Friday, November 30, 2007

More on the War on Christmas

The annual battle over what to call the big evergreen tree in the Wisconsin Capital Building is under way. A few decades ago, a group of atheists convinced state officials to start calling it a "Holiday Tree." This year, State Representative Marlin Schneider, D-Wisconsin Rapids, asked the state legislature to support his plan to rename the holiday tree the "Wisconsin State Christmas Tree." The Freedom From Religion Foundation opposes this measure.

They shouldn't.

As my one or two readers are aware, I think religion is stupid and dangerous. But if you want to get religion out of the public mindset, you shouldn't fight against Christmas, you should try to make Christmas your own. The fact that the origin of the word "Christmas" is based on Christian mythology is not a good reason to try to change the name. Similarly, the fact that the date of December 25th was chosen because of Mythra is no reason not to celebrate on that day. Just because I referred to yesterday as Thursday doesn't mean I believe in Thor either.

I love Christmas. I absolutely love it. But to me it's not about Santa or Jesus. It's about real things, like family and commercialism. A lot of people think I'm joking when I say that. But if you look around you, you'll see that, when it comes to Christmas, most people are more concerned about family, friends, parties, shopping and fun then they are with magical Jewish zombies. And that's GOOD! So instead of fighting against Christmas and the terminology that goes with it, freethinkers should change the meaning of that terminology. Some day, Christmas may truly synonymous with good times and presents. And that will be a better day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More on "COEXISTing" - Thanksgiving edition

Charlie Sykes is still talking about this "COEXIST" bumper sticker thing I mentioned a few days ago. It's Thanksgiving, which gives us a perfect example of why the "COEXIST" mantra just doesn't work. Some Christian Europeans come to the Americas. The Indians that were already here tried to coexist with them. The Indians didn't slaughter the 38 very strange and different settlers at Berkeley. The Christians were different to the Indians, but the Indians more or less tried coexisting. Over the next 200 years or so, these Christians slaughtered the Indians they couldn't convert or displace.

Again, coexistence is a nice Idea, but as Charlie Sykes is saying, if just one group, like Nazis or Christians, decides that they don't want to coexist, people get slaughtered.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It seems like the war on Christmas starts earlier and earlier each year.

Mat Staver, dean of a recently accredited fourth tier law school founded by douchebag Jerry Falwell, recently published a list of "naughty and nice companies." Basically, if a company puts out a "Christmas Catalogue," it's nice. If it puts out a "Holiday Catalogue," it's naughty.

Staver says shoppers should let stores know that they will not shop there until the establishment does recognize the roots of Christmas and the word itself. He stresses the importance of that move in stopping the erosion of the holiday and the liberty to celebrate a religious origin for cultural customs.

I see. So stores should be certain that we know the roots of Christmas so that they can stay on the nice list. December 25th is of course the birthday of a very important deity in the Zoroastrian religion named Mithra. Mithra "saved us" by spilling blood (from a bull, not from himself). Worship of Mithra involved eating bread and drinking wine, baptism and confirmation. Obviously, Mithra shares his birthday with another important deity, Ishtar.

Of course, the celebration of Mithra's birth was by no means the only reason to celebrate during the winter. Many cultures celebrated around the time of the Winter solstice. It was a time when there was less agricultural work to do, and it was also a time to celebrate the fact that nights would begin to get shorter, and days longer.

The "War on the Winter Solstice" began when a bunch of Christians tried to take the meaning out of the festivals the pagan Romans celebrated. They began calling the day "Christmas" and attempting to convert the Roman pagans, while allowing them to continue to celebrate their Winter festivals. Although they changed the name, the Christians adopted much of the pagan mythology. The Christmas tree and holly wreath are pagan symbols, and the tradition of giving gifts comes from Pagan yule festivals. "When in Rome" the Christians thought. But they refused to say to passersby, "Happy Solstice" and instead opted for the PC "Merry Christmas." A few centuries later, Christmas had become the most popular title for these Winter festivals.

Today, Christians have largely forgotten that they stole their Holiday from a different religion. They scoff when non-Christians celebrate in the Winter. The hypocrisy is actually pretty amusing. I personally don't need any of the mythology to enjoy the winter holiday season. To me, it's about real things, like family and commercialism.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Today, the right side of the blogosphere is very excited about a bumper sticker created by a guy named Tom McMahon.

The bumper sticker is a mock up of the "COEXIST" bumper stickers you see on the road where the word is spelled out in various symbols, including some religious symbols. Mr. McMahon's version replaces the "E" and "X" with a hammer and sickle and a swastika respectively. (In the original version, a male/female symbol and a star of Davis are used). I think Mr. McMahon's point is to say that coexisting is a nice idea, but some groups are so vile that coexisting with them is damn near impossible. I more or less agree that the idea of all of these different groups of people coming together and living in world peace is totally naive. I highly doubt that anyone, even the people who have that sticker on their bumpers believe it's likely, or even possible. But it's a sweet enough idea.

What shocks me is the praise that McMahon is getting from some blogger. McMahon is basically comparing Communism and National Socialism to the other ideas/groups represented in the "COEXIST" bumper sticker. That includes Muslims. But it also includes Christians. And most of the people praising it fall into the category of "Muslims or Christians."

There's a long string of comments over at Boots and Sabres, Charlie Sykes idiotically calls it "Pure Genius" and Peter the Hypocrite praises Tom's art project while asking what the world would look like if the greatest generation had tried to coexist with the Nazis. (Answer: Who knows, but it would look alright if the Nazis has also tried to coexist with the Jews/Poles/Brits/Russians/French/Americans/etc. Both are huge "ifs," but it's not an evil idea. Just a naive one.