Sunday, December 18, 2005

Celebrating Dead People's Birthdays

Until now I have been ignoring the “War on Christmas”. It seemed to be based on senseless pandering for listeners or readers of arch-conservative morons like Bill O’Reilly.
Then I stumbled across Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-VA) resolution #H.Res.579 to "protect the symbols and traditions of Christmas." Ms. Davis explained her reasoning for the bill:

"There has been an ongoing effort by retailers and many media
outlets to slowly eradicate references to Christmas and the symbols and traditions that come along with it from public dialogue.
Common sense has been hijacked by political correctness, and the Christmas Season has become a vague, generic `holiday season' spanning from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, representing nothing and celebrating anything. December 25th is the federally recognized day known as Christmas, but retail chains across the country have
banned their employees from wishing people a Merry Christmas. As if it could not
get more ridiculous, the Christmas tree has now become a holiday tree. This is political correctness run amok. No one should feel like they have done something wrong for wishing someone a Merry Christmas."

I know that our Representatives like to introduce fluff bills like “A Tribute to Don Ho” or “Supporting the National Motto of the United States” (another Jo Ann Davis specialty). But in the midst of Torture amendments, the Iraq War, the abandonment of Katrina victims, revelations of NSA spying, fighting cloture on the Patriot Act and various other issues this just took a step beyond ludicrous.

Apparently Ms. Davis and her twenty-six co-sponsors find nothing ridiculous about presenting this on the floor of the House of Representatives of the United States of America. It passed on December 15th. Clearly, our tax dollars are being used well.

We don’t usually celebrate birthdays after the person is dead. And there is little in the traditional Christmas festivities they are trying so hard to protect that have anything to do with how we in the United States honor the anniversary of someone’s birth.

O’Reilly and his cohorts have called for bans on buying from businesses that use “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas”. They admit they dislike the idea that “Happy Holidays” might include good wishes to non-Christians (gasp).
Whereas, their reasoning is that Christmas is all about Yeshua Christ so therefore it is important we protect and preserve the importance of “Merry Christmas”.
The preference for the word Christmas amazes me. This is based on the very papist Christ Mass. Only Catholics have “Mass”. Protestants have “Services”.
Holiday comes from the word Holy Day. Ms. Davis wants to make sure that the world understands that the U. S. Congress is against wishing someone a Happy Holy Day.

It is not really the DATE THAT YESHUA WAS BORN
It has been fairly well established that Yeshua could NOT have been born on December 25th. These fierce adherents to the veracity of the Bible apparently are unaware almost all biblical scholars concur on this issue. In addition, historians have pointed out:
  • Shepherds didn’t have their sheep out grazing in the blustery weather then prevalent in December.
  • In that era people had one year to register for the census. It would have been foolish and irresponsible for Joseph and his nine month pregnant wife to make a ninety mile trip during December, the worst weather season.
  • Most biblical scholars have determined that Christ was born some time in the fall.

The dates and celebrations regarding the birth of Yeshua weren’t an organized festivity in the early church. It wasn’t important enough for them to address the issue until more than 300 years after his death.

When the Catholic Council of Nicea addressed the issue during their 4th century meetings they were quite pragmatic. No one knew the actual day or month. The date in December they assigned to Yeshua’s birth was purposely chosen to coincide with prevalent solstice celebrations.

Approximately fifty years before the Nicene Council, the Roman Emperor Aurelian combined the festivities of various solstice nativity celebrations. He declared the date as the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.

The words “Merry Christmas” are nothing to get excited about. Taken literally they are wishing someone “Happy Christ Mass”. Nor do they have anything to do with the day that Yeshua was born.

It’s good to know that those in pseudo Christianland have their priorities straight. Why spend time trying to resolve real Christian issues like-- feed the hungry---thou shall not kill---thou shall not lie---thou shall not steallove your neighbor as yourself----when they can fill the airwaves and halls of Congress with sham outrage over the likes of
Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays?

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