Happy Saturnalia!  
laplateau December 15, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Thanks Joe for your good wishes for to those who celebrate pagan holidays. Are you such a believer? For me however, I celebrate the reason for the season ( the Christ in Christmas) we find ourselves in presently. I invite you to come on over from the dark side and walk in the Light of the world, the Light of life!
Alex Tabor December 16, 2013 at 07:38 AM
Laplateau: Whenever Jesus was born, the date almost certainly would NOT have been December 25th. The activities of the shepherds as described in the Gospels are not the kind of things done in December. There were MANY celebrations around this time of the year. Early Christians merely banned the pagan ones and created the Christmas holiday to take their place. Therefore, that the Reason for the Season belongs to Christ is true in much the same way that a stolen vehicle belongs to the person who stole it. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "though the abundance of analogous midwinter festivals may indefinitely have helped the choice of the December date, the same instinct which set Natalis Invicti at the winter solstice will have sufficed, apart from deliberate adaptation or curious calculation, to set the Christian feast there too." Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honor of the deity Saturn held on December 17 of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through December 23. The holiday was celebrated with a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves. The poet Catullus called it "the best of days." That said, Merry Christmas. :)
Lee Jacobsen December 16, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Mithras was also popular at the time, and is the basis for many of the Christian rituals, such as the last supper, Easter, Communion, even the Mitre hats and crosses on Catholic robes. Christianity brought all the other belief rituals under one umbrella so to speak, making allowances for solstice dates etc. Like Lap, I celebrate the fun side of Christmas, Santa Claus is certainly real and runs one of the best capitalistic small family businesses in the world, has great PR, and a fantastic vacation plan, off for 364 days of the year. Does he exist? Ask any kid under the age of 8 or so for your answer. Would a kid lie to you? Like any religion it is hard to prove a negative, which is "prove Santa Claus does not exist, that he does not have faith in his flock, keeps a list and checks it for those who have been naughty or nice. Now substitute Santa with Jesus, Mohammed, Siddhartha Gautama, Moses, Joseph Smith, George Fox (Quakers),Francis David (Unitarians), all had their followers. Some, like L. Ron Hubbard, took the capitalistic approach too far, using religion as a tax haven for Scientology, the only 'church' where you have to pay to learn the church 'creed'. Tom Cruise and Travolta are well known Scientologists, just as the Rev Wright and Billy Graham are well known Christian advocates, perhaps on different sides of the same room. Both live very well, thank you. Santa Claus gets my vote. His image is everywhere, and is even legal in our schools, unlike other religions. Plus, he makes everyone smile, and the world needs more of that, right?
laplateau December 16, 2013 at 05:59 PM
I know all about all the rituals that were, or are practiced at this time of year. Alex, yes, we are all aware of what you say, but the fact of the matter is that this time of time year has been established to celebrate my Lord's birth. It really makes no difference if it was December or June. It's the celebration that is at the core of the matter and not the date. I celebrate and thank God for the birth of Christ each and every day. It seems every year the "intelligentsia" seems to come out and want to belittle us of lower mental power to point out that this is really the time of year that the pagans and those of other persuasions celebrate their beliefs. This some how is supposed to prove that Christmas is really a pagan holiday. And Alex, if you want to frame some sort of argument, please be more inventive to do something more than to copy and paste verbatim verbiage from Wikipedia.
Alex Tabor December 16, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Well, the argument was actually in the part that WASN'T pasted, but no matter. And Christmas certainly isn't a pagan holiday. I'm merely saying that virtually every aspect of it was stolen from the pagans. I do find it cool that you managed to come up with a new twist, essentially saying that this time of year was preordained to be Jesus's time and therefore I guess the thefts from the other pagan holidays were fully justified? Like a guy steeling a car because it was somehow SUPPOSED to be his in the first place? Oh well, whatever makes you happy. Still, merry Christmas.
laplateau December 17, 2013 at 06:55 PM
\'s birthday...not by meAlex, please reread what I said. I never mentioned that anything was preordained, nor that I believe with your idea "the thefts from the other pagan holidays were fully justified?" Where can you possibly deduce that from what I wrote. I only say this time of year has"been established" as a time to celebrate Christs birthday. For what ever reason that came about, who really cares. If you are implying that much of the Bacchanalia we see as part of Christmas, I agree. I just don't understand those of you that make a reference to the pagan holidays every year at this time of year in a way that appears to be derogatory to those of us who have adopted this time of year as a time to reference Christ and his birth.
Alex Tabor December 17, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Okay, from what you say, I can understand why you might say that this is perhaps that this is "your" reason for the season. But it's the claiming of universal ownership that bothers me. The season has many, many reasons, most of which certainly began as a celebration of the Winter Solstice, when the sun stops sinking in the sky, stays macroscopically still for three days, and rises again. It marks the beginning of a new season, and has been celebrated by multiple cultures throughout the centuries. And I'm sure you don't see or mean it as such, but disregarding this rich history and claiming it as the birthday of someone who clearly wasn't even born during this time of year comes off as, well, both elitist and insulting. This is not meant as an insult, but Christ is simply NOT the reason for the season. The season existed LONG before he did, and his entirely human followers simply took it over. Many people claim insult at the mere use of the phrase "Happy Holidays", (and I hastily point out that you have not made this claim in this discussion). There are many holidays other than Christmas to be celebrated during this time of year, (the New Year is a rather big one, if nothing else), and this kind of thing, along with "the reason for the season" to me implies a dismissal of anyone other than the Christian as having worthy holidays. ... So, enjoy your Christmas. Just don't claim the entire month of December for Christians only, and recognize that the reason for the season is much more rich than one falsely placed birthday.
laplateau December 18, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Alex, Alex, Alex...Okay, so you are apparently a pagan and you feel robbed of what you say is a "rich" history of this time of year belonging to many other celebrants. Okay, so be it. And where again do you read into anything I have written that the entire month of December is for Christians only? I believe that the Jewish among us also celebrate Hanukkah. And, New Years Eve is celebrated by most all cultures and creeds around the world, even pagans. I also imagine their are millions of people who have birthdays in the month of December as well. Please, spout off about whatever you believe, but Christmas falls on December 25. So why not just let us Christians celebrate what and where we want without folks like you trying to diminish what it means to us. Go ahead and dance around a maypole or sacrifice a goat or two, whatever you choose. I will not ever demean your right to do so. Leave it alone.
Alex Tabor December 18, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Laplateau, this entire discussion has been about your use of the phrase "The Reason for the Season." The "season", for the purpose of this discussion, would almost universally be agreed to be the time period between Black Friday and Christmas day. So, my figurative use of "the entire month of December" implicitly equates to "season", and should have obviously been seen as such. I am a Unitarian Universalist and an agnostic atheist. I see no reason to believe in any particular faith. I am, however, very passionately against historical distortions and very passionately in favor of the religious freedom, which to me means, among many other things, that the "non-pagan" religions do not have the right to "bully" the pagan ones. The implications behind the phrase "the reason for the season", to me violates both of these vehemently held principles. I will defend the right for Christians to celebrate what and where they want and make no attempt to diminish it, so long as Christians do not diminish the right of other faiths to do the same through the distortion of history or by any other means. Having clarified my stance, I will now "leave it alone."
laplateau December 19, 2013 at 07:54 AM
Well Alex, I commend you for, at last, taking off your mask and admitting what you are. So, you feel bullied do you? I have NEVER seen or heard any Christian bully someone of your beliefs. I do feel sorry for you, however. But, I never started this long discourse by coming out demeaning your beliefs. I only expressed my displeasure in those, like you, who want to demean or diminish my beliefs at this time of year by stating that some others believe it is a false date for Christ's birth. I am not sure how many Christians have ever believed that December 25 is truly the day Christ was born. You just don't seem to understand that, to us, the date is of no real importance...it is the celebration, regardless of the time of year that is important to us. Christians, to my knowledge, at this time of year have never used it as a time to bash agnostics, atheists, pagans, witchcrafters, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, or any other belief system at any time of the year for the dates they may, or may not, celebrate whatever they believe. Your arguments that Christians are promoting some sort of historical distortion at this time of year or are committing some type of bullying of other beliefs, are specious at best, and dishonest at worst. So happy or merry whatever it is to you. I only ask that you and others like you stop the war on Christmas every December of every year.
Alex Tabor December 19, 2013 at 03:52 PM
laplateau. My "mask", as you call it, was not brought up because it was irrelevant to the conversation. If you read carefully what I said, or indeed, read it at all, I never, at any time, claimed to feel personally bullied. If you have read carefully what I said at all, or indeed, read it at all, I claimed that your statement of "Reason for the Season" (a statement that I note that you have absolutely failed to address in any of your later diatribes) is a historical distortion and a form of bullying of other religions. If the date is of no importance, than your "reason for the season" statement is a nonsensical. I have bashed nothing of Christian beliefs except for stating the virtually universally agreed upon point that Jesus would not really have been born at this time of year. You may claim the 25th. You may celebrate the entire month. I could not care less. My point, which I've repeated now ad nauseum, is that Christians have no right to claim that Jesus is "the reason for the season." If you see my objection to this statement as "a war on Christmas", you are free to your paranoia. I, however, am done with this conversation, unless you again continue to assault my reason or character.
Lee Jacobsen December 19, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Your both wrong and the facts prove it. Christmas now belongs to Santa Claus and the advertisers..... The Christmas season is now obviously largely commercial, starting at Black Friday just after Thanksgiving, and ending at New Years, when most items are returned and decorations taken down. The reason for Santa taking over the Christian Christmas season is simple. The time period of Christmas has been diluted by many faiths over the centuries, starting with early religions such as Mithras before Jesus, and ending with Mr. Smith's interpretation with the Mormons. In between are Catholics and Protestants, the former broken down into around 100 different 'orders', and the latter broken down into around 500 different interpretations, including Methodists, Episcolopalians, Baptists (100 sub orders alone) , Lutherans, Angelicans, 7th Day adventists, Jesuits, Presbyterians, Pentacostals, Christian Scientists, Quakers, just a few from memory. More are listed here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations Of them all, Santa Claus is the obvious one true diety, accepted worldwide, without question. At one time, all of us believed in Santa Claus. I dare you to refute it. Ask any young kid. Think back to when you were a kid. Santa is generous, (who else gives presents all over the world) and charities such as the Salvation Army use his image to collection donations to help the homeless and needy among us. When you see an image of Christ, or Jesus, one of the first things that comes to mind is a 'church' of (pick one) denomination. When you see an image of Santa Claus, the first thing that comes to mind is 'Christmas'. So, the reason for the season, and the spokesman, using facts and commonsense, (pretend you are an alien visiting the planet on Christmas Day and seeing the factual evidence) is giving/receiving presents, most via the one known as Santa Claus, and sharing time among friends. Jesus Christ, through no fault of his own, is now a political hot potato at Christmas time, and Santa Claus, who everyone has believed in at one time or another, is now the one most of us think of, at least during the Christmas Season. Plus, Santa is a capitalist, with world wide sales, and his work shop is 'non union', Santa has excellent PR, and vacation benefits, and tell me, who does not love Santa? I rest my case.....
Alex Tabor December 19, 2013 at 08:45 PM
A voice of reason. Yes, Lee, I see the error of my ways. Thank you for your wisdom. :)
laplateau December 19, 2013 at 09:18 PM
You are both rather screwy in going about your explanations why this time of year is not for Christmas. Geez....I know that it has become a secular and commercial season for those who really don't truly care about the "reason for the season ...FOR CHRISTIANS, regardless of what denomination they claim. Do you really think that 99.9% of the population knows anything about all the secular and pagan holidays that were once also celebrated at this time of year? C'mon now,,pahleeze. I would suspect that the vast majority of people, if asked, would absolutely know what Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. It is the seculars and those hawking their wares that have claimed all of December as a Christmas season. Christians see it as the birthday of our Lord and Savior. I think most know that it was really not December when He was born, but more probably the spring of the year. So, is it really important other than to those, like you, that want to spout off about what time of year it is as if we are insulting ye of little, or no faith? So go on fellas, have a ball worrying about the obscure stuff and attempting to immpress us about your mental superiority. This is so silly anymore...have fun...and a MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Alex Tabor December 19, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Ignoring the insults, I too wish you, laplateau, a very Merry Christmas. :)
Lee Jacobsen December 20, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Today I was Santa to nearly one hundred employees at our company Christmas party, many different faiths but all united under one parodied theme, 'Twas the Night before Christmas". and all through the plant, etc. Parodied means that certain employees were named as reindeer, others were elves, etc. as the story was read to all, and all in fun. As Santa, the host, together, under our plant roof, we all shared a common belief of good food, good cheer, and friendship. (we also made life a lot brighter today for 50 folk at an inner city homeless shelter in Detroit by sharing) but that's another tale. Bottom line, per the end of the story..... "Merry Christmas to all , and to all a Good Night!


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