Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Xmas, Santa, Jesus and South Park

Alternate title: Sun of God or Son of God??

Merry Christmas or Merry Xmas or Happy Birthday Sun (not Son)

I watched a Xmas episode of South Park on Christmas Eve which caused me to lay up thinking. All that high brow intellectual cartoon stimulation has a way of kicking my brain into gear causing me to lay awake late. Which probably caused Santa to skip me this year because of his peculiar shyness, or maybe Buddha was protecting me?! Anyway…..

Like most episodes of South Park they take a reverse psychology approach to pointing out some flaw or folly in our society. Last night Santa was shot down over Baghdad trying to bring Xmas cheer and shameless commercialism to Iraqis. Jesus was called in to save Santa because Jesus can save anyone and he went in to Baghdad weighed down with AK47s. He saved Santa, but was killed in the process. “You Bastards!!” Santa winds up forcing Xmas cheer onto the Iraqis, but what this scenario would do to Easter rituals god only knows?! In the end, Santa gives a speech stating that from now on instead of being celebrated purely on the basis of commercialism, Xmas will be “celebrated as the day that Jesus gave his life to save me!”

So what is Xmas? Bear in mind that my opinions are contrived from things I’ve heard or read or maybe just invented in my head. All that follows you may already be familiar with. If not, it should be noted that this not been thoroughly fact checked by myself although you can find plenty of both supporting and contradictory information on the internet. I leave it up to you to sift through the sources and decided on which ‘truth’ you accept.
What we know:
1) There is absolutely no conclusive evidence that December 25 was the day Jesus of Nazareth was born.
2) Dec. 25 is (according to the calendar in use at the time) the day of the Winter Solstice.
3) Paganism was very popular at the time Constantinople decided to deify Jesus and impose the religion on the kingdom.
4) The winter solstice would obviously be a day of celebration for any Pagan believer.

So was December 25th chosen as Jesus’s Birthday based on honest attempts to truly determine his birthdate or was it chosen to usurp the power of the Pagan celebration. I don’t think I need to inform anyone of this skeptic’s opinion here. Historically speaking there is a lot here to be hot about and there could be much finger pointing. But in this day and age does it make any difference? I don’t think so. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re into going to Midnight Mass, just enjoy giving and getting presents, or favor the Pagan celebration of getting naked and worshipping the Sun. Although, I do wonder why this last option isn’t still alive and strong. How did midnight mass ever get more popular than orgies??

Like everything manifested in the universe, this day, all days in fact, have dualistic qualities inherent in them. A good and a bad, if you choose to look at things from that type of perspective. Of course, I would say the terms, a plus side and a negative side are more appropriate, but even this has relative connotations which could come across as… uhm… ‘bad’….er….. ‘negative’…. ah Hell!! You know what I mean. Things have sides, this one or that one. (But they also have that middle point.) (Meditation is so much easier than preaching! All you have to do is maintain your balance in the middle of both sides and not worry about what to call them!)

The point is that it all really only depends on how you look at it and what you do with it. A knife can harm someone or cut them free. So in this respect Xmas is really the same as any other day.

So I shall say not Bah Hum Bug, nor Happy Birthday to the ‘Sun’, nor Happy Birthday to the ‘Son’, but that I look forward to the days becoming sunnier and I wish all a ‘Wonderful Day’ no matter why or if you are celebrating today.