The War on Christmas II
There was a 14-year time span in my life when I was a fervent bible-believing preacher. Saying “Merry Christmas” would have been my only greeting because Christmas was Jesus’ birthday. It never occurred to me to respect people of other faiths or no faith.
I remember when some thoughtful (and frankly better educated) people presented me with historical facts that 2,000 years ago there were many savior-gods, whose stories were remarkably similar to Jesus’ story. Those other savior-gods were even born of virgin mothers such as the Egyptian Horus, the Persian/Roman Mithra, or the Greek Adonis. I remember my reaction, “This sounds like blasphemy.”
Of course, we all knew “blasphemy” is dangerous. Thinking such blasphemous thoughts might lead one to lose salvation. One of the negative fruits of monotheism is people are consistently told, “If you don’t believe the way I believe, you’re going to hell.” The implication is, “I’m one of the few truly obedient to God and you’re a no-good sinner.” Just being a follower of the likes of the Pope or Jerry Falwell or Joseph Smith or Charles Taze Russell, etc., etc., perpetuates this sick holier-than-thou mantra.
Today, I am often asked, “How did you escape from fundamentalism?” That question really reveals the fear mentality inherent within fundamentalism that enslaves its adherents. In retrospect, I do wonder what could be more debilitating than a mindset that claims to know the absolute truth about things for which there is virtually no verifiable evidence, no unbiased credible historical confirmation, and is so contrary to the natural order of everyday life.
A vital doctrine of fundamentalism is the Christmas story of Jesus being born of a virgin. This doctrine is standard orthodox “must believe” truth by Catholic and Protestant fundamentalists of every stripe. How can you tell? Just try to join a church without belief in this doctrine! I doubt that even the apostle Paul could join any of today’s fundamentalist churches.
Paul, whose epistles preceded the gospels, does not ever mention the virgin birth. If Paul had known of a virgin birth of Jesus, he surely would have mentioned it at least once. In fact, the opposite is true. In about 55-60 CE, Paul recorded the first known reference to Jesus' birth. "But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law" (Gal.4:4). If Paul had believed in a virgin birth, he would have said "virgin" not "woman". According to Paul, Jesus’ birth was natural with no supernatural intervention.
"I Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle and separated onto the gospel of God...concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh (Rom 1:1-3). The phrase "of the seed of David" strongly indicates that Paul believed Joseph was Jesus’ natural father. The phrase "according to the flesh" implies a natural conception and birth. A divine interjection prohibits Jesus' royal lineage of King David through Joseph.
Some Christian apologists speculate that the Jews of Paul’s day could not write about a virgin-born Messiah because of its similarity with Greek-Babylonian savior-gods. If that explanation were valid, than the pagan practice of baptism and eucharist would also have been rejected. They were not. Further, the Jewish bible has no prophesy predicting a Messiah born of a virgin.
Mark’s gospel written next after Paul’s epistle does not mention the virgin birth. The virgin birth first appears in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew circa 80 to 90 CE when most converts were gentiles from pagan religions. Jesus’ birth story had to at least equal the supernatural element in pagan savior-god stories. Thus, Jesus’ virgin birth account, like the Trinity doctrine, was contrived by 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Century Roman theologians.
The Jesus story is not unique. Among the many mythical pagan Gods, Hercules, Osiris, Bacchus, Mithra, Hermes, Prometheus, Perseus and Horus, all had God as their father, had a virgin mother, had births announced by a heavenly confirmation and music, were born about December 25th, had an attempt on their life by a tyrant, and met a violent death followed by resurrection.
Thankfully, God has given me His infallible revelation to solve the War on Christmas. Contrary to fundamentalists like Rev. Falwell and Dr. Dobson and their footsoldiers at FOX news, i.e. John Gibson, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly, God is too loving to be intolerant of other savior-gods and their respective worshippers. Since it is an indisputable speculative fact that all savior-gods have nine-month incubation periods, God says we will all be theologically correct by greeting each other every March 25th with "Merry Conception!"
FOX News will have the exclusive right to promote this sacred day. FOX’s John Gibson will write a book entitled The War on Recreational Sex: How Liberals Plot to Make Sacred Sex Fun, Its Worse When You Think. Gibson will receive the rewards he so richly deserves as an investigative reporter after his flop, The War On Christmas: How Liberals Plot to Ban the Sacred Christmas Holiday, Its Worse Then Think. Wal-Mart will offer erectile dysfunction medications for free to Republican pro-creating couples. Hallmark will design Merry Conception cards. Conceptions achieved for those pro-creating will receive Magna Magna Cum Laude awards. America’s GDP will soar, FOX can bad-mouth Liberals some more, and God will be happy, for a change!
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