The Diary Of My Mind

Tis The Season

So if you have lived in the western world for any number of years you will have heard someone speak about the true meaning of Christmas. When they state this they are of course speaking of the birth of Jesus and the start of the Christian religion. Some will go even farther and speak out against what they see as the evils of Santa Claus and Christmas trees.

For Example this nutcase:

To many Christians Christmas is a solemn time of year. A time to reflect on all the blessings that god has bestowed on them throughout the year, a time to enjoy family, and by remembering the birth of Christ they also remember that the bible speaks of Christs return to lead all the good to heaven and the evil to hell.

As strange as it may seem, even when I was a minister I hated the Christmas story. For one, the way it is taught is in many ways a lie, and two it’s just a story that is boring as fuck.  Yet, as a minister…I was basically forced to give this story in a sermon at least once per year, which almost always turned out to be one of the worst sermons given the entire year. Allow me to explain…

The Christmas Story Is A Lie

No where in the new testament is it ever hinted that Christ was born on December 25th. The whole story actually points to it being sometime between late Spring and early Fall. So why to Christians celebrate the birth of Christ in December? Because in the 5th Century the church dictated that December 25th was the date that Christ was born…which also happened to be when Pagans celebrated the Solstice…isn’t that odd?

Seriously though, it’s odd that in a religion that specifically states that lying is a sin, why would they choose to lie so openly about something that is so easily proven as false? The biggest clue is that the shepherds were in their fields the night of Christs birth, something that no shepherd in that area would do in the middle of December. The reason for this is that in December, it’s cold, it’s rainy, and it’s dangerous to have flocks out in the fields during those months. It also makes no sense considering that during December the fields used for grazing would be all but barren of vegetation during that time of year.

The Christmas Story Is Boring

The most astonishing thing that occurs in the Christmas story is that a virgin gives birth to a child…that would be something but the facts are it’s not an original story. Numerous other mythologies include a virgin birth in one form or another; Mithras, Zoroaster, Laozi, Buddha, Qi, and hell, the Catholics even teach that Mary was born of Virgin birth.  So basically if you’re forming a religion, sex is something wicked and gross, and you can’t have a godhead that includes semen, so make the mother of god a virgin and you have yourself a religion…

Much of the rest of the story is a complete plagiarism of other mythologies as well. Mary and Joseph’s escape into Egypt in order to prevent Herod from murdering the Christ child is very similar to the story of Moses, a story that is included within the Christian biblical canon.

Imagine if George Lucas had built a career around Star Wars, and the only real idea he ever had been build a bigger Death Star. wouldn’t that be odd? Wouldn’t you think that fans would catch on and over time they would become bored with the same story over and over and over again?

Wait….

Anyway, so the story of Christ’s birth is a virgin gives birth in a manger, some shepherds hear about it, a bunch of astrologers, who should have been stoned if I’m not mistaken, show up, give him gifts, then a talking donkey and his ogre friends save storyland from the evil lord Farquaad. King Herod kills a bunch of kids since he has shitty astrologers who couldn’t see a bright fucking star in the sky. Mary and Joseph run to Egypt to escape Harod, who then dies while they are in Egypt, what luck, then they return home and no shrekone ever questions why this Jewish kid is still alive when every other male Jewish child within a few years of his age is dead. Imagine being a Jewish girl of the time, finding out that the only male eligible to marry is the son of God and for some reason celibate because once again sex is icky.

The story is nonsensical, screams of plagiarism, and is just so damn boring.

Early Christians were so unimpressed by the Christmas story that they banned it entirely so that they would never have to hear the birth story read at a candle-light service. Ok so they actually banned it because it’s 100% pagan in nature; Christmas trees, Yule logs, gift giving, tinsel, mistletoe, etc….

The only reason Christmas and Christianity is so synonymous, outside of the name, is that Christians wanted to be able to be included in the festivities without feeling as if they were committing some grievous sin of idol worship. So over time all of the traditions became assimilated by the Christian faith, and then today they have the audacity to act as if you are celebrating Christmas wrong for not speaking of Jesus.

Think of it like this…

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You have a neighbor who really likes your TV. Your friend states that your TV is evil but secretly he stands outside your window and watches you enjoying television each evening. One day you come home to find him sitting in front of your TV and refusing to leave. So you buy a second TV and when you turn it on he gripes at you for not changing the channels correctly and for tuning in to the wrong programs.

That’s a pretty good representation for Christians attempting to promote the true meaning of Christmas. A pagan holiday, celebrated for centuries while Christians looked on and remarked about how evil and yet how fun the festivities seemed. They then took over all the traditions and tell others that they are doing it all wrong.

Well….isn’t that special?

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Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and yours in whatever way you do or do not celebrate. Have a great weekend and thank you for reading!

 

An Aspie In Iowa

An Aspies Guide To The Holidays

A few weeks back I wrote a few tips from the atheist side of things and I thought that I might come back to this topic from another important aspect of my life, Autism. The holidays are both wonderful and horrifying to many of us on the spectrum. We love to give, to receive, to spend time with family but at the same time all of these things can cause us a lot of stress and anxiety. So without further ado, here are some tips for Aspies during the holidays.

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1.) Know your exits

With the holidays come social gatherings and in any social gathering it is important to know your exits. If things get a bit to stressful, or you find yourself headed towards an overload head towards that exit. An exit isn’t meant to imply you are leaving but that you are heading off for a moment to regroup. If it’s warm enough I will step outside for a few minutes and if I can’t do that I’ll head to the bathroom. Anything that you can do to get yourself back under control can be very helpful.

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2.) You don’t have to eat that

Another thing that comes with the holidays is food, some of which is probably fairly disgusting to you. Forcing yourself to eat things that you don’t like can add a layer of stress to the holidays that I don’t believe a neurotypical could understand. Eat what you like, pass on what you don’t. If someone offers you something that looks unappealing, thank them for the offer but pass on their offer. If the need arises, and it might, you can always pretend to have a food allergy which prevents you from eating whatever is being offered.

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3.) Remember people don’t like the truth when it comes to gift giving.

If you get something that you don’t like…the answer is not to say you don’t like it…no matter how correct that answer might seem to be. Just smile and thank the person for the gift and then if it is something you truly hate you can always attempt to sell it or take it back after the holidays. A person giving you a gift is more about the idea that they thought of you than about what is actually given, at least that is what I am told…however I’ve had people give me gifts that were so foreign to who I am that it almost offended me that they would give me that type of gift….even so the best option is to pretend you like it and move on.

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4.) Steer Clear of Truth Serum

If one thing leads me to make inappropriate comments it is alcohol. If I’ve had a few then I am likely to tell people exactly what I think of them and so during the holidays I avoid any type of drinking. You probably know yourself fairly well and maybe one or two will help calm your nerves and allow you to enjoy the festivities more fully. However, know your limits.

 

5.) If you are unsure about what to get someone ask

Sure, I might think getting Star Trek stuff for Christmas is the ideal gift. However, this might not be the case for others around you. If you are unsure then the best option is to ask. One of the big problems that I have faced in life is how neurotypical people seem to pick up on what other people like and are easily able to get them something that they might enjoy. I’ve never been very good at picking out gifts for people and before I started asking I had several awkward experiences…Note…it is never ok to buy a loved one a vacuum for Christmas…you live and you learn…

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6.) Look for others who might also be on the spectrum

I have a cousin who is also on the spectrum. At thanksgiving he was sitting all by himself and not talking to anyone. I noticed this and asked him what his interests were. At first he didn’t say much but the second we got onto the topic of “Star Wars” he was as happy as could be. His mother told me after the dinner that it was the happiest she has seen him in a long time and that he had told her that he had never enjoyed a holiday gathering more than that day. Life is confusing, being on the spectrum can suck at times, and so sticking together and having a good time is important.

7.) Have Fun!

Try to have fun. Get through the holidays and then unwind with your favorite activity, tv show, or movie series. One of the best parts about the holidays is that they only come once per year. Try not to stress too much about them and yet at the same time realize that the holidays are stressful for everyone. Love your family, enjoy your friends, but always keep your mental well-being in mind.

Have a safe and happy holidays!

The Diary Of My Mind

An Atheist In Iowa: The Holiday Special

Deck the halls with boughs of Holly, falalalala-lala-la-la!

So I haven’t written in a long time….at least it seems like a long time…and so I was sitting here just thinking about the holidays that are soon to be upon us. I thought that it might be a good idea to offer some of the tips to other people who are new to being an atheist.

1.) Celebrate however you want

Personally I celebrate Christmas, some Atheists celebrate the Solstice, while others may choose not to celebrate at all. It’s up to you. There is no wrong way to celebrate or abstain from celebrating. In my own case, I will be listening to all the Christmas songs and carols throughout the centuries. I love reading about mythology and I see Christmas as nothing more than a big celebration of various mythologies. It’s pretend and fun so I enjoy it in all the ways one could.

2.) Not every argument is worth having

Being the atheist at a holiday dinner can be awkward at times. If you are out as I am, someone might make a snide remark about your atheism. I have found that it is not worth ruining the holiday in order to be right and so I just don’t engage when someone mentions something about faith or “the real reason for the season.” Families often times have prayers before meals and I have been asked before to give thanks. It’s easy enough to give a short statement of thanks, without ever bringing god into the picture, instead of refusing and possibly hurting a loved one.

3.) Remember that Atheism should free the mind and not chain it to a new form of dogma

I understand the anger that you might feel when you leave the faith. Most of us have gone through this and while it does get better, you might still experience it from time to time even years later. Anger has a way of setting us in our way and making us close our minds to the thoughts and ideas of those around us. During the holidays you might hear something that really pisses you off. However, take a moment to think things over before taking a huge stance against it. Atheists can actually be just as dogmatic about their lack of faith as a fundamentalist can, as strange as that may sound. So try to remember, your atheism shouldn’t define you, it should just be.

4.) Maybe lay off the drinks

Look, it’s going to be a bit awkward and tense, especially if you are out about your atheism. So what will almost certainly make matters worse? Alcohol. Listen, we’re human and I know that we think a couple of drinks will loosen things up and make it a bit more comfortable. However, a couple of drinks can also loosen the tongue and lower inhibitions. It might feel right, to the drunk you, to tell grandma about all the contradictions in the New Testament. However, sober you the next day will more than likely be making a very awkward apology call to your octogenarian grandmother.

5.) Have Fun!

Enjoy your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. The holidays, when you get right down to it, are actually….as sad as it may seem….anti-suicide celebrations. Now that might seem like a strange statement bit think about it and notice how all the big holidays are during the winter months, when the days are shorter and the nights seem so much longer and colder. Holidays help break up the monotony and bring people together so that they can share the love and warmth of their fellow human beings. So enjoy yourself as much as you can. While there may not be a higher purpose, we are still all in this together.

Much love to you and yours during this holiday season. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Saturnalia, Yule, or whatever else you might choose to celebrate.