A few goofy images to raise a smile on your Friday
or maybe executed…
Harold Camping is the worst kind of criminal, he’s the type of man that preys upon the fears of men. Everyone is afraid of death, everyone wants something to believe in and people like Harold Camping exploit these feelings to make themselves feel important. Here is a man who did this once in 1994, he predicted the end of the world and salvation for the true believers. Of course the world didn’t end, so what did he do, he said that God hadn’t revealed the whole truth and now he had a new date May 21, 2011. He basically gave himself another 15 years to get people to give up their life savings, to foster his radio network and make money, he’s a criminal, pure and simple.
I’m not much happier about what I saw this Sunday. Where three weeks ago Camping’s people were at the flea market handing out pamphlets about the world ending, this Sunday other Christian churches were out this week with pre-printed pamphlets and DVDs explaining why Camping was an idiot, and how their church truly understands the word of God.
I get why people need religion, and who the hell knows, one of the many religions out there might actually have the right answer, but I can’t get past hypocrites taking people’s money, time and lives while giving false hopes. How many Harold Campings do we have to endure, how many evangelists railing against the evils of homosexuality who turn out to be gay do we need to see, how many of the pious do we have to put up with committing adultery or molesting children before we truly see what these people are doing.
Just a little rant inspired by all of the people who have been harmed recently by the actions of an evil man.
I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas, to say the least, so my vision of Christmas is a little bit twisted, hence the title of my first Christmas post. I thought like I did for Halloween it my be interesting to take a look at the origins of Christmas, so here goes.
So much like Halloween, the holiday of Christmas has its origins in the pagan religion. I know, I know, Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birthday, except for one thing, no one believes that Jesus of Nazareth was born in December. The link below provides a long and thorough accounting of the likely date of Jesus’ birth based off of the writings in the bible:
The conclusion that this author and many others have made is that Jesus was almost certainly born sometime in the fall. So if December 25th isn’t Jesus’ birthday why do we celebrate Christmas in December?
Well first we have to recognize that several pagan festivals were celebrated either on the winter solstice or in the case of the Feast of the Son of Isis, celebrated on December 25th. The entire holiday season for the Romans covering December and January was called the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. Given this, in 350AD Pope Julius I decreed that Christ’s birthday would be celebrated on December 25th. He did this for political reasons; the Pope knew that the majority of Romans, who were not Christians at the time, would more easily convert to Christianity if they could still have their rituals and feasts. Christmas or the Christ Mass seems to have its earliest origins in the 1500’s in Germany.
The most identifiable icon of Christmas, the Christmas tree has its origins as well with the Pagans of Northern Europe as the evergreen tree was symbolic in all of their winter festivals, as well, the wreath was often used as a celebratory symbol in solstice celebrations and at weddings as a sign of fertility. The solstice holiday was called Yule and huge fires were burnt in honor of the sun-god on this holiday. Hence our tradition of burning a Yule log, although I can’t imagine what the Pagans would think of today’s televised Yule log. Finally, the Druids considered Mistletoe a sacred plant and kissing under the Mistletoe was a fertility ritual. Given all of the fertility symbolism tied to Christmas, it’s amazing their aren’t a lot more birthdays in September.
So very much like Halloween, Christmas is a Christian holiday stacked on top of old Pagan holidays and traditions. Also like Halloween, the reasons and ways we celebrate the holiday are very different, even from the holiday as it was celebrated even fifty years ago.
I hear a lot these days about how violent the religion of Islam is particularly in comparison to Christianity. Christians and Conservatives are often heard saying that Christianity has matured into a peaceful religion while Islam has not and that’s why we can’t do things like build mosques near ground zero in New York City, because Islam is a religion of violence. A terrible and horrible act on 9/11 has allowed bigots everywhere to decide all Muslims are terrorists, an idiotic lack of critical thinking that has spawned websites like the following:
Now I know a lot of you out there will say that Christians do not commit terrorists acts in the United States and I would remind you of Eric Rudolph, who bombed abortion clinics in the southeast, and I would also refer you to the following link which documents over twenty-five acts of violence including, murder, attempted murder, anthrax attacks and bombings in America committed by Christian Terrorists. If we use the logic that 9/11 condemns all Muslims, don’t these acts condemn all Christians?
I have also heard that Muslims are totally unreasonable, that death threats and riots came about for something as silly as threatening to artistically represent Mohammed. Muslims found the cartoons offensive and this led to large-scale protests and some incidences of violence; you can read more at the link below:
Or for a much more enjoyable treatment get a hold of the South Park episodes on the same topic.
Of course Christians would never do anything like that, oh wait, maybe they would as this weekend a woman from Montana entered a Colorado museum today with a crow bar and destroyed a work of art on display because she did not like the way Christ was depicted, and you can read more below:
So to me, I’m not sure there are any major differences between Islam and Christianity, both religions claim to be the only one, both of have bloody pasts, and both have recent blood on their collective hands in America. Can’t we all just get along? It is disturbing to me to be thinking about this topic particularly on this weekend, which would be the 70th birthday of John Lennon had he not be mercilessly shot down in NYC in 1980. So maybe take a few minutes, and in remembrance of Lennon just listen to his words and think about the meaning behind them, then hell, maybe we all could just get along.