Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 24, 2018

Christmas

Long before Christianity evolved, people celebrated the winter solstice as the end of the dark times and the coming of light. Roman Christianity moved the day on which it commemorates the birth of Jesus to the winter solstice. It replaced a holiday of older religions. The deeper meaning stayed. Hope for a new beginning, needed as much today than ever. Hope that the walls of darkness will come down.


Picture courtesy of the Bethlehem Association

Like every Christmas I visit my larger family and enjoy to cook for them. I have much fun with the kids. Their minds are untouched from the dark policies we often discuss here. They are open for new insights and challenges. Their curiosity encourages us to be likewise open for new ideas.

I wish you all a contemplative, hope- and peaceful Christmas.

Bernhard

Posted by b on December 24, 2018 at 09:00 AM | Permalink

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A very quick Merry Christmas to all! (Gotta make it quick since I'm running from the law.)

(Just kidding, ha ha!) I suddenly was confronted with a huge project, so there was no time for comments. Will be back soon. And Happy New Year!

Posted by: blues | Dec 26, 2018 12:00:09 AM | 101

@100

Oh please! Those are not incorrect conclusions. They're some of the best I've heard yet. The U.S. is reverting to proxy war status again with Syria, but will be putting an emphasis on Iran containment and disruption. That's where the 5000 Troops in Iraq come in. Trump has proven over and over he's part of the Swamp.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 26, 2018 12:33:44 AM | 102

Merry Christmas! May God bless you all and grant that all your dreams may come true, in the name of Jesus, Amen!

Posted by: Grand Inquisitor | Dec 26, 2018 8:32:35 AM | 103

@79 drj

I can't hold a geo-political candle to my fellow moonies here, so i say little, except maybe for the occasional, accidental comic relief

But when it comes to certain spiritual matters, I feel compelled to wade in, especially in light of the season.

Now God needs no defense from me, so I do so for the sake of the folks here, correcting what I perceive to be errant misconceptions...

So with all due respect drj, please don't fall into the same trap as Bertrand Russell did in his essay "Why I Am Not a Christian", i.e. straw-man arguments

I feel PCR made some good points in his piece @45 p(thx pft). But what you table are opinions that detail the evils of men, not of the true and living God. We have seen, even in recent history, how good things of this world are co-opted and taken advantage of by evil & greed. Same was done with Christianity by Constantine and others, even to this day by so called Zionist-"Christians". The misdeeds of those men does NOT represent God or the Gospel. Certainly they cast Christianity in a negative light, and that is by design (their's not God's)

At the end of the day, acceptance of Christ and the work of the cross is a matter of faith - you believe it or you do not.

There were 2 interesting comments posted on the video presented @10 (thx sasha) that seem apropos:

"It's like finding a hidden room in a house you've lived in your whole life",
"Or discovering brothers and sisters you never knew about!"

At my age, I have witnessed enough depravity of men & the grace & mercies of God, that it would take more faith for me NOT to believe

Albert Camus put it well: "I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live as if there isn't and to die to find out that there is."

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." - 1 Cor 1:18-21

I wish everyone here blessings this time year & going forward... thank you b, and those who support this site

Posted by: xLemming | Dec 26, 2018 10:51:13 AM | 104

Once more, Happy Holidays to all. Thanks to b and all the commentators..

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 26, 2018 11:49:07 AM | 105

Love to you B,

- Shyaku.

Posted by: Shyaku | Dec 26, 2018 1:52:02 PM | 106

@ 104 xLemming:

Thanks for your reply. I suspect it's not everyday that the 20th century's most distinguished logician, Bertrand Russell, is accused of straw man arguments. As to the ethical significance of Christianity, here's some historical perspective from Upton Sinclair's The Profits of Religion (1917):

"[The] proletarian strain in Christianity goes back to a time long before Jesus; it seems to have been inherent in the religious character of the Jews—that stubborn independence, that stiff-necked insistence on the right of a man to interview God for himself and to find out what God wants him to do; also the inclination to find that God wants him to oppose earthly rulers and their plundering of the poor. What is it that gives to the Bible the vitality it has today? Its literary style? To say that is to display the ignorance of the cultured; for elevation of style is a by-product of passionate conviction; it is what the Jewish writers had to say, and not the way they said it, that has given them their hold upon mankind. Was it their insistence upon conscience, their fear of God as the beginning of wisdom? But that same element appears in the Babylonian psalms, which are as eloquent and as sincere as those of the Hebrews, yet are read only by scholars. Was it their sense of the awful presence of divinity, of the soul immortal in its keeping? The Egyptians had that far more than the Hebrews, and yet we do not cherish their religious books. Or was it the love of man for all things living, the lesson of charity upon which the Catholics lay such stress? The gentle Buddha had that, and had it long before Christ; also his priests had metaphysical subtlety, greater than that of John the Apostle or Thomas Aquinas... No, there is one thing and one only which distinguishes the Hebrew sacred writings from all others, and that is their insistent note of proletarian revolt, their furious denunciations of exploiters, and of luxury and wantonness, the vices of the rich."

Posted by: drj | Dec 26, 2018 4:50:46 PM | 107

@107 drj

I hear you... I am but a lowly, engineering sort, with no letters & I agree my claim appears fantastic. And so my response below is not intended to prolong this spiritual discussion on an otherwise wonderful, geo-political blog, where many a lofty intellect gather, as "iron sharpens iron"... but to offer a simple explanation to my claim

The straw-man I speak of that Mr.Russell takes apart, is essentially Roman Catholicism. And in doing so, he gets no argument from me. Others before him have done the same, i.e. Martin Luther, with his 95 theses. The "mistake" Mr.Russell makes is calling that denomination "Christianity" - it is not. A lengthy discourse on church history would be required to show which denominations are closer to the Truth, and which are not - but all are the product of men. To get to the Truth one must resort to Scripture itself, and it alone.

And on that note, and in closing, to your point "What gives the Bible the vitality it has today?" Easy... the same thing that has given it "vitality" in the past, and will do so in the future, namely the Spirit of God Himself. And without the Holy Spirit illuminating our understanding when we read His Word, it would simply be just another book by men

Having said that, I will endeavour to look into more of the authors you quote...

Wishing you & yours all the best this season...

Posted by: xLemming | Dec 26, 2018 5:30:45 PM | 108

@107 True enough if you believe in God. If you don't the Old Testament is a hodge podge of myths and fables designed to bolster tribal solidarity. Jesus' message certainly resonated among the proletariat and look what happened to Him.

Posted by: dh | Dec 26, 2018 5:58:46 PM | 109

@ 108: Thanks xLemming. I appreciate your thoughtful style, and I wish the best to you and yours as well.

@ 109: dh, I think Upton Sinclair would agree with you. You might like his so-called "Dead Hand" series, with its muckraking economic interpretation of culture. It includes six books: The Profits of Religion (quoted above), two on education (The Goslings and The Goose-step), two on art (Mammonart and Money Writes!) and one on journalism (The Brass Check). They're all available for free online, e.g. here: https://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/search?author=upton+sinclair&amode=words

Posted by: drj | Dec 26, 2018 8:23:43 PM | 110

May we all continue to share views and wisdoms that will continue to enlighten all our kids above statist indoctrinations, and be around this time next year to celebrate as we all can. MERRY CHRISTMAS on this Winter day!

Posted by: 46ZERing | Dec 27, 2018 3:58:52 AM | 111

Happy Holidays, B! Thank you for your daily doses of sanity in our mad, mad world. We so need you!

Posted by: Dee Drake | Dec 27, 2018 6:41:40 AM | 112

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