Atheists: How do you feel during the Christmas season?

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Schneekugel
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22 Oct 2013, 10:40 am

MCalavera wrote:
From Wikipedia on Christmas:

Quote:
History

The Chronography of 354 AD contains early evidence of the celebration on December 25 of a Christian liturgical feast of the birth of Jesus. This was in Rome, while in Eastern Christianity the birth of Jesus was already celebrated in connection with the Epiphany on January 6. The December 25 celebration was imported into the East later: in Antioch by John Chrysostom towards the end of the 4th century, probably in 388, and in Alexandria only in the following century. Even in the West, the January 6 celebration of the nativity of Jesus seems to have continued until after 380. In 245, Origen of Alexandria, writing about Leviticus 12:1–8, commented that Scripture mentions only sinners as celebrating their birthdays, namely Pharaoh, who then had his chief baker hanged (Genesis 40:20–22), and Herod, who then had John the Baptist beheaded (Mark 6:21–27), and mentions saints as cursing the day of their birth, namely Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:14–15) and Job (Job 3:1–16).[110] In 303, Arnobius ridiculed the idea of celebrating the birthdays of gods, a passage cited as evidence that Arnobius was unaware of any nativity celebration. Since Christmas does not celebrate Christ's birth "as God" but "as man", this is not evidence against Christmas being a feast at this time. The fact the Donatists of North Africa celebrated Christmas may indicate that the feast was established by the time that church was created in 311.

Many popular customs associated with Christmas developed independently of the commemoration of Jesus' birth, with certain elements having origins in pre-Christian festivals that were celebrated around the winter solstice by pagan populations who were later converted to Christianity. These elements, including the Yule log from Yule and gift giving from Saturnalia, became syncretized into Christmas over the centuries. The prevailing atmosphere of Christmas has also continually evolved since the holiday's inception, ranging from a sometimes raucous, drunken, carnival-like state in the Middle Ages, to a tamer family-oriented and children-centered theme introduced in a 19th-century reformation. Additionally, the celebration of Christmas was banned on more than one occasion within certain Protestant groups, such as the Puritans, due to concerns that it was too pagan or unbiblical.


Emphasis mine. Feel free to read the rest of the quote, but the key is the bolded.


Maybe you should read yourself what you quote. ^^

The Chronography of 354 AD contains early evidence of the celebration on December 25 of a Christian liturgical feast of the birth of Jesus. This was in Rome, while in Eastern Christianity the birth of Jesus was already celebrated in connection with the Epiphany (= origin pagan festival to honour a mixgod of egypt horus and roman sungod XD) on January 6.

Many popular customs associated with Christmas developed independently of the commemoration of Jesus' birth, with certain elements having origins in pre-Christian festivals that were celebrated around the winter solstice by pagan populations who were later converted to Christianity.



Last edited by Schneekugel on 22 Oct 2013, 10:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

Misslizard
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22 Oct 2013, 10:41 am

MCalavera wrote:
Misslizard wrote:
Yule logs,mistletoe,feasting,evergreens,lights.All the good stuff.


All of which came much later. And even if they were part of early Christmas, that still doesn't mean that Christmas itself is pagan.

Quote:
Virgin births occur in other myths.


In prior myths to the Gospel? Like what? Post references while you're at it.


You really should read the Golden Bough by Frazer.
"The idea that women may be impregnated by the sun is not uncommon in legends.Thus,for example,among the Indians of Guacheta in Colombia,it is said,a report once ran the sun would impregnate one of the maidens,who should bear a child yet remain a virgin."

Attis,a central figure in the mythology of the Phyrygians in Asia Minor was a dying god who experienced some sort of resurrection.One myth of Attis's birth is a virgin birth story in which the Great Goddess,in her form as the virgin Nana,placed a pomegranate on her lap only to have a seed inter her and result in the birth of Attis.
A tree with an effigy of Attis played a part in the enactment of Attis's death,tying him both to Jesus and Adonis.Rituals that took place both in Rome and Phyrgia suggest that Attis returned to life in an Easter like resurrection.

Laozi from Daoism was supposedly conceived by a shooting star and been born from his mother' side in a virgin birth.

The Tewa Indians also have a legend about the Water Pot Boy,who was also born of a virgin.

Last three are from Leeming's work.


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MCalavera
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22 Oct 2013, 10:42 am

Schneekugel wrote:
MCalavera wrote:
From Wikipedia on Christmas:

Quote:
History

The Chronography of 354 AD contains early evidence of the celebration on December 25 of a Christian liturgical feast of the birth of Jesus. This was in Rome, while in Eastern Christianity the birth of Jesus was already celebrated in connection with the Epiphany on January 6. The December 25 celebration was imported into the East later: in Antioch by John Chrysostom towards the end of the 4th century, probably in 388, and in Alexandria only in the following century. Even in the West, the January 6 celebration of the nativity of Jesus seems to have continued until after 380. In 245, Origen of Alexandria, writing about Leviticus 12:1–8, commented that Scripture mentions only sinners as celebrating their birthdays, namely Pharaoh, who then had his chief baker hanged (Genesis 40:20–22), and Herod, who then had John the Baptist beheaded (Mark 6:21–27), and mentions saints as cursing the day of their birth, namely Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:14–15) and Job (Job 3:1–16).[110] In 303, Arnobius ridiculed the idea of celebrating the birthdays of gods, a passage cited as evidence that Arnobius was unaware of any nativity celebration. Since Christmas does not celebrate Christ's birth "as God" but "as man", this is not evidence against Christmas being a feast at this time. The fact the Donatists of North Africa celebrated Christmas may indicate that the feast was established by the time that church was created in 311.

Many popular customs associated with Christmas developed independently of the commemoration of Jesus' birth, with certain elements having origins in pre-Christian festivals that were celebrated around the winter solstice by pagan populations who were later converted to Christianity. These elements, including the Yule log from Yule and gift giving from Saturnalia, became syncretized into Christmas over the centuries. The prevailing atmosphere of Christmas has also continually evolved since the holiday's inception, ranging from a sometimes raucous, drunken, carnival-like state in the Middle Ages, to a tamer family-oriented and children-centered theme introduced in a 19th-century reformation. Additionally, the celebration of Christmas was banned on more than one occasion within certain Protestant groups, such as the Puritans, due to concerns that it was too pagan or unbiblical.


Emphasis mine. Feel free to read the rest of the quote, but the key is the bolded.


Maybe you should read yourself what you quote. ^^

Many popular customs associated with Christmas developed independently of the commemoration of Jesus' birth, with certain elements having origins in pre-Christian festivals that were celebrated around the winter solstice by pagan populations who were later converted to Christianity.


Yes, over the centuries and independent of the commemoration of Jesus' birth, which is what Christmas is all about (Jesus' birth).

There was no Christmas tree and the like until way after the mainstream date was set up.



MCalavera
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22 Oct 2013, 10:43 am

Misslizard wrote:
MCalavera wrote:
Misslizard wrote:
Yule logs,mistletoe,feasting,evergreens,lights.All the good stuff.


All of which came much later. And even if they were part of early Christmas, that still doesn't mean that Christmas itself is pagan.

Quote:
Virgin births occur in other myths.


In prior myths to the Gospel? Like what? Post references while you're at it.


You really should read the Golden Bough by Frazer.
"The idea that women may be impregnated by the sun is not uncommon in legends.Thus,for example,among the Indians of Guacheta in Colombia,it is said,a report once ran the sun would impregnate one of the maidens,who should bear a child yet remain a virgin."

Attis,a central figure in the mythology of the Phyrygians in Asia Minor was a dying god who experienced some sort of resurrection.One myth of Attis's birth is a virgin birth story in which the Great Goddess,in her form as the virgin Nana,placed a pomegranate on her lap only to have a seed inter her and result in the birth of Attis.
A tree with an effigy of Attis played a part in the enactment of Attis's death,tying him both to Jesus and Adonis.Rituals that took place both in Rome and Phyrgia suggest that Attis returned to life in an Easter like resurrection.

Laozi from Daoism was supposedly conceived by a shooting star and been born from his mother' side in a virgin birth.

The Tewa Indians also have a legend about the Water Pot Boy,who was also born of a virgin.

Last three are from Leeming's work.


Are they confirmed by the primary sources?

It does not matter what today's authors like to write.



Misslizard
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22 Oct 2013, 10:54 am

But all you are going by is the bible,what proof do you have that it is factual?Other than faith?


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22 Oct 2013, 12:01 pm

MCalavera wrote:

Also, remember this:

What did Christmas borrow from Sol Invictus that should render it pagan?

If the evidence suggests it did borrow (not just share something all or most holidays share [like feasting], but actively borrow) stuff to render it no longer Christian but pagan in essence, then Occam's razor would seem to (as far as the evidence goes) suggest that Christmas is pagan in origin.

But if there's no such evidence, then Occam's razor is in favor of Christmas not being of pagan origin.

If you have the evidence, time to let it out.



Erm...the date? 25th Dec?



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22 Oct 2013, 12:37 pm

This passage states clearly that Sol Invictus was celebrated prior to Christianity being adopted by the Romans

Sol Invictus Festival (3rd-century Roman Empire)
Main article: Sol Invictus

Sol Invictus ("the undefeated Sun") or, more fully, Deus Sol Invictus ("the undefeated sun god") was a religious title that allowed several solar deities, including Elah-Gabal, a Syrian sun god; Sol, the god of Emperor Aurelian; and Mithras, a soldiers' god of Persian origin, to be worshipped collectively.[30] Emperor Elagabalus (218–222) introduced the festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun (or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) to be celebrated on December 25, and it reached the height of its popularity under Aurelian, who promoted it as an empire-wide holiday.[31] With the growing popularity of the Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth came to be given much of the recognition previously given to a sun god, thereby including Christ in the tradition.[32]

This is taken from the wiki page on Winter Solstice Festivals:

Winter Solstice List of Festivals

This shows that Christmas was absorbed into the pagan festival, so the day Christians celebrate as the birth of their son of god, was actually the earlier celebration of the rebirth of the sun.



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22 Oct 2013, 12:49 pm

Well, this is much more interesting than the thread I started.

Never mind the date... when did Jesus ever ask anyone to celebrate his birthday anyway?

If one is arguing that Christmas is Christian and supported by the bible, surely then it would have been endorsed by Christ, hence justifying the name "Christmas". So where in the bible is it written that he asked people to celebrate the day of his birth. Where in the bible does it say Gabriel told Mary she was pregnant in March? Of course catholics are going to think that this happened in March working back from the idea that Jesus was born in December.

Where does it say it was winter in Bethlehem when Jesus was born? A couple of people have mentioned that shepherds wouldn't be out with their sheep in winter which I think is an interesting observation because from school I remember the shepherds being a big part of the nativity scene. I once played an ox in the Christmas play... not that that's relevant, but that's why I remember the nativity so vividly.



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22 Oct 2013, 12:59 pm

There were not three wise men either,it just say wise men from the east,maybe two,maybe a dozen.


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22 Oct 2013, 1:02 pm

Hang on, how did I end up in this section. I'm never in here.... thread must have been moved.

Yes a friend of mine pointed that out to me about 10 years ago. He encouraged me to read the gospels. His words were "they're nothing like the nativity."



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22 Oct 2013, 1:03 pm

hurtloam wrote:
Well, this is much more interesting than the thread I started.

Never mind the date... when did Jesus ever ask anyone to celebrate his birthday anyway?

If one is arguing that Christmas is Christian and supported by the bible, surely then it would have been endorsed by Christ, hence justifying the name "Christmas". So where in the bible is it written that he asked people to celebrate the day of his birth. Where in the bible does it say Gabriel told Mary she was pregnant in March? Of course catholics are going to think that this happened in March working back from the idea that Jesus was born in December.

Where does it say it was winter in Bethlehem when Jesus was born? A couple of people have mentioned that shepherds wouldn't be out with their sheep in winter which I think is an interesting observation because from school I remember the shepherds being a big part of the nativity scene. I once played an ox in the Christmas play... not that that's relevant, but that's why I remember the nativity so vividly.

I think it is widely accepted by Christians (certainly those I know) that Jesus was not born on 25th December. However, the birth of Jesus is still something to be celebrated. Jesus didn't order it, that would be incredibly narcissistic, but it is a long held tradition within Christianity- hence a "Christian festival". Of course, a secular festival has sprung out of it, and that's just as legitimate, but it is also a Christian festival.



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22 Oct 2013, 1:06 pm

The_Walrus wrote:
hurtloam wrote:
Well, this is much more interesting than the thread I started.

Never mind the date... when did Jesus ever ask anyone to celebrate his birthday anyway?

If one is arguing that Christmas is Christian and supported by the bible, surely then it would have been endorsed by Christ, hence justifying the name "Christmas". So where in the bible is it written that he asked people to celebrate the day of his birth. Where in the bible does it say Gabriel told Mary she was pregnant in March? Of course catholics are going to think that this happened in March working back from the idea that Jesus was born in December.

Where does it say it was winter in Bethlehem when Jesus was born? A couple of people have mentioned that shepherds wouldn't be out with their sheep in winter which I think is an interesting observation because from school I remember the shepherds being a big part of the nativity scene. I once played an ox in the Christmas play... not that that's relevant, but that's why I remember the nativity so vividly.

I think it is widely accepted by Christians (certainly those I know) that Jesus was not born on 25th December. However, the birth of Jesus is still something to be celebrated. Jesus didn't order it, that would be incredibly narcissistic, but it is a long held tradition within Christianity- hence a "Christian festival". Of course, a secular festival has sprung out of it, and that's just as legitimate, but it is also a Christian festival.


But he had no qualms about setting up the commemoration of his death... which I think legitimizes the question. "where did the commemoration of his birth originate from?" such as people have been asking here.



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22 Oct 2013, 9:18 pm

Misslizard wrote:
But all you are going by is the bible,what proof do you have that it is factual?Other than faith?


Gee, I don't know what to say to such a strawman. :roll:

Weak argument, MissLizard. It does not matter whether the story is real or not, but whether the story was copied from a prior source.

The Nativity story is Christian in origin, myth or not. Therefore, the commemoration of Jesus' birth (Christmas) is Christian in origin.



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22 Oct 2013, 9:19 pm

Robdemanc wrote:
MCalavera wrote:

Also, remember this:

What did Christmas borrow from Sol Invictus that should render it pagan?

If the evidence suggests it did borrow (not just share something all or most holidays share [like feasting], but actively borrow) stuff to render it no longer Christian but pagan in essence, then Occam's razor would seem to (as far as the evidence goes) suggest that Christmas is pagan in origin.

But if there's no such evidence, then Occam's razor is in favor of Christmas not being of pagan origin.

If you have the evidence, time to let it out.



Erm...the date? 25th Dec?


So Christmas is about the date? What an idiot you are ...



MCalavera
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22 Oct 2013, 9:20 pm

Robdemanc wrote:
This passage states clearly that Sol Invictus was celebrated prior to Christianity being adopted by the Romans

Sol Invictus Festival (3rd-century Roman Empire)
Main article: Sol Invictus

Sol Invictus ("the undefeated Sun") or, more fully, Deus Sol Invictus ("the undefeated sun god") was a religious title that allowed several solar deities, including Elah-Gabal, a Syrian sun god; Sol, the god of Emperor Aurelian; and Mithras, a soldiers' god of Persian origin, to be worshipped collectively.[30] Emperor Elagabalus (218–222) introduced the festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun (or Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) to be celebrated on December 25, and it reached the height of its popularity under Aurelian, who promoted it as an empire-wide holiday.[31] With the growing popularity of the Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth came to be given much of the recognition previously given to a sun god, thereby including Christ in the tradition.[32]

This is taken from the wiki page on Winter Solstice Festivals:

Winter Solstice List of Festivals

This shows that Christmas was absorbed into the pagan festival, so the day Christians celebrate as the birth of their son of god, was actually the earlier celebration of the rebirth of the sun.


*Banging head on wall*



Misslizard
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22 Oct 2013, 9:26 pm

MCalavera wrote:
Misslizard wrote:
But all you are going by is the bible,what proof do you have that it is factual?Other than faith?


Gee, I don't know what to say to such a strawman. :roll:

Weak argument, MissLizard. It does not matter whether the story is real or not, but whether the story was copied from a prior source.

The Nativity story is Christian in origin, myth or not. Therefore, the commemoration of Jesus' birth (Christmas) is Christian in origin.

I think your argument is weak.
In a past life I'm sure you were a Southern Baptist.
What are your primary sources?


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