The Real Meaning of Christmas

…Jesus Christ matters a great deal for this atheist. For Christians, Easter, the Resurrection, is the big date. For us it’s Christmas. When someone wishes me “Good Holidays” in my simplistically minded libprog town, I respond with a cheery, “Merry Christmas.” I don’t do it just to be churlish (though I wouldn’t put this beyond me). No, I mean it.

What happened in Bethlehem is that God became a human, completely, with a conventional birth and all, and a regular upbringing.* This is not another small unimportant religious tale. In time, it’s a world-changing myth.

When God is man, we are only one step removed from Man becoming God. In the long run, it’s the beginning of the end of our collective submission to an often savage Bronze Age divinity. It took about 1500 years but it did happen and only in the parts of the world that had been Christian (plus, maybe, in Japan. Why in Japan? Beats me!).

* By the way, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is not what many people think it is. I keep hearing the mistake on the radio. (It takes an atheist to help with Christian theology, N.S.!)

4 thoughts on “The Real Meaning of Christmas

  1. Can you recommend further reading on this view of Christianity being revolutionary because of the idea of god becoming human?

    • No, I can’t. They exist but I don’t remember them. I am pretty much a self-indulgent retired old guy, now. I just write from what’s floating around in my mind. It will be fun looking for sources, I promise.

  2. I haven’t seen such sources, but as an atheist who grew up Christian and who stills honors (my idea of) the Christian religion and its parent, Judaism, I came to believe years ago that as humanity has “grown up” to whatever extent the Jewish and Christian segments have grown up (if they have), God has grown up with them.

    This is purely metaphorical, of course, but I can’t help thinking that God treated the ancient Israelites rather like very young children, toddlers in fact, with quite strict rules about obeying the Parent. Over time, He came to seem a bit more easygoing, though still with strong house rules. He heard the psalms, and had the Songs of Solomon transcribed into Scripture.

    Eventually, Jesus came along, and the J-C segments of Mankind became interested in trying to do good, to do right, not just because the Old Man said so but also because the individuals themselves grew more tolerant of the foibles (not the same as the evils) of their fellow Man.

    So as an atheist, I see J-C Man as “growing up” in conscience and in social interactions of all kinds, and bringing God up while they’re at it; and from the other end of the telescope (the one I don’t use myself), God has always been and still is pursuing the project of bringing up His children. (And is glad to welcome into His house anyone who cares to come; and who, though He is unhappy when a member of the family decides to leave, He does not believe that the family members or He Himself has the right to persecute the leave-taker.

    It’s a metaphor. There’s a lot wrong with it. But I still think that God and Mankind have grown up together. The current problem is that a lot of people, both J-C and atheistic, have overshot the mark, and their idea of doing good involves dictating what other people must and must not do based on their own judgment, and trying to enforce their diktats.

    SJWs and Progressives and Dear Leaders: I’m looking at you.

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