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Turkish Bishops and Jeremiah – revisit.

December 26, 2010

Original Post from Dev 24th 2007

Since my view hasn’t changed the past two years I’m just reposting this that I wrote 2 years ago. With a few amendments.

Christmas is annoying. I don’t celebrate christmas, the people I spend every day with don’t, and the country I live in don’t. Still I hear about it all the time. Mostly the constant talk about it from every single person in Sweden.

What is annoying? The fact I can’t ignore it. I can’t just be indifferent. Say, these nice red flowers. If I bought one of those any other time of the year, there’s no problem with that. But God forbid I buy one now. People may think I celebrate christmas! Know what? Better ban anything red around here when it’s christmas. And don’t look at any trees, and refuse to answer ignorant swedes wishing merry christmas. But hang on… isn’t that aknowledging that I can’t ignore christmas? Yes it is! And after a few years of processing the fact that I no longer celebrate it… it’s ok. I aknowledge it. Heck, I’ll even wish you guys merry christmas. Merry christmas to you!

Interesting fact about christmas though is how it has survived all religions. First it belonged to the pagan religions celebrating the birth of the sun god (Ishtar, Mithras or Elah-Gabal etc). Then someone made it a christian holiday and decided Jesus was born that day. Here’s a quote by Cyprian remarking that change – “O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born . . . Christ should be born” (from Wikipedia)
It would actually have been pretty funny if it weren’t so pathetically sad.

Anyway, today we are witnessing another switch of religion of this holiday. The main religion of the western world today is Money. And christmas has truly embraced this new religion as well. Heck, they even avoid Jesus by making up some red dressed fat guy who somehow is linked to a Turkish bishop. And also people lie to their kids about that fat guy. Lying to your kids is always fun, right?

So anyway – don’t let anyone tell you there’s no need to celebrate this ancient holiday. It has been around for thousands of years at it’s apparently here to stay. The christmas tree is even mentioned in the bibel by Jeremiah

1:Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2: Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3:For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4: They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5: They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.”
Jeremiah 10:1-5

So my dear fellow christmas celebrators – knock yourself out. Especially you christian guys – it’s fine to celebrate Jesus’ birth now even if it’s not historically accurate. Why shouldn’t you celebrate this ancient holiday which mixes your pagan ancestry with your “new” religion and the hectic money-earning capitalistic materialistic mentality of the western world that we have come to love so much? This way every one can celebrate the part that he likes the best. Just don’t try to force everyone to celebrate it because of Jesus’ birth. Because frankly – that’s not why it’s celebrated, and you know it.

My dear jewish fellows – look at our Christian brothers overwhelmed by the holidays as we are every Passover and Sukkot. They’ve switched religion twice in the past 6000 years and still this piece of ancient history is still important to them, and they still celebrate it. How much more important shouldn’t it then be for us, who have sticked with the same God and the same Israel and the same Torah for all these years, to stay loyal to our heritage, our culture and our holidays.

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