Atheismus?

Christmas is once again upon us replete with added modern splendors. For generations the celebration of the birth of Christ has been accepted by even the non-believers as a valid celebration, if not of an actual deity, or the flesh and blood representation of a deity, at least of the legend of good and kindness the name Jesus represents. Reasoned people celebrating of the birth of a figure who represents this ideology, be it real or symbolic, can be nothing but valid.

Right?

…Apparently not. The attacks are on, with antiChristians leading the assault AND accusing Christians of being the ones leading the assault. “Christians have been pursuing their so-called Christmas Wars with great vigor” ~About.com. Interesting statement considering that a war first requires opposition, thus it might seem reasonable that it is a war of self defense.

I’ve never heard so much from the Anti-Christmas crowd as I have this year. Pointing out the Pagan aspects of the Christmas celebration has become de rigueur. However there are valid reasons for this which have nothing to do with the validity of the celebration. The nature and history of humanity remove this argument from valid consideration since everything we do includes borrowing and taking advantage of present opportunities. Here’s a big Pagan celebration, lets take it over! The root of the copyright problem sits in the same soil.

Interestingly, one of the principal oppositional points refers to the secular commercialism of the celebration, as if this is somehow the responsibility of Christ/Christians/Pagans, or what have you. It is actually the fault of human nature and points towards the validity of celebrating the ideological aspects of the day rather than the commercial. Would this be religious rather than secular? I don’t know, and I don’t care.

As far as I’m concerned when it comes to Christ, I’m with Benjamin Franklin, “I think his system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see…”  Franklin followed this by expressing doubts about the actual divinity of Jesus. Whatever Jesus actually was, divinity or not, he was and still is the the most significant historical figurehead of the concepts of morality, honesty, consideration and kindness. The story of “The Passion” is one of the most moving tales of willing self sacrifice in the name of goodness that can be imagined. Even if it truly was imagined its effect is potent and meaningful.

I am relatively certain that the nativity story we celebrate is a fiction. Certainly Christ was born, but the events are almost certainly described in a celebratory fashion designed to emphasize the importance of the event, and the descriptions vary significantly in the different tellings. Nevertheless, the first person in my liquor store, who scoffs about the nativity scene, shall be enthusiastically frowned upon by the Bacon.

Christmas represents peace and happiness, the celebration of it represents freedom/responsibility. Rejoice! Even idiots!

Christmas, Celebrate, Contemplate…

Anne Lewis from Lewis-Heaton Books, a magnificent source for books of true importance, mentioned an idea of true importance, “The Christmas tree…from now on will be decorated with pics of people past and present, that we love, objects that mean something special to each of us…and if no one gets it…pfffff, that is just the way it goes…after all, it is our family tree, and it will be filled with love and memories…” Her comment sparked thoughts of the bottom line importance of the Christmas holiday. Importance that is currently being forgotten and discarded.

I’m currently involved in a study of the history of Christianity about which I’m writing a book..  Should be done in ten years or so… But the importance of the man, Jesus has become stunningly apparent. There is no question, in spite of the arguments, that such a man existed. There is no question that the man was magnificently inspirational, even in his own time. The arguments from the time are not whether he had extraordinary powers, the argument was, where does the power come from.

It is certain that the Canonical references to Jesus are not actually historic observations of what actually occurred, but they are certainly, unquestionably important historical observations of the mentality of the times reflecting the “soul” of humanity. When blended with other accounts from the day, Jewish, pagan, and otherwise, one gains a very good reference to the importance of the man and his life which creeps into everything today. There are tremendous and thought provoking arguments pertaining to the truth and relevance of the stories, but the protocol taught by the man was, I think, addressed most appropriately by my hero, Benjamin Franklin, “I think his system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see…” Franklin doubted the divinity of the man, but absolutely respected the wisdom, goodness and nobility of his philosophy concerning the proper behavior of man.

Thus, the celebration of his birth is perfectly appropriate as the celebration of the most important birth in history, whether you be Christian or not, leaving us with the question as to how the this birth should be celebrated and remembered.

The giving of gifts, celebration, singing, gathering together in social shows of appreciation, are absolutely historical and proper, even Biblical. What is slipping from our modern celebration of the event is thought and observation of the original philosophical roots. The idea Anne provides is perfectly appropriate to the core importance of the event. Including in the ornamentation, representations of actual objects and persons of worth. Indications and memories of the times, events and people of importance and worthy of our own commemoration. Reminders of the principles taught by the most historically significant person in history.

We are losing nobility. Humanity is losing its humanness. Jesus, whatever he may actually have been, indeed left us a tool which can be used to strengthen the important core of humanity. Christmas is far more than interesting, entertaining, fun, expensive…  Christmas is expansive. Contemplate! Celebrate!

~Bacon

Support your local businesses this Christmas!!!

Proof that Bacon Does Good Things (sometimes)

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high
gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods —
merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This
year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine
concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift
giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes
there is!It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in
a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates
from your local American hair salon or barber?Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some
health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned
detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a
book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down
the Benjamines on a foreign made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift
receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or
driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift
certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about
a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this
isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town
Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or
motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a
local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is
struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin
their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery
and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave
your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at
your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand twinkle
lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about
fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to
burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow
their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our
communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.
THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.
Forward this to everyone on your mailing list — post it to discussion
groups — throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in
your city — send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations,
and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other,
and isn’t that what Christmas is about?

Jeremy Nivison
NIVISON multimedia
www.nivisonmultimedia.com
(435)363-6336