The Tyranny of Tradition aka Lets dispense with xmas.

[Editor’s Note: Although this is a topic I’ve written about previously it seemed like a good way to bring the discussion up again in case anyone wanted to talk about it.]

Hello All,

I apologize in advance if this gets kinda long but I have a point I want to make. It is up to you and everyone else who isnt sucked in by the lies that the Christian Church spews to do the right thing and bring some truth into our lives.

The very core basis of the Christian holidays are a farce. There is not one Christian holiday that has any basis in its religious doctrine, in the facts of where traditions come from or in the stories we are told that supposedly give them reason.

You probably all already know, or at least have realized by now that both Easter and Christmas both fall almost bang on days that correspond with relevant solar and lunar confluences. The date of both Christian holidays have changed repeatedly over the last couple of millenia. Christmas has no basis in the biblical doctrine, Easter has only a feint basis as a celebration. Obviously there are no rotund jolly old bearded men wearing red and white in the bible and no bunnies delivering chocolate eggs either.

Where do those things come from? Pagan tradition.

The reason for all this is that Christmas and Easter are both based upon pagan origins – the biblical events were clumsily superimposed over the top by conquerors who murdered anyone who dared disobey the Churches of Europe and their hijacking of our cultures.

April Fools Day is in fact a day of Christian creation – a papal decree intended to oppress non-Christians and force them into falling into line with their doctrine.
Ancient cultures, including those as varied as the Romans and the Hindus, celebrated New Year’s Day on April 1. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st.) In medieval times, much of Europe celebrated March 25, the Feast of Annunciation, as the beginning of the new year.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar (the Gregorian Calendar) to replace the old Julian Calendar. The new calendar called for New Year’s Day to be celebrated Jan. 1. Many countries, however, resisted the change. In fact, some European countries held out for centuries (Scotland until 1660; Germany, Denmark, nd Norway until 1700; and England until 1752).

In my opinion, the great misnomer of the period is the humble “Christmas tree” – a name that may well be oxymoronic – a self-contradiction.  The act of cutting down an evergreen tree and bringing it inside your home at winter time is a tradition that is more than 7000 years old – That is a fact.  Many cultures did this – including even the ancient Egyptians millenia before the Judeo/Christian faiths existed!!  It was believed that the trees would bring luck and that they had a magical power to resist winter and if people brought those trees inside with them they believed the tree would help their family to survive the hardships of the season.

Not forgetting of course that the bible actually directly forbids and condemns the taking in of an evergreen tree as a pagan tradition. 

“Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.” (Jeremiah 10:2-4, KJV)

Christian apologists make the excuse that reading the rest of Jeremiah gives the context that the tree is only forbidden if it is an “idol” and they try to make some technical distinction between todays “Christmas trees” and those of old by saying that the sin was in idolizing the object.

Make up your own mind – but I think that’s BS.  Bringing an evergreen tree into the house is a pagan tradition, non-Christians have been doing it for millenia, many asian cultures do the same thing in fact.

Easter is an rip on the Spring Equinox – An obvious time in an agricultural society to have a celebration – time for sowing and planting new crops and a time when and traditions concerned with hopes for a good harvest.

The 25th of December is a close approximation to the shortest day in the western half of the northen hemisphere (the 20th/21st of December). 
The Winter Solstice in Pagan tradition was a time when quite often families would surprise each other with secret stashes of food that they had put aside during the warmer months of the year when there was plenty to eat. 

Fruits, nuts, berries – all preserved by drying or some form of waxy glaze in some circumstances, smoked and salted meats were always a favorite around the time of the holidays – in the right conditions even without refrigeration apparatus meat that is cooked, smoked and salted will stay edible for many months. 

The idea of saving one or two of your fattest healthiest turkeys or other fowl for slaughter around this time to be the centerpiece of a big feast must have surely crossed peoples minds too.  It’s a well known fact that Dark ales, Port, Sherry, and Spirits are all winter favorites which were also given as gifts.

You only have to imagine what it must have been like for a working family who were not wealthy to have to get Children through long and bitterly cold winters before modern convenience items were available.  There was no 24 hour Asda/Sainsburys/Walmart/Target/etc around and you ate what you could find, kill, steal or scrounge.

So what can we do?  Well we can all try to set things straight and place rational traditions of joy and preclude traditions which enforce doctrines that are centered on selfish arrogant belief systems that promote irrational and unscientific cultural arguments. 

Take back our culture – Don’t call it Christmas – Call it what it is – The Winter Solstice.  Don’t call it Easter – call it Spring Equinox
Only by beginning new traditions can we begin to rid ourselves of our cultural dependance upon religious doctrine. 
The good news about this is that you can do this yet almost none of the traditions we enjoy at these times of year need be sacrificed – only their meaning should be changed to reflect reality – not Christian revisionism.

Tree’s, Gifts, Feasting, Turkey, and of course – Booze!  All part of the pagan traditions of the winter solstice.

In lieu of that you can always decide on Festivus!!
Festivus for the Rest of Us!

Happy Holidays to all of you.

Deoxy.

P.S. My apologies if I am singing to the choir here – I’ve found that even some the best educated atheists don’t realize to what degree the Christian Churches have managed to pull the wool over peoples eyes.  If you all know this stuff, I’m sorry if I come off as patronizing, arrogant or a little presumptuous.  I’m here to hopefully meet a few cool people who think on the same wavelengths.

21 thoughts on “The Tyranny of Tradition aka Lets dispense with xmas.

  1. Honestly if I were going to stop referring to it as Christmas the last thing I’d start referring to it as is an old Seinfeld joke. I’m not enough of a fan to go that far. grin

    Most of the time I prefer to give credit where credit is due and refer to the holiday as Yule, but you’d be amazed at the number of idiots who don’t know what you’re talking about if you call it by its original name. So I use Christmas mainly for expediency’s sake. Personally, I don’t really care what you call it so long as I can enjoy it in my own fashion.

  2. I have to say I agree with you, Les, and thankyou for allowing me to address this topic once again.

    I realized this was something that most people here were probably aware of and I saw that you have written stuff like this yourself.

    The term “Yule” is a good one – another one of the names I like to use but as you say, Christmas is an expedient reference that wont elicit a “huh?” and a bunch of stupid questions that you didn’t want to answer in the first place.

    Celebrating holidays however you will is important.

    It is the “Pascal’s wager” set that I feel most sorry for – the set that say “Well yeah, there is no proof that there is a god, but what if you’re wrong and you go to hell?  Does it really hurt to give God your prayers of worship just in case it will save your soul”.

    Those people just don’t realize how many sacrifices they make in their lives like spending holidays in cold drafty churches listening to mindless mantras of child molesting hypocrites.

    Re Festivus – the old Seinfeld joke – some people can’t handle the seriousness of officially dismissing the season as having relevance to the bible and the implication that has within many families becuase there is always one or two people at least who are religious and who just love to make a fuss about people who don’t subscribe to their narrow worldview.

    My thinking was that using the name Festivus is a good way to laugh off any inter-family tension between believers and non-believers.

    I’m all for the peace and goodwill to men bit.

    Peace and Goodwill Les, and to everyone here,

    Regards,

    Deoxy.

  3. Deoxy: I’m sorry if I come off as patronizing, arrogant or a little presumptuous.

    You forgot ignorant.

    Let’s start with your misunderstanding of the Old Testament:

    Deoxy: Not forgetting of course that the bible actually directly forbids and condemns the taking in of an evergreen tree as a pagan tradition.. Christian apologists make the excuse that reading the rest of Jeremiah gives the context that the tree is only forbidden if it is an “idol

  4. [coughing quietly into his hand]

    Not that I want to intrude into this discussion, and not that it makes much of a difference, but Lincoln’s references to God were reserved for public ceremony.

    He wasn’t a believer.

    http://www.positiveatheism.org/mail/eml8326.htm

    Did you not read what Lincoln himself said, when a close associate chided him about having given a similar speech?

    Here it is: here is what Lincoln said in private about the infamous “Thanksgiving Address” that he gave in public (although he did not write it):

    Oh, that is some of Seward’s nonsense, and it pleases the fools.
    —to Judge James M. Nelson, in response to his question from Nelson: “I once asked him about his fervent Thanksgiving Message and twitted him with being an unbeliever in what was published.” Quoted from Franklin Steiner, The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents, p. 138

    As for Christmas trees, it’s pretty clear that Christians have a long history of ‘borrowing’ traditions and practices from the cultures that they assimilate [oops, sorry, I meant ‘convert’]

  5. Daryl writes…

    That’s because anyone who actually reads Jeremiah chapter 10 can see that the prophet is railing against idolatry, not cutting down trees.  The text has nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas trees.

    Jeremiah is mocking those who create idols out of wood, gold, and silver, and then worship what they made with their own hands.  Interpreting this as an interdiction against Christmas trees makes as much sense as saying Christians shouldn’t live in wood-framed houses because the wood was “cutteth out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

  6. I go along with Les on this one.  True- it’s pretty clear that the early Christians exapted the Pagan Winter Solstice celebration for Christmas, since there’s no indication in the Bible what time of year Jesus was born (except perhaps in Luke 2:8 where it says “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night”, which would seem to preclude winter, since it is thought to have been too cold for the flocks and sheperds to be out).  But hey, it’s all myth, from Yule and Jesus to Eastra and the Easter Bunny, and ultimately the only thing that should matter is that everyone is allowed to celebrate, or not, as they wish.

  7. Les: The problem with that defense is the simple fact that Christmas trees are, in fact, a form of idolatry. The whole intent behind the Pagan ritual was worship of the tree.

    Simply because most Christians are ignorant of this fact doesn’t mean it’s not still a form of idolatry.

    On the contrary.  Idolatry is not something you can be “tricked into” or even do out of ignorance.  This is a common misconception amongst the anti-Chistian crowd.  “Haha,” they say, “you’re worshipping pagan gods and you don’t even know it!!”  Ridiculous.

    If I start worshiping my microwave oven—leaving offerings for it, praying to it, thanking it for heating my food—that’s idolatry.  It makes no difference whether there was once a “Cult of the Microwave” practiced by pagans in the distant past.  Idolatry is the act of giving worship to a chair, a tree, the sun, the moon, or any other worldly thing.

    Conversely, suppose that a friend gives me a buddha statue as a gift and I put it up on the mantle for a while just to be polite.  That doesn’t make me an idolater.  It’s the act of worship which is sinful, not the object itself.

    Another example would be the enormous cross or crucifix you’ll see at the front of most Christian churches.  We worship at the cross, we certainly don’t worship the cross itself, which is the work of human hands.  Worshiping the cross itself would be idolatry, even though the symbol involved is a Christian one.

    Don’t take my word for it: Jeremiah says the same thing.  “Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”  Christmas trees, easter bunnies and buddha statues can’t hurt you, nor can they help you.

    That’s a good thing, because practically every object on earth has been the subject of pagan worship at one time or another.  If Christians had to live their life by the “Deoxy / Les Rules of Idolatry” we’d have to lock ourselves in an empty room with no windows.

    Here’s a Christian Idolatry quick-reference card:

    Decorating your living room with a Christmas tree: Ok
    Worshiping the tree and making offerings to “tree spirits”: Not Ok

    Easter Egg hunt for kids: Ok
    Worshiping fertility god / goddess: Not Ok

    Crucifix as a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice: Ok
    Crucifix as an object of worship: Not Ok

    Swimming in the ocean because it’s fun: Ok
    Pilgrimage to swim in the ocean to gain the blessings of Poseidon, god of the seas: Not Ok

    You get the idea.

  8. Didn’t jews worship the devil before discovering judism?

    So maybe Christmas should be left alone..

    =WHYNOT=

  9. Jews worshipping the Devil before Judaism? Says another book of mythos? With all respect I’m inclined to take that as seriously as…. well… no, I’m not inclined to take that seriously at all. Sorry raspberry

    I dunno about anyone else here, but the traditions we speak of were probably practiced before the time of Christ, yet to some extent they are very similar. Am I the only person that thinks so? So… calling it Christmas, not slightly after-the-fact? Besides which, we’re not even differentiating based on actions – just the intentions for which those actions took place, given some slack for several thousand years of historical influence.

    It wouldn’t be the first time religion excercised political force to gain public acceptance/crush it’s enemies. In fact, we’ve got a history replete with instances where these things have happened. I agree with Les, here. I’m all for live and let-live, but personally, I want these ideas put forward publicly (as I believe it was Wal Mart was attacked for doing), so that I don’t have to hear about how the Church is the source of everything everywhere. Besides it being patently untrue, it’s just getting old. Go home, enjoy your family, eat milk and cookies on your kids, bang your wife, enjoy life. I understand that most Christian/Catholic types think it’s a good thing to “spread the good word”, but has anyone considered how many times the average person has been proselytized to? I mean, can anyone seriously think they’re breaking new ground? In Canada I suppose there’s always the immigrants, but even then, that’s pushing it.

    Just an aside.

  10. Part 2 of reply to Daryl Cantrell

    When the Christians came from France up to depose the Anglo-Saxon King Harold from his throne of the English monarchy in 1066 the new Norman French conquerors and their King William were left with the task of spreading Christianity throughout a staunchly pagan Anglo-Saxon nation that had just been through a horrific bloody war.

    They realized that to introduce Christianity they had to be somewhat subtle – a rare occurrence for Christianity which has largely spread using intimidation and violence – much like the Spanish inquisition.

    The Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox are dates of traditions of the Anglo-Saxons and they were hijacked by the Christians, but being people who understood the concept that a little sugar helps the “medicine” go down they simply incorporated the dates and traditions of the pagans and renamed them as Christian holidays.

    People have been celebrating the Solstice and Equinox since before recorded history.  When people became Christians, they didn’t simply abandon their yearly traditions.  They continued to celebrate what was sacred to them: obviously the birth of Jesus and his resurrection would top the list.

    In reply I feel I must quote Bertrand Russell.

    “Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear… fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand.”—Bertrand Russell from his 1927 essay “Why I am not a Christian

  11. Deoxy:
    I would like to peacefully coexist with those who genuinely choose Christianity, but that’s nor what you or others Christians want. You want everyone to submit to Christian Dogma, if it takes a little violence, torture, intimidation of political corruption to do so then that’s O.K. with you guys, just like it has been throughout recent centuries.

    Crap, where’s my cat o’ nine tails?  I didn’t make my heathen conversion quota for the day.

  12. Crap, where’s my cat o’ nine tails?  I didn’t make my heathen conversion quota for the day

    Uh.  I’d just like to pre-emptively state :

    I Buh-leeeve!  big surprise

    (please don’t hurt me!)

  13. As I said before, I’m not sure what the point of your post is.  The title talks about Christmas and Easter, but your ravings mostly boil down to “Other people are Christians and I’m not and that makes me mad!!!”

    Deoxy: Pagans didn’t just “Become Christians

  14. To Theocrat,

    Crap, where’s my cat o’ nine tails?  I didn’t make my heathen conversion quota for the day.

    Oh yeah, I’m sorry, like I’m totally exaggerating stuff, I make Christians sound terrible! Like they capitulated with the Nazi’s or something!! Ha ha ha!

    People being forced into conversion to a religion by violence, intimidation, etc. etc. – that’s all ancient history, right?

    Either that or it’s all anti-Christian propaganda – the Christian church has always been there solely to look after folks, to save us all from the fiery pits of hell in the next world and to protect us all from injustice in this world…. right?

    The Right-Wing Christian Bible-Belt in America are constantly trying to rewrite history. Did you hear – they are trying to rewrite the school history books to say that Hitler was an atheist and a liberal!!!

    In fact, on most political forums where fundies are the mainstay of the membership, a revisionist history where all Racism is now of a liberal atheist conception is now in place.

    Ha!… If it wasnt so disgustingly deceptive and false I might laugh.

    “The personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.” – Adolf Hitler, “Mein Kampf”

    Hitler goes on to describe his mission to destroy the Jewish people at great length and detail, claiming that the Jewish people were not only a poison of the great nation of Deutchland, but that they were, in his opinion, the murderers of Jesus Christ which, in Hitlers opinion, justified their genocide.  He finished this tirade against the Jewish people with the words ;

    “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.

  15. Dude you have way to much time on your hands to write a response like that to a sarcastic comment.  The quote of yours I commented on is a hasty generalization.  Period.

  16. Dude, for a guy called “Theocrat” you sure do backpedal quick when it comes to talking about issues of cruelty, aburdity, injustice, misogyny, hypocrisy, racism, genocide, faking and rewriting history, e.t.c.

    With a name like that I would have thought you would have hauled out with all kinds of wacky excuses for why the Christian Church and Christian people as a whole are exempt from morality, the law, and frequently the rules set out in their own dogmatic biblical texts.

    I’m very dissapointed that you haven’t hit back with all of the usual rationalizations

    I do have lots of spare time. You know, between the sacrificing virgins and drinking their pure sweet blood (that’s what all non-Christians do in their spare time, right?.

    Actually the reason I have lots of time is that I am still recovering from associated physical injuries including two broken legs incurred when I was purposefully run over by a large SUV from behind.

    I apologize that my long reply offended you so much.

    Regards,

    Deoxy.

  17. Hey Les- elwed suggests a vowel filter for certain messages, and I think he may be on to something.  Isn’t this pithier and more poetic:

    Hnstl Dv nd Ls- Y bth r s gl tht vn dmnc frcs nd dmn wld nd 12 scnd jmp t gt w frm y drk ht nd bfcl chs dwbs

  18. Full disclosure: I picked up the idea somewhere else. If you google for devowelizer, the original source may pop up. I like your idea of dropping the consonants, too. Alternate?

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