Have Yourself an Atheistic Christmas »«

The Reason for the Season

December 22, 2011

Offensive humor is more powerful than defensive politeness.

That is when you are, as we are, under religious attack.
There is to be, in this blog, as much offensive material as I can tastefully write.I don’t care if you “get” the jokes or not or why you think they are jokes or not.

There is going to be something somewhere in my blogging to offend just about everyone at some time or another, whatever time is. If people aren’t offended, blasphemy is without meaning. And I will have failed in my mission to comfort the troubled and to trouble the comfortable. Go ahead and be offended. Such offense taking cannot happen without the consent of the victim, so if, at any time, you feel overwhelmed, you are invited to switch to another channel.

Example of humor as a weapon. In Texas, a state in the United States, public officials, bound by oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States, are busy removing Thomas Jefferson from public school history books and substituting some foreign religious figure in his place.

Such inspired a brilliant attack-response created by Kathryn Kagin, a young artist (and daughter of Edwin) from whom we hope to see much more good work. She removed Jefferson from a photo of Mount Rushmore and substituted the head of his holiness, that Pope. I will publish it here when I figure out how to post photos. Thought I knew, but what I thought would work didn’t work.

Christians are, at this time of the year, pleased to announce all over the place things like “Jesus is the Reason for the Season,” and similar certainties compelled by their religious faith. They seem to have little difficulty if religious icons of their religion appear in public places, like Court House lawns, public highways, and public centers of government. Like twelve-foot-high crosses on highways in Utah and a twenty-foot-high cross of structural material from the faith based attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Then they say it is not religious. Wonder how it would look if it was.

Today, December 22, 2011, is the Winter Solstice. This event, overlooked by Christmasterians, has been celebrated by non-Christian cultures from times far before the madness of searching for the Holy Grail got going. Solstice is the day, discovered by people far smarter than we think they were, when the days stop getting shorter and, slowly, ever so slowly, started to get longer again.

It is perfectly reasonable that our ancestors who observed this event could not know for certain if the gradual lengthening of the nights would continue until all was in darkness. It was therefore also reasonable to ask the gods du jour to give back to humankind, and to all other living things, the light of the sun. How can modern believers in such things as a god child being born in a feed trough from the womb of a virgin, and being adored by goatherds and astrologers, possibly consider Solstice beliefs and practices odd?

The Jesus cult of the first century Common Era simply borrowed the details from other mystery cults and acted like the data were unique to them. Like the worship of Mithra in the first century CE. Mithra was born on December 25, the then Solstice, walked on water, raised the dead, was crucified and then arose from the dead. Inter alia. Sounds vaguely familiar don’t it?

It wouldn’t have been too hard to get rid of atheists by simply killing them or by letting them clearly know they would not make the next roll call if they did not convert. No wonder there are so many closet atheists today. Mithra is our heritage. We are bathed in the blood of the bull.

But I digress.

If we would find some commonality among earth’s children, universal festivals and celebrations might well, as suggested by the founder of American Atheists, be celebrated four times a year. These are the Winter Solstice, the Summer Solstice, the Vernal Equinox, and the Autumnal Equinox. If you don’t know what they are, look them up and then you can be as religiously literate as an intelligent eight year old Mayan child.

So, when religious types who want you to play in their sandbox, and who want the laws that apply to all of us to be used to kick start their proselytizing, you can know with certainty that their assertion that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” is just plain wrong.

Solstice is the reason for the season.

And there is a grand tradition of drinking, feasting, and gift giving thereunto appertaining that goes way farther back than the Baby Jesus stories.

There is also a grand tradition of fertility rites and related activities associated with the season, but don’t tell them that.

No need to blow all of their fuses at once.

Edwin.
December 22, 2011
Solstice.

Comments

  1. Cents says

    Nice post. I too hate the “Jesus is the reason for the season” BS. We need to thank the earth’s axial incline for it. I just love the word solstice because I always loved the sun (my favorite thing to draw as a child). It is of course the day that the sun appears to stands still.
    I resent that Mithra’s position has been usurped and he is now considered a myth. In time Jesus will be a myth too but unfortunately not in my lifetime.

  2. peterh says

    In the search for some humaity-wide commonality, the writings of Joseph Campbell can help somewhat – so long as one does not strain at creating an air-tight container from lacy material.

  3. says

    My precocious little 6 year old girl has become fascinated by the concept of the solstice. So this year she decided that we needed to start our own tradition, just like those people did long ago. So from now on , on the darkest night of the year the Doench family gathers around the table and has breakfast for dinner. This year it was pancakes !!!

  4. Mike de Fleuriot says

    I think sometimes we fall for the theists trap of the “war on christmas” and this allows them to get away with other more important stuff. Such as their anti-science stance, which is year round. If we ignore the war and focus on the real issues that matter to us, we stand to make more ground.

    Unless of course, we are really worried about a theists holiday.

  5. frankb says

    Hum..I didn’t get offended by anything here, except the word “thereunto”. I hate the word “thereunto”. How dare you use it! AARRRGH!

  6. Aquaria says

    That is when you are, as we are, under religious attack.
    There is to be, in this blog, as much offensive material as I can tastefully write.I don’t care if you “get” the jokes or not or why you think they are jokes or not.

    There is going to be something somewhere in my blogging to offend just about everyone at some time or another, whatever time is. If people aren’t offended, blasphemy is without meaning. And I will have failed in my mission to comfort the troubled and to trouble the comfortable.

    I take it you haven’t been to Pharyngula.

  7. says

    Dear Edwin -

    Beautifully written, as always.

    My four adult children and I have, since becoming atheists about 5 years ago, begun making our December holiday much more Solsticey and much less Jesusy.

    What we’ve kept: the tree, the greenery, the feasting, the gathering of loved ones

    What we’ve dropped: the church attendance, the hideous music, the temperance, the ubiquitous Luke reading

    What we’ve added: the bonfire, the wine and drink, the new and improved music selection (see Tim Minchin), the exchanging of personal memorial service notes

    Way, waaaay better.

    Enjoying the blog immensely, and B of B as well. 2L starts in January. See you in DC.

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