Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 24, 2019

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, 2019 at 17:00 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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The best to you and all of your readers. You provide meaningful background to many of the news stories that inundate us on a daily basis.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Dec 24 2019 17:08 utc | 1

@all MERRY CHRISTMAS!

@b Thanks for all you do.

Hope everyone's having a wonderful holiday season.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 24 2019 17:10 utc | 2

A very happy Christmas to you and all here.
May your god be with you in the times ahead.

Posted by: Mike Smith | Dec 24 2019 17:10 utc | 3

To all, a peaceful and joyful Christmas. Thank you, Bernhard.

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 24 2019 17:15 utc | 4

Thanks for all your work B, Merry Christmas/Solstice to all barflies.

Posted by: NJH | Dec 24 2019 17:30 utc | 5

Christianity moved the day on which it commemorates the birth of Jesus to the winter solstice.

I an interested in this claim. I always understood the difference between eastern and western Christmas dates was just due to errors/interpretations/corrections in date calculation?

Also doesn't the date of the solstice change every year with the discrepancy between solar and lunar calenars?

Posted by: BM | Dec 24 2019 17:32 utc | 6

What a romantic and peace-inspiring photo of a sweet little church nestled against a beautiful gigantic wall and gigantic watchtower, like a child in the arms of it's mother! (/sarc)

Posted by: BM | Dec 24 2019 17:37 utc | 7

@ Posted by: BM | Dec 24 2019 17:32 utc | 5

Assuming the New Testament as a genuine historical document, there are two hypothesis among historians who are specialists in the subject:

1) that Jesus was born somewhere in the northern hemisphere's spring or even summer (between April and July). If memory doesn't fail me, this is based on the descriptions of the Bible itself of the weather the moment Jesus was about to be born (and, maybe, some events which they can estimate based on Roman History). This is the most widely accepted hypothesis nowadays;

2) that Jesus was born somewhere at the end of October. If I'm not mistaken, this is based on the most probable date of Mary's conception, which should have happened somewhere to the second half of January (it's been a long time since I read this hypothesis, so don't ask me how they came up with that). Assuming the fact that Jesus was apparently born healthy (infant mortality in the Ancient World was through the roof, so it's not realistic to assume he was born prematurely if he reached adulthood), then a nine-month gestation period was the most probable, which lands his birth in October.

I may have mixed the explanation for the two hypotheses, but the explanations are basically these: both use the New Testament itself as documental sources (with a good dose of educated guesses from Roman History), and both either use descriptions of the weather and other sociological phenomenon or Mary's conception date.

Now, the year of birth of Jesus is much more fun to debate, albeit it is much less polemic than the year date of his birth. The only certainty is that Jesus definitely wasn't born in 1 A.D. - a random Roman bishop came up with that estimate some 300 years later, so this is not very controversial.

Posted by: vk | Dec 24 2019 17:47 utc | 8

Merry Christmas to you as well, Bernhard.

As you say, there is much good in the world and we can see it in the eyes of the young.

Please accept my heartfelt thanks for creating and fostering this community, some call us moonbats!

So to my fellow lunatics, basking in the glow of the Moon of Alabama, all the best for the coming year. Solstice has just passed and each day in the Northern hemisphere will be longer. It is a hopeful time and we can all take solace (sunshine) in that idea.

Hello to all of you my friends, here's a toast to the future. May it be peaceful, happy and full of love!

Cheers

Posted by: jonku | Dec 24 2019 18:04 utc | 9

Thanks, b! And a very Merry Christmas to you, too.

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Dec 24 2019 18:16 utc | 10

@vk While Jesus birth can not be ascertained with all certainty the year of his crucification most scholars agree falls between 30 - 33 AD due to the governorship of Pontius Pilatus whose time in 'office' ended in 36AD and the dating of an early Roman Jewish Historian. Given Biblical descriptions Jesus must have been in his late 20s early 30s while he was actively preaching, so while the year 0 AD may not be exactly the year that Jesus was born it will still be within a very close range of that year.

@BM As for the question concerning the calendar, the original date chosen was December 25 as the Romans celebrated the winter solstice on that day. Also Mary's conception had already been celebrated on March 25 even before the nativity was celebrated, these two factors led to the choice of December 25 (9 months later).
When Pope Gregory initiated the calendar reform in the 16th century to bring it again in alignment with the sun, 10 days were skipped, technically placing Christmas to January 4 on the old 'Julian' calendar. The Orthodox held that what mattered was the agreed upon month and day in the early Christian church not the alignment with the sun. So they continue to use the old calendar which by now has deviated 14 days from the Gregorian, placing Christmas to January 7 in our calendar. In effect both churches celebrate on their December 25 they are just using a different counting method.

Merry Christmas everyone, have a blessed time.

Posted by: Alexander P | Dec 24 2019 18:18 utc | 11

Once again, Merry Christmas to B. and all the barflies*, if it ain't out o' keepin' with the situation.

* Excepting barflies who object to being Merry Christmased.

Posted by: Ort | Dec 24 2019 18:49 utc | 12

Happy Holidays to all barflies!

At my old college an astronomy professor did a Christmas lecture regarding the star that led the "Wisemen" to the scene. He determined that the "Star of Bethlehem" had to be Venus, and using math deduced that the birth had to have occurred in the spring.


Posted by: Michael | Dec 24 2019 19:04 utc | 13

@ BM | Dec 24 2019 17:32 utc | 5

I always understood the difference between eastern and western Christmas dates was just due to errors/interpretations/corrections in date calculation?

The Eastern (Orthodox) churches and the Wester (Catholic) churches have different dates for Christmas because they used different calendars all year long. This has been true since the year 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII authorized a new calendar to replace the old Julian one still used by some Orthodox churches. That's why the Russians, for example, celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7 -- because it corresponds to Dec. 25 on the Julian calendar.

Also doesn't the date of the solstice change every year with the discrepancy between solar and lunar calenars?

No. Solstice (and Equinox) dates are determined solely by the sun and the solar calender; the moon has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Dec 24 2019 19:09 utc | 14

Merry Christmas.
For a moment of serene beauty paste this into youtube-
"Old Slavic Orthodox Chant: Ps140. Да исправится mолитва моя/ Let my prayer arise (Lyric Video)" or this one

"Kyrie: Orbis Factor, medieval chant of the Gradual of Eleanor of Brittany (Lyric Video)"

Posted by: Per/Norway | Dec 24 2019 19:11 utc | 15

Yes, a merry Christmas season to all! The discrepancy between old and new Christian calendars has so far only stretched 13 days, which is workable in that old calendar Christmas falls close to new calendar Epiphany or Twelfth Night as in the Shakespeare play. Also, old calendar other feasts sit better with the moveable feast of Easter or Pascha than do the new, since that depends on the full moon and is thus always astronomically determined.

I personally love the old calendar observances since they stretch back uniformly out of astronomical determinations in an unbroken sequence, thereby giving added significance to Easter, which is the crucial point of reference for the Orthodox. As to the others, the approximation I always feel is 'close enough for folk music' as we always used to say when tuning our guitars.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 24 2019 19:19 utc | 16

Merry X-Mass b!

Posted by: Thirsty | Dec 24 2019 19:27 utc | 17

Merry Christmas to b and all the barflies. I echo previous statement to thank b for all he does. Yours is a truly impressive site.

(I have also heard that Dec. 25th was also the an important date of the Egyptian god Osiris - I believe his birthday. So many pagan dates have been rolled into the Christian mythos.)

Posted by: naiverealist | Dec 24 2019 19:42 utc | 18

I thought the reason that Dec 25 became the official date for the birth of Christ was political. Before 300 AD that date was the celebration of Mithras that the Roman pagans followed. The Christians had not yet converted all of the pagans at that time. So the Christians came up with this idea to subvert a pagan holiday. From my reading those 10 days of "Christmas" (i.e. celebration of Mithras) were one very wild and raucous party. The Christians managed to convert that celebration into honoring the birth of their founder into an extremely pious extended religious holiday.

This debate extends to the present. Every year the most devout Christians denounce this holiday being too much involved in having fun, partying,buying presents and not sufficiently humbling and pious.

Of course, the Christian missionaries continued to convert pagan solstice celebrations into what we now identify as Christmas in Northern Europe in the second millenium AD.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 24 2019 19:45 utc | 19

Calculations of Jesus' birth, as to the time of year and the year itself surely have to take into account the astral phenomenon of the Star of Bethlehem that supposedly appeared at the time of his birth. The Three Wise Men who visited Jesus and his earthly parents in the stable are thought to have been Persian astrologers.

I recall reading something decades ago (I don't remember the source) that the Star of Bethlehem may have been a conjunction of several planets (Jupiter and Saturn especially) in the constellation of Pisces. Astrologers believe the Age of Pisces began around this time. Currently we are supposedly in transition from the Age of Pisces (lasting some 2,000 years) into the Age of Aquarius. Such transitions are, needless to say, characterised by major, often drastic changes in culture, politics and ideology across regions lasting decades and even a few hundred years.

Supposedly the nations and regions of the world that are favoured by the transition into the Age of Aquarius are those considered by astrologers to be ruled by Aquarius, Libra and Capricorn. Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn, co-ruler of Aquarius (with Uranus) and has some special association with Libra because of Libra being the sign of balance. The nations and regions ruled by Capricorn include India, England, Australia and parts of the Balkans; those ruled by Aquarius include northern Europe, Russia and Iran; those ruled by Libra are nations of the Sinosphere (China and its immediate neighbours).

Nations ruled by Cancer (the US, Canada), Leo (France) and Aries (Britain, Germany) won't do so well in the Age of Aquarius.

Food for thought, eh?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to B and all here at the MoA bar!

Posted by: Jen | Dec 24 2019 19:56 utc | 20

@ Posted by: Alexander P | Dec 24 2019 18:18 utc | 10

The hypotheses that exist today for Jesus' (provided he really existed) are: 8 BCE, 6 BCE or 4 BCE. I tend towards 4BCE, since most circumstancial evidence available in the New Testament points to the direction Jesus was born on the last year of Herod the Great, or some approximate year.

Nobody really kept track of the history of individuals when they were kids. Mortality in the Ancient world was extremely high, and children were dehumanized until their parents were really sure they would survive infancy (among the Roman aristocracy, it was at nine years old, when they first received their name, and at thirteen years old, when they officially became adults - there was no concept of adolescence/puberty in Antiquity, both are 19th Century inventions). Even famous Roman aristocrats who were worthy of their own biography after their deaths such as Julius Caesar had their infancy history shrouded by legend and fables of predestination. (Note: we don't know Julius Caesar exact year of birth either).

So, surprise would be if the apostoles knew the exact year Jesus was born, not if they didn't, this is specially the case since Jesus was a lower class person.

@ Posted by: Michael | Dec 24 2019 19:04 utc | 12

Yes, that is one of the main arguments used by the "Jesus was born in April/May" (spring) hypothesis.

--//--

Everybody and their mothers celebrated the Winter Solstice in Antiquity. Religion was probaly born from astrology, which was invented as a necessary tool for agriculture when humanity first became sedentary. Religion, therefore, was always tied to agriculture.

And even though there were countless religions in the Ancient World, we have the self-evident fact that human imagination has its limits: may gods and goddesses were more or less the same, e.g. everybody seemed to have a Sun God, a Moon God, a Fertility God etc. etc. And the ancient peoples knew and noticed that: the Romans themselves paired their own Gods with the Greek ones (Minerva with Athena, Jupiter with Zeus, etc. etc.). Eventually, it was noted by the Romans that, on average, the Sun God (or Sky God) was the most worshipped. It was probably at this time, when Christianism spreaded to the empire, that the Christian God fused with the concept of Sun God of the many local religions: the word "church", for example, comes from Latin circus, which means circle: the circle was more or less the universal symbol in Antiquity to designate the Sun (therefore, the Sun God). Since all of these religions also commemorated the winter solstice, it was only a matter of time before the birth of Jesus would be fused with it as Christianism became the official religion of the Empire.

Posted by: vk | Dec 24 2019 20:07 utc | 21

Interesting that so many different cultural and religious traditions across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe have been subsumed into the Christian religion, as expressed in that religion's traditions and celebrations.

Ancient pagan Slavic peoples, themselves influenced by contacts with Iranian cultures (Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans and some others) saw in the winter solstice, the death of the old god Svarog and the birth of the new god Svarozhich. Because of the Iranian connection, Slavic religious beliefs also accepted the principle of duality (light versus darkness, good versus evil, good god versus bad god / devil) - a principle that also entered Judaism and later Christianity through the influence of Zoroastrianism while the Jewish people were under Achaemenid Persian rule from 500s BCE onwards until Alexander the Great and his forces destroyed that dynasty.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 24 2019 20:14 utc | 22

Oh to be untouched by the dark policies once again! Alas our only access is vicarious. Gd bless the children. Their innocence can in a strange way be our power. The power to protect the next generation by repairing all we've come, sadly, to know.

What a wonderful convergence of light you've create here Bernard. Gd bless.

Posted by: FSD | Dec 24 2019 20:18 utc | 23

Silly typo above on your name, Bernhard. Cheers

Posted by: FSD | Dec 24 2019 20:20 utc | 24

I confess being an atheist, so happy Winter Solstice to B and all of you lurkers and barflies!

Yesterday I was walking in a nearby arboretum where I found a Winter Honeysuckle Lonicera fragrantissima that just started to flower. It had a wonderful lemony fragrance that reminded me of spring. I will order one for our garden. I love gardening and am eagerly waiting to see the first Snowdrop flowers in about a month from now.

Posted by: Joost | Dec 24 2019 20:28 utc | 25

merry christmas everyone! jonku - moonbats... i like that! ditto your comment to b in fostering this place as well..

Posted by: james | Dec 24 2019 20:55 utc | 26

Happy Christmas Bernhard, to you and all your family.
Peace and happiness to all men and women whatever their beliefs.
---
Thanks for your bit of sanity in the present world and .... a warning, Please don't watch too much TV as you might get a bit confused by the weirdness of the news fed to the common herd. lol or s/

Posted by: Stonebird | Dec 24 2019 21:04 utc | 27

God Jul, Bernhard

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 24 2019 21:16 utc | 28

Here's some pagan commentary.

"Most pagans—or most people, really — probably have heard that the modern celebration of Christmas is somehow related to a Roman feast called Saturnalia. The more studious point out that the celebrations then (the exchanging of gifts, the lighting of votives) seem to continue on into the modern traditions of Christ’s Mass, and the liturgical choice to place Christ’s birth on 25 December seems to have been a direct attempt to displace the pagan celebrations of Saturn occurring close to the same time (17-23 December). It’s a little more complicated than that, of course — for instance, 25 December was actually the feast of Sol Invictus (the unconquered sun) in Rome, and it was more likely this day the early Church chose to supplant."

https://abeautifulresistance.org/site/2019/12/20/the-chthonic-king-of-christmas

Posted by: Russ | Dec 24 2019 21:30 utc | 29

December the 25th was, I believe, the Christian Church appropriating the midwinter norse holiday of Yule (and of Yule Log fame).
When asked about his favourite nativity character, the young lad answered "The Wise Men" because, he explained, they were the ones that brought presents!

Posted by: Kaiama | Dec 24 2019 21:32 utc | 30

Good Twilight Zone episodes for the holidays:
- Night of the Meek
- The Changing of the Guard

Posted by: miss you,Rod Serling | Dec 24 2019 21:36 utc | 31

Merry Xmas b and thank you for inspiring, enraging and informing us. Merry Xmas to all barflies, may you keep your minds sharp and you research wide.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 24 2019 22:03 utc | 32

Thank you for the #realnews and analysis you do here Bernhard. Merry Christmas!

Posted by: fairleft | Dec 24 2019 22:17 utc | 33

Some may want to delve into what were known/called Mystery Religions as they have a very intimate connection with the early Christian Church. Then there's Mithra and its connection to Zoroastrianism and the further development of monotheism. There's a 2000 year old debate about the existence or not of an "historical Christ," an actual mortal human that is referenced in the Dead Sea Scrolls, gave the sermon noted in Leviticus 25, and did indeed try to gain the salvation of his people through an odd radical/conservative attempt to reestablish the primacy of Mosaic Law and its Jubilee Year (conservative) while purging Judaism of its heretical rabbis and collaborators with Rome's enslavement of God's People the Pharisees (radical). This entire issue has been my longest historical examination as it began when I attended Sunday School as a preteen and is finally beginning to make sense as I read … and forgive them their debts. The key documents--it's now assumed all have now been recovered/found--are the Dead Sea Scrolls and similar Gnostic scrolls that survived at the Library of Alexandria, and presumably existed at other contemporary libraries like the one at Ephesus. Perhaps one of the most important facts I learned from my history profs is that the three main figures in the Abrahamic Religions--Moses, Jesus, Muhammad--were all social reformers who wanted to free the common people from the bondage of wealthy oligarchies--actual history that's been flushed down the memory hole by the institutions that stole their names to enrich themselves. That brings us to the penultimate question: Is there a God/Goddess or just Nature? Metaphysics is supposed to tackle that but we see no learned debate, only commercial come-ons.

We couldn't teach religions in school aside from providing students with their historical context or studying them in comparison to each other--and even those could get you, the teacher, into trouble. And for some very entertaining reading in cultural anthropology, I suggest Eden in the East, which would make a great gift for the curious on your list. Something else I suggest reading and/or viewing is Joseph Campbell's The Masks of God series of 4 volumes or watch the interview series The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers as interlocutor. I'd be remiss not to mention The Hero With a Thousand Faces that Lucas used as the basis for his Star Wars.

Gosh, after writing all that I forgot to wish everyone a belated Solstice and an excellent beginning of the New Year!

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2019 22:23 utc | 34

Oops, omitted the word "by" here--should read, "People by the Pharisees"

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2019 22:27 utc | 35

Dear Bernard, Merry Christmas ans Happy New Year to you and yours. And thank you for your work.

Posted by: bob sykes | Dec 24 2019 22:48 utc | 36

b offered with hope:


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.

But the bad guys are way ahead of us and indoctrinating the children.
The MSM is now casting their evil spell in the classroom
Kids are to come out of school trusting the MSM.

Indoctrination

News Literacy Project

https://newslit.org/about/media-partners/


Media organizations and journalists are essential partners in the News Literacy Project’s work to help young people confidently navigate today’s challenging information landscape and become responsible digital citizens.

More than 30 news organizations across the United States, from local outlets to internationally known print and digital publications, support NLP. They participate in our work in a variety of ways: by publicly endorsing our mission, hosting or helping to lead our NewsLitCamp® sessions for educators, or donating services or resources. Individual journalists share their expertise through speaking engagements, as the hosts of lessons in our Checkology® virtual classroom, and by joining dozens of fellow journalists as volunteers in our Newsroom to Classroom program.

Merry Christmas to all y'all

Posted by: librul | Dec 24 2019 22:58 utc | 37

Many thanks to B for excellent reporting again this year – and may there be many more years to come.

Season's Greetings to all readers. May we all be blessed with a peaceful, healthy, and prosperous 2020.

Posted by: Carrie | Dec 24 2019 23:06 utc | 38

VK @ 20: Ancient Greek religion itself was a synthesis of many different cultural traditions and beliefs drawn from Anatolia, the Middle East and northern Africa (Egypt, coastal Libya) all welded together to a basic Indo-European core centred around a father sky god figure (that became Zeus) over hundreds of years. We can see this in the origins of some of the Greek gods: Aphrodite is partly based on Anatolian and Mesopotamian gods like Cybele and Astarte; and Athena and Artemis likewise may be based on Anatolian or other gods as their respective alter-egos in Pallas and Britomartis suggest.

This is not so very surprising when you consider that southeastern Europe, Anatolia, the Levant and Egypt have always been a crossroads for various cultures, cultural narratives and traditions accompanying and paralleling trade networks and political conquest going back and forth through thesr areas. Sooner or later the cultures of these areas come to share features in common - but at the same time they will continue to have their own regional and local features.

In the areas that were part of the Hellenic sphere, everyone worshipped Zeus as the patriarch of a family of gods and other minor godlings (and various royal families that claimed him as an ancestor) but probably no two places worshipped Zeus in the same way. In some places, Zeus was important as a god of fertility and in others he was important as a god of supreme justice, and in others still, one or other of his many functions was important either singly or in combination with any of these functions.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 24 2019 23:37 utc | 39

Celebrating Christmas in Aleppo(even if it might be from last year)

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 24 2019 23:38 utc | 40


Many thanks, B, for your work. It's needed, it's appreciated.

Many thanks as well to the outspoken barflies, who are (in most cases) knowledgeable, open-minded and engaging.

As for putting Jesus in or taking him out of Christmas and all that follows one way or another, I have finally in old age turned to Wm James's The Varieties of Religious Experience. So far, it's well worth the time.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Posted by: Jay-Ottawa | Dec 25 2019 1:04 utc | 41

Though I don't always agree with your take on things I do have to give you credit for letting everyone have their say here and most of all for posting corrections when you see you were wrong on something.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year B, and thank you.

Posted by: Nothing | Dec 25 2019 1:23 utc | 42

Feliz natal to everyone.

Posted by: Zico the Musketeer | Dec 25 2019 1:34 utc | 43

it is a relief to see that the winter solstice is mentioned in many websites (message boards, blogs). Quite often people wish others 'happy winter solstice' instead of 'happy christmas', or both. I wasn't aware of that because I didn't follow the internet that much. It is a sign that it has become well known that christianity has borrowed a lot from ancient (older than christianity) traditions, including building cathedrals and churches on old pagan sites. I find this good because it directs us to the original source. Similar to how we sensed the world when we were a child, with direct access, and without intellectual concepts.

The winter solstice is a wonderful time. Every moment in time is wonderful, but in the northern hemisphere it is more dark, allowing more time for introspection and quietness.

---

There are lots of interesting thoughts presented here, so let me thank you all here (which is very rare). Bernhard has a way of saying things which is exceptional (which is also rare, although less rare of course). Also thanks for the links to music. I love some lyrical religious music, especially traditional chants. Polyphonic chants are some of the most precious music humans have created, or, have been inspired to sing. The human voice is the best instrument available. While built instruments are one of the best inventions of humanity.

Speaking of music, I find the works of Arvo Pärt, a contemporary composer, rather interesting. I wanted to post a link to some of his works, inspired by the links to music of the Russian Orthodox Church, which I admire. But I didn't really feel the sound of the performance in YT links, despite excellent audio card and reference monitors. It's better to get a Compact Disk from the music store.

Posted by: Phil | Dec 25 2019 1:48 utc | 44

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

Bernhard

And to you and your family as well...

Posted by: V | Dec 25 2019 2:38 utc | 45

season's greetings Bernhard n all,
not a big supporter of xmas meself, altho it does provide an excuse to catch up with many of the humans I most care about, it gets more difficult each year that passes to discern genuine feelings beneath the forced bonhomie expressed at this time each year out in the world.
Not that people have got any worse, just the forces oppressing most of us make it tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so most of us turn inwards to those closest to us personally a little more each year.
I get to whine about the pretentiousness of current consumerist culture. Most of my guests are aware I've started drinking spirits (specifically scotch) once more and many have turned up with bottles of (imo) yuk 'single malt' which to my jaded palette all suffer from some ugly and overwhelming taste.
I've just had a hit of one called Lagavulin at a de facto son in laws insistence. I'm not kidding it tasted like what I imagine those blocks of whatever cleaners put in public urinals taste like.
They think I'm being polite when I say "just a scotch blended is fine, even Teachers in a pinch".

Yep first world problems which pale into insignificance if you read something like this article. It is about how all the xtians who have been living in occupied Palestine since the crusades or maybe earlier, have been driven outta their homes by the zionists. The old churches are getting sold to xtian zionists from amerikan churches who can then have their extra special hugely expensive, only for major tithers, xmas service in 'real olde Bethlehem'. arseholes.

I took the article to show a bloke in the next valley over, he's some sorta senior god botherer in one of the evangelical mobs that pull these stunts. He claims to be anti zionist but didn't seem to be interested in passing stuff on the truth about occupied Palestine's xtians around his fellow travellers.
This is typical - not of just xtians, but all humans cowering within their particular belief set desperate to avoid anything which could call their beliefs into question.
Hmm didn't mean to be a downer, the disinfectant taste has abated so I better get back into the 'get together' eh.

Posted by: A User | Dec 25 2019 3:19 utc | 46

it's alright.

Posted by: Phil | Dec 25 2019 4:06 utc | 47

@ A User #45

I've just had a hit of one called Lagavulin at a de facto son in laws insistence. I'm not kidding it tasted like what I imagine those blocks of whatever cleaners put in public urinals taste like. They think I'm being polite when I say "just a scotch blended is fine, even Teachers in a pinch"

Lagavulin is one of the Islay whisky's, where they dry the malt on a peat fire. This adds smoke to the flavor. Many Scotch whisky's add some smoke to it but the Islays more than others. People who smoke tend to like it, but as a non-smoker I prefer Irish Whiskey. Note the difference in spelling as the Irish write it. They prefer not to spoil a perfect whiskey with smoke and as a result it usually tastes smoother than Scotch, certainly not like a urinal cake. Redbreast is my favorite. Bushmills is good too, but even the cheap Paddy or Jameson will do.

Posted by: Joost | Dec 25 2019 8:36 utc | 48

Good Yule to You *b* !
:) X-

addendum:
Looking at the photo reminds me of the phrase, "We are All Palestinians now".
And,
considering Jesus Christus is highly likely a allegorical character created by the Flavian Caesars, written by Josephus(Flavius) & his pharisee-friends well, topologically-speaking, I prefer the Nordic pagan traditional aspects of the Winter Solstice celebration.
And,
on a lighter note, a joke:
"Why couldn't Jesus have been born in Jerusalem? Well Josephus(Flavius) knew it was impossible to find 3 wise men and a virgin there, so he chose Bethlehem instead."

Posted by: Veritas X- | Dec 25 2019 8:39 utc | 49

respect...

Posted by: lotsofnoise | Dec 25 2019 9:09 utc | 50

@ Joost | Dec 25 2019 8:36 utc | 47
Thanks I did know a bit of that, however I prefer my scotch to have a few subtle flavours rather than one overwhelming taste which is what I taste in Lagavulin and other single malts. Granted Lagavulin is an extreme example. For me Ballantines whisky is fine - it has one loud malt accompanied by a number of other quieter malt whiskeys. That is just me; and let's face it the entire debate about the flavour of the particular form of ethanol one chooses to toxify oneself with is a bit pouncy.

Yeah yeah, some taste much better than others, depending on individual preference, but I do not support that idea of some scotch whisky being determined to be so much 'better' than others and therefore commanding a price of like 10x more, when the same amount of labour and care has been invested in them all.

As far as Irish whiskey goes that is a different bird. Years ago I had a coupla good mates - proddy alumni of Trinity, Dublin, who swore by Shirley Bassey (Bushmill's Black label) as being the nectar of the emerald isle.
I knew nothing until years later I took a bottle of Bushmills to a party hosted by some Irish mates who quietly took me aside and said there was a reason that standard bushmills has an orange label (back then, now it is gold & white), as a product of Antrim, it is the drink of protestants especially ulstermen, Jameson is the drink of 'true' Irishmen they said. Fucked if I know.

For me, who is equal parts Orkney Scot and west country Irish ancestry along with a coupla other heritages, I will pick the drink that I like best. At the moment that is a good blended scotch. I will never drink an english gin or an amerikan 'whiskey' of any ilk however.

Posted by: A User | Dec 25 2019 9:10 utc | 51

Many thanks to B for all his hard work and insightful commentary and a Merry Christmas to all...

If you don’t know, learn.

If you do know, teach.

If you break something, fix it.

If you make a mess, clear it up.

If you’re shown kindness, show kindness.

If you’re wealthy, give back.

If you have a talent, use it.

If you doubt, investigate.

If someone tells you what to think, decide for yourself.

If someone tells you that you can’t do something, do it.

If you’re loved, love back.

If you’re hated, ignore it....

https://richardhennerley.com/2019/12/25/some-christmas-thoughts/

Posted by: Richard | Dec 25 2019 9:25 utc | 52

Veritas X- | Dec 25 2019 8:39 utc | 48

You may find John M. Allegro's book; The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, of interest.
He was the only secular scholar allowed access to the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1954 (if memory serves on the date). I had found and purchased a 1st addition hardcover.
The book is quite a daunting read (very thoroughly researched) for those not detail oriented; I found it difficult, but a must read for the serious academic of the true history of the Christ. Fascinating to say the least...

Posted by: V | Dec 25 2019 9:41 utc | 53

Christmas greetings to B and all Barflies. Collective intelligence and wit beats MSM lies and other ....
May there be a bit peace this coming year.

Posted by: Eric Bloodaxe | Dec 25 2019 10:51 utc | 54

grab your partner,

It's Christmas Time,

y'all!

Posted by: john | Dec 25 2019 11:54 utc | 55

re: V | Dec 25 2019 9:41 utc @ 52

Not to be considered a *spoilsport* and raised as a Christian, I'd like to wish You- *V*, a very Merry Christmas.
Yes.
The journey is long for us american 'ex-pats'.
Understanding that We have been deceived from birth is a rude awakening.
So.
Good Cheer to You as well. :)

Thanks for the suggested reading.
I'll put in on my list of possible future reads.

Regarding older books and Christianity, I actually have a 1948 hardcover edition of the Rev. J.W. Morgan's book from 1860
*St. Paul In Britain The Origin of British Christianity* on it's way at this very moment from New South Wales Australia. I heard the documentation of the *Druidic Culture* was excellent out of a historical perspective.
This was the primary reason to get this book.
The secondary reason was of course, the 'historical discrepancy' between the *Glastonbury*-connection vs the Roman catholic-version from a few hundred years later.

My question is, "what's the Truth?".
(cough-cough), veritas anyone?
:)

From the current publisher:

"That St. Paul planted Christianity in the British Isles over five centuries before the arrival of St. Augustine is well-documented from little known sources by the Rev. R. W. Morgan in 1860. His research determined that Christianity was first introduced into Britain by Joseph of Arimathea around 36-39 A.D.; followed by the apostle Simon Zelotes; then by Aristobulus the first bishop of the Britons; then by St. Paul.

It's first converts were members of the royal family of Siluria...that is Gladys the sister of Caradoc, Gladys ( Claudia ) and Eurgen his daughters, Linus his son converted in Britain before they were carried into captivity to Rome; then Caradoc Bran and the rest of the family converted at Rome.

Two of the most rigid Roman Catholics of their period Polydore Vergil in the reign of Henry VII and after him Cardinal Pole ( A.D. 1555 ) affirmed in Parliament that "Britain was the first of all countries to receive the Christian faith."

...Morgan supplies historical facts that support the claim of the early arrival in Britain following the crucifixion of Christ of Joseph of Arimathea and his company including Lazarus Mary Martha Marcella and Maximin. They came at the invitation of certain high ranking Druids from Marseilles into Britain around 38 - 39 A.D. building the first church on the Isle of Avalon...."
https://www.artisanpublishers.com/paul-britain-origin-british-christianity-p-25571.html

...I can go on and on and on with the unfortunate 'false narrative' we human beings have been feed throughout the ages.
Looks like Christianity falls into that category as well.
Enjoy the rest of the day now *V*.
X-

Posted by: Veritas X- | Dec 25 2019 12:21 utc | 56

.
@BM | Dec 24 2019 17:32 utc | 5
.
Dear BM, You pose this question:
.
"I an interested in this claim. I always understood the difference between eastern and western Christmas dates was just due to errors/interpretations/corrections in date calculation?"
,
. The answer is that the Eastern Orthodox Church still retain the Julian calendar of the Caesars, which has not provided for the fact that you need put in more than just an extra day just each fourth year. So pope Gregor made corrections for this with his Gregorian calendar. This was in the years of the Lutheran/Calvinist Reformation, and it took many years before the Protestant states of Northwestern Europe followed suit. The Eastern Orthodox Churces have for ideological reasons never axcepted this innovation because it originated from the bishop of Rome (the "Pope"), although the secular establishments have adopted this calendar for practical purposes all over The World by now.
.
As for "Also doesn't the date of the solstice change every year with the discrepancy between solar and lunar calenars?", this is simply not the case with a solar calendar. (It would be a contradiction in terms.) Lunar calendars follow the ebbs and flows og the moon, and hath thus no bearing of solistices or any other of the affairs of the Sun.
.
"Ewig schön ist nor die Sonne -- und nur sie ist ewig jung" -- Göthe .

So goes now this Yuletide Cheer -- such as I drink to my fashon!

Ch'iew T'ao-Leh (秋涛乐)

Posted by: 丘不如/Qiū Bù'rú | Dec 25 2019 12:46 utc | 57

... and to you too, B. Our days will get shorter down here now, but lit with the fires of Global Heating, brewed by the profiteers who've been tireless in hiding its effects. No longer to be hidden. Sorry... wrong sentiment here, but its ferocity here has consumed most of us. Complacent Australians are starting to look around.
Enjoy your time with family; 2020 will be quite a year, am sure.

Posted by: PaulH | Dec 25 2019 12:52 utc | 58

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May hope and Light always be renewed.

Posted by: Joshua | Dec 25 2019 13:07 utc | 59

As an afterthought to all talk of Nativity: All along the littoral of the Med, the growing season goes from late Fall and until the harvesting of grains in Spring. So the low lands of Magna Graecia, Athika, Sparta/Kalamata, and Eboya ere very verdant around Yule, whilst Thebes and North Macedonia were freezing. Likewise tha coastlands of the Philistines and lower Galilee real nice in Winter, and only the high places (Lebanon, Judea, Al Quds al-Sharif and Bethlehem were wet and cold. I remember how my family joined in with Russian Olim hadas Jews to drive to Bethlehem's two Christian Butchers' shops for pork chops and ribs to satisfy their Slavic soles' yearning for something good to be the bed for their downing of vodka and Lebanese royal raki spirits. But the only thing to go down well in the Yule here in the seventh climate between bouts of Glühwein will remain Calvados shots interspersed with Linje Akkevitt -- Aqua vita in oak barrels that have crossed The Line with Norse ships, sailed to Australia and come back to Vinmonopolet(Oslo)/Systembolaget(Stockhom) and Finnish state monopoly Alki a year later for midwinter celebratins of returning Sun.

Posted by: JoveBove/區司 | Dec 25 2019 13:49 utc | 60

Bad typo: Souls -- not soles - nor soals!
- 'Maxima mea "gulpa"!' -

Posted by: JoveBove/區司 | Dec 25 2019 14:07 utc | 61

Merry Christmas to all!

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Dec 25 2019 14:34 utc | 62

Hope you & your family have a lovely holiday Bernhard... thanks for the provocative image...

Posted by: Rael Nidess | Dec 25 2019 15:09 utc | 63

Merry Christmas to all..

The Royal Family went to a church service at Sandringham. Look closely and you can see Prince Andrew behind an Israeli flag.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-50908038

Posted by: dh | Dec 25 2019 15:43 utc | 64

as a religious agnostic i mostly appreciate how everything slows down, the commercial frenzy is suspended for one day. as a whiskey agnostic i like crown royal.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 25 2019 16:23 utc | 65

Merry Christmas to all here.

Christmas Eve Propaganda from PBS Newshour
Last night, I watched Trading Places for a Christmas movie and then turned to the digital broadcast realm before turning in.
I caught a few minutes of PBS Newshour and a segment on Idlib. I was about to change channels when they mentioned Mesurier and the White Helmets. They could not resist pushing the usual agenda. After a brief history of his initial training, they abruptly switched to RT with Vanessa Beeley. They ran her accusations of organ trafficking to portray her as a conspiracy theorist. David Miller of the Syrian Working Group was interviewed only to be denigrated for suggesting the chemical attack accusations were false or staged.


Mysterious death of White Helmets co-founder spotlights toxic propaganda

Posted by: Curtis | Dec 25 2019 17:10 utc | 66

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2019 22:23 utc | 34

Your link to Eden in the East does indeed look interesting. Give us some more information in a current thread once you've read it!

Numerous ancient myths in Southeast Asia talk of an ancient great flood, as the origin of their cultures.

Posted by: BM | Dec 25 2019 17:18 utc | 67

The belief that a cosmic jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...
----Yeah,makes perfect sense.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Dec 25 2019 17:27 utc | 68

>I caught a few minutes of PBS Newshour and a segment on Idlib.
>I was about to change channels when they mentioned Mesurier
>and the White Helmets. They could not resist pushing the usual agenda.
>Posted by: Curtis | Dec 25 2019 17:10 utc | 66

I saw that story. It looked to me that they are trying to dismiss the OPCW fraud while trying to discuss it as little as possible. I noticed they didn't mention recent reports of three White Helmet Headchoppers blowing themselves up while transporting explosives in a --wait for it-- ambulance.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Dec 25 2019 17:33 utc | 69

Best news website on the net thank you B..Great year, Merry Christmas
A friend an I made our annual Christmas eve tour of my southern USA town (400K) we checked our list of 300 homes as we do each year, since 1965. This year fewer than 3% of the homes had outdoor decorations this reflects a definite change in the attitude of my home town.. as last year it was about 38%.. Maybe barflies could make such a round of their town and report to the bar if such a decline seems noticeable?

on a different note look at this
gas for xmas

Posted by: snake | Dec 25 2019 18:17 utc | 70

i was just thinking about that last night, snake. it seems like a significantly smaller percentage of homes have even christmas lights. i didn't see any of the super gaudy light show status displays either, though i'm sure there still are such. locally we get the "benefits" of privatized electricity, so the costs of such displays must have greatly increased.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 25 2019 18:26 utc | 71

Merry Christmas to all!

I celebrate Jul (jool, wheel) on December 21. This marks the turning of the Sun, back up on the sky in the new year.
Christmas and New Years are both derivatives or substitutes of this. We are the Norse, the native Nordics, and this is our culture.

Posted by: Alexander Grimsmo | Dec 25 2019 18:41 utc | 72

Saw on the tv this Christmas morning

Putin says Russia only country with super sonic weapons.

Amazing how they pull things out of context and pick the right moment to post them.

Translation---

Merry Christmas from Russia.

Posted by: arby | Dec 25 2019 18:47 utc | 73

Happy and wonderful season to all the MoA community, with the hope that more of humanity can actually live what they profess to believe...

Posted by: ben | Dec 25 2019 20:21 utc | 74

Late to the thread.. here in Morocco not much Xmas spirit around but well wishes to all MoAites :)

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 25 2019 21:30 utc | 75

The same to you all, but do not forget, contemplate also this...

France, the country were there is yet class conscience, on strike against demolition of pension system...qué poco dura la alegría en la casa del pobre....

The French working class, whatever their condition, is mobilized and continues its pulse against Macron and pension reform. The workers of the Paris Opera were in the street yesterday. Merry Christmas. #greve25decembre


The Paris Opera's ballet dancers are on strike against austerity

Happy birthday comrade Jesus!

And, eventhough, this is a time for peace and love...do not forget there are some people who only love themselves and do not deserve your love...or tolerance badly understood...in the past working peers have it totally clear...

Don´t be a scab... NYC between 1915 y 1920.

Greetings to all workers who will not be with their family today. To those who have lost their job. A hug to all who are on strike today and my full support to the French working class in their struggle. Let's not despair, victory is near. #Happy Holidays

But what happens with these people, the precariat, and how they arrived in this situation of patron assisted suicide?

Alimerka workers struggle to reach € 14,000 a year and so that the mandatory 20-minute rest is counted as work and does not have to be recovered.
Meanwhile, other workers who are in those same precarious conditions ...
Great goal of capitalism


Posted by: Sasha | Dec 25 2019 21:35 utc | 76

Merry Christmas b.

Posted by: masoud | Dec 25 2019 22:01 utc | 77

Merry Christmas, b, and thanks for all you do.

Posted by: nihil obstet | Dec 25 2019 22:06 utc | 78

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 25 2019 21:35 utc | 76
do not forget there are some people who only love themselves and do not deserve your love

Everybody deserves love. Especially those who only look for themselves. They need it most, because they don't know what love is, because they possibly never felt anything like love.

Love is without condition. If there are conditions, it is not love.

Send love to those you hate. Give love to all your enemies in your private life, to your enemies that you know from the media. You will see miracles happening. Real miracles. Then you will have understood the power of love. And you become free like an innocent child.

Posted by: Phil | Dec 25 2019 22:51 utc | 79

Wonderful says it all!!!

Like every Christmas I visit my larger family and enjoy to cook for them.

My parents were war refugees. Long story. But no cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents etc. No family.

But after decades, my edgy and sorta crazy comment on family: "Family may treat you like shit, but without a family you are shit."

Good holidays to your and your family. Hey, what did you cook?

Posted by: Erelis | Dec 25 2019 23:27 utc | 80

Good Yule Bernhard and all :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 25 2019 23:30 utc | 81

Merry Christmas! Thank you for hosting, b.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 26 2019 0:21 utc | 82

Happy Holidays.
2020 will be interesting.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 26 2019 0:34 utc | 83

Random winter trivia:
The "terrible winter in Valley Forge" (1777) was actually considered a mild one for that era.
The 1770s were right in the middle of the Little Ice Age; had Washington wanted to cross the Delaware in 1778 instead of 1776 - he might have been able to walk across because both New York and Boston harbors froze solid that year.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 26 2019 0:41 utc | 84

Christianity did not "evolve." That statement is an insult to God, both Father and Son plus the Holy Spirit.

Posted by: Tony B. | Dec 26 2019 0:45 utc | 85

V | Dec 25 2019 9:41 utc @ 52

Not to be considered a *spoilsport* and raised as a Christian, I'd like to wish You- *V*, a very Merry Christmas.
Yes.
The journey is long for us american 'ex-pats'.
Understanding that We have been deceived from birth is a rude awakening.
So.
Good Cheer to You as well. :)

Well, and a very merry Christmas and good cheer to you also.
More than just a matter of semantics; I consider myself as self exiled rather than an expat.
I swore I'd leave if Bush used his lies to attack Iraq; he did.
And so did I 8 weeks later...
From my early 20's I've studied comparative religions and have always found it fascinating and a window into various cultures.
And I agree that unravelling a life time of lies through "education" is an arduous, but very rewarding pursuit.
Best to your coming new year...

Posted by: V | Dec 26 2019 2:24 utc | 86

as far as know, christianity hasn't burned anybody for being a witch, nor drowned them, in some time; otoh, christians sure have started a lot of recent wars, or police actions, or whatever they are called technically since the u.s. never bothers to meet the requirements of its own constitution for going to war.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 26 2019 2:37 utc | 87

It would be simply great if everyone treated each day like xmas as opposed to treating people better on this and only this date. Sad really.

Posted by: Tonymike | Dec 26 2019 2:39 utc | 88

snake #70

Yep the lights are going out at Xmas. The stars are just as magnificent, even better in the highlands.
Maintain the rage all.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 26 2019 3:43 utc | 89

merry christmas b and barfly crew. w/love

Posted by: annie | Dec 26 2019 5:38 utc | 90

I posted a comment on 24th which disappeared in the spam filter. Eventually it might appear about #66 before my Posted by: BM | Dec 25 2019 17:18 utc | 67. Since there might be quite a few days before it will be released, I'll try and post it again here (edited suitably, hopefully):

Thanks to VK, Alexander P and Seamus Pedrag and others for responses concerning the date question.

Nobody really kept track of the history of individuals when they were kids. Mortality in the Ancient world was extremely high
...
So, surprise would be if the apostoles knew the exact year Jesus was born, not if they didn't, this is specially the case since Jesus was a lower class person.
Posted by: vk | Dec 24 2019 20:07 utc | 21

There is reason to believe Jesus belonged to the Essenes. The so-called "missing years" of Jesus' youth on which the bible is silent are documented in great detail by many ancient Buddhist documents, especially Tibetan and Kashmiri manuscripts, but I believe there are also Mahayana manuscripts. The documents detail Jesus' entire journey through India, including details of all the Buddhist temples where he stayed. I would imagine there would almost certainly be references to his birth date and year (almost certainly relative to the reigns of Indian Kings).

There is an interesting connection between the Essenes and the Buddhists. The most detailed description of the Essenes by Roman historians is striking in it's similarity (with just a very few notable differences) to the ideal of the Buddhist monk. Roman records stated that there was a thriving community of Essenes in Alexandria 100 years before Christ. About 90 years earlier there was a Buddhist monk sent to India by King Asoka to spread the Buddha's teachings, and it is plausible that there could have been the development of a stable and well-established community of practicioners within that period. I suspect the Essenes were a quasi Buddhist sect resulting from the conversion of Alexandrian j_ws to the Buddhist teachings, and with the retention of some of their j_wish beliefs and practices, following the Buddhist monk sent to Alexandria by Asoka.

The act of conception of Mary was probably planned by the Essenes in advance as an important religious rite, and therefore the resulting progeny would by definition be expected to be important and highly auspicious, even before birth. Hence the three wise men bearing gifts, who of course would be elders of the Essenes and who would therefore know in advance of the anticipated birth and of the parents and step father, and give great honour to the newborn.

Karlof1 mentioned the dead sea scrolls, I am told that these contain many references to the benefits of solitary meditation - which has been subsequently de-emphasised by the Church - and in this and other respects the parallels of the Dead Sea scrolls to the Buddhist teachings are very much greater than the modern bible. Also much more emphasis on reducing the ego, and reducing attachments.

Posted by: BM | Dec 26 2019 13:10 utc | 91

@ Posted by: BM | Dec 26 2019 13:10 utc | 91

No. The only accepted documentation of Jesus by serious historians nowadays are all in the New Testament (the Gospels and some other texts).

To state Jesus' youth years are well documented in written form is to assume his contemporaries knew, from the moment of his birth, that he was the Chose One. That would imply human beings having the superpower of predicting the future. Since that would be a biological absurdity, we know for sure Jesus' youth was 100% undocumented.

There is a lot of evidence most of the New Testament is fabricated. The reason for this is that the people who wrote the texts that later made the Bible did not do so with the objective of documenting the historical truth, but to send a religious-philosophical message.

Very few historical "facts" can be inferred from Jesus' life as described in the New Testament: he was probably baptized, he was very likely crucified, he was a Jew, he was a prophet, he most certainly spoke Aramaic (mother tongue) and maybe a little bit Latin, he was possibly low class, but not the lowest class, and he was probably an apocaliptic prophet and he most likely never travelled outside Judaea. Of all these historical "facts", his crucifixion is the single event that proves his existence (by Ancient History standards).

Another very important thing: Jesus' "Christianism" was for sure very different from the Christianism that was immediately popularized in the Roman Empire. Jesus' original Christianism was probably pretty much an apocaliptic Jewish cult (as we can infer from the very scarce Roman sources from the time). The "institutionalized" Christianism we know today (with the Church and everything else) was Paul's invention. The other, more complex institutions (the Church's hierarchy), were born centuries after Jesus' death, and were clearly a copy of the Roman State institutions.

In other words, even Catholicism/Orthodoxism is a completely different religion from the Jesus' original cult. Jesus never stated his religion should have a church - that is another revisionism done by the apostles who wrote the New Testament. No need to say that the newer forms of Christianism (protestantism) are also completely different from Jesus' original cult.

Posted by: vk | Dec 26 2019 13:58 utc | 92

i wonder what jesus would think of the prosperity gospel (assuming he ever existed).

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 26 2019 15:01 utc | 93

For Christmas day, my mother (88) wanted to see the Richard Jewell movie. After the movie, I pointed out how his lawyer character kept telling him not to talk to anybody. And there is an internet video out there where a lawyer gives the same advice. It's not that 100% of law enforcement is bad; it's that you don't know who you can trust and who will twist and use any statement that you make. Then I related about the PBS Newshour story and the White Helmets propaganda outfit. It's all I can do to point out the media's BS like the Kentucky gun range video being used by ABC. (We never got the results of their internal investigation on how this happened.)

Posted by: Curtis | Dec 26 2019 15:21 utc | 94

@79 phil

You are right, Phil. I am reminded what Jesus said on the cross, "They know not what they do, so forgive them."

If Jesus is the logos, and you are ignorant of this, then of course your sin would be in ignorance. And, to put it plainly, you can not renounce the logos. Thus, all sin is done of ignorance. Even the sin of holding onto hatred for the other.

Another thing: Ludwig Wittgenstein famously responded to Sartre's famous line, "Hell is other people," with the childlike retort, and correct one, "Hell is not other people. Hell is yourself."

Thank the Lord for his earthly sacrafice so we would know exactly what Wittgenstein means; and thank goodness I threw off the shackles of a bitter heart.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 26 2019 15:38 utc | 95

@vk 92

This coming from a man who knows that Christianity is a mere obstacle to their material and demonic dialectic of world governance.

You know nothing of Christ, and i will continue to pray for you, but refuse to sit idly by as you attempt to poison His most sacred waters.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 26 2019 15:45 utc | 96

@68 Duncan

"When the foolish man hears of the way, he laughs out loud."

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 26 2019 16:03 utc | 97

@ Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 26 2019 15:45 utc | 96

As I've said, I'm talking about the historical Jesus. The teological Jesus is an object for the religious people.

However, modern Christians should not feed themselves the illusion they are following the historical Jesus' teachings. Jesus was, very likely, an apocalyptic Jewish prophet.

That Christianism was born as essentially a modified form of Judaism is no surprise: the same phenomenon happened with Islam, where Muhammad was essentially a Jewish prophet who adapted the religion to the class interests of the merchants of Mecca. It was only many centuries later that Islam gained the institutional form we can recognize today.

There is circumstancial evidence the original Christians really were an apocalyptic cult (inferrence from Roman sources, plus the pattern of fabrication of Jesus' speeches in the New Testament). It only evolved to the State-like institutional machine when it begun to be assimilated by the Roman Empire upper classes.

Posted by: vk | Dec 26 2019 16:04 utc | 98

@98 vk

Paul Verhoeven wrote a book called Jesus of Nazareth and he basically is guided by the same spirit as you are when looking at Christ.

Obsessed with his bowel movements as Jesus travelled amidst squallid conditions with his disciples.

Well, as I have mentioned, I have Crohn's disease, so if you would like to know about my bowel movements, I would be very happy to clue you in.

As it stands, I believe my contribution to thought, culture, and religion, is more apropos when talking about a man's spirit.

I want to know about the Son of God. Not a garden-variety cultist. And yes, us Catholics know we are cultists, so you assigning this terminology is supposed to denigrate our legitimacy how?

You see the trees and not the forest. Shame you can not ditch your compartmentalizing of Jesus' life to further deemphasize the more important side to his. You are missing out.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 26 2019 16:22 utc | 99

@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 26 2019 16:22 utc | 99

I'm not being pejorative. "Cult" is the scientifically precise name to designate many of the religions of Antiquity.

Everybody has the right to invent whatever narrative to sleep well at night. All that I'm saying is that today's Christianism has nothing to do with the Christianism Jesus Christ himself taught in his time. Christianism evolved with time, according to the class interests of its cultists across the ages. The same is true for any other religion.

The fact that Christianism was essentially preached in written form plays against it in this case, since historians can dismantle their narrative with more ease than with the religions that are only oral. You get the highlights, you also expose more of your details and imperfections.

There are a lot of holes in the History of Christianism, but one thing is certain: if Jesus was reborn today, he certainly would not recognize the religion attributed to him.

Posted by: vk | Dec 26 2019 16:49 utc | 100

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