The real meaning of Christmas, exposed

 

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Photos of oil on water by Christopher Cudworth 2017

On Christmas Eve the Christian world fills with anticipation as one of its high holy days is about to arrive. Millions will attend church to celebrate Christmas Day, the traditional time affixed to the birth of Yeshua, or Jesus.

Yet we now recognize the Christmas season as we know it is a fabrication. The most ardent biblical literalists are the ones that have exposed the ruse, and confessed. The website Answers In Genesis fashions itself a key defender of all things “inerrant and true” about the Bible, and even it has grave doubts about the time of year in which we celebrate Christmas.

After careful scriptural exegesis of the Jewish calendar and its documentation of the time of year in which John the Baptist was born, Answers In Genesis says:

“This would have put John the Baptist at about six months in the womb around August/September. Assuming about nine months for pregnancy, John would have been born about November/December by the modern calendar based on the assumptions we used.

If the Holy Spirit did come upon Mary in the sixth month (Elul) or around August/September, as it seems to indicate in Scripture, then Jesus should have been born about nine months later, which would place His birth around May/June. Since John the Baptist was still in the womb of Elizabeth when he leapt for joy in Jesus’ presence (Luke 1:39-42), this means that the conception had to take place within the next three months or so of the visit by Gabriel—before John was born. Regardless, by this reckoning, the birth of Christ isn’t even close to Christmas on the modern calendar.”

Answers In Genesis is not alone in this correction of supposed history, but this example makes the point that harsher cynics have long claimed: Christmas is an invention of religion designed to serve a specific purpose. The narrative of Jesus born in Bethlehem was cobbled together by a series of Gospel writers who either copied one another or chose a different emphasis depending on how they viewed the Christ story.

The Nativity with the animals gathered around and Wise Men attending is also manufactured for the purpose of giving the Christmas story a focus. People need that. It helps them pass along the Christmas tale to new generations. The story of the baby Jesus lying in a manger is appealing to parents sharing the tale with younger generations.

IMG_3794.jpgAnd so it goes. In the modern era, it has become a bit more difficult for Christians to defend the verity and meaning of this story because the season has become perverted by the massive commercial significance of the holiday season. This has not been the fault of the secular world. Many people celebrate Christmas because it’s fun, but that permission has long been granted by the competing tale of Santa Claus bringing gifts to small children and adults alike around the world. Christians have willingly conveyed this myth for over a century now. There is likely no turning back.

The history and popularity of the myth of Santa Claus is irrelevant to the true meaning of Christmas. But it does have a parallel significance in where we are in Christmas traditions today. Some Christians claim that Christmas as a religious holiday is under siege by secular forces who want to ban the words “Merry Christmas” from the cultural lexicon. The so-called “War On Christmas” is preached from the pulpits of Fox News and pasted like butter on the bread of social media for so-called devout Christians to spread the word that Christianity is under attack.

This serves as an important lesson on the real meaning of Christmas. If Christianity truly is under attack, then it is justified in every sense of the word. The holiday as we know it has been whored out to commercial interests just as the Jewish temple was once prostituted by the religious authorities in Jesus’ day. He attacked those authorities first through his words, warning them of their hypocrisy for making rules from scripture and basically charging people admission to the temple of God. Jesus castigated those same authorities as a “brood of vipers” for clinging to this power and lording themselves over others.

Jesus was born into this world to challenge that type of false authority. That baby in the manger was born out of need, not from kingly circumstance. His principle message was preached first by John the Baptist who exemplified the simplicity and virtue of true devotion to God in his call to repentance.

Jesus embraced and carried this message all the way up the chain of culture to the ultimate seats of power. He offended the chief priests and denigrated the scribes for the slavery of soul they imposed upon the rest of society. And when those offended gathered themselves in righteous fury they captured Jesus and delivered him to the Romans with the intent to dispose of the itinerant preacher they considered a blasphemer.

Do you see it now? Jesus was born to expose such charlatans. That is the real meaning of Christmas. And if we were to apply that meaning to the world today, who would those charlatans be? They would be religious authorities sacrificing true devotion to God for access and control of political power. They would be leaders who were unwilling to confess their own lack of virtue, yet who claim to know the true heart of God out of their own bold ego. They would be all those who embrace such leaders and buy into their serpentine logic that trying to act like God equates to being like God.

The characters we know as Adam and Eve fell for that trick once long ago. Christians call it Original Sin, and it resonates through the world to this very day.

So when you find a moment to consider the real meaning of Christmas, consider not how or where Jesus was born, but why. And apply that lesson to all that you do. The world will expose itself one egregious scam at a time.

And you will be blessed for knowing it.

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He’s changed my mind. Why Mitt Romney should be king.

Yes, Mitt Romney has finally changed my mind. After campaigning for what, 4 long years, or maybe 8, he has convinced me that he wants and deserves to be King. Of somewhere at least. We’ll talk about that later.

Clearly, he has all the qualities that the great kings in history have exhibited. He is clear about his convictions, despite the fact that they are prone to change at the drop of a hat.

The red hats of Bartholomew Cubbins vexed the King

In fact, do you remember that Dr. Seuss story Bartholomew Cubbins and the 500 Hats? Bartholomew was a humble kid who showed up at the court of the king and was instructed to remove his hat. But when poor Bartholomew tried to do so, another hat popped up in its place. This happened over and over again.

The king thought Bartholomew was being disrespectful in not removing his hat in the king’s presence. So the king ordered Bartholomew to be taken away and have his hats removed while the scribes kept track of all the hats that came off the head of Bartholomew.

If you think carefully about the core of this story, it is all about the perceived value of social rank and class. After all, does it really matter if one person takes their hat of in the presence of another? Only if we allow social rank to rule our conscience. Yes, in many circles, removing our hat it is a sign of respect. We all take our hats off at church, or when the Pledge of Allegiance is recited or the National Anthem is played. But it’s not that common anymore to remove our hats in the presence of another person. Unless they want to be considered royalty.

But poor Bartholomew had no control over the circumstances of his supposed show of disrespect. He tried desperately to remove his hat(s) before the king, but to no avail.

The king showed little compassion for poor Bartholomew. Rather than take an interest in the process by which the hats kept appearing, as would a scientist, for example, want to know how it works, the king simply grew impatient with Bartholomew and had him hauled off for disobedience and insubordination.

I won’t spoil the ending of the story for you. It’s always fun to dig up and read a little Dr. Seuss on your own. And while you’re at it, give The Lorax a try too.

Was Dr. Seuss a bleeding heart liberal?

But perhaps some people might label Dr. Seuss a liberal for writing a story about the apparent lack of respect Bartholomew Cubbins showed for tradition and authority. Yet that seems to be a common theme in America today. So maybe Dr. Seuss is just out of touch with today’s more sophisticated partisan politics.

But just for fun (in the spirit of Dr. Suess) let’s flip the tale of Bartholomew Cubbins around for a moment, and consider the behavior of the king from a metaphorical perspective. The king, after all, already had all the authority he could ever want on his side. He could do anything he wanted with Bartholomew the moment he saw that the young man could not, or would not, remove his hat before the king. In fact the king could order the executioner to cut off the head of Bartholomew Cubbins if he wanted. Kings have been known to do just that. Or have people tortured in an attempt to get at the truth. The king could have put little Bartholomew on the royal rack and had him stretched like a rope until his bones cracked and his joints popped like water balloons. Kings have done that as well to people over the ages. They have done so in full compliance with the church, in fact. And the church itself with its inquisitions and witch hunts has behaved in royally brutal fashion.

Romney does his angry King impression

Authority when tested gets testy. Hence the angry looks given by certain political personalities when their authority and worldview has been challenged. King Romney cast just such a look during the political debates.

Interestingly, King Romney in a strange, reverse twist seems to have much in common with a certain Bartholomew Cubbins, who could not remove his hats before the king. King Romney, by comparison, seems to take great delight in donning hats for a moment to please his subjects, then casts them off without a thought. He seems to care not whether the hats he dons represent the true nature of his beliefs. They are hats of convenience, suitable for a moment’s impression before his partisan and loyal subjects, or those he seeks to make into peasants for his policies, then thrown away without a thought. These hats are often the products of lies about King Romney’s true intentions. But appears not to care about that. King Romney has one mission and one mission only: That is to attain the status  King, when he can no longer be questions or held accountable to anyone.

His own campaign refuses to allow facts to get in the way of his efforts to be King of America. That is a clear sign of a lack of confidence in the King to be truthful with his targeted subjects. Romney has developed the art of laughing off his critics and fact-checkers to a royal degree. His self-proclaimed attitude toward 47% of America is that they are lazy, unmotivated slackers who have no place in his kingdom.

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

That is the language of a man who wants to be king, the man who literally states that there are 5% or 10% of the population with which he concerns himself, not the 47%.

Oh, sure, he backpedaled that comment later on, in full view of the public. But by then he was an Emperor With No Clothes. Because people saw how the king actually regards his intended subjects, with disregard for their humanity.

Yes, it is possible for a religious man like Romney to lose sight of his own core convictions when tempted with the potential to be king. He may have done great things in his life; rescued a fiscally trouble Olympics, crafted a health care policy based on practicality and compassion, and raised a family with full love and care.

But he has also disowned those very accomplishments, traveling overseas to criticize the London Olympics organizers, while also disowning the very structure of the health care policy that he helped draft in Massachusetts that provided a foundation for Obamacare. As noted, King Romney has also criticized millions of good citizens and family leaders with his disparaging statements about the “47” percent.

For Mitt Romney is a king who would rather knock the hats off people with whom he disagrees rather than consider the reasons they might need or choose to wear a hat in the first place.

King Mitt has clearly labeled the hat of Social Security an “entitlement” when in fact it is an investment-based insurance program. But King Mitt wants to hand over all that government-managed money (in other words: safe) to risky Wall Street Dukes who frittered away half of America’s wealth in the last great financial crash.

Or should we say financial crass? Because that is the plan behind the plan of Mitt Romney. Crass strategies hidden behind smiling facades of royal promise. American Recovery indeed. King Mitt has nothing but plunder and riches on his mind, the same manner of governance he applied at Bain Capital, that pillar of Social Darwinism and capitalistic gluttony. Steal the wealth. Dump the workers. Sell off the assets for a profit. Then claim you did it all for the good of the company.

He’ll take the same approach to running the nation as he did to running Bain Capital. Prince Ryan is is hopeful heir to the kingdom. They’re lining themselves up and even cheating the election process by buying voting machines, stifling votes among the poor and elderly. Anyone who stands in the way of the King and his murderous soldiers; men like Karl Rove, John Bolton, the whole lot of them.

We are all Bartholomew before King Romney. Our liberal hopes of social justice and economic parity are just so many hats the king wants to see knocked off our heads. And when the hats do not satisfy him because our mouths keep on talking, King Romney will let the executioner do his work. Cut programs. Slash budgets for Medicare and the EPA,

King Romney has already threatened Big Bird

public radio and the post office. Mitt hates hats. You can see the red glare in his eyes. He wants to be King. And that’s that.So let’s let him be king somewhere. He likes to store his money offshore, so let’s let him be King of his own little island somewhere. It can be a pretty place. He can have all the toys he wants. Ann Romney can play with her precious horses and Mitt can give his kids all the funny names he likes.

Just don’t elect him President. He’d rather chop off all our heads than listen to what Americans have to say about social justice and equity. And went he’s done he’ll pillage the countryside looking for the last person who thinks they’re entitled to hoe their own garden and sell their produce at a roadside market. Because we all know vegetables are too well-loved by liberals. Real Americans keat red meat and live in red states. The King says so. Long live King Romney. He sure acts the part.