Jesus Wouldn’t Celebrate Christmas

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Of course he wouldn’t.  (Would he even have a birthday party?  Who knows?)

Christmas was made up anyway, and it was even banned for a long time, by Christians!

See this excellent piece in the WA POST:

“The War on Christmas was settled a long time ago.  Christmas Won.”

Would Jesus himself recognize his birthday celebration?  Be serious.  Not a chance.

Best ways to celebrate the birth and life of a Famous Historical Teacher:

-Try to find out what he or she really said and did (not too easy)

-Learn about the historical context when he or she lived

-Compare his or her teaching to other great teachers

-Ask yourself which of their lessons apply to our world today, and which do not

-Be aware of who controls how we read and understand this person

-Raise the question, “What does our ‘Christmas’ holiday (for example) really have to do with his life or teachings?” (if the answer is nothing, maybe we stop pretending and let it go?)

-See if there really are ways to “live the message” of this teacher

One last thought:  If you say, “Happy Birthday Jesus”–what does that really mean for our world, when most of the world does not celebrate?  Is your goal to make all the world worship your baby savior?  Would you really like every last man, woman and child to say “Merry Christmas!” and you would be happy, and God would be happy?  Really?

And. . .

What if Jesus himself would not come to his own party?

Holiday for Rebels

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A Blue Ridge Mountain Present

I love this season.   A few tenacious colors still clinging to bare trees, the flurry of feathered flight, the calm hours between storms, the energetic storms themselves, the bright crescent moon in a clear night’s sky, tipping toward planets and stars, a quiet forest walk with bubbling waterfalls.

A season of light–a different kind of light, tinted, shaded, filtered light.  You’re not always sure what you’re seeing, or sensing. I like that, usually.

For most American folk, this season is all about an Event:  Opening Presents.

For traditional folk, this season is all about One Present:  Baby Jesus.

For Nature-loving folk like me, this season is simply about Being Present to delight in the Natural Presents the earth has to give away right now.

Natural freethought is also giving out peculiar presents now.  You never can guess where the wise words will come from and how their meanings can change, evolve, and stir to reflection or decisive action.

My wife urged me to read her copy of The American Revolution, published by the National Park Service.  An excellent presentation of the hard truths underlying our National Myths.

(compare this to how we conveniently cover the uncomfortable truths hidden beneath the ornaments, packaging and sweetness of our Religious Myths)

Here’s one odd bit of truth-telling from none other than President Dwight Eisenhower who spoke these words during the McCarthy hearings in 1954 (the same year the Supreme Court desegregated public schools in Brown vs. Board of Education).  You might ask yourself how his words apply to today, to America, to faith, to Christmas and to our lives.

“Here in America, we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionaries and rebels–men and women who dared to dissent from accepted doctrine.  As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.  Without exhaustive debate–even heated debate–of ideas and programs, free government would weaken and wither.  But if we allow ourselves to be persuaded that every individual, or party, that takes issue with our own convictions is necessarily wicked or treasonous–then indeed we are approaching the end of freedom’s road.  We must unitedly and intelligently support the principles of Americanism.”

I keep returning to this quote lately.  It makes me think the principles of Americanism are very similar to the principles of Humanism.  And, it makes me think that this is also a Season for Infidels, Revolutionaries and Rebels (you know, like the poor baby in the cow dish?).  A natural birth of ideas crying for. . . .

 

Stuffings

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I know I’m not pretty. . .but tell me again why millions of us have to die for you?

Our first T-Day Season in Western North Carolina. . .it’s cold and smoky but beautiful.  No regrets leaving the Left Coast for these mountains.  Nature’s creative artistry is a good distraction from the mind-numbing down-dumbing politics that gives me a permanent case of head-shaking.  My natural unbelief is being dragged even further into the land of WTF nonsense.  It’s. . .unbelievable!

As I said, the natural distractions help, a little, and the wild things are really the best attractions.  We see gorgeous fat wild turkeys roaming our hills and I wonder, once again and again, why we humans are such killers, especially in the name of faith and family.

Ok, before you can accuse me of putting a downer on the “holydays”. . .all I ask is that we all give a gobble up for the Turkeys (and all the other fowl things we stuff down) this consumer season.

Maybe, Thank a Turkey instead of. . .

Well, you get my point.

Happy Season!

Climbing the Christmas Tree

Continuing my tradition, on my 60th!

Part of this tradition is a good, exhilarating walk in the natural beauty that’s so much more refreshing and renewing and relaxing than all the “stuff” that people say we “have” to do to celebrate the season.

(photos of the Christmas Baby in the tree by my wife, the Christmas Carol)

Hanukkah or Christmas? Why Choose?

“Being Hanukkah in a Christmas World”

Reminds me of when I was a single father raising my daughter to delight in celebrating both holidays.  She still remembers her friends at school asking if she was Jewish.  I was already doing interfaith work and teaching world scriptures, so claiming just one religion didn’t make much sense.  Does it now?