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Jesus's Birthday?

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

Most contemporary American Christians have a striking lack of knowledge about the factual history of their own faith.

I agree; most Christians hardly know anything about the state of the world during the time their Religion was spawned or promoted.
24
96%
I disagree, everything you need to know is in the Bible.
1
4%
 
Total votes : 25

Jesus's Birthday?

Postby m_venk » Tue Nov 25, 2003 8:58 pm

I just wanted to put this up here in a new post so people could see it without having to read 3 pages from the other one... Some people might find it interesting...


GodLovesYou wrote:Well once again the religion Nazis in this country have struck. This time New York City.

"Holiday displays shall not appear to promote or celebrate any single religion or holiday. Therefore, any symbol or decoration which may be used must be displayed simultaneously with other symbols or decorations reflecting different beliefs or customs."

Ok now lets see what they are allowing:

Menorahs
the Star and the Crescent
Christmas Trees

Now what is NOT allowed:

Nativity scenes

Now besides the selective picking on which religion they will allow, lets look at what Dec. 25 is. It is a FEDERAL holiday established by President Grant to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Now since that is what the date Dec. 25 is all about how can the Nativity Scene be offensive?




Actually, GLY, if you take some time and do some research, you'll find that December 25th is actually NOT the day that Christ was born. I learned this one on the Discovery Channel sometime last year. I'm not sure which day they were initially celebrating it on, but I do know that the date was officially changed by an 1st century Roman emperor to coincide with one of the major pagan holidays of some of the nation's leading cults during that time as a measure of religious deterrance. And besides, hasn't the Republican Christmas been officailly changed to 9-11? Just wanna make sure...
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Postby GodLovesYou » Wed Nov 26, 2003 2:52 am

It does not matter, the actual the fact is that Dec 25 is the recognized birthday of Jesus and that is when the Christian world celebrates it. I guess I don't understand why that is so troubling to you? Does it upset you that you have a day off from work? Is it offensive that billions worldwide go to Church that day? What is it that is so offensive?
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Postby illuminated_photographe » Wed Nov 26, 2003 8:26 am

A little poop on Christmas, or as it was originally konwn, "Yule" ...


The celebration of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. It is the celebration rebirth of the Sun, which is the promise of spring and life even on this the darkest day. Therefore some consider this the new year. The burning of the log is to give the Sun strength. Mumming (plays) such as "St. George" is a Pagan survival , it represents the rebirth of the God. Wassailing or is also a Pagan custom. The Roman festival of the Solstice was Saturnalia, which lasted from December 17th to the 24th.

Also known as: Yuletide, Alban Arthuan, Winter Solstice marks the longest night of the year. It is from this point that the days begin slowly to become longer and longer. The sun is at its most southeastern point over the Tropic of Capricorn in the northern hemisphere and has no apparent northward or southward motion. In the time of the ancient tribes this was a time of celebration, for it meant the turning point of winter and the eventual return of spring. Yule is the time when we honor the Goddess for giving birth to the sun once more. It is the time when the Oak King is victorious over the Holly King. The Holly King represents death and darkness that has ruled since Samhain, and the Oak King represents rebirth and life. The waning (diminishing) sun is overtaken by the waxing (increasing) sun, thus the days become longer after the victory of the Oak King.
Yule is a time when we do Rituals and celebrate the increasing daylight, to renew, and to see the world through the eyes of a child. Spells done at Yule tend to raise our spirits, and bring harmony, peace, and joy. During Yule we see the wisdom of past experience begin to glimmer. The experiences we yielded over the harvest season of the times gone past begin to be reborn as wisdom, new light, to guide us further down the Paths we have chosen.

It is customary for Witches to decorate the Yule tree, and adorn the house with holly, ivy and pine. It is time when Father Winter, a white bearded chap dress in red, fur trimmed robes, arrives bearing gifts and exchange gifts.

This is the eve when the Yule log from the previous year is burned in the fire. Symbolic of the newborn sun, each year's Yule log is of oak, charged in a Magic Circle and kept in sacred space the following Yule. This not only celebrates the oak and places it in a place of distinguished honor, but also ensures there will be fuel for the remainder of Winter.

Herbs of Yule
Bayberry, blessed thistle, laurel, pine, sage, yellow
cedar.

Evergreens
symbolizing: Continuity of Life, Protection, Prosperity
types: Pine, Fir, Cedar, Juniper, other evergreens
forms: boughs, wreaths, garlands, trees
divinities: Green Goddesses & Gods; Hertha; Cybele, Attis, Dionysius (Pine); Woodland Spirits


Holly
symbolizing: Protection; Good Luck
forms: boughs over portals, wreaths
divinities: Holly King; Bacchus; Wood Spirits

Mistletoe {Birdlime, Golden Bough, Holy Wood} - Viscum Album
Parts Used - Twig & Leaf
Herbal Uses - Infusion, Tea, Tincture
CAUTION - Berries should not be used for internal consumption - Large doses of this herb have been known to induce convulsions in children
Homeopathic Uses - Epileptic aura, petit mal seizures, heart conditions, asthma connected with gout or rheumatism, rheumatic deafness, chorea, metrorrhagia, left-sided ovarian pain, left-side body complaints
Magical Uses - Use to combat despair, herb of protection, child theft by fairies, healing, hunting, conception, to bring beautiful dreams, unlock the secrets of immortality through dreams - used for wands and ritual items or placed around a 'Hand of Glory' to ward off thieves - to protect the bearer from werewolves. {Herb of the Sun & Jupiter}






Oak {Duir} - Quercus Spp.
Parts Used - Bark, Leaf, Acorn
Herbal Uses - Infusion, Tea, Salves
Homeopathic Uses - Edema, splenetic dropsy, liver problems, gout, alcoholic cravings
Magical Uses - Abundance, fertility, longevity, protection, spiritual awareness while remaining fully rooted in the earth plane, it's wood is used for staves and wands, use any parts for protective charms which bring healing. Acorns bring fertility and abundance. Plant in the dark of the moon to bring financial prosperity. {Tree of Jupiter}
CAUTION - Parts of this tree contain the compound known as tannic acid. Tannic acid in this form is toxic to humans. Oak bark tea can be bought OTC, if you would prefer. Otherwise, if you intend to use this particular herb, make sure that you do a complete study on how to use it.





Yule Trees



Oak
symbolizing: Endurance, Strength, Triumph, Protection
forms: Yule log, acorns
divinities: Oak King; Oak Spirit



Yew: Last Day of Solar Year; Death.
Silver Fir: Winter Solstice Day;Birth.
Birch: Month following Winter Solstice; Beginnings.



Yule Incense and Oil Recipes
Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon, frankincense


Frankincense
symbolizing: Sun, Purification, Consecration, Protection, Spiritual Illumination
forms: incense, oils
divinities: Sun Gods, Ra at Dawn, Bel

Myrrh
symbolizing: Healing, Death and Afterlife, Purification, Inner Peace
forms: incense, oils
divinities: Isis, Ra at Midday

Yule Incense
2 parts Frankincense
2 part Pine Needles
1 Part Cedar
1 Part Juniper Berries

Yule Oil
2 drops of each Cinnamon and Clove oil
1 drop of mandarin oil
1 drop of popine oil
2 drops each frankincense and Myrrh oil.



Colors of Yule
Red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, orange




Stones of Yule
Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds




Yule Deities
Goddesses-Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, The Great Mother.
Gods-Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, The Oak King, The Horned One, The Green Man, The Divine Child, Mabon.


Frey
God, brother-consort of Freyja; son of Njord. "The Lord", fertility and creativity God; "the Lover"; God of Yule. He is the god of wealth and peace and contentment. Blood was not allowed to be spilled through violence, nor where weapons or outlaws allowed on or in his holy places. Sensual love, fertility, growth, abundance, wealth, bravery, horses, boars, protector of ships and sailors, peace, joy happiness, rain, beauty, weather, guarantor of oaths, groves, sunshine, plant growth, sex.


Yule Spell Work
Spell craft performed for Yule should be for peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness.




Pagan Yule Activities
Caroling, wassailing , burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of presents, kissing under the mistletoe, feeding of animals, birds with grains and seeds,become a part of nature




Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea,
spiced cider, wassail, or lamb's wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).
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Postby m_venk » Wed Nov 26, 2003 9:36 am

GodLovesYou wrote:It does not matter, the actual the fact is that Dec 25 is the recognized birthday of Jesus and that is when the Christian world celebrates it. I guess I don't understand why that is so troubling to you? Does it upset you that you have a day off from work? Is it offensive that billions worldwide go to Church that day? What is it that is so offensive?




Well, as far as "religion Nazi's striking again" goes, in relation to christmas, it looks like the 1st century church did a little "regelatin" of their own as to the theological rules and protocols on this particular date. Don't you think? And what's the point of getting so pent up over what can and can't be done on the day that Christ wasn't even born if the original Christian mandate was intended to displace the outward display of some other unfortunate cult? Do you have the same sympathy for them, or is it merely reserved for members of your own sect?
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Postby Darthcrank » Wed Nov 26, 2003 1:04 pm

Isn't it obvious that the early church co-opted or adapted already popular Holidays and attempted to "Christianize" them?

I fail to see how this is a debate. More like a way for some Christian haters to vent what borders on hate speech.
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Postby shoeless » Wed Nov 26, 2003 1:05 pm

A few years ago, I became interested in the true origins of Christianity. As an independent thinking person, I have always considered most of the bible (both testaments) to be a fairy tale.

I quickly found that there are serious Christian scholars, who have attempted to discover the facts behind the myths. For those interested, I found two excellent books on early Christianity.

The "Gnostic Gospels", by Elaine Pagels, deals with the texts discovered in Egypt in 1947, referred to as the Naj 'Hamm�¡d�¬ library. These are the Apocryphal Gospels, which escaped the extensive editting by the Catholic Church. Here is the introduction.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... agels.html

Another eye opening book is "The Gospel of Q". This was written by a group of Christian scholars who took only those parts of the New Testament which were common to "Mark" "Luke", and "Matthew". They condensed these similiar accounts and produced a gospel which is likely a "root text" from which those three books were produced. They ignored "John", because it is so dissimiliar to the other three books, and is obviously a ludicrous fairy tale.

Both of these books tell quite a different story, as compared to that of today's Christian churchs. Here is a resource for "The Gospel of Q".

http://www.religioustolerance.org/gosp_q.htm
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Postby blunt » Wed Nov 26, 2003 1:11 pm

Actually, as with most things, but especially religion and politics, if people would take the time to check the history of their faith or party, they would probably renounce it.
99% of the arguments everywhere, let alone here, are the result of discussions between the uninformed.

Although, uninformed discussions are one of my specialties.
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Postby m_venk » Wed Nov 26, 2003 2:19 pm

Darthcrank wrote:Isn't it obvious that the early church co-opted or adapted already popular Holidays and attempted to "Christianize" them?

I fail to see how this is a debate. More like a way for some Christian haters to vent what borders on hate speech.




I don't think I've been too hateful in my speech; also, I'm not so sure that any of this actually ammounts to be a debate. However, I do love history, even the parts I'm somewhat foggy on, and I think that having a solid knowledge of the way that the world today has been shaped by the events of even the very ancient past is very crucial to being able to confidently understand the current situations we face. After all, if we do not understand them, how are we to be expected to react to them? The current situation to some degree is that the spirit of the Holy Crusades has come back and bitten us on the ass. If we're pretty much stuck with being on the "Christian" side of the fight whether we subscribe to that philosophy or not, merely because (as GLY is so often given to point out) we live in a nation that was founded on the principles of Christian philosophy, right down to the big holidays, then why not be a little more clear on just where it is that we're coming from? George W. Bush is a fundamentalist Christian who's administration is currently engaged in waging a very active war against some very fundimentalist Muslims. These little NYC headlines are just fuel for the fire. Anyway, if people are going to have an opinion, then they might as well be informed.
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Postby m_venk » Wed Nov 26, 2003 2:23 pm

blunt wrote:Actually, as with most things, but especially religion and politics, if people would take the time to check the history of their faith or party, they would probably renounce it.
99% of the arguments everywhere, let alone here, are the result of discussions between the uninformed.

Although, uninformed discussions are one of my specialties.




Hey, I'll renounce anything. I'm famous for it. Truthfully, I don't even like Democrats that much, I've just got no one else to vote for. Kudos to the uninformed discussions remark. I say, what's to know? Every conversation needs substance and I do believe, at it has been said, necessity is the mother of invention. The cosmic cauldron of creation is my bread and butter.
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Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Nov 26, 2003 2:37 pm

I think there are much more important theological questions than: is Dec. 25 really Jesus' birthday? Instead, let's contemplate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, or answer the eternal question: what does the H stand for in Jesus H. Christ?
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Postby Marge » Wed Nov 26, 2003 2:45 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:the eternal question: what does the H stand for in Jesus H. Christ?

Haliburton?
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Postby m_venk » Wed Nov 26, 2003 3:24 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:I think there are much more important theological questions than: is Dec. 25 really Jesus' birthday? Instead, let's contemplate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, or answer the eternal question: what does the H stand for in Jesus H. Christ?




To some extent, it's more of a political question. And religeously speaking? It's not like there are that many pastors or priest who'll bother to mention that fact during their big Christmas collections drive, bother to mention that Halloween is not a Satanic holiday, or that St. Patrick's day actually celebrates the Christian expulsion of Druids from mainstream Celtic society. Oh well. Maybe the "H" stands for "hand me your money"? However some Christians actually end up being pretty decent people. Go figure.
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Postby Darthcrank » Sat Nov 29, 2003 9:21 pm

Alright, I appologize for the "hate speech" comment.

What has become apparent to me in my time in the church and out is that discussions of this nature often are completely dependant on which view you are coming from.
In this case, folks who already have a gripe with Church politics assume that idiots in the church think that they came up with Christmas Trees and holly berries and really believe that Jesus was born on Dec. 25th.

Christians recognize that the early church for some reason or another decided to celebrate at the same time other folks around them celebrated, in many ways combining customs as they celebrated separate ideals. Maybe it was a sneaky way to convert other pagans, but maybe it was only a matter of convenience
At one time, the church was small and persecuted, and it would make sense for them to appear to be celebrating the same way others did, to adapt already popular holidays to suit their own purposes.

Oh, and textual criticism is so full of holes and biases it isn't even worth discussing, in my opinion. The Bible (even if you chose not to believe it) has withstood centuries of analysis and criticism because it is a unique and special book.

Your poll needs more options as well, as i can't answer either of those two options.
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Postby blunt » Sun Nov 30, 2003 5:36 pm

I watched the American Black Forum today discussing the role of religion and God in American society. Most of the panel was Christian.
Christians have stunted the growth of their brains by subscribing to a closed system to keep from being surprised by new ideas.
ââ?¬Å?God is moving on the hearts and minds of America todayââ?¬ÂŠÃ¢â?¬?
The Christians keep asking ââ?¬Å?if dollar bills say In God We Trust, and we can swear on the bible in court (we can use anything), then why canââ?¬â?¢t we have the ten commandments? As if a few lingering religious references means we should just say forget it and turn the USA into a Judeo-Christian theocracy.
The Christians keep assuming we all should want their god, because no matter how polite or generous they pretend to be (and Christians do an inordinate amount of pretending) they believe the god they have manufactured or misunderstood is the ONLY god.
That delusion in and of itself will consign Christians to hell, ha ha.
Panelist Iyanla Vanzent was passionate but irrational. She fervently felt and believed what she was saying even when it made no sense and could be proved untrue. This is the trouble with all zealots: passionate belief imbues a person with foundationless confidence and creates a supremely arrogant cluelessness. When emotionality trumps intelligence, and blind faith is expressed by adherence to ritual, that makes Johnny a dull boy.
But that�s how it�s supposed to be, Christians tell us. We are dull and stupid and horrible. We�re born that way. We are pathetic and evil and can�t do it on our own.
ââ?¬Å?Man is inadequate; we need all the help we can get.ââ?¬?
They kept quoting the bible even when trying to deny their belief in the exclusivity of Christianity. They keep saying since we have certain religious elements still unpurged, then let�s add God to everything! (and one even pointed out that Allah, the Islam god, is always ordering death and destruction: our God doesn�t do that! Huh?!)

Christianity is a lot like the tribe that used to perform elaborate rituals each morning to make the the sun came up. When told the sun would rise anyway without their ritualistic help, they refused to stop, unwilling to risk the possibility of it not coming up. Understanding the awesome aspect of life and that how truly insignificant you are in comparison to the All, doe not need a fawning, sycophantic approach to an imagined power higher than ours. ââ??Without god, life is meaningless.ââ?¬?ââ?‰?Â
Last edited by blunt on Mon Dec 01, 2003 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Darthcrank » Sun Nov 30, 2003 7:55 pm

Blunt,
I share your gripes, which you put forth in a most eloquent manner.

I think the problem resides in the closeted communities most Christians lock themselves into. Most Christians seem to be unable to maintain a real friendship with someone who doesn't share their faith. If they would, I'm sure their behavior would be far less obnoxious. I have met precious few Christians who managed to really have respect and love for people outside of their faith, able to deal with others without pretense and far-flung assumptions.

If you are a Christian reading this, please stop spending so much time at church, at church functions, or hanging out with church people in your off time. Get to know some "pagans", go out to the bars and coffee houses and *try* to respect others and listen. Go with the intent of simply finding friends, not with an agenda to save their souls. You won't lose integrity, you'll gain insight and wisdom. As a matter of fact, you'll be acting alot more like Christ himself (just don't get a messiah complex....).
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