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12/04/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Yo Saturnalia!



Parts of our modern Christmas celebrations have roots in Pagan Roman festivals. James Williams, correspondent with the Discover Channel, unwraps a few of the details.

22 comments:

unknowing1 said...

This is what gets me the most about Christians. They "borrow" something from someone else and then take ownership of it. Then complain when people don't fall all over themselves to wish them a merry christmas and complain that people forget jesus is the reason for the season. From now on when a Christian wishes me a merry christmas my reply will be "and a happy Saturnalia to you too!"

SpaceMonk said...

Yes, the season is the reason for the Jesus. ;)

JavaJoe said...

I've chuckled about this since I was 18. While I'm still a theist/borderline Christian, I recognize that Easter and Christmas have pagan roots. Yeah, the whole holiday jihad kills me.

I live in a very conservative town and our Christmas parade had a float from a bar wishing everyone a Happy Festivus. I roared in laughter. Many weren't as amused as I.

Anonymous said...

This whole post is essentially about what Pagans tried to do which is obsfuscate Christianity with Paganism. Paganism was wicked and Christianity was pure and true. Pagans attempted to obsfuscate and conflate the two together to make it look Christianity borrwed ideas from it but God has said that all other gods are false idols. Clearly pagan god's are false. If this site wants to argue Christianity that is one thing but it should not try to say that these other gods are real or even on the same level as the true Christian god. There is no real evidence that any pagan did anything other than worship FALSE idols.

Astreja said...

Particularly ignorant Anonymous: "God has said that all other gods are false idols."

Not so, sir or madam. What you have is a book that claims that a god said such a thing. And it's rather hazardous to believe everything you read.

If you feel otherwise, at your earliest convenience please Fed-Ex a talking snake to Me -- It'd look lovely snuggled up around the base of my Jól tree.

Oh, and Happy Whatever-You're-Celebrating!

woodsmoke said...

You know, I could go off about how you got that exactly backward and there are Vatican scholars who would confirm it was a conscious choice on the part of the Christian leadership to adopt pagan elements and recast them in a Christian light in order to ease and encourage conversion, but I get the feeling I'd be wasting my time.

Do us a favor, coward, and leave your dry, uninspired (and uninspiring) monotheistic drivel out of our generic midwinter celebration.

Lorena said...

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is going to air a documentary about the same topic. The Canucks among you may want to take note of the schedule.

HE PAGAN CHRIST

Thursday December 6, 2007 at 9pm on CBC-TV
repeating Saturday December 8, 2007 at 10pm ET on CBC Newsworld

Spoomonkey said...

Anonymous wrote: There is no real evidence that any pagan did anything other than worship FALSE idols.

This is a true enough statement, of course. But to be fair, there is no real evidence that xians worshipped anything other than a FALSE idol either.

Spoomonkey

Anonymous said...

To whoever said the bible is "just a book" That's like saying the grand canyon is just a whole. The bible is the TRUE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD. We can rely on it for the truth because God wouldn't lie. Think about it..why would He need to lie?

The pagan worshippers are talked about in the bible. It's clear they are false gods which is a sin to worship.

I do not speak with malice because I pray for you all that your minds might be enlighted to accept the light of christ. I don't understand why there is so much animosity towards my statements.

In terms of proof, faith is a gift. I understand that not all have faith but answer this question. Why does a tree grow? You can explain how with photosynthesis but WHY? The reason is the proof. God makes a tree grow. You could duplicate all the chemicals that are in a tree seed and plant it but it would not grow. God is the essence of life that makes life possible. Amen.

Nekkid Atheist said...

here's another take on the reason for the season.
This one just cracks me up.


Well everyone, it's that day. Today we celebrate a holiday which is birth date of a man born of a virgin, with lowly shepherds in attendance. He was a man known as "The Way," "The Truth," "The Light," "The Life," "The Word," "The Son of God," and "The Good Shepherd." In fact, he was often pictured carrying a lamb on his shoulders. Sunday, his Lord's Day, is considered sacred to him, and has been for some time. Today we celebrate his life with the traditional methods surrounding him: gifts, hymns, candles, bells, and perhaps even communion. This man died and was put into a rock tomb, but rose from it after only three days. Because he rose, his followers believe that there will someday be a day of judgment where nonbelievers will perish, and believers will go to paradise forever. That's right, today is THE Taurobolia in which we celebrate the Messiah Mithra. {A}
Ooops, waitaminit . . . I think I was confused there. Give me a second . . .
No, the man/Deity I speak of is someone different. Because of him, we know of a loving father God who is omniscient and concerned for our welfare, since we are his children. Because of him, we can look forward to the Kingdom of God, Heaven, and don't have to worry about Hell, since we know we will rise again after we die . . . he is often called the Sun, and he was later made the supreme Deity of the Roman Empire in his title of Sol Invictus. We know of his angels and archangels, and we know of Satan. But our beliefs, which concentrates on works rather than on faith, will sustain us. I'm speaking of, of course, our faith in Zarathushtra, and our religion of Zoroastrianism. {B}
Dang, that's not quite right either.
Okay, he was a Deity that was killed without a bone being broken. He is our symbol of immortality, and he and his father are one: he is the manifesting son of God. He is known as the light of the world, and is the way, the truth, and the life by name and in person. He is the one true plant (vine?). He came down from Heaven, and in him has been assigned Eternity. He is a light that drives away the darkness. He was baptized by someone known as the Baptizer, and was born in a place associated with bread. He is known as the good shepherd, and is often depicted with a lambing crook. He is the Lamb and the Lion, and is identified with the cross and referred to as the Crst. He is part of the Trinity . . . he is a son of a virgin and the son of the Supreme Deity. He was carried off by the Evil One to the mountain top, where they contended. A star indicated his birth, and he is known as both the bringer of peace and he who brings the sword. As a child, he taught in the temple, and later had twelve followers, attested to in the revelations written by another. I'm speaking of, of course, the God Horus. {C}
All right, I've got it this time . . .
This Deity/Savior was immaculately conceived and born of a spotless virgin (attended by angels and shepherds), through the agency of a holy ghost and in accord with prophecy. At birth he was presented with frankincense, myrrh, etc. While an infant, he was threatened with death by the ruling tyrant, but his parents fled with him, the tyrant slaughtering all the male children under two years of age. He was saluted and worshipped as the savior of men, and lived a life of humility and practical moral usefulness. He wrought many astounding miracles, including healing the sick, restoring the sight of the blind, casting out devils, raising the dead to life, and so on. He was finally crucified between two thieves. Afterwards, he descended to Hell, rose from the dead, and ascended back to Heaven in the sight of all men, as his biblical history declares. I'm speaking, of course, of our savior Vrishna. {F}
Dammitalltohell.
He was born of a spotless virgin and led a life of deep humility and piety. He retired to the wilderness and fasted for forty days, was worshipped as a God, and was finally crucified between two thieves, after which he was buried and descended into Hell, but rose the third day. His name was Quexalcote . . . {F}
Uh . . .
He was born of a virgin, who was visited by an angel to tell her that she carried the young godling. He is considered to be god incarnate. His human father was a carpenter, though the child was of royal descent. He was called `Savior' and was without sin. He was crucified between two thieves. We shall meet him again on the great and final day of judgment. His name was, of course, Krishna . . . {F}
Well, something's clearly wrong here . . .
Abraham Ben Samuel Abulafia,
Christopher Columbus,
Geuiseppe Desa,
Hung Sin-tsuan,
Jan Bockelson,
Jemima Wilkenson,
Jesus Christ,
Joan of Arc,
Maitreya,
Orix Bovar,
Rabbi Menachem Schneerson,
Sabbatai Zebi . . . {D}>
. . . no, this isn't getting anywhere

Akditi, Juck-Shilluck,
Ahriman, Kumani,
Ajbit+Alom-Bhol, Mahaskti,
Amon Re, Num,
Aten, Manibozho,
Bochica, Marduk,
Brahma, Maui,
Coyote, Pachacamac,
Dohit, Parica,
Gamab, Radogast,
Inti, Tengri,
Jar-Sub, Yahveh . . . {E},
. . . nor is this (flipping through list of Saviors many crucified):

Adad of Assyria,
Adonis, son of the virgin Io of Greece,
Alcides of Thebes,
Atys of Phrygia,
Baal & Taut `The Only Begotten of God' of Phoenecia,
Bali of Afghanistan,
Beddru of Japan,
Budha Sakia of India,
Cadmus of Greece,
Chrishna of Hindostan,
Crite of Chaldea,
Deva Tat, and Sammonocadam of Siam
Divine Teacher of Plato,
Fohi and Tien of China,
Gentaut and Quexalcote of Mexico,
Hesus of Eros, and Bremrillah, of the Druids,
Hil and Feta of the Mandaites,
Holy One of Xaca,
Indra of Tibet,
Ischy of the island of Formosa,
Ixion and Quirinus of Rome,
Jao of Nepal,
Mikado of the Sintoos,
Mohamud/Mohomet of Arabia. {F}
Odin of the Scandinavians,
Prometheus of Caucasus,
Salivahana of Bermuda,
Thammuz of Syria,
Thor, son of Odin, of the Gauls,
Universal Monarch of the Sibyls,
Wittoba of the Bilingonese,
Xamolxis of Thrace,
Zoar of the Bonzes,
Zoroaster and Mithra of Persia,
Zulis/Zhule/Osiris/Orus of Egypt,
Well, to hell with it. Let's all just get drunk and go naked. Where's my presents? Happy and safe holidays to you and yours.

SOURCES: (Though there are many sources listed here, they all in reality come from {D}, which has many articles and much information reprinted in the collection. I recommend it highly.)
{A} Information for this came from Volume 2, Issue 9, edition of The Edelen Letter, from September 1992.
{B} Information for this came from The World Bible, Edited by Robert O. Ballou.
{C} Churchward's book Of Religion, first published in 1924.
{D} The Book. Also called: The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read, edited by Tim C. Leedom, ISBN 0-8403-8908-6.
{E} Ye Gods by Anne Baumgartner.
{F} Kersey Graves, The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors, Truth Seeker Co., New York, 1875.

Nekkid Atheist said...

Opps. . .

I forgot to include this with my post, giving credit where credit is do.


Nekkid A.


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(C) Copyright 1998 by Richard Smith. Permission to repost freely given, as long as it is done so unaltered and unedited.

eel_shepherd said...

There is too much focus on the past, when the real job of the true Fred-ist should, nay, must, be to co-opt the current celebrations of the pagan holiday Christmas to the one true faith Fred-The-Turtle-ism (Five Members --- Six Sects!). It's a natural for Fredism. With glass blowing and plastics molding having reached its modern level, what could be easier than to decorate the Fredmas tree with shiny hollow turtle shaped baubles instead of tasteless balls that the cat can swat at and break on the floor. There must be countless pre-existing ways to commemorate the Turtlehead Incarnate. ("As above, so below.") Imagine the anticipation of the young`uns as they listen for the sound of flippers on the roof on Fredmas Eve and their delight on Fredmas morning as they reach into the holiday pond and peel the waterproof wrappings off of the one and only permissible gift --- a box of Turtles. Best of all, a hundred years down the road humans will be able to claim that the solstice celebrations were always like this, for as long as there have been turtles. Which was always.

Jim Arvo said...

To eel_shepherd,

The Turtlehead is smiling upon you, brother. May Fred always keep you under his carapace.

RubyHypatia said...

The Puritans refused to celebrate Christmas because it was too pagan.

stronger now said...

All hail Fred!

SpaceMonk said...

eh heh heh heh, you said 'sects'.

Muhammed said...

You Christian Infidels will embrace Islam, and reject your Jesus for the sake of "Allah".

Allah is the only way.

Anonymous said...

Lorena - thx for the tip. I was just blogging on this very topic last week (The Pagan Roots of Christmas), so I'm very interested to see what they have to say. Just set up the PVR to record it tonight.

Anonymous said...

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I haven't a clue as to what this is.

Anyone????

scotnogod said...

Quote by Anoynymous
" To whoever said the bible is "just a book" That's like saying the grand canyon is just a whole. The bible is the TRUE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD. We can rely on it for the truth because God wouldn't lie. Think about it..why would He need to lie?

The pagan worshippers are talked about in the bible. It's clear they are false gods which is a sin to worship.

I do not speak with malice because I pray for you all that your minds might be enlighted to accept the light of christ. I don't understand why there is so much animosity towards my statements.

In terms of proof, faith is a gift. I understand that not all have faith but answer this question. Why does a tree grow? You can explain how with photosynthesis but WHY? The reason is the proof. God makes a tree grow. You could duplicate all the chemicals that are in a tree seed and plant it but it would not grow. God is the essence of life that makes life possible. Amen. "

Haha, don't you just love the circular reasoning of the religious. How they can sprout this stuff and believe it is beyond me.
So lets see, your argument is that the bible is gods word because... the bible is gods word.
As to it boiling down to faith, yes very true. But invoking faith is pretty much the same as admitting that what your saying can't be taken on its own merit.
Maybe you should learn how to think without wrapping yourself in pre- packaged memes, before trying to give any input.

Can't Spell Christ Without Shit said...

Quote by Anoynymous:
" To whoever said the bible is "just a book" That's like saying the grand canyon is just a whole. The bible is the TRUE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD. We can rely on it for the truth because God wouldn't lie. Think about it..why would He need to lie?

Question Anonymous, what makes you so sure that "GOD" is the one who really wrote the bible?

What makes you so sure that it is the "TRUE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD"? I could write a book too, and say that God wrote it, and 2,000 years later there would be people here on this planet that would still believe it. The mormons have their own little bible and they have believers of their cult.

Surely you are not that naive Anonymous. However, if you are so sure that the bible is indeed "THE TRUE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD" please provide your evidence.

Before you reply back to this post, you cannot use the bible to verify your claim. Your evidence must be solid and does not require faith.

No wonder there are "Money Grubbing" preachers on TV who rip christians off. Those same crooked preachers also realize how naive most christians are. That's how they make their living, because they know most christians are dumb enough to send them money, because most christians will believe anything a preacher has to say.

Maybe I should go to seminary, take a bunch of bible courses, and after I graduate I will start me up a "Money Making Ministry" and tell a bunch of these naive christians to send me donations and make a killing by deceiving naive christians who will believe anything. I'm sure I could find scripture in the bible that would convince a lot of christians to send donations to my ministry.

Just get rich off of stupid naive christians by using the bible.

freethinker05 said...

Listen up mohamhead, I will not embrace isalomy nor more than christianity,(not unless i'm tortured into choosing, then it's HAIL allah, or jeezus). Until then,please go bite a monkey in the hind-end. Thanks, Roger....A/A