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Wonderful Originator of the heavens and the earth; how can He have a son when He has no consort? He created all things, and He hath full knowledge of all things
They say, ‘God has begotten a son.’ God forbid! Self-sufficient is He. His is all that the heavens and the earth contain. Surely for this, you have no sanction. Would you say of God what you know not?
Such was Jesus, the son of Mary. That is the whole truth, which they still doubt. God forbid that He Himself should beget a son! When He decrees a thing He need only say: ‘Be,’ and it is.
I don’t use these passages to pitch one religion against another, but only to illustrate that another Abrahamic religion, one which, when scrutinized, is extremely similar to Christianity (no, the Quran does not say anything about 73 virgins) can so contradict one of the most fundamental tenets of Christianity.
I’m trying to illustrate that not only Atheists have problems with the entire premise of God having a “son”, but that those belonging to the second largest religion on earth (1.4 billion members) can contradict the premise that the most powerful force the earth has ever known needed to impregnate a mere mortal to have his word spread throughout the earth, then die for some sin that God himself perpetuated.
This is a common thread with those who must anthropomorphize their fantasies in an effort to make them more palatable. God the Spirit needed some walking around flesh in order to make him copacetic to the unwashed masses. Whatever this purported God did to this purported Virgin to create this purported Second God who is, Himself, the only God seems to be so blindingly lacking in necessity and logic as to beg suspension of disbelief.
The premise that an all-powerful God needed the mere flesh of a mortal woman to create a son, whereas he, God, had already created man by the snap of a divine finger, is idiotic to say the least. Oh, right, that was the Old Testament, which we seem to have decided was written when God was young and naive. As Gilda Radner’s character Emily Litella used to say in the early days of SNL, “Never mind”.
Even Thomas Aquinas could only justify this extra-biologic occurrence by suggesting that since sex is so dirty (now we see where that came from) there is no way that God could have gone through history as having gotten a little nookie, so he invented virgin births for one-time use. He claims to have had nothing to do with it. He just laid it all on the bitch (and now we know where that came from too).
Ok, I’m finally going to do it. I’m going to admit what I’ve been keeping a secret for many years now, partly due to embarrassment, partly due to fear of public reprisal, partly because I didn’t think others would understand. Yup, I’m coming out today…
Oh no, not that kind of coming out. I still like girls (err, ah, women). And no, I’m not a secret Repub, closet sports fan, clandestine lover of Disney World or Dancing with the Stars aficionado. I’m admitting that I hate Christmas. Yeah, all of it.
The story of Christmas is the first lie we tell our children. Then, as we watch their gullible little minds absorb all the requisite preposterous myths as fact, we, smug and self-assured for being so much smarter than they, take pictures of their adorable little faces as they put their trust in some stranger dressed in a ridiculous red suit and beg him to bring them all the materialistic garbage that we will later in life tell them do not make for true happiness. Yup, that’s what we do to our kids.
Then, as they grow and we teach them that the real meaning of Christmas is some alternative lie, (you know, Jesus and all that crap) the only difference between the two being that the second one has an entire book dedicated to it (or two books, if you count the Old Testament). So, we teach them the first lie, then, when they get too “smart” to believe that one, we say, “oh, no, no, no, no, you don’t believe THAT story, do you? But the NEW one we’re going to spend the rest of your life telling you is true. And we have this old-looking mass produced faux leather-bound book to prove it.”
We then spend every year complaining about how early the Christmas “season” starts (I was raised with Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall) while strategically planning our mission to Wal Mart on Black Friday to get a special deal on that 80″ TV that we just MUST have this year, lest the neighbors peek in our windows and see us watching the Food Network on a mere 42. We do this while complaining about rampant consumerism as we, insouciant at the irony, gleefully contribute to it.
We watch TV in the evenings to see obese, tube-topped women stand, pressed against the door at Target, awaiting the blow-out sale where everything is 150% off plus an added 10% bonus discount for only the first 30 seconds or until at least 10 customers are trampled so badly that the bloody floor makes people trip and slide into the XBox display. Cleanup on isle 3 indeed.
Then, victorious in our tracking, hunting and ultimate capture of our very own Playstation XPS5000 Violent Savage-Terrorist Killer Edition with Hyper Connectivity, instructions for hacking Iran’s nuclear facilities as well as the Deluxe Carry Handle, we grab a burger at Applebees and drive home, resplendent in the knowledge that we have once again achieved…
The Santa Claus myth is the first lie we tell our children. And then we spend the next 5-7 or so years trying to keep the lie alive, for fear that they might find out that we have been purposely deceiving them for their entire lives.
This obsession with forcing a fantasy on our children is misplaced. We like to think that we are doing them some sort of favor, filling their heads with visions of sugar plums and old bearded men with sacks filled with toys, coming down a mythical chimney and eating milk and cookies. The proof of the foolishness of this deception is that most of them start to question it around 5 years old, especially if they don’t have chimneys and fireplaces in their homes! When you create a story that a five-year-old is starting to doubt, just how effective is this deception?
Would it be so bad to tell our children that it is we who will buy their presents if they are good? Is it so bad to tell them that it is their loving parents who do these things for them, rather than some stranger from the north pole?
Kids can be mean sometimes, especially when they’re young and unaware of the consequences of being so. I’ve seen with my own eyes when a kid is the last one of a group who still believes in Santa Claus. They often feel foolish when their peers inform them what they’ve known for a long time. I’ve seen the look of embarrassment on the face of a child who feels like a baby for not having heard the news until well after all of his little friends have. Often times the child will be taunted for having continued believing in this fantasy.
Lets face it folks. We don’t spread this lie to children for their benefit, but for ours. We think it’s adorable to see our little darlings act so innocent (or is it ignorant?) because it makes them that much more dependent on us. It makes us feel better than it does them.
When they do find out the truth it makes them feel foolish and immature, which is the last thing a child of 5-7 years old wants to feel, especially in front of his little friends.
Let’s just stop.
The word Christmas is defined by multiple sources as a mass honoring Christ. Yeah, Jesus Christ. That guy.
I’m reminding you of this in a somewhat facetious manner in order to bring to your attention that which you are not really celebrating as you stand in line at Walmart/Target/Kmart/Best Buy or whatever big box super center in which you are currently, or are soon to be, for that piece of merchandising brilliance made by starving workers on the other side of the world for the sole purpose of your having the latest iteration of whatever meaningless garbage that you’ve decided you not only must have but must have at 50% off plus another 10% off for early-bird shoppers.
Or an iPad.
Now, for some reason, that starving worker in Jakarta, Bejing or Mumbai probably wasn’t thinking of honoring Christ with a mass when he assembled it. The trucker who drove it from the ship to the warehouse probably wasn’t thinking of honoring Christ when he did his job. Neither the forwarding company who brought it to the store, nor the minimum wage earner who put it on the shelf, and certainly not the pimply-faced kid with the really stupid looking uniform vest who sold it to you. Nope, I’d be willing to bet that none of those people intended that you would buy that shining example of our rampant banality for the purpose of holding it on high and praising the birth of Jesus.
But some of you ostensibly claim to be doing just that.
At the same time that conservatives are honking their red plastic horns at the prospect of a “war on Christmas” and other such blither, they are pushing one another aside, drawing weapons, overrunning the less athletic, the aged and the infirm among us to get inside those glass-encased big-box monuments to imbecility for the simple purpose of getting an Xbox One or Play-Station in the name of honoring he who, according to many comic books, died for our sins.
Now, folks, I don’t believe a word of that garbage. I’m sure Jesus was a heck of a nice guy and probably wanted to save some souls. But I’m not, shall we say, of that tribe.
What I do know is, those of you who do believe in that stuff and spend your days worshipping and praising him, stoning non-believers and prostitutes, burning homosexuals and subjugating your wives (you know, good Christian stuff) had better go to confession this Sunday and say something like, “Bless me father for I have sinned. It’s been _____ years since I completely forgot that nowhere in the New Testament does is say, ‘go forth and buy, buy, buy’”.
Because if you don’t, you will be a hypocrite. A big, snarly, unimpeachable hypocrite. And it turns out that another guy from that book (Matthew, 15:7-9) said, quite succinctly, “You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
Smart guy, that Isaiah. But I hear he’s more of an Android guy.