Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christians and Christmas

This time of year, we see a lot of people complaining that the "original spirit" of Christmas has been lost, and that we should "put the Christ back into Christmas".

Fuck them.

If they can appropriate and Christianise pagan festivals like Saturnalia and Yule (and Easter, for that matter), they really have no basis to complain when their own festivals are appropriated and secularised in turn. If they want to celebrate their version, fine - but they shouldn't expect the rest of us, who don't necessarily share their beliefs, to do it their way.


Wow, what's got your goat? I think you need a lie down and a nice cup of milo.

Posted by Muerk : 12/24/2005 12:06:00 PM

what muerk said.


Posted by Anonymous : 12/24/2005 12:30:00 PM

Quite often that argument is based on the concept that there is to much consumerism/capitalism in christmas (and then that focusing on somthing else like the religious aspect is a good idea to avoid this) - you might actually be standing on basically the same ground as the people you want to get fucked.

Not that there are not some people who just do it to push their religion but religion is somthing that is suposed to be pushed rather like you see adds on TV for coke (but religion is usually more subtle) you of course dont have to listen to that aspect of the argument.

Posted by Genius : 12/24/2005 12:34:00 PM

Idiot is right about the pagan origins though. A lot of the symbols of this nominally christian festival (fir trees, Father Christmas etc.) are certainly pre christian.

The main point of Saturnalia was apparently to get pissed for an extended period and overeat, so I reckon the 'original spirit' is alive and well in NZ.

I've just heard that the Icelanders, who are proud of their heathen heritage, still have 13 Father Christmasses who are somewhat pervy. One is nicknamed 'Windowlicker' and another 'Sausage grabber'.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/24/2005 12:51:00 PM

Muerk: Just minor annoyance at people who are claiming exclusive rights to control and define our culture (for example, by complaining that shops are putting up signs saying "seasons greetings" rather than "merry Christmas"). Bluntly, they need to get over themselves, and stop trying to push stuff on the rest of us (who will quite happily celebrate christmas, but in a different way from them, and for a completely different purpose).

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 12/24/2005 01:36:00 PM

thats a real nasty post NRT

Fuck you and merry CHRISTmas. If you dont want to "put the Christ into CHristmas, then you can keep your head up your arse and go back to work.
Because if it wasnt for Jesus Christ, you wouldnlt be on holdiay at hte moment....

Posted by Anonymous : 12/24/2005 01:52:00 PM

Just chill out. If Christians want to highlight the birth of Christ, you don't have to listen. Just relax...

And Merry Christmas to you and Donna :)

Posted by Muerk : 12/24/2005 02:51:00 PM

Anonymous christian rightwing prick says: "Because if it wasnt for Jesus Christ, you wouldnlt be on holdiay at hte moment...."

1. What makes you assume that we all choose to take this as a holiday? I am not a christian so therefore I have always chosen to work through Xmas and Easter. Although I do feel sad for the many genuine christians (of which I am sure you are not one by the tone of you) who are forced by the nature of their employment to work at this time of the year.

2. It is the middle of the Southern Hemisphere summer, so even if your beloved Jesus wasn't celebrated by NZ society (not withstanding the fact that the historical Jesus was actually born sometime in March) we would probably just do as the Northern Hemisphere peeps do and have a standard two week summer break.

3. It appears that your bible college didn't do a very good good of teaching you to spell. Probably didn't do a very good job of teaching you about the true spirit of Jesus either.

I agree with the sentiments of I/S, resistantsoy, doorman and the other anonymous. There are many other faiths who have sacred days around this time of the year and my attitude is that we are inclusive and acknowledge them all equally or we ignore them all equally.

Religion is a personal choice and one's relationship with a concept of a higher power is a private thing that does not require advertisement, recruitment or collective agreement.

To quote Dion Fortune: "True spirituality never advertises itself".

Merry Summer Solstice y'all!!!!!

Posted by zANavAShi : 12/24/2005 03:03:00 PM

Found an amusing web site a short while back which rather colourfully debunks the notion of there being a "war on Christmas":

Posted by Anonymous : 12/24/2005 04:12:00 PM

Actually, I/S, you speak my thoughts exactly and with admirable frankness. Well done!

Posted by Anonymous : 12/24/2005 06:01:00 PM

Dog bless the infant Stanley, who emerges Mr. Hanky-like from the S-bend each Xmas eve to spread his lord 'n saviour's special message of arrested development.

Superior Xtian scatologia here:

Posted by Anonymous : 12/24/2005 09:06:00 PM

that would also be good for the businesses - alowing companies to pay normal rates to employees (ie those of different religions) on all days.
ie smooth provision of services.

Posted by Genius : 12/24/2005 09:22:00 PM

Personally I think you're getting a litle overworked on this one, although I haven't read any right-wing US blogs today...

"What really annoys me is Easter when compared to ANZAC Day...tens of thousands of New Zealanders who died in the past 100 years only get a half-day holiday."

Personally, the outright naked nationalism of ANZAC Day gives me the heebee jeebees. Sure have a day to remember the horror of war, but ANZAC day seems more about the glorification of war these days, and specifically celebrating the botched invasion of another country - that we still expect them to be happy about. - John Anderson

Posted by Anonymous : 12/24/2005 09:50:00 PM

Muerk: And I'd say exactly the same of Christians annoyed by "seasons greetings" signs.

And merry Christmas to you too.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 12/24/2005 11:18:00 PM

Thank you IS for speaking what I think. Sadly, if the theocrats have their say, celebrating Christmas will be cumpolsory in a few years time...."You will celebrate the season, or we will throw you in jail..."

It is also of not that a lot of experts please JC's birth at September/October...

Posted by Anonymous : 12/25/2005 01:20:00 AM

zANavAShi / Millsy - It is far from certain that Jesus ever existed, let alone when his birthday would have been.

I/S – Are Christians in NZ making strides in turning the country into a theocracy like in the US? I suggest you chill out, relax, and enjoy the true meaning of the season: the festival of the birth of the Unconquered Sun. May the gods all smile on you during the season.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/25/2005 02:33:00 AM

I get most fucked off with liberals who try to claim "Christmas is no longer Christian, but is now a secular holiday".

Fuck off, no it isn't.

Christmas is a Christian holiday. If you want a secular day off on December 25th, you'd better come up with a reason.

End of story.

Happy Channukah,
Asher (a Jew who's sick of being told he can celebrate today because it's now "a secular holiday")

Posted by Asher : 12/25/2005 03:37:00 PM

Seasons greetings, happy holidays, merry Christmas, whatever! I'll take 'em all with good will :)

Posted by Muerk : 12/25/2005 11:26:00 PM

I just had a fab day with my family and I hope everyone else has too, or with friends.

IS, I'd have to disagree with your reasoning - personally I get wound up by the fact that retailers manipulate one of the big feelings that people associate with Christmas - specifically present-giving - and advertising around the Christmas season employs less than virtuous qualities in targeting consumers.

Fair dinkum, it's a bumper time of year, I don't grudge businesses that. What I grudge is the patronising and insulting advertising that attempts to subvert my understanding of the Christmas spirit. Advertise, advertise more if you like - just don't try and tell me that I should be buying a product in order to fulfill my Christmas obligations.

A final thought -it can't be had both ways. Either take the 'religious' (ha!) holiday and its undertones along with the day off, or scrap the day completely and work it. Shift it to February cause its fucking hot then and everyone needs some time off after starting a new year.

In my opinion, its in the middle - not quite secular and certainly not religious, so to go either way is to invite the debate. And both are entitled.

For the record, I don't think the Christmas 'spirit' is dying. Yes, I'm aware that I'm in a minority of people who attach religious significance to the season but I think most people have got the right idea that it is about coming together with family and friends after battling through a year.

How much they want to spend doing so is up to them.

Posted by Matt : 12/26/2005 01:57:00 AM

I say lets keep the X in X-mas

Posted by Amanda : 12/26/2005 08:15:00 AM

The X is indicitive of Xristos - a Greek spelling/transliteration for Christ.

Posted by Muerk : 12/26/2005 05:21:00 PM

The mimic ape began his chatter,
How evil tongues his life bespatter:
Much of the cens'ring world complain'd,
Who said, his gravity was feign'd:
Indeed, the strictness of his morals
Engag'd him in a hundred quarrels:
He saw, and he was griev'd to see't,
His zeal was sometimes indiscreet:
He found his virtues too severe
For our corrupted times to bear:
Yet, such a lewd licentious age
Might well excuse a Stoic's rage.

The cringing knave, who seeks a place
Without success, thus tells his case:
Why should he longer mince the matter?
He fail'd because he could not flatter;
He had not learn'd to turn his coat,
Nor for a party give his vote:
His crime he quickly understood;
Too zealous for the nation's good:
He found the ministers resent it,
Yet could not for his heart repent it.

Apply the tale, and you shall find,
How just it suits with human kind.
Some faults we own: but, can you guess?
Why?--virtues carried to excess,
Wherewith our vanity endows us,
Though neither foe nor friend allows us.

So wrote Jonathon Swift who's bequeathed funding for an asylum for idiots and lunatics ensured the survival of your antecedents genome.

Fortunatly your addiciton to solitary vice ensures us it will finish with you.

Posted by maksimovich : 12/26/2005 07:52:00 PM

You get some most unusual spammers here I/S. Anyway maximovitch, that vice isn't necessarily solitary - it's even better when you have someone to help you with it.

I agree with the anonymous who pointed out that the original spirit of Xmas seems to be alive and well, in that many of us devote it to pissing up and over-eating. Bringing Christ into it really would be just for Christians, although I've noticed in this country that lots of the Moslems are entirely happy to shout Merry Christmas at you - Christ(PBUH) was after all a prophet. They don't get all uptight at infidel me wishing them Eid Mubarak either, what an example for the rest of us, should we choose to follow it...

Posted by Psycho Milt : 12/27/2005 05:47:00 AM

so I/S, I presume that in the spirit of fucking christmas you will out crass commercial consumptioning the consumptionists. ( getting your arse to the sales ) :)

Have a Happy New Year then. Interesting reading this year even if I dont agree with all your points of view

Posted by sagenz : 12/28/2005 09:29:00 AM