xian death cultists and the bible are a huge help to atheists and atheism.

    PS I won’t be seeing Noah most likely. No loss. I’m a big fan of Thor and the Aesir anyway. They are a lot more interesting, worth cheering for, and no one has seen a Frost Giant in a few centuries.

  18. Michael Heath says

    DJ @ 14,

    WTF? You’re arguing with an imaginary creature that exists only in your head. A creature that has nothing to do with either me or what I wrote @ 7. Reading comprehension matters.

    In fact you falsely have me taking a position on that to which you respond; I wasn’t. Instead I’m requesting raven support what I found to be his/her incomprehensible assertion. An assertion* that I highly doubt is representative of Christian fundamentalists since nearly all them are not murderers as raven alludes.

    raven @ 4:

    ["Fundie xians"] also have a ritual of torture murder of children called “raising up a child” that is considered homicide these days.

    From my perspective raven’s statement here is crazy talk and most likely, defamatory, as is your response to my merely wanting him to explain and validate.

  19. felidae says

    My question is: if Jesus was aware of his divinity, didn’t he know that “at the end of his mortal life” he would have one really bad day and afterwards everything would be peachy keen again?

  20. Michael Heath says

    felidae writes:

    My question is: if Jesus was aware of his divinity, didn’t he know that “at the end of his mortal life” he would have one really bad day and afterwards everything would be peachy keen again?

    I think your inferred point here is that the biblical Jesus character didn’t suffer all that much, certainly nothing compared to so many other humans. The preachers I suffered through when I was young claimed that the biblical Jesus character physically took on all the sins of the world during his supposed crucifixion, that his supposed suffering was somehow far worse because of this supposed supernatural event. Just another, ‘pulled out of my ass’ attempt to reconcile the irrationality of Christianity, all based of course on zero evidence.

  21. jnorris says

    Dingo, the way I see it, Jesus had to do something. He was, and still is, in a dead-end job with no possibility of promotion. Its not like his old man is going to retire and make Jr the CEO.

  22. dingojack says

    Michael – Remember this bit Michael?

    raven writes:
    “They also have a ritual of torture murder of children called “raising up a child” that is considered homicide these days”
    [MH replies] Please elaborate and provide a linkable cite this is true. I’ve never encountered this assertion nor am I sure what you’re even describing.

    You find ‘torture and murder of children incomprehensible, and need a link, Michael?
    Oooh look here’s a quick Google search, boy that was taxing.

    Wilful ignorance – serving the Christian community since 33AD.

    Dingo

  23. Michael Heath says

    DJ – Your link is no way representative of fundamentalist Christians. Torture and murder of their children are not attributes of this group. What you present here is anecdotal data of some extreme, outlier results. Your link fails miserably to define the group.

    And my asking for elaboration and a cite is in no way supportive of this behavior as you falsely claimed it did. You and Raven are acting no better than Sarah Palin here, actually worse since you hang in a group that disparages the very type of defective thinking both of you are deploying here.

  24. matty1 says

    Well I find torture and murder of children pretty incomprehensible in that cannot imagine wanting to do such a thing.

    However it is pretty clear what MH wanted a cite for and it is not the fact that killing children is wrong. He was looking for evidence that.

    -That there is a practice called “raising up a child” that involves this – evidence of which has been provided
    -That the practice is common enough among conservative Christians that it can be described as a characteristic of them as a group – the evidence on. this one doesn’t seem to be here yet

  25. Pierce R. Butler says

    grumpyoldfart found the exact word in # 1: … the doctrine of kenosis …

    Which brings up a comment from Daniel Dennett quoted by one P.Z. Myers here:

    … “kenotic” as in kenotic theology. It comes from the Greek word kenosis meaning ‘self-emptying.’ Honest to God. This new kenotic theology is all the rage in some quarters, one gathers, and it is “more deeply Christian for being more adapted to Darwinism.” (I’m not making this up.) I said that I was glad to learn this new word and had to say that I was tempted by the idea that kenotic theology indeed lived up to its name. …”

  26. freehand says

    The reality based culture should pride itself on honesty and clarity. The fundamentalists of all religions have enough despicable behavior and beliefs that we needn’t lie to justify our distaste for it,

    Raven said: It still happens but it mostly is a serious crime. Fundie xians sacrifice their children to their monster god by witholding medical care. It’s legal is many states, illegal in some. They also have a ritual of torture murder of children called “raising up a child” that is considered homicide these days.

    The occasional death resulting from beatings or exorcism is death by stupidity or meanness, but it is neither common nor a sacrifice. Most Christian fundamentalists do not withhold medical care, although their anti-scientific attitude makes them easy marks for homeopaths, anti-vaccers, and the like.

    Beating children for disobedience is an expression of abusive authoritarian parents, and is neither particularly Christian fundamentalist nor a ritual. Also. “raising up a child” may be associated with harsh physical punishments, which perhaps everyone here may believe is wrong for several reasons, but it is not synonymous with torture, not ritualistic, and usually not fatal (although it frequently produces another generation of child abusers).

    I was raised Southern Baptist, and agree with Michael’s frequent assertions that it is child abuse. But I was not beaten.

    “Ritual, sacrifice, and homicide” have meaning. We castigate the Tea Baggers – rightly – for conflating “socialist, Nazi, liberal, and fascist”. We should refrain from making our own contributions to Newspeak. I think we should be looking for words like “tragic, stupid, fatal, toxic, etc.”.

    Dingo, don’t accuse Michael here of a No True Scotsman fallacy. He was claiming that these are not characteristic of Fundamentalists, not that those committing these acts were not Fundies. Some progressives are magical-thinking(1) New Agers. It is correct to say that this is not characteristic of Progressives, but it would not be correct to say that these people are not Progressives.

    (1) Such beliefs as homeopathy, magnetic bracelets for healing, indigo children, etc.

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