What started as a ploy to unite Christianity and Paganism is now the biggest event of every year worldwide. The statues remained too, or rather, were brought in, and can still be seen when you look into a Catholic church. It wasn’t usually Christmas on the 25th day of December. In fact, Jesus Christ also know as Yehshua was not born on the day but as no one knew the exact date of his birth, an agreement was reached to celebrate him on that day. The Christmas Day was originally a day dedicated to the worship of the Sun God but to bring in the Pagans into Christendom, the new floating Christianity involved in acculturation and the culture of polytheism was seen to have been sustained.
The whole of Christianity remained while the idols and statues were brought in. But these new set of statues rolled out, must venerate either one or more of the great biblical characters to be allowed to exist. The pagan can keep their paganism but it must function under the canopy of Christianity. It was argued, and some still argue today, that once it got to this point, Christianity was no longer in practise. Once it got to luring people into the fold by compromising on features and dogmas that go contrary to the faith, what is practiced ceases to be Christianity but purely Paganism. To the proponents of the acculturation exercise, Moses’s golden serpent is a fine reference point. God can ask of such daunting and seemingly-anti-yahweh acts just to prove a point.
The subtle conversion of December 25th to Christmas Day from the Day of the Sun is one of those points. Those who identify as Pentecostal Christians (Those Catholics prefer to call Protestants. They call Catholics Roman Catholics in return.) have Martin Luther, the German priest (who later married a Nun after divorcing the convent), to thank for the relationship not been symbiotic. What Christianity did to Paganism followed the Islamic principle of Taqiyya — deception, disguise, etc., just to survive the threat posed. And mind you, paganism in that context and today’s are still the same. You can define it simply as the worship of Gods the stronger or more sophisticated faithfuls consider archaic. While the Catholicism of the time created what seemed like parity between both faiths, the arrival of Pentecostalism created evident disparity which seemed healthy for Christendom alone.
It seems the policy to neutralise polytheism was well planned and executed and at the core of all polytheistic religions stood what was identified in the negative as Paganism. It looked like every other ‘modern’ religion but it was neither a modern religion nor sophisticated from the point the ‘mixers’ looked at it. Therefore, Christmas Day replaced the Sun’s Day so the Pagans can be attracted to the new state faith, so they can keep their mode of worship with a new name tag and so that on that day, everyone is happy. That looks simplistic and the truth is, the process was beyond the 25th day of December. Force was involved, the rebellious were murdered and the state lived but that’s a topic for another day. Today, the question is, do Christians celebrate Jesus or the Sun God on Christmas Day? If Christmas has pagan roots can its fruits be different? Can anything good come out of Paganism? It is always good to draw from etymologies and the origins of things when assessing them but what is in a word?
What is it that makes a word matter and we must also ask same for matter and human behaviour. Is the morality of present human acts and behaviors subject to the morality of past human acts and behaviors? What is in any date? Every September 11, Americans remember those who died in that 2001 strike but the strike itself was done on the same day. What is in a date? Can we mould good from darkness? Yahweh created light from darkness but because this is from a neutral, we will strike that out. Paganism wasn’t just all the statues we see or is idolatry just about adoring fine works of art. If that was true, every lover of fine art would be an idol worshipper. Considering his love for the Mona Lisa shouldn’t we consider Da Vinci an Idol Worshipper in that respect? And what is even wrong with being one? Not today.
While few non-Catholics think Catholics do not worship those images in the parishes, there are many who consider them full time Idolaters even though in the Catholic church, some parishioners loathe the images they see around and wish for the Rosary and other memorised uncreative prayers to be trashed. Even though churches with different doctrines disagree with Catholicism, they still follow the dictates of Catholic church. If Catholicism was all about paganism why should others who know better follow? Except for the Jehovah Witnesses who have extreme teachings of their own, the popular Christian churches observe both the Christmas, the Easter and other holidays propounded by the Catholic Church. But before we divert too much, should Christmas be celebrated by Christians when we know it has a pagan origin?
Having a pagan origin is not a good reason not to celebrate anything or Christmas. In fact, our day-to-day activities wouldn’t be complete without the instruments of Paganism. First, our days are after Gods, some Scandinavian (the countries Norway, Denmark and Sweden) Gods and when we try to be consistent with the logic of a pagan Christmas, we will see that our lives have been all about the glorification of Gods from every corner of the earth. Monday is the day of the Moon, the day the moon God is shown respect by the polytheists that practised the religion. Tiu is another God venerated on Tuesdays, we use the word daily but we don’t use it in reference to the God it was coined after. I think that for anything or any day or any event to be deemed pagan it has to simply involve the veneration of pagan Gods.
On Wednesdays Wooden’s day was celebrated and the God of the woods was venerated and worshipped but while we use the word and celebrate the day, we don’t have any affiliation to this God. Thor the God of thunder, whose trademark is a hammer, inspired our Thursday but neither do we wield hammers on that day nor do we pray thunder dissect an enemy. Friday is Friya’s day. Saturday is Saturn’s Day. Remember Saturn? That fine planet with fine rings around it. But not here. It used to be remembered with the memory of Zeus’s Father, Kronos, the God of fertility and agriculture but here it is just a day of the week. We are not really celebrating the days even when we ascribe certain days to strong emotions. We are just celebrating what we get on those days.
The moment we begin to celebrate the days for their sake, that’s when the Day Worshipper argument begins to make sense. Same thing for the months like Janus for January etc. No set of people own any day. A thing has no meaning or bearing on life when we act oblivious of that thing. Words need context for meaning and actions are not examined in the abstract. The Okay sign could mean 666 to the Illuminati theorists but when young boys do it, it is just a communication code. On Christmas day, most Christians reflect on the life of Jesus Christ and celebrate him. They don’t celebrate the Sun or the moon God. They don’t make sacrifices in the Sun’s name. While it is true that Jesus’s date of birth is not the 25th, celebrating him on that day, because of origin, is not celebrating the Sun day. Am I been illogical here?