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.!)

2016: Year in Review

I hope you have all been enjoying the run-up to your holiday season. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, etc. to the whole world, from me.

NOL had another great year, and it wouldn’t have been so great without you. Some of the older Notewriters have parted ways or disappeared from the blogosphere, and some newer blood has stepped up to fill in the gaps, including Nick Cowen, Lode Cossaer, Mark Koyama, Vincent Geloso, Zak Woodman, Adrián Lucardi, and William Rein. Keep your eyes peeled to NOL in 2017, baby!

Below are some of the top posts of 2016. (I am only going by the numbers this ’round, but I’ll try to patch together some of my favorites next week.)

These posts summed up the most viewed posts of 2016, but as I mentioned above I am going to highlight my favorites of the year next week.

NOL has been around since 2012 and I’m starting to see a number of posts attain “classic” status, which simply means that they are popular year after year and thus have a bit of staying power. Barry’s post on Foucault’s political thought always brings in a bunch of traffic, as does my post on libertarian intelligence. Amit’s post about migration from Bangladesh has become a classic since only last year, as has Rick’s “Gun control: Centralized vs Dispersed.”

Thanks for another great year, dear readers, this place wouldn’t be around without you. So keep stopping by, keep those comments coming, keep arguing with us (and each other), and I hope you’ll stick around for another year in 2017.

Next week: My favorite posts at NOL for 2016!

A Very Merry Christmas, from India

Dr Ranjan sent me the following email:

Dear Brandon and gang

I wish you and to your family members a merry Christmas in advance. Hope you will have a great time this Christmas.
Have fun
Thanks for the thoughtful card, Dr Ranjan. (And a Merry Christmas to all of you!)

Around the Web

This is the 69th installment of ‘Around the Web’. Giggity!

  1. guaranteed income vs. open borders; Economist Kevin Grier weighs the options
  2. How poverty taxes the brain; A sexy-sounding female gives us the low-down
  3. The origins of Northwest European ‘guilt culture’; Evolutionary anthropologists are so, soooo cute
  4. The ‘thoughtful libertarian’ subreddit; Finally!
  5. Is Christmas efficient? Only an economist (Tyler Cowen) could ask such a thing
  6. God, Hayek and the Conceit of Reason; Concise essay by Jonathan Neumann in Standpoint
  7. Milton Friedman’s 1997 musings on a common currency in the European Union: The Euro: From monetary policy to political disunity