I got an email on facebook recently from some christian who asked the question
"If you're such an atheist, how come you celebrate christmas? It's a christian holiday, so you shouldn't celebrate it."
Well for one, I am pretty sure that the origin of christmas is NOT christian. Pretty pagan actually. It's awful christians actually believe the entire holiday of christmas is purely christian. The christians may have popularized the holiday...but it is DEFINITELY NOT a christian concept..
All that being said...Do you celebrate christmas? Do you call it christmas or holidays or xmas, etc?
I celebrate this holiday because I love the atmosphere of it all. The lights, the giving, the fun. It's a great time to get together, not necessarily worshiping an unlikely existent christian creator.
Again..All of my rants are mostly on christians because I do live in the USA after all...
Next time a christian asks that question, just quote them this
1) Hundreds of years before Jesus, according to the Mithraic religion, three Wise Men of Persia came to visit the baby savior-god Mithra, bring him gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense.
2) Mithra was born on December 25 as told in the “Great Religions of the World”, page 330; “…it was the winter solstice celebrated by ancients as the birthday of Mithraism’s sun god”.
3) According to Mithraism, before Mithra died on a cross, he celebrated a “Last Supper with his twelve disciples, who represented the twelve signs of the zodiac.
4) After the death of Mithra, his body was laid to rest in a rock tomb.
5) Mithra had a celibate priesthood.
6) Mithra ascended into heaven during the spring (Passover) equinox (the time when the sun crosses the equator making night and day of equal length)."
thanks for the ammo! It is so interesting and scary how christians will take anything popular and say it's a "christian" concept. Typical.
Fasciniating! Thanks! It looks like Mithraism/Christianity were heavily influenced by astronomy. I wonder how the death sacrifice upon a cross fits this narrative? Why a cross? What did a cross symbolize to the ancients?
I had thought that the cross symbolized a 'sword', but this would need to be researched.
I don't think it's all that symbolic. I think it's just very convenient. Pinning someone to a tree can be a frustrating task, and it was only a matter of time before someone said "Hey what if we just make a cross-beam to spread the arms out, redistribute the weight a little?"
"Wait, what? Everybody shut up! Steve just said something. Steve, say what you just said again."
"I just figure, they keep falling down when we nail them with their arms up, right? Because there's too much weight, it tears their hands."
"Right. But how would this cross thing fix that?"
"Well, look, we take a smaller beam of wood, and we lay it perpendicular, on top of the other one. Then we can nail an arm to each side, maybe even tie it down to be safe."
"How're we supposed to keep the beams attached?"
"Hm. Maybe we could, like, cut interlocking grooves into them, and then rope them together.
"We'd need a little more wood, and rope, and two nails instead of one, but if it keeps them from sliding off..."
"Steve, you may have just changed the crucifixion industry as we know it."
"Aw shucks, Bill, I-- I just like my job."
"Ha! Fuckin' right you do. Alright everybody, let's get out there and nail some people to some trees."
I like to play these little scenarios out in my head.
BC problem solving at it best. Sadly it sounds like a few civil engineering conversations I have had.
Van,"Ok guys we have a problem. There is a 3/4" full sheet of epoxied plywood 2' down in the damn rapid sand filter, left there from when the the last f--ked contractor built the thing 12 years ago.'
George, "we could build shoring through the activated charcoal and garnet, then lift the sheet."
"Nah thats two days of work man, and two tons of crap to move, we can't afford this filter to be off-line that long, we have two cities that are sucking water down from here".
James, "I have an idea, we place two ropes with eye bolts into the sheet. Two ropes have about a 25% probability of failure, then just backwash the filter as we pull the sheet out from the fluidized bed. We have this done in an hour without killing ourselves."
Van, "Nah, just one rope, then backwash."
The cross, in it's many forms from a single upright post to a multi-beamed structure in X, T, t or other shape, was a phallic symbol. A symbol of fertility, representation of the male sex organ. It was probably first introduced by the Sumerian King Tammuz, who the women wept for in the book of Ezekiel. Tammuz' initial was the mystic Tau, and thus the T shaped cross was born. They were used in fertility religions. Tammuz is thought to be Nimrod of the Bible, and at Ezekiel 8:1-14 the Bible calls this symbol a "filthy idol" a "shoot" or male sprout.
Jesus couldn't have died on the Roman cross as we know it. The cross didn't begin to appear in Christian art, idols or tombs until the latter half of the 4th century C.E. after having been introduced into apostate Christianity by the Emperor Constantine, who carried with him the phallic symbol the cross into battle.
The Imperial Bible-Dictionary: "The Greek word for cross, [stau·ros′], properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling [fencing in] a piece of ground. . . . Even amongst the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole." - Edited by P. Fairbairn (London, 1874), Vol. I, p. 376.
The Non-Christian Cross, by J. D. Parsons (London, 1896): "There is not a single sentence in any of the numerous writings forming the New Testament, which, in the original Greek, bears even indirect evidence to the effect that the stauros used in the case of Jesus was other than an ordinary stauros; much less to the effect that it consisted, not of one piece of timber, but of two pieces nailed together in the form of a cross. . . . It is not a little misleading upon the part of our teachers to translate the word stauros as ‘cross’ when rendering the Greek documents of the Church into our native tongue, and to support that action by putting ‘cross’ in our lexicons as the meaning of stauros without carefully explaining that that was at any rate not the primary meaning of the word in the days of the Apostles, did not become its primary signification till long afterwards, and became so then, if at all, only because, despite the absence of corroborative evidence, it was for some reason or other assumed that the particular stauros upon which Jesus was executed had that particular shape." - Pp. 23, 24.
"Various objects, dating from periods long anterior to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses of different designs, in almost every part of the old world. India, Syria, Persia and Egypt have all yielded numberless examples . . . The use of the cross as a religious symbol in pre-Christian times and among non-Christian peoples may probably be regarded as almost universal, and in very many cases it was connected with some form of nature worship." - Encyclopædia Britannica (1946), Vol. 6, p. 753.
"The shape of the [two-beamed cross] had its origin in ancient Chaldea, and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country and in adjacent lands, including Egypt. By the middle of the 3rd cent. A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the cross of Christ." - An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (London, 1962), W. E. Vine, p. 256.
“It is strange, yet unquestionably a fact, that in ages long before the birth of Christ, and since then in lands untouched by the teaching of the Church, the Cross has been used as a sacred symbol. . . . The Greek Bacchus, the Tyrian Tammuz, the Chaldean Bel, and the Norse Odin, were all symbolised to their votaries by a cruciform device." - The Cross in Ritual, Architecture, and Art (London, 1900), G. S. Tyack, p. 1.
"The cross in the form of the ‘Crux Ansata’ . . . was carried in the hands of the Egyptian priests and Pontiff kings as the symbol of their authority as priests of the Sun god and was called 'the Sign of Life.'" - The Worship of the Dead (London, 1904), Colonel J. Garnier, p. 226.
"Various figures of crosses are found everywhere on Egyptian monuments and tombs, and are considered by many authorities as symbolical either of the phallus [a representation of the male sex organ] or of coition. . . . In Egyptian tombs the crux ansata [cross with a circle or handle on top] is found side by side with the phallus." - A Short History of Sex-Worship (London, 1940), H. Cutner, pp. 16, 17.
"These crosses were used as symbols of the Babylonian sun-god, and are first seen on a coin of Julius Cæsar, 100-44 B.C., and then on a coin struck by Cæsar’s heir (Augustus), 20 B.C. On the coins of Constantine the most frequent symbol is; but the same symbol is used without the surrounding circle, and with the four equal arms vertical and horizontal; and this was the symbol specially venerated as the ‘Solar Wheel’. It should be stated that Constantine was a sun-god worshipper, and would not enter the ‘Church’ till some quarter of a century after the legend of his having seen such a cross in the heavens." - The Companion Bible, Appendix No. 162; see also The Non-Christian Cross, pp. 133-141.
Damn. That is more information than I could have hoped for! Thank you. It's starting to come together for me now. I can imagine how the creators of Christianity were influenced.
It is strange to me that death upon a phallic symbol should lead to resurrection and immortality. Ah. Light bulb moment. This is going to sound a bit out there...but here is my theory: living human Jesus + crucifixion on phallic symbol = sacrificial corpse. Corpse + entombment (+3 days to marinate) = birth of immortal Jesus. It's a highly symbolic representation of how sperm (human Jesus) is passed into the womb (his tomb) from the phallus (the stauros/cross), leading to conception of new life (resurrection/birth of immortal, god-like Jesus).
I think Christian myth-makers were a bit enthralled with the discovery that conception is a result of implantation of sperm. I read a book about four years ago, about the earlier, gyno-centric monotheistic religions, which basically said that Goddess worship was inspired by the female mystery of birth and which fell out of favor partially as result of early humans finally putting two and two together and realizing that sex leads to pregnancy. The author theorized that humanity's new understanding of the function of sperm elevated the status of the male, revolutionizing religion and social relationships.
It's really hilarious that the Church is SOOOO uptight about sex, if my theory of crucifixion/entombment/resurrection really is one giant metaphor for conception.
Christmas seems more like a celebration of materialism than anything. It's all a bit comical to non-believers. That's OK, I'll take my paid holiday, giving gifts is fun. Just don't give me drinks and then start talking about jesus. You may be shocked at what I have to say !
Merry Mithras to all infidels, and to all infidels good night!
I call it the Winter Solstice, since that's the astronomical reason for the season. I celebrate the way everyone should, huddled together with loved ones, feasting to drive the cold winter away.