Where is Jesus gone?
They said that Jesus — always came —
Perhaps he doesn’t know the House –
‘Tis the season, so they say. Holidays: Saturnalia, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and others I’m sure. Christmas first showed up, I’m told, in the 4th century C.E. when Christianity was adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire. The celebration of the birth of Christ took over the December celebration of the ancient Roman God Saturn, and with local variations it’s been that way — globally — for seventeen centuries and counting.
When I was a little guy, I thought Christmas was really cool, especially the Tree, Santa, and presents part. I particularly remember Christmas of 1947 when I asked Santa for “a coal loader to put coal in my train.” I unfortunately don’t have any photos of Santa’s Christmas Eve delivery, but I do have one taken the day I — personally — asked him if maybe he might be able to bring that coal loader. It was all I wanted, I told him. He said he’d do it, and he DID! It was there waiting for me on Christmas morning!
As you can see, this was the REAL Santa, not one of those ‘Ho Ho Ho’ fakers!
Anyway, that’s the part of Christmas that really appealed to my little-guy imagination. I honestly didn’t care much for the mythological part of Christmas — the tall tales the preacher told in church about a baby, a manger, wise men, angels, etc. — none of it really made much sense, y’ know? I mean, there was nothing to capture the imagination. No presents, no lap sitting, no reindeer — only those hard church pews and maybe a picture or two of the myths embedded in stained glass windows. Suffice to say I was a skeptic, even way back then.
Fast forward to today, some sixty-eight years down the road from the demonstrated reality of Santa and that really cool coal loader. Today we STILL are asked to listen to chatter about the manger, the wise men, all of those popular fables. No big problem, obviously, but watch out, ’cause every time somebody says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” Bill O’Reilly and all the nuts at Fox News (and elsewhere) get really MAD and bring up that old ‘War on Christmas’ meme. Kinda makes one wonder what it’s all about, y’ know?
It’s really something that’s been puzzling me for a long time — why all this vicious reaction to someone — anyone — who might see the world thru a different lens? Like those who choose to say “Happy holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas”? What’s up with that? Surely not every person out there is obligated to cross every ‘T’ and dot every ‘I’ in the words ‘Merry Christmas.’ Right? To some, it might be a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but what about those others who have found ‘Holiday’ motivations elsewhere? Is that option somehow not permissible? The anger of some out there over that little non-issue has long puzzled me. Why the outrage over something so inspiring as a society with mixed beliefs?
Here’s a very recent link to a detailed and scholarly analysis of Five Reasons to Suspect Jesus Never Existed. I imagine some will call it malarkey after simply reading the title, while others will (hopefully) give the concept some reasonable consideration. Christianity may well be based on a false premise, after all, and just that little factoid serves to dismiss the whole Christmas thing as baseless, right?
Of course not. Religions of all kinds are never burdened by facts or the need for supporting data. There has never been verifiable “proof” of any religious premise ever offered anywhere by anyone — none. Why? Because religion is Faith. Religion is Belief. No facts are needed, ever. It’s always been that way, always will.
As for me, well, I’m not much for believing in myths and fantasies, that sort of thing. But in spite of that, I hope to never feel the need to castigate or make fun of anyone of sincere and honest (i.e. non-Fox non-Christer) belief. Because if I did THAT, I’d be no better than those (phony) ‘religionistas’ who freely castigate and threaten anyone who does not appear to accept their particular theology. Simply because “they” believe in something in which “I” have no interest does not, as Jefferson said, “pick my pocket or break my leg,” so why not simply smile and wave? To engage in hateful trivia causes far more problems than it can ever hope to solve, after all.
But all of that aside, there is clearly one Happy Holiday / Seasons Greetings / Merry Christmas detail that remains on MY side!
Santa is Real! (see above) 😀
Oh Jesus — in the Air —
I know not which thy chamber is —
I’m knocking — everywhere —