All of this nonsense about putting “Christ back into Christmas” is driving me absolutely bonkers. For Christians to say that having equal share over the winter holiday season is diminishing Christ is such a sleazy and conniving thing to do. Secularization does not remove anyone’s ability to celebrate whatever they want – be it Zombie Jesus or a bottle of Coca Cola. It just makes it possible so that you are indeed able to celebrate those things.
So, after my nerdrage settled down, I started to wonder why we celebrate the things we do during the month of December. And not only why, but where it started and for what reasons. What I’ve discovered aren’t the only supposed reasons people celebrate, but they happen to be the most popular in America – and most are supposedly Christian.
1. The birth of Christ was on December 25
I don’t happen to believe that the evidence is outstanding that Jesus even existed, but if he did it is highly unlikely that he would be born in the middle of winter. Biblical stories barely mention his birth, let alone when it was. So, for Christians to ever say that Christmas (on Dec 25) comes from the bible is… bullshit. So, let’s deconstruct the story a little bit so as to understand why a birth would be improbable considering the surrounding elements. Before Jesus was born, Mary lived in Nazareth but traveled to Bethlehem (about 70 miles). What woman that’s 9-months pregnant would (or could) want to travel days, if not weeks, in the middle of winter? Not only that, but for Jesus to have received visitors (which isn’t in the bible… sorry three wise men) during a frigid time in the desert would have been ridiculous. Shepherds, even today, don’t generally keep their flocks out in the cold of night. Biblical scholars even claim that the notion of a winter birth is highly unlikely and would make more sense (if it makes sense at all) happening in the spring.
2. But my church says he was born on December 25th – why would they say that?
Well, the most obvious reason is that the winter solstice happens just a few days before and was widely celebrated amongst non-Christians. The Roman Catholics picked this time of the year as the easiest, sneakiest way to convert everyone to Christianity by melding a holiday with one that the people had already been celebrating. So, the reason? Fucking evil, conniving greed. Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th, Christians, your churches just pretended he did so they could brainwash more people. Celebrating anything on this day, insert idols here, is continuing a pagan tradition.
3. Christmas trees are ways to celebrate Christ! Duh!
Actually, no. The taking in of greenery was a widespread tradition. It can be traced back to Germanic traditions, but an Estonian friend of mine even says his ancestors did the same. Romans, Egyptians, and many Europeans all participated. Having plants around that remained green during the winter was especially important to these people. It makes sense, right? How else to survive the winter blues than by having some bright green reminders of spring/summer indoors? The solstice meant that the following days and months would provide more and more sunshine, so part of celebrating was by honoring those things that thrive on it. The actual decorating of trees with lights and baubles (as we do today) didn’t start until the 16th century, or so and wasn’t even popular until the 1800’s. Again, using/decorating green trees and boughs is continuing a pagan tradition. Sorry, Jesus, no tree for you! In fact, having a decorated tree in the home is specifically condemned in the bible. Yup, check out Jeremiah.
4. Gift-giving was because of the ‘Three Kings’ bringing gifts for baby Jesus!
No. Like I mentioned previously, the bible never mentions three wise men visiting Jesus in the manger. There is a mention of “wise men” but their visitation isn’t corroborated along with the traditional story – nor does it even say how many of them were around and it definitely doesn’t say that they were kings. There is a mention of the gifts that they supposedly brought, but again, for what reasons they were brought is unknown. If it was for Jesus’ birth, then it still doesn’t make sense because it never specifies that they even saw Jesus as baby. He might’ve been a toddler by that point for all we know.
So, most of the reasons that anyone celebrates Christmas are usually quite secular – whether they’d admit it or not. Shopping for gifts to give, decorating a tree, putting up lawn ornaments, and getting together with family are traditions that aren’t really Christian in origin at all. There is little-to-no mention in the bible about Jesus’ birth so it’s quite obvious that the stories surrounding this specific holiday are just bits of made up tales. The next time you hear someone whine about how the heathens are “taking Christ out of Christmas” you can tell them that he was never really there to begin with.
So, amidst my own personal issues combined with the mounting stress of returning to school, I’ve been a little quiet on the blog scene. However, I am back and ready to rock!
Last week I got wind that the infamous Westboro Baptist Church (godhatesfags.com) was coming to various cities across South Florida. Not only that – but they were actually going to protest at my old high school: Fort Lauderdale High. (Go Flying L’s)! Anyhow, never one to pass up an opportunity to piss off the fundamentally-ridiculous religious, I made a few signs and headed over at 7am on Wednesday morning.
The few of us that had planned on making the first counter-protest of the day had agreed to meet up at… well, you’ll see.
Around 7:05am-ish a friend of mine had showed up and so we headed straight down (the sidewalk in view) and set up camp across the street from the Phelps clan. The first thing I noticed was the large police presence. I assume this was not only because of the issue of arguments between the nutcases and the general public, but also for protection from them – especially since there were children nearby.
On “our” side there was myself, Jarek (a FLASH member), and a friendly bishop. This bishop, in fact, I found out was a master of several forms of martial arts. He’s a ninja priest! So awesome. Anyway, his protest was in reference to the crazy signs that the WBC uses that are anti-Jew. His sign was more or less about how Jesus was a Jew – do you hate him, too? Not that I even think Jesus was a real person, but if I believed biblical literature then I’d understand his point. So, what were the signs from the “other side” you ask?
At 7:40am on the dot – the Phelps’ (including Fred’s wife, Shirley, and grandsons) hopped into a circling black sedan and jetted off to their next stop: a Jewish Community Center (of course) in Plantation, FL.
Having lived in the area all of my life, I was quite certain we could make it there before the WBC freaks and prepare another counter. This time Jarek and I were joined by Chet (another FLASH member) and a gentleman from the JCC. We marched up and down Sunrise Blvd ahead of the area where the Phelps’ were protesting as a “forewarning” of what was just ahead.
We had lots of honks and hollers in our favor, but because the actual protest only consisted of four or five crazies I suppose it was hard to grasp what was going on until you got right up next to them. Overall, it was a decent day. It was definitely a quieter show than what had been done on previous days during the WBC’s trip, but that’s probably a good thing. They didn’t receive any media coverage at the locations I visited, and while that means we didn’t get exposure – neither did they. I think it was important to go counter and show that people don’t agree with what they do, but I also believe that giving such a cantankerous group a lot of attention can be dangerous.
With Halloween upon us, my favorite holiday, I’m reminded of an American tradition that I’m really not fond of. In fact, it’s quite despicable: Christian Hell Houses. Instead of a haunted house filled with ghouls, goblins, witches and warlocks, these fundamentalist institutions display exhibits of deplorable things (according to the bible of course). Walk around one corner and you’ll find a mock-abortion; around another and you’ll see a faked suicide. Homosexuality, alcohol consumption, adultery, occultism, pre-marital sex, and drug abuse are also frequently reenacted. Could people really be subjecting themselves, let alone their children, to this insane garbage? Yes.
The first hell house, Scaremare, was created by the late (thankfully) Jerry Falwell in the 1970s. Since then they’ve become more popular and are aimed at children as young as 12 to prevent them from living a life of sin. According to the website, religioustolerance.org, these evangelical phenomena are focused on ‘scare tactics’ and they do so willingly. They admit freely to using this as an attempt to proselytize not only their already faithful, but members of secular society as well. They even disguise their hell houses “to resemble conventional secular haunted houses. The customer only realizes that they have a religious theme after they have bought their ticket and gone part of the way through the scenes.” Not only is that ridiculously disturbing – I wonder if that’s even legally allowed.
Once the patron has entered (knowing what is inside or not) they are subject to some pretty fucked up scenes:.
(Also from religioustolerance.org)
A person being sacrificed during a Satanic ritual. The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) web site warned of Wiccan rituals and stated “… evidence persists that some Satanists and voodoo groups offer sacrifices — usual animals, but, possibly, human babies” at this time. Satanic Ritual Abuse was a widespread hoax that was commonly believed during the 1980s and early 1990s.
A phoney reenactment of the murder of Cassie Bernall, a teenager victim at the Columbine High School in 1999-APR. She was allegedly asked whether she believed in God, answered yes, and was murdered on the spot. The incident never happened. But the story has taken on a life of its own. She is frequently referred to in conservative Christian magazines, books, and radio programs as a Christian martyr.
Women undergoing very bloody late-term abortions, complete with screaming, lots of blood, and particularly insensitive, uncaring health providers. Some of these scenes have been partly abandoned in recent years in favor of a portrayal of guilt and depression arising from Post Abortion Syndrome.
Gays and lesbians being tortured in hell for all eternity because of their same-sex behavior while they were alive on earth.
A man having an argument with his wife and is later seduced by his secretary.
Personal tragedies arising from pre-marital sex.
A 9/11 ground zero scene.
I’m really not even sure what to say after that… if I were 12 and interested in dressing up for Halloween just to run around and grab as much sugar as I could find – then suddenly be forced to attend one of these… just wow. How could anyone live with themselves for doing this? However, apparently the kids find it just as great. A movie was made back in 2001 aptly titled ‘Hell House’ and basically shows a production and operation by adults and even the children themselves. Harry Potter is bad, mmkay?
Against my better judgement I decided to visit a site actually promoting one of these Hell Houses. It was created back in 2002 and has been held in Temple, Texas every year since. From the first click, I will say the music is pretty eerie. Although, I don’t particularly find it scary.. more like something I’d want to sit in the dark with a glass of bourbon and ponder my thoughts to. Anyhow… the site overall isn’t impressive, it’s not filling me with the fear of hell, and it sure isn’t making me want to visit it. Even their so-called “promo” video is fucking laughable. Let’s throw some words on a screen to dramatic music and call it a preview. Someone needs to work on their marketing…
Lucky for me I’ve gotten wind of just such a place happening at a local high school nearby in Miami, Florida this month and I’m curious to see what it’s all about. (Even though I’m quite certain I know what will happen). My prediction is I’ll giggle through the entire thing – but $5 for an hour or two of silly religious entertainment might be worth it. How terrifying can a group of high schoolers be? Oh wait… kids are kinda scary!
Rather than fit all of this into my previous post about the research released today regarding “Ardi,” or Ardipithecus ramidus, I figure I’ll make a brand new one – because this is very special. The information has only been official for about a day and already the sheeple are at it. Like I mentioned in the post prior, there are several websites (at least) now saying that some source (who probably isn’t even qualified to wipe my ass) believes Ardi is showing ape came from man and not the other way around. If you’re reading this then chances are you’re like me and would find this quite hilarious if it weren’t so sad. What is the most depressing, albeit not shocking, are posts from average Americans on a website named ‘Rapture Ready.’
I don’t expect any religious group to completely agree with our theory of evolution as it does pose quite the conflict in their own minds… but they’re turning researched and studied information into a ‘god did it’ answer and, I’m sorry, but that pisses me off. Here are just some of the posts I happened to find the most humorous and feel quite ashamed to be of the same species as these mentally-incapacitated authors.
I wonder when this will turn out to be false, just like all the other so-called “proof”
What fossils have been renounced as unfit for relation to homo sapiens? I don’t recall any – nor can I find anything scientifically claiming this. Not that it would even matter, but having an ape-top and human-bottomed fossil still would not convince these people…
You are so right, and it’s a shame that people don’t see through the lies, even when they are proven false.
Hey! He read my mind… I bet his god told him what I was thinking… I burn many a calorie whenever I hear a theist utter the word ‘proof.’
I didn’t read the article, but if the skeleton is the one AOL had posted on its news page, I can tell you already that it looked more ape than human. But, you’re right, Glory, the news media will never report the truth that it was yet another evolutionary lie.
He didn’t even read the article! Well what a fucking shocker. If anything shows how ridiculous his beliefs are – it’s that he didn’t even take the time to find out for himself. Fucking amazing.
This is front page of Yahoo too. It looks like nothing more than a very old gorilla. Perhaps a type that when extinct centuries ago. Do these scientists ever think of that? We are still finding new species never before discovered every day. New fish, new birds, new insects, and then this, its just a never before seen by us gorilla.
I wonder if this person has realized that he is essentially claiming evolutionary work here. Nah, probably not.
Nearly 17 years after plucking the fossilized TOOTH of a new human ancestor from a pebbly desert in Ethiopia, an international team of scientists today (Thursday, Oct. 1) announced their reconstruction of a partial skeleton of the hominid, Ardipithecus ramidus, which they say revolutionizes our understanding of the earliest phase of human evolution.
So…it is all based on a tooth they found?
Dude.. can he read? It says right there that they reconstructed a ‘partial skeleton of the hominid.’ Partial does not mean one goddamn tooth! Hell.. if he bothered to look it up – he’d know that the skeleton has been studied using 125 pieces! No, fuckwad, it is not based on a tooth they found.. they found the fucking tooth first and kept digging for more!
Maybe the problem your having is that you’re trying to fit God into what you know about “science”. Maybe that’s the wrong way. Maybe instead you should try to fit science into what you know about God. Don’t start from the proposition that everything you learned in science class was correct, and then try to make God fit into that picture. Instead, start from the position that everything in the bible is true, and then try to see how science fits in with that. If it doesn’t fit, it’s the current world’s view that’s wrong, not the bible.
This is, by far, my favorite post yet. Yes, it is dumbfuckery at it’s best – but the keyword I noticed throughout is his nonstop usage of try. Not, “Oh well you can absolutely, without a doubt, fit science into the bible..” He’s just saying you should try… because, guess what, you cannot fit science into the bible at all. There IS no science in the bible. Oh, that flat Earth thing was scientific at the time, right guys? I also love the fact that if science can’t fit in with their dusty old book – it’s the world that has the view wrong… well there are more people in the world than Christians, so how does that work? Actually, don’t answer that – I probably don’t even want to hear it.
So, when you hear all this talk of “missing link” and see false reporting on our precious Ardi, be sure to curse… loudly. And then correct the sons of bitches. I hope Dawkins, or some other notable atheist/scientist, slams this shit into the ground…
I was reading Orac’s blog today and he had posted something that I feel needs more attention: vaccinations. I’ve always been wary of the supposed links between vaccines and childhood illnesses as a supposed result, but these videos make it quite clear that the claims are baseless. In watching them I was immediately reminded of the correlation doesn’t equal causation argument posed awhile back regarding pirates and global warming. Ironically enough, this is also mentioned in the video.
So, if we apply the same thought of vaccination = autism then global warming certainly might just be causing the dramatic reduction in pirate population. Polly’s going to need a new master….
The videos here aren’t trying to prove or disprove anything, merely show you the facts that are out there about vaccinations so you can make an informed decision about whether or not you, and/or your children, should go and get them. My opinion is that the risks of contracting the flu FAR outweigh the consequences, if any, of preparing your body to fight against them. But, take a look for yourselves…
That’s right, I said it. And now this fuckwit of a human being is getting her own action figure doll? If this isn’t a ‘wtf’ moment then I don’t know what is. A company called Herobuilders has recently unveiled their creation and Bachmann’s doll will be sold alongside the likes of Blagojevich (the impeached Illinois gov), Ahmadinejad (pres of Iran), and even Joe the Plumber (douchebag extraordinaire). Wow, kids across the country should be so lucky to snag these ‘heroes’ for their collections! When the CEO of Herobuilders was asked what goes into choosing a figure for his dolls he had quite the interesting response.
“There’s a lot of thought that goes into that,” he said. “Sometimes it’s just very easy, like Joe Wilson when he called Obama a liar. I mean you have to be an action figure then. Sarah Palin, that was pretty obvious.”
That’s it? All you have to do is prove that you’re a beacon of stupid and you get your own action figure? Did I also forget to mention that these dolls are starting at $39.95 and go up to well over $100 a pop? Awesome. Anyway, since the requirements of becoming a ‘hero’ in plastic form are certainly specific, let’s go over why Bachmann apparently deserves this.
Swine flu seems to be on everyone’s mind these days, so let’s start there. H1N1 can prove to be quite devastating this flu season and Bachmann has some interesting thoughts on what caused it.
“I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat President, Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.” – Michelle Bachmann
Did she just… yes, I think she did. Not only is she “not blaming” swine flu on Obama, she doesn’t even know that it wasn’t Carter that first handled the outbreak in the 70s – it was Republican President Ford. Hmmm what else doesn’t Bachmann know? Well, a few more quotes courtesy of Keith Olbermann of MSNBC. (I love him!)
“I don’t think it has been established yet, as a fact, that global warming is the issue of the day.” (laughter ensues)
“But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas. Carbon dioxide, Mr. Speaker, is a natural byproduct of nature.”
“She (Nancy Pelosi) is committed to her global warming fanaticism to the point where she has said that she’s been trying to save the planet. We all know that someone did that over 2,000 years ago. They saved the planet, we didn’t need Nancy Pelosi to do that.”
“Really, now in Washington I’m a foreign correspondent on enemy lines.”
“I want people of Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of energy tax… ”
“It is the mother of all ironies, John and Brian, that the kids who voted en masse for Barack Obama are the ones being fitted with shackles and chains.”
“Not all cultures are equal. Not all values are equal.”
So, if being a bumbling, stupid, ignorant, god-fearing cunt is all you need to be for someone to epitomize you into mini-plastic form , Michelle Bachmann deserves one.
Never had I ever imagined I’d be using those two phrases together in a sentence, yet here we are. I have been following the progress of this ‘project’ for weeks now and I’m still up in the air about it. On one hand, this could be quite humorous as it seems Comfort thinks he’ll be converting atheists to Jesus. On the other, he’s being very secretive about it all and kids that haven’t made their minds up yet could possibly be swayed thinking that Comfort’s “special introduction” is actually meant to be taken as scientifically as the contents of Darwin’s book. I’d like to believe that most college-goers are smarter than that, but you never know in this day and age.
My main issue with it all is that Comfort (and his boy-toy Kirk Cameron) are claiming that atheist professors are “brainwashing” their students. If I’m not mistaken, students have the ability to major in whatever subject they like as well as take many classes as electives in whatever field they choose. I’m not sure how a biology professor, or any science professor for that matter, should be teaching anything less than what that subject entails. Creationism, in essence, refutes much of what biology is founded upon so why should they be taught in conjunction? Not to mention that the idea of an intelligent designer isn’t what everyone believes – religiously or not. Why should a Buddhist kid be forced to listen about what only Christians think and vice versa? This is a case of idiocy at it’s finest.
To understand the absolute nuttiness of these two, let’s quickly revisit one of their so-called arguments for intelligent design: the banana. Because the banana fits in our hand, fits in our mouth essentially means it’s a creation from a god. Comfort held to this claim for quite awhile even though it’s common knowledge that the banana as we know it today has been genetically-altered to be a much larger version than it’s wild relative. God exists because bananas exist! Right? Lots of things fit in your mouth… make an argument for those! Additionally, the banana can also fit in your bum – did this god intend for that, too?
Getting back to the issue at hand – according to Ray Comfort’s blog @ Living Waters he is now refusing to answer questions related to this book handout. Why? Well, he says..
“From now on I will refuse to answer questions about the book or its contents,” Comfort said, “because there is such a deep-rooted anger in the atheist world about this publication.
“They desperately want to stop us,” he said, “and I don’t want to give away any further details regarding the campaign.”
I understand his desire to keep this hidden.. who wouldn’t want this to be a big secret when those crazy, terrible atheists could come and counter it? However, he’s not doing a very good job. There are lists circulating as to what universities will be included in this public showing of nonsense and groups are forming to provide a counter-attack. What isn’t hidden is Comfort’s 50-page special introduction to the book. Available on his website, it is basically a bunch of bible-quoting with an undertone of attacks on Darwin’s character and supposed links. According to Comfort, Darwin was a womanizer, racist and has an “undeniable connection to Hitler.” Even if these were all true things, how does that change what his research showed? It doesn’t. What’s equally as disturbing as the claim of Darwin being a less-than-savory person, is that the same acts of villainy can be shown in the bible. No one could be such a hypocrite, right? The banana guy can!
If this circus happens to come to a city/university near you, feel free to take action. Get your local secular group involved and show up with scissors, recycling bins, and a smile! As controversial as this can get, let’s also try to keep it civil. It’s hard enough getting a good image of atheists out there…
Edit: This pretty much explains everything I’d love to say but in video form. Thank you, ZOMGitsCriss.