Why True Preparation For Christmas Involves Introspection And Sacrifice

I greet the men of ROK afresh this week with great anticipation, for we are entering upon my favourite time of year—that of Advent and Christmas.

It is sometimes easy to focus on the negative in our times; the shapers and manipulators of modernity often contrive (and succeed) at robbing men of their sense of purpose, of their conviction, of their joy in what transcends the self and the political. This demoralization is amplified by the fact that our institutions are often, now, co-opted and usurped by persons with inimical intent.

It can be tough to connect with the truths and ideals of our civilization without the assistance of the institutions whose natural role is to facilitate this, but I believe it is thoroughly worth the effort to attempt. Without a connection to beauty, to truth, to the transcendent, we die a death worse than the mere death of the body. So, I invite men to stir up their spirits at this time of year, and if it please God, let us learn how we may spite the enemies of patriarchy and civilization by striving to connect with the sublimity of the forthcoming season, even if it requires us to do all the heavy lifting ourselves.

Advent: Season of Dread

Burning Bush

The Mother of God of the Bush Unburnt; an Icon depicting Old Testament types of the Incarnation

Advent exposits the tension between light and darkness, dread and hope, majesty and humility, joy and sorrow. Many of the Christmas carols dwell on such themes, both in the musical mood and in the lyrics (i.e., “…the hopes and fears of all the years, are met in thee tonight”). Those who reflect on the Mystery of the Nativity and the events surrounding it, will see how incongruous is a sentiment of cheap, cutesy “fun:” Caesar has brought the known world under the sword of Rome and commands the census; people are uprooted from their homes to satisfy this command.

The Holy Family is reduced to sheltering in a cave where livestock are tended. Herod commands a massacre of children and the Holy Family is forced to flee. Most of all, the uncircumsribed, the infinite, the perfect, the holy God, is about to be circumscribed and joined to a finite nature; God will become a man, and, in the midst of a freezing night, be set in a feeding trough—a fitting portent, and a dread mystery.

That is what the Liturgical texts of both the Eastern and Western Church contemplate for the feast of Christmas. In the east, the high point of Matins erupts with the megalynaria of the feast, chanting such words as these:

Μυστήριον ξένον, ὁρῶ καὶ παράδοξον! οὐρανὸν τὸ Σπήλαιον· θρόνον Χερουβικόν, τὴν Παρθένον· τὴν φάτνην χωρίον· ἐν ᾧ ἀνεκλίθη ὁ ἀχώρητος, Χριστὸς ὁ Θεός· ὃν ἀνυμνοῦντες μεγαλύνομεν.

(“I behold an alien and unthinkable mystery! A cave has become heaven, and the virgin maid a cherubic throne. Narrow is the manger wherein lies the Boundless One, Christ our God, Whom hymning we magnify.”)

This Responsory, in the usual Medieval setting of the Latin Church, is the very center of Matins:

O magnum mysterium et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum jacentem in praesepio. Domine, audivi auditum tuum et timui: consideravi opera tua, et expavi, in medio duorum animalium jacentem in prasepio.

(“O great Mystery, and wondrous Sacrament, that beasts should see the Lord born and lying in a trough. O Lord, I have heard the rumour of Thee and was afraid; I contemplated Thy works and I shook with dread, to consider Thee lain in a trough between two beasts.”)

Many depictions of the Nativity make it to appear almost “cute;” but the predominant sentiment of the Tradition is dumbfounded awe. Creator of the Virgin, born of the Virgin? He lays in a feeding trough, to Whom beasts are sacrificed? The invisible God, beyond man’s swiftest thought, reflected in the eye of an ox? The Master of the house has come amongst His slaves; now there shall be peace or woe ineluctable, to every man!

Advent: Season of Doom


The Second and Final Advent

It stands to reason, that if the Lord came to save us and destroy the power of sin and death, then those sympathetic to sin and death will greet His Advent with considerable fear. “Now is the judgment of the world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” The Truth is now present in our midst; His very presence shall prove us for what we are. And indeed, in Advent it was customary to focus on the judgment, recognizing that the first Advent of the Lord points to the second Advent. If the first Advent seems gentle, it was gentle to us while it was severe to the power that dominated us; but our Lord made it clear that when He would come again, if He found us still fraternizing with the enemy He took pains to dispel, we would receive the same traitor’s treatment.

The last Sunday before Advent has for its Gospel the 24th chapter of Matthew (“when the Son of Man returns, it will be like lightning flashing from the East to the West”); the first Sunday of Advent was when the famous Dies Irae (“Day of Wrath”) was sung in olden days; the theme of judgment continued right up to Christmas Eve, when one of the Canticles of the Sibyls (“Iudicii Signum”) was sung:

The earth shall be soaked in sweat at the sign of the Judgment.
The King Who is to endure through the ages shall come from heaven,
For this purpose: that, being present in the flesh, He may Judge the world.
Fire shall consume the earth, seas and skies,
It shall seek out and destroy the portals of loathsome Hell.
It robs the sun of his lightspring and tramples the starry choir
Heaven is overturned, the moonlight perishes;
It shall cast down the hills and uplift the vales from their lowliness.
Moreover, when the trumpet shall peal down its grievous blast upon the earth,

The guilty man shall be weeping for his misery and sundry toils

And the earth shall shew forth the pit and hell in its yawning maw.

Then from heaven there shall fall fire and the river of brimstone.

It’s not exactly “Jingle Bell Rock,” is it?

Now, I’m not meaning to depress all the fellas at ROK; as great as is the sobriety before Christmas, even so great is the joy and mirth when Christmas comes. But it is a general spiritual principle that glory and peace are not simply handed to us, but are arrived at only through spiritual struggle.

My first bit of advice for men who wish to recover the ancient spirit of Christmas, then, would be to let Christmas be Christmas; the time before Christmas is a time to anticipate this dread and awful Mystery—the Imminent arrival of Truth in our midst. It is the time to contemplate our need of it, our hope of it, our fear of it. We prepare to meet the Lord when He comes, therefore, that our response to His Advent will not be to our shame, but to our very great joy and profit.

Specific Suggestions From Traditional Observance

Beginning on the first Sunday of Advent, cease eating meat and dairy; on weekdays, wait until the afternoon to eat, if possible. If not possible, stick as close to the spirit of this practice as you can. Trust me, when I say that your Christmas Feast will be all the more meaningful and merry after a month of fasting. Use the hunger for focus, penance and training in self-mastery.

Men should always limit television and frivolous entertainments, but especially at fasting seasons like Lent and Advent. Long ago, I found that if I came home from work and began my evening with some time reflecting either on that day’s prayers (from the Breviary/Divine Office), or quietly meditating on the season’s hymns, carols, Scripture, etc., I would enter a recollected mood that would last the whole night. Contrary to expectation, the fasting periods quickly became my favourite and most introspective times of the year.

Strive to maintain an environment conducive to this custody of mind and stomach. Try to avoid the endless stream of silly parties, even if courtesy will require you to attend some. Decorate the home liberally, but at first with simple and stark trimmings of pine, of holly, of dark green, red and violet. Stick to the carols that anticipate Christmas, (such as Veni, Veni Immanuel), or are thoughtful meditations on the theology of the Mystery (such as Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming or The Angel Gabriel).

Save the bright lights, the gold and silver trimmings, the festive decorations, the most boisterous carols celebrating the joy of Christmas Day… for Christmas Day! As we will see in a future post, Christmas Day is only the beginning of Christmas. Until then, let everything be conducive to the mood of quiet, of recollection, of awed anticipation.

Those wishing to learn more about the traditions of Advent, can go here:

I wish you all a recollected and soul-sharpening Advent.

Read More: A ROK Christmas Benediction From Brother Cui Pertinebit

133 thoughts on “Why True Preparation For Christmas Involves Introspection And Sacrifice”

  1. I found that Karen Armstrong’s book “The History of God” really helped me to understand the sacrifice Christ. When many religions dictated that G-ds power needed to be replenished by sacrificing flesh, Christ’s sacrifice was the last life that needed to be given.
    I’m sure I’m not doing justice to the author’s work but she clearly explained why ancient people found the mystery of religion so necessary without making them seem primitive.

    1. In Chicago right now it’s a clash between Black Lives Matter dregs and fattened Black Friday shoppers. Pretty awesome, now that I think about it.

  2. Last year I did not follow your advice, but this time it will be different. This will be an Advent for me like no other.

  3. Yeah, no. I celebrate the winter solstice instead. Some pork and mead with the family is all the winter celebrations I need.

    1. As I hope the post made clear, Christmas will reign hellfire on your miserable soul if you dare to make war upon it. In the war on Christmas, Christmas always wins!

    2. May you be boiled in a plum pudding, and have a sprig of holly thrust through your heart. 😀

  4. These are beautiful suggestions. We tend to bitch about the season becoming a materialistic celebration, instead of the holiday it is (holy days) But then the real problem in that regard is us. Cure it from the inside first. The outside is not something we can control anyway

    1. Absolutely. I did not leave the house on “Black Friday” and none of the crass commercialism, rude crowds, fights and rioting, or money draining crap from China was even in my conscious awareness. Look inward, brothers. I have never fasted before, but I look forward to this spiritual experience.

  5. The joy on the face of Aurelius Moner come xmas day, when he opens his present from the Abbot and finds….a brand new Xbox, complete with Fallout 4!

      1. PS is good, but I think PC mods are better for stuff like Fallout
        (especially since Bethesda has a reputation for making good but bug-laden games).

        1. Cui Pertinebit almost certainly has a steam account. Not sure what he thinks of all the DRM

        2. I understand perfectly. It will probably be a while before GOG Games gets Fallout 4 (DRM-free site).

        3. Yeah, I played Skyrim a few years back; I had left the Greek monastery and was just finishing my OSU degree. It was a tough year, and I didn’t know what the future would hold.
          You remind me of something that’s been much on my mind, though. I share a computer and an internet connection with several people here on my family’s cotton farm. CuiPertinebit was actually an handle I devised for all of us to use whenever we were dealing with companies/people/groups we didn’t know or trust on the web (hence I used it for commenting). The Latin phrase essentially means “who wants to know?” or “what’s it to you?”, and at least four people have used/had access to the gmail account associated with this handle. I got in touch with the fellas at ROK that way, but wanted to start writing under a new name for ROK, one more closely tied to my actual monastic name. But when I tried to set up a gmail account for that, I found that it now requires a cell phone! Talk about vanishing privacy.
          So, now I’m looking into paid email services, or at least getting a trac phone when I head into town next week, so I can get something more private and at least tied directly to me.

        4. I don’t actually play that many games these days myself, but I actually did play skyrim, or at least some of it (it’s massive as I’m sure you discovered). When you wrote “I played Skyrim a few years back; I had left the Greek monastery and …” I actually read it as though you were still playing the game and found myself trying to remember the Greek monastery.
          Yes, once you adopt an internet handle you end up kind of stuck with it. Mine was a handle chosen for anonymity as well – I just can’t be bothered to change it. I’m not sure privacy or anonymity has any real meaning any more though, but it doesn’t hurt to stay vigilant. Incidentally, love the idea that your family has a cotton farm

        5. PS is better for games that require a controller; I’ve never been able to find an effective controller that lasts beyond a year, and works good on the PC.

        6. ” But when I tried to set up a gmail account for that, I found that it now requires a cell phone!”
          Shouldn’t require one…I’ve set one up without it (you need an alternate e-mail instead)
          You may consider having a yopmail account (basically, a disposable e-mail account) to point the gmail account to when they ask for additional contact info. Just remember to write the yopmail account down!
          “now I’m looking into paid email services”
          I’ve considered this, but the question is paying for it and a VPN to secure your access to it (obviously a credit card leaves tracks). And I’m not an expert on bitcoin….
          I’ve heard Countermail is good [non-US based e-mail service], but the jury is still out on VPN services not based in the US or “5 Eyes”.

        7. “I’m not sure privacy or anonymity has any real meaning any more though”
          1) Make sure they have no reason to look for you
          2) Outside the “5 eyes” (basically the Anglosphere) there still is privacy.
          3) A handle at least saves you from a simple Google search.

        8. Practical advice no doubt, but no. 1 in particular says a great deal about where we are at. Why should anyone living in a democracy have to police themselves in such a way? If we do so simply to avoid being messed with or persecuted it will only get worse in the long run. You’re right about the 5 eyes I think, but you can never tell how far their reach extends because they are not and have never been bound by the law in any real sense

        9. Yeah, it used not to ask for one; but when I tried to set up an account last month, it required it. Not sure what changed.

        10. That was a laugh – yeah, you know the Greek monastery in Skyrim; it’s just west of Windhelm!
          Yeah, cotton farming has been in the family for several generations, now. Sadly, the profession has degenerated – now the required pesticides give all the cotton farmers prostate cancer, and you’re required by law to buy a specially-engineered cotton seed that does not reproduce (that is, you can’t reclaim the seeds from your old cotton when you gin it anymore; you have to buy an entirely new batch of sterile seeds every year). And, the government is involved in it, bigtime. It’s no surprise to me that farming, a fundamentally human occupation, has become so dehumanizing. But, on the plus side, it does keep me in the countryside, in relative quiet, and allows me for the time being to live the Classical Roman life of otium, until such time as I construct the hermitage.

        11. Otium – never encountered that word before. It has a nice sense of balance to it.
          That’s a nice description of the farming life – in terms of the challenges etc. We don’t have cotton farms in europe, but probably my fondest memories are of the tiny at the time non-functioning farm our family had in sweden. It was the most peaceful place I’ve ever known, and I wish I could still visit as you can your families farm

        12. Yes, and I like the Roman word for “business,” negotium, which means “not otium.” It indicates the Roman sense that business is what you did in order to get back to otium.
          Yes, city life is a large part of what demeans men; if all men got out to the country, even just to go camping (especially if they aren’t fortunate enough to have a farm, cottage, cabin, etc.), and let that more wholesome pace and sentiment of life to remain their standard, things would be vastly improved.

        13. I did some latin briefly but I never quite got the hang of it. I often regret not taking it more seriously as it seems to shed so much light on present-day language, not to mention the access to the roman and medieval world.
          Do agree about the city life. I’m kind of addicted to city living, but the main alternative is living in small towns which isn’t always much better and it certainly isn’t the outdoors where you can actually connect with raw reality. A cabin in the mountains would suffice

        1. If you play a priest in a friendly game of Madden football, never ever call a “Hail Mary” play- got in a lot of trouble for that one

  6. I am not a believer, but that was quite a nice read.
    This is the second christmas I spend alone. How peaceful to not have to think about stupid presents.

    1. I wish that, instead of meaningless presents, families would use that money and ‘do’ something together. No presents — just presence. But alas, commercialization.exe has been executed and this is but a dream.

      1. I agree; that is what I generally do. The money is spent on putting together a nice feast for Christmas, New Year’s and Epiphany. We spend time together, drink wassail, sing, pray. I enjoy it much more than gifts.

  7. OK history lesson for the nutbags who believe the path to God is just shown to you. Christmas is not Yeshua ben Josef’s birthday. His name is not Jesus christ. It is pagan holiday the church tried to cover up to make an easier transition from pagan rituals to Christian rituals. It is now a consumer holiday. I think we should boycott Christmas bullshit until they start paying more then 1/10 the population enough to pay for it without credit. Corporations will happily take everything from you why shouldn’t you take back? Treat them how they treat you. Undervalued, underpaid, and expendable. Make their stock drop until they cough out enough for a real middle class meaning not household, but individual income above 50k.

    1. Have you been reading “That Old Time Religion” edited by Jordan Maxwell? This is the idea that Jesus is Osiris re-invented, but historically identifiable with this jewish guy who was born about 150 years prior to the traditional birth of christ

      1. Nope, but I’m not a big fan of Osiris either and that is all 5th/6th generation lore.
        Let’s be simple k. According to history Sumer is the first civilization of this era. So if your religious it would only make sense to compare stories from the time. Their comparisons are alarming. Not talking Sitchin. Talking a mix of different translations of Sumerian mythology.

        1. Ianna was a half sister of enki and enlil that’s 2nd generation with anu and marduk and the Mars colonisiation being first. There’s plenty of questionable stuff on Mars like the marduk face eroded by a long long time. I’m talking about multiple translations of Sumerian mythology although there’s a lot of questionable stuff there too and unlike Hebrews sumer and had far more then one perspective or one version of each story depending on who wrote it. Their hyroglyphics are more complicated then English and yet they carved their literature by hand into stone so it could be read for generations to come. Unfortunately Isis I’d blowing a bunch of it up and certain obvious parties raided certain Mesopotamian relics from the Iraq museums. Sumerian literature is considered anti establishment by some because it while it’s old these are recent dis cover is for the most part and before the Internet research was much more controlled as it creates destabilization in certain religious ideals.

        2. On one hand, I feel like correcting him. But on the other hand, I don’t feel like being on Disqus all day.

        3. I find it hard to imagine ISIS would be destroying ancient artefacts as any kind of cover up of ancient knowledge unless they’re a whole lot more sophisticated than they make out (i.e. they are not quite what they say they are, which of course is what some people seem to think). I’ve always assumed their iconoclasm was just that, the destruction of icons and of idolatrous things because of what they believe.
          In terms of cover up unless ISIS is being run out of the Vatican (which I don’t believe is the case) I’m not sure there’s anyone who would benefit really from the destruction of texts and artefacts, whereas there are plenty of emerging forces pushing for the ‘comparative religion’ approach, which would be advanced by more Sumerian religion coming to the surface. I think back in the days of the Holy Blood and Holy Grail something like the sacred feminine might well have been considered genuninely disruptive but in many ways (re-) discovering myths about the flood, the garden of evil, etc doesn’t necessarily do damage to more established faiths in the way that might once have been the case. You can argue that some aspect of the old or new testament is just a reprise of ancient religion but that seems unnecessarily and probably deliberately reductive. All religions are syncretic to some degree. Some (judeo-) Christians thinkers like Simone Weil have even had their own comparative religion approach: for Weil the holy spirit could be seen working within those same ancient religious dramas, yet she still appears to have accepted the historicity of the christian incarnation, i.e. its historical uniqueness. In other words I don’t think you can really get to the origins of religious myths, nor is it very necessary: religious beliefs have to stand or fall on their own terms otherwise they are permanently vulnerable to the next book that comes out making some outrageous claim. It’s also worth noting that at least some comparative religion has in a sense been anti-religious and purposefully designed to weaken particular religions by subverting any claims to uniqueness and that is something that may also colours research into such matters – I would say particularly the case if it involves involving aliens in the mix, such as I think was the case with Sitchin & the Annunaki.
          I do agree its fascinating though. I hope the destruction hasn’t been too great and they can retrieve further texts as I am sure there is much to learn

        4. All good points, but by destroying ancient artifacts and texts which mind you the Catholic Church did too during the crusades major religions benefit. While most Islamic, Christian, and Jewish sects are peaceful the world is full of sociopaths seeking power and manipulating the less intelligent to their agenda. All major religions benefit from hiding ancient texts. Not all things associated wi the religion are good. There are those who are programmed to believe it is fact and if you’ve ever had an argument with a religious radical you’ll just portray the devil tempting their faith. They believe destroying “blasphemous” artifacts is a good thing. That’s their programming/brainwashing/ socialization indoctrination whatever you want to call it. Mysticism, hermetics, masonry, religion etc delve deep into subconscious and only 5% of your decisions are made consciously. That’s why it’s important to always keep an open mind and understand nobody is right before they’re wrong.

        5. I am not suggesting for a moment that the church or any of the big religions are above any level of deceit if its about protecting their flock from knowing about uncomfortable truths I’m just not of the opinion that archeological evidence of this kind – evidence about ancient Sumer in this case – poses the kind of threat that would necessitate such action. If you want to deceive people, keep evidence from getting into the fact books, ideas gaining academic respectability there is simply no need to destroy evidence. Artefact evidence can get lost or ‘disappeared’ at any stage (assuming the relevant power is in control of that evidence) but where that isn’t possible disinformation, flooding the popular discourse with alternative ideas etc is just as effective. Basically as I suggested previously I consider that there was a time when such theories did have explosive implications – the Holy Grail & the Holy Blood was one of those but even by the time the Da Vinci code came out people were already inured to all the outrageous alternatives to conventional doctrine.
          With regard to the die-hards and fundamentalists of any religion, by definition they have pretty much closed minds and have learned how to exclude counter-evidence from their thoughts (and yes, all of us have some ability in that respect I guess). With reference to say ‘blasmphemous artifacts” problem artifacts from Sumer would pose no more problem to fundamentalists than dinosaur bones were put in the earth to test their faith in creation. As for those with hopefully slightly more open minds its possible that opening ourselves up to new ‘factual’ evidence would alter our belief systems / faith etc, but I doubt it: other than for fundamentalists I’d say that for the religious ‘facts’ are increasingly irrelevant.
          Re. mysticism, hermetics, masonry & (I presume you mean comparative approaches to) religion I am very interested in all of them, and find some at least of those ideas either quite persuasive or at least challenging

        6. There have been multiple archeological cover ups. In the past you could contain information so yes counter intelligence uses disinformation, but here’s the catch 22. Religion, family values/ relationships etc are part of anyone’s foundation of thought. Disinformation works not only by misleading and creating compartmentalization, but by messing with your foundation for thought. That’s why I stress these issues. If the foundation is flawed then all thought stemming from that foundation is flawed. In simple terms if I was raised by serial killers to think that was the norm I’d probably be a serial killer or if I was raised in a cult. I.e. the crusaders that were told all their sins would be forgiven at war fought and committed many grave deeds. So I just stress the importance that as adults we do our own research and keep both an open and skeptical mind. The name Sin even comes from Sumerian mythology. It’s from the Enlil Ninlil lore. Honestly truth is I may read a lot, think a lot, have a genius iq that makes me both dumb and smart, but I wasn’t there in this life. I can’t travel to the past . . . yet. Neither was anyone else and history has always been written by winners so while we can hypothesize we have no basis in fact.
          On the other hand practicing Qigong, gymnastics, yoga and Tai Chi with weighted clothes on will build your body or temple to perceive things not documented in mainstream literature. That’s the real power in ancient knowledge is using the techniques our ancestors gave us to be healthy. I can say this from experience, but if I told you how far out there it goes you wouldn’t believe me. You have to see for yourself. I got bored one time and translated the Sephiroth from biblical Hebrew to paleo hebrew to match the time and it turns into a giant process that is like Qigong meets ohm meditation which is similar to isochronic tones or binaraul beats that have had legit clinical trials in effecting the listeners brainwave pattern. As in beta waking state alpha low alpha theta and delta brainwave states. The very first thing it says is blood of my blood breath and continue the circle. So I think there is some scientific validity, but there are very few 20 plus year practioners. Jon Chang is one of the only people I’ve seen publicly come out after practicing similar arts. His stuff is interesting to say the least. Pretty sure the pope practices certain techniques as well that you’d have to dig around for.

        7. Interesting post. Re disinformation messing with the foundation of thoughts I’m not sure there can be any such solid foundations for disinformation to mess with. I’m not saying disinformation does not mess with the mind, which obviously it does but that in terms of religions, family values, etc we are simply what is given to us. I am all for questioning this rather than simply inheriting unexamined beliefs – but equally we have neither the time nor the leisure to question everything – adult baptism is great so to speak, but searching for reliable foundations is likely to be a vain search.
          Re. the second part of your post it does sound as though there might be some ancient but trans-cultural ideas underlying what you are saying; but having said that such ideas are still just somewhat speculative claims and as potentially susceptible to being undermined by advances in science as some christian ideas have been (e.g. creationism). I actually quite like the idea that the universe vibrates, that there is a music of the spheres, all is number, all that kind of pythagorean mysticism – I have no reason to think its not true, but as I say its just another set of claims, that may or may not mesh with our current understanding of science. Re. chi my old kung fu master used to be able to bend steel rods against the weakest part of his neck but equally I recall hearing of a master who tried to stop a train using only the power of chi. It didn’t work. Re. brain entrainment etc, I’ve heard some interesting things but its still partly pseudo-science as far as I’m aware. Your points about translating the sephirot from biblical hebrew to paleo hebrew are intriguing, although I can’t be sure I understand exactly what you mean. I am aware that in kabbala etc the way one pronounces the names of God or certain words matters as words are seen as bringing the world into existence I think – are you seeking by translating into paleo hebrew to get to a more authentic way of pronouncing words (and through that to a higher meditative state) or are you concerned with meaning in a more conventional sense? I am afraid I did not understand the point about ‘blood of my blood’ but I assume we are talking here about reaching higher spiritual states through meditative ritual (as with your example of Quigong etc). Please correct me if I’m mistaken

        8. Well the paleo Hebrew alphabet had meaning in each letter. It was later changed. 5 times if I remember correctly. My point is that when people look at the tree of life or they here YHWH they take it at face value. You have to dig deeper. I translated out of curiousity. I was trying to see what it really said as close to the time it showed up. My point is when we take things at face value especially ancient texts and ideologies we often get a very very distant version if not completely different. Christmas a perfect example. Taking a pagan festival and turning into a Christian festival celebrating the winter solstice and falsely claiming it was a Yeshua’s birthday. Now it’s a corporate consumer holiday that big business literally relies on for a huge portion of income. Things change to suit the times, but a religion based on holy scriptures should never change the story because it makes them like anyone else who changes any story to benefit their cause. A manipulative liar saying what they need to say to accomplish their agenda. There is no difference between feminist hypocrits and holy hypocrits. Only the scale of bullshit. Not saying everything is full of shit. Just that if one says I won’t support the bullshit of feminism and sites religious reasons do based on bullshit they are acting unknowing hypocrits as well. The problem is that we have a million stories and one reality. So to say you are a realist and base your concepts on a false reality or opinionated beliefs makes the confused realist just as dumb and radical as the brainwashed fem nazi man hater. This a dilemma I deal with in myself and why I say despite being smart by societies standards the bar is flawed because it assumes what we know as correct. This makes smart people seem very dumb as I’ve said before you must be wrong first before you can be right.
          That being said it is incredibly important to be humble in our beliefs because in nature survival is based on how you adapt to your environment. If you don’t adapt you die and if you aren’t humble and think you know everything you put yourself at a huge risk to be blindsided.

        9. “Taking a pagan festival and turning into a Christian festival celebrating the winter solstice and falsely claiming it was a Yeshua’s birthday” – I don’t think there many people around today who don’t realise that christiantiy as with many religions reflects political and ideological origins that aren’t always easy to disentangle from the belief system. While that’s a challenge it is pretty much true of all religions and beliefs systems: look in to the origins of say karl marx and the origins of 19th century communism and you’ll find controversies just the same and that’s only a hundred and fifty years or so. Belief systems can also have value through internal consistency and where we are talking about spiritual truths as Jung considered these can never be quite reduced any kind of factual basis, even if potentially some claim asserted as a historical fact for instance might always turn out to be wrong or questionable.
          Re. the tree of life I think people have been long been aware that there has been an evolution, and that it has developed in different directions sometimes (including outside of jewish kabbalah). This one reason for comparative religion approaches. Re. the individual letters having meaning, I am aware of this – some of the 19th century occultists spent a great deal of time meditating on the meanings, relating it to the elements etc. As far as I’m aware Jews see the Hebrew as the language of God or thereabouts, hence speaking the names of God etc is only effective if enunciated in the correct way – I imagine this has something to do with the desire to get back to the most authentic use

        10. Yo how long u’ve been doing internal martial arts?
          Dude , sexual activities even masturbation and ejaculation ain’t good for internal stuff though. Not doing that is real tough.
          I started doing internal martial arts too , the progress is slow. I got my standing method from a liuhebafa master. I’m doing xinyi too.

        11. Off and on for 15 years. I don’t usually have more then 6 months of down time because I can’t live without it, but im no where near my peak atm. Sexual energy is just another form of super potent energy. Use it or lose it imo. Trial and error is the only way to sift through the bs.

        12. But ejaculating does deplete qi energy though, one can feel it in the knees right after. That’s why a lot of male pro fighters don’t have sex before a fight. Without ejaculating is better but still some loss especially some will leak out.

        13. Your getting into an area I’ve dabbled in. What your thinking of evolves masturbating a lot without cuming which is referred to in a few things. Enochian mysticism being one, and football couches being another.

    2. There are records of the Christians celebrating Christmas in late December or early January, long before the prominence of the Sol Invictus cult, and in places where the cult was never very popular.
      Moreover, it is not hard to guess at the time frame from the Scriptures themselves. People think that because the Bible nowhere says “He was born on December 25th,” that it doesn’t say when He was born. But the Bible lets us know that St. John the Baptist was conceived right after Yom Kippur (1 Tishri, which falls in Sept./Oct., and the Church does in fact celebrate his birthday nine months later, in late June); it also records that in the sixth month of St. Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the Annunciation was made to the Blessed Virgin of Christ’s conception (Luke 1:24-26… and the Church does celebrate the Annunciation six months later, in late March); nine months from that date is December 25th.
      As to the rest of it, I agree that people should not run the consumerist treadmill; but I’m not sure I agree with your general statement that “corporations” (all of them?) should pay individuals (all of them? just the ones that work for them?) 50k incomes (for all positions?), nor am I sure how companies would be moved to pay workers more money if their earnings were destroyed by boycotts. I agree we need economic change, but your idea seems half-baked.

      1. Yep just ones that work for them on rhe 50k thing. Yes theyd literally have to pay their workers. Problem is suddenly china would have a middle class while Americans still get shafted since we outsource everything. You should go see and read the dead sea scrolls that took place at the time instead of reading the telephone game version told 300 years later. Also the bible isn’t exactly credible it’s been rewritten so many times it’s scary and all the Jewish and Islamic old testament is just the watered down versions of Sumerian mythology. Also the blatant hypocrisy of the old church was appalling. Now it’s just a symbol of higher morals. This will probably puss people off. GOOD. If it does maybe if you spend long enough searching you’ll learn the name of the god your worshipping. Yahweh and Jehova are not HIS name. If you want to see how weird catholicism is see what we say about him when you find his name. There was a point when God lost his name and became a symbol and then his real name was demonized. Does that sound rational? Your supposed to worship God and yet we don’t know his name and demonize him behind closed doors so we can make up our own version to justify our silly little games. Wake up.

        1. The Dead Sea scrolls confirmed the text of the Old Testament when discovered – or, more specifically, the text which Christians had used, that of the Septuagint. What do you think the Dead Sea Scrolls contained? People speak of the Dead Sea Scrolls as though they contained ancient mysteries. They are perfectly normal texts of the Bible and of some local religious observations and writings.
          I assume you are speaking of the convention of not using the Lord’s name. This has always been out of respect. The Catholic custom of saying “our Lord” instead of “Jesus,” is also a nod to the fact that the name of God is a name of great power. In prayer and meditation, the divine Name is used often, but in everyday speech we have this convention as a way of ensuring that we do not throw His name around lightly. It is not an attempt to “change” or to “hide” His name. The name of God Incarnate is Yeshuah, a name similar to that of God absolutely, the consonants whereof are YHWH, “I am He Who is.”

        2. You are wrong my friend about the name. Look deeper. Way deeper. Yhwh or or yad heh vou heh is grace at the center of the tree of life or sephiroth. It is one of the 10 divine names just like shemhemephoroth was the 72 divine names. It goes deep into Jewish mysticism. Google El or Ellil or enlil and Google enki.
          As far as respect for the name that’s a complete farce. They have 0 respect for the name. It’s the symbol and power behind religion they’re after, just like scientology. Judaism and Islam have much more pure translations, but are still stolen from Sumerian mythology. They were most likely survivors or just straight aliens from a mass extinction event we associate with the flood. If we could live for 400,000 years and had great knowledge and technology we’d seem like gods to to a bunch of spear chuckers.

        3. FYI paleo-Hebrew alphabet was a language in itself. Speaking those words had very different meaning 4000 years ago. Here’s the real translation. Work/throw yud , look/reveal/breath heh, add/secure/hook wou or vav, heh again. Anyway you look at it nowhere does that mean I am who I am.

  8. Your article reminds me of the opening of the Liturgy of St. James (something I stumbled across recently):
    Let all mortal flesh keep silence, And with fear and trembling stand,
    Ponder nothing earthly minded, For with blessing in His Hand
    Christ our God to earth descendeth, Our full homage to demand

    And Scrooge’s vow from “A Christmas Carol”:
    “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year…I will not shut out the lessons that it teaches [sic].

    1. Yes, it’s a great hymn; people sometimes think that its use for the “Great Entrance” means it came at the beginning of the Liturgy, but in fact this refers to that point in the Liturgy when the bread and wine that will be used in the Mass are brought into the chancel. This really helps one to understand that line, “Christ our God to earth descendeth,” for the hymn is referring to the imminent consecration, when the bread and wine shall become the Body and Blood of our Lord… a perpetuation of the miracle of Christmas, and of all our Lord’s works.

  9. Timely post considering today (Black Friday) is a veritable orgy to the high altar of consumerism.
    I believe the days after Christmas are very conducive to reflection and introspection. Perhaps it’s the cold, hard naked season where the trees are leafless, the flower beds empty, the skies low with few, if any birds for company that somehow allows one to perceive the world more sharply.

    1. The inner void in these peoples’ lives is a symptom is where we’ve gone terribly wrong in our societies. I suppose they are examples of what we become when we lose all dignity and respect for ourselves. It’s chilling to think they’re people who think this is the “normal way” to react to the latest, cut throat bargain?

        1. The “Black” in Black Friday stands for “Black Eye,” which is derived from the bruises that elderly women give each other when fighting over the last iPad. The spirit of Black Friday is one of openness and freedom, where consumers from all walks of life can engage in immoral shopping related behavior without fear of repercussion.wink emoticon

    2. Sheesh. In a sane society, 80 lashes for the snatcher, 40 lashes for all the rest.
      Actually, who am I kidding? In a sane society none of these women’s husbands would allow them to participate in such an event.

      1. In a sane society, the men in these women’s lives WOULD be ‘Husbands’ and not ‘babydaddies’

      2. In a sane society women would not be allowed to act like that.
        Nor would they be allowed to vote.

        1. I have come to believe, that the current state of affairs can be lain entirely at the feet of the female franchise alone.
          Not to say that the female franchise is not itself the symptom of a still larger problem; but that public life would not have been so ravaged by these problems, if women had not been weaponized.
          I would have to look it up to be sure, but I believe the modern West is the only society in history, that was mad enough to give women the vote.

        1. The first picture alone is hilarious; in tandem, they gave me quite a laugh. They look like some portraits I’ve seen of Bach; do you know the origin and subject of the paintings?/

        2. I’m glad you enjoyed it! They’re paintings of the English writer Samuel Johnson by Sir Joshua Reynolds. The top shows Johnson struggling to read with his weak eyes (1775). The bottom is a potrait from around 1772. It’s actually become a meme recently; I made this one in response to Pearlbucks reply.

        3. Thanks; I’m glad you knew the answer. I’m gonna save a picture of Mr. Johnson trying to read to my hard drive.

      1. I steamed vegetables the other day without the bowl, even.
        But surely no middle-classed, modern woman should have to settle in this way, right?

  10. Is it me or is this site becoming a christian thing. Religion is the ultimate divider.. the bedrock of blue pill lemming mentallity.Great way to lose followers.

    1. You’ll find a little something for all red pill men here. Introspection, prayer and sacrifice are very patriarchal and masculine.
      A sterile self-esteem boosting, yoga pants, chai tea drinking, deep breathing fest is for unhappy feminists and fedora wearing manginas.
      Besides that, the far left filth ruining Western Civilization, with their diversity obsession, their moral relativism, and their androgynous natures aren’t what you would call religious at all. Not in the slightest and look where they are getting us.
      May you find your inner knight, monk, and hermit. And I don’t mean the white knight variety. No way sir.

    2. On one hand you criticize religion and this site for having a lemming mentality and on the other complain that the site isn’t gearing its content to maximize followers…
      Take what you want and skip the rest. Problem solved.

    3. Most of us believe God unites us. What I do when I run into men who hate faith. As part of a I hate everything that is happening around me why of seeing life. I let it go. No reason to get pissed just because some guy is wrong. Try it

    4. There are articles on various topics, man; some of them aren’t to my taste. Some I don’t think I’ll like, and I do.
      Historically, religion has been very “red pill.” It’s only the last couple centuries of Modernist Christendom that make the Faith seem brainless and ball-less.

      1. Which version of the bible would you recommend to someone who is rediscovering faith? One free from the corrupting modernism you cite?

        1. I think the best English version is the Douay-Rheims Bible. The original Douay-Rheims is superior to the Challoner revision, but some find it hard to understand the original. The Challoner is still superior to the other options.
          My advice, would be to learn Greek or Latin. I understand that Greek is formidable to many people, but Latin is more manageable than folk assume. The Latin Vulgate (Clementine, not neo-Vulgate), is my normal Bible for everyday reading.
          By far the best thing to do, to discover Scripture in its traditional sense, is to read Patristic commentaries on it. I recommend Blessed Theophylact’s Commentary on the Gospels, along with the Catena Aurea. Homilies (Sermons) preached by Church Fathers are also good, especially Ss. John Chrysostom, Augustine, Bede and Peter Chrysologus. A great book of Patristic homilies on the Gospel readings for the Sundays of the Church year is written by Fr. Toal, and is available on Amazon. There are good commentaries on the epistles by St. John Chrysostom, and other Fathers and Saints. New Advent has a Church Fathers webpage, with many of them. You’ll find many more online.

        1. Exactly. Aside from that ideologies like communism and national socialism are based on it too.
          In the short time span atheism existed it has proven to be the most destructive ideology there is.

    5. “Is it me or is this site becoming a christian thing. Religion is the
      ultimate divider.. the bedrock of blue pill lemming mentallity.Great
      way to lose followers.”
      Indeed, religion is the “great divider.” The world needs division and conflict for true “shalom,” which is fullness and growth towards completion, and not the mere absence of conflict.
      “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
      “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”

  11. Thank you for the superb article, it was like a red-pill ‘chaser’ during this season. Keep the articles coming… you are an asset to this site.

  12. Excellent thoughts to ponder.
    But I cannot free myself from the thought that the Christian’s ultimate sacrifice is themselves.
    And hence an invasion of the western world by refugees is the ultimate weapon to get rid of the white man. I mean, no white Christian can say no to such a sacrifice? We are putty in the hand of the manipulators.

    1. The Christian Faith demands that we protect our civilization from interior dilution or exterior invasion, especially when the invaders bring both a false religion and a system of injustice and violence. It would actually be moral to expel them violently by the standards of Christian morality.
      This is not to say that peaceful visitors, or a small number of foreign migrants, when they are decent and moral people willing to respect the local culture, cannot be welcomed. In the current climate of multi-culturalism and violence against all white nations, however, I am of the opinion that white men must do what they can to survive, where they can. The matter of resistance to the current regime is an important one to me, but I admit the moral questions involved are difficult. This is why I am preparing to construct an hermitage and to begin a more retired life of prayer; I think only prayer will find the answers that need to be found, since I’ve spent a long time using my not incompetent mind to ponder the question from the known principles of morality, and see no clear way forward. Only the intervention of God will save Western man, or a portion thereof. Of course, the West means nothing to God for its mere Western quality; but, because the West was the Christianized society par excellence, I use the West almost as synonymous with Christendom, after being formed in the natural virtue of philosophical paganism.

  13. Due to my occupation I have to remain strong and ready, so a change to my diet by removing meat will be too much of a shock and a weakening for me. Do you have any advice for a layman and wayward cultural Christian to retap into the spirit of Advent and Christmas, is there anything I can be thinking, meditating on or reading for a few minutes each day to assist?

    1. I forgot to mention that animal protein may still be had from fish, shrimp, etc.
      If that is not feasible, the Church’s laws have always exempted children, pregnant women, the elderly, and men who need more food for energy in rough work. They would advise you to keep to the spirit as best as possible. I.e., try to prepare the food in a rather bland way (which can honestly be harder than fasting itself), eat only what is truly necessary, etc.
      There is a distinction between fasting and abstinence – fasting is waiting to eat for a time, abstinence is avoiding certain kinds of foods. You may want to do one or the other; i.e., have some yogurt early in the morning (but no meat; Greek yogurt has a ton of protein), or eat meat, but wait until the afternoons/evenings if possible.
      The goal is to find some way of denying one’s self, with the goal of practicing willpower, of using hunger pangs or yearnings for tastier fare as a reminder of God, and of increasing the joy of Christmas by making its rich fare stand out starkly in contrast to the austerity of the fasting period.

  14. Regardless of religious preferences or lack of them, the end of a year is a great time for introspection. I think this year I’ll leave the decadence until the 25th. Excellent article.

  15. I thought Christmas was all about getting the 500 dollar tv you dont need for 200 dollars.

    1. It’s about so much more than that.
      For example, one should learn the best pressure points to hit when attempting to wrest said tv from the hands of other Black Friday shoppers. Also, Christmas is a time for togetherness. Teach your children how to run interference in the hectic crowds at Walmart. After all, they want to receive these cool presents themselves, don’t they? Perhaps the most important thing to learn, is how to find the right balance between upstaging others’ gifts and yet saving as much of your money for yourself as possible.

  16. Be skeptical about any person or entity that creates a situation which according to them, demands your service and sacrifice.

    1. Everything involves service and sacrifice. The only questions that matter, are the nature of the service and sacrifice, and the end to which they are offered.
      I don’t think that encouragement to avoid a shallow life, and to focus instead on the harrowing nature of the encounter with Truth and Beauty, is the worst advice one could give.

  17. Thanks for giving more depth into Advent and tips for preparation. Fasting for four weeks will not be easy but I will consider it.

  18. For years, Christmas had been getting more and more unpleasant. Instead of being a time of joy and celebration for me it was just a lot of hard work and heartache.
    Last year, I followed your advice and celebrated Christmas for the entire twelve days instead of just the one and something wonderful happened. Long story short, on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior and I am now living a new and joyful life as a born-again Christian.
    I began attending a small church near my home where I found a loving group of people who make me feel like an important part of a family again. Your guidance lit a path for me to find a better way of life. Last year at this time I was sad, lonely and depressed, wishing I could just lay down and die. Today I am happy once again and very, very thankful to be alive.
    Good job, brother. Thank you for helping me find the way.

    1. I can’t say how glad this makes me. My only hope for my writing is that it does somebody some good; I thank God that it was helpful to you.
      God bless you and continue to give you light. Resolve to follow Him no matter what, and to never tire in following Him, and I know that He will do His part for you.

      1. Thank you, brother. I humbly accept your charge to follow Him no matter what… He’s already done His part for me; giving me new life and all.
        I’m very glad that God has led you to shine His light on this little corner of the ‘sphere. This experience has been very good for me and is helping me to become a better, stronger man.
        I now perceive my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit and I treat myself much, much better for it. I don’t want to watch porn anymore, I work out six days a week, I eat better food and I spend some time every day in prayer and meditation. I’m healthier and stronger now and my stress level is way, way down. This truly is a better way of life.
        I can’t thank you enough for helping me find this immeasurable peace. I hope you will continue to post here and maybe help others find their way to a better life as I have. I believe the world could use a few more strong Christian men.
        May God grant you Joy and Peace eternal and may all your efforts to serve Him be fruitful.

  19. And eating christmasfood plenty of times before christmas, is normal in norway. It begins in November.

    1. Most Catholics started to lose the fasting customs associated with this season, and the process was only accelerated in Protestant countries.
      But the memory still remained that the feast of St. Martin was a “last hurrah” that kicked off the Christmas Fast (which actually began on the 15th of November), and that the season of Advent was a “Christmasy” time. Many Protestants were comfortable with Christmas and Easter, moreover, but looked upon every other festival as something superstitious and particularly Catholic – so, the 12 days of Christmas that included the Feasts of the Innocents, the first-martyr Stephen, St. John the Evangelist, the Circumcision and Epiphany came to be ignored, and the season leading up to Christmas alone remained, with a somewhat altered emphasis.

  20. Is it true that Christmas is really a pagan holiday? Some real bible thumpers believe it to be wrong to celebrate it. That and other holy days

    1. The reason why some of the hard-core Bible thumpers, as you say, forbid celebrating Christmas, comes from their incorrect interpretation of a verse in the Bible, where St. Paul upbraids the Christians in Galatia for returning to the practice of Judaism in the observance of its calendar and feasts. But he mentions elsewhere in Scripture that some Christians observe a day as holy to the Lord, while some consider every day equal; so long as the intent to honor the Lord is present, he sees no problem with either approach. However, it should also be indicated that the Scriptures give a promise that the Spirit would lead the Church into Truth, and that Christians should obey the properly appointed authorities in the Church. It very quickly became the universal practice of Christians to observe certain solemnities (such as the birth of our Lord, the conception of the Blessed Virgin, the birth of St. John the Baptist, etc.). We have testimony of Lent and Easter being observed by Christians from the early centuries. As time went on, the Church’s cycle of festivals came to mirror the feasts of the Old Covenant in a clearly divine way, with the newer feasts illuminating the old.
      Also, it should be remembered that many human festivals are closely based on the natural cycles of nature. Some festivals of the Church came from God’s choice to directly intervene in the world at these times, since, as Maker of the world, it makes sense that He would wish for certain events to correspond to the world He made. Other festivals the Church deliberately instituted to mark the same natural cycles or, often, to supplant a pagan practice that already existed – since customs die hard, it was better to redirect old customs away from pagan deities and to the true God. As a great example of both of these tendencies coming together, we have the feast of the Purification of the Virgin (also known as “The Meeting of the Lord in the Temple,” or colloquially as Candlemas).
      The Bible itself indicates that our Lord was born in late December/early January, as I explained in a comment somewhere else on this page. Now, God chose to be born at this time, when the wintry darkness of the world (in the Northern Hemisphere) begins to abate. It was also the Hebrew custom to offer a firstborn male son to the Lord, and for a woman who had given birth to a male son to be purified of her uncleanness on the 40th day (women are unclean for an additional forty days in the case of a female child). So, forty days later is the feast of the Purification/Meeting of the Lord. But this also happens to nearly coincide with the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, and even more nearly with the mid-point between Christmas and the traditional dates of our Lord’s conception and Resurrection (25th and 27th March, respectively). This time had long been marked by pagan celebrations that welcomed the coming spring and time of fertility, such a the Roman Lupercalia and especially the Bretonic-Celtic festival of Imbolc, which fell on February 1st.
      There were many pagan customs on these days, but they coincided quite naturally with a Christian festival based on traditional dates that accord very well with Scripture. Moreover, the pagan customs were based closely on the natural cycle of seasons and agriculture, which were very important to all people not that long ago. The Church gladly took the customs involving livestock, the growing light of the day at that time of year, and anticipating whether the winter would last much longer or not, and gave them a Christian focus. Even our “Groundhog Day,” which falls on the day of the Purification, February 2nd, is a direct continuation of customs that came through Catholicism from the ancient prehistory of Northern European peoples.
      So, are Catholic holidays “pagan?” Some of them coincide naturally with the cycles of the seasons, and so incidentally coincide with pagan holidays that also observed these natural cycles. Some of their customs were deliberately adapted from Paganism and redirected by the Church (and certainly many Christmas customs are very, very ancient – yule logs, wassail, mistletoe, holly and ivy, etc.). Many of the holidays can be said with certainty to have nothing to do with paganism, and are based instead on the historical facts of our Lord’s life, and on the symbolic system inherited from Judaism. What matters, is that they are all blessed by the Church and are kept with the intent of giving glory to God. And that, as St. Paul said, is the main thing.

      1. Nice write up. Since most pagan holidays fall in line with natural phenomenon and so do Religious ones it’s not fair to say certain holidays are pagan holidays. But I don’t believe religions should absorb pagan holidays and rituals. That’s spiritual genocide.

        1. I see your point, to a certain extent. But if the religion is dying anyway, and that is a way of salvaging customs still near to the people while revitalizing the meaning, it seems to me that one could equally say it is an act of spiritual preservation.

        2. That’s a rosy way of putting. But I disagree.
          Religions don’t “die”. Religions are snuffed out. That’s what the crusades were about, both Christian and Islam. Thousands of years have passed yet people are still exercising Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism etc. because there are no real threats to them at this point (although some might say Islam is jockeying for position nowadays).
          And those missionaries who travel around the world spreading the gospel for those who want “salvation”? That’s a wolf in sheeps clothing.

        3. The Crusades were about liberating the Holy Land, which had been territory of the Roman Empire, from the up and coming political power of the Moslems (who were raping and murdering pilgrims to the shrines, in addition to waging an unprovoked war against the Byzantine Empire). It was not a war to “snuff out Islam.” Christianity has no mandate to go and kill every non-Christian, nor are Jews particularly interested in proselytizing. I suppose Islam is a system of religious conquest until the “Nation of War” is subjected to the Nation of Islam.
          Neither did Romans feel the need to snuff out Greek Paganism, nor did the Ptolemies extirpate the Egyptian pantheon. The Germanic Goths converted peacefully and actually sacked Rome asking to be made Catholics and Patricians! Probably the first case in history where people killed because they wanted to be converted, rather than to make someone else convert! Likewise the Celtic peoples converted peacefully, as did most Christian peoples, really. There have been periods when expanding Christian Empires happened to evangelize, but about the only case of real, forced conversions (and even then, with the option of exile still on the table), was the case of the Conversos in Spain.
          This idea that religion is a cause of war is completely unhistorical. Political ideologies and disputes are the cause of war; often religions are aligned with a particular culture, and so people’s piety factors in to their resolve in the battle, but very rarely do people (other than Moslems) say “let’s go kill those people over there simply because infidels must die.” I will note that all of Christendom’s wars with Islam have been defensive.

        4. Truthfully, No religions have mandates to kill in their scriptures. Zero zilch. But that doesn’t stop people killing to justify their motives of conquest. Did you know ISIL is just using religion as a front to steal oil from oil wealthy countries and smuggling it for their own selfish needs? To say no other people use religion as a front for these types of activities is naive.
          Now that religion in the west has been masked by secularism, new reasons and new problems are created. Women’s rights in the middle east, false flag attacks like 9/11, human rights atrocities in China, and the list goes on. These last few centuries were nothing but missions of conquest.

        5. Precisely what I said, was that religion is used as a front for activities that would have occurred anyway.
          The modern world is not creating “new problems” now that religion is gone; it still has the same problems it always had. Only now, there is no religion to restrain the problems, and the people don’t abuse religion as a justification for their petty violence.

        6. I’m glad you’ve come around to agree with me and saved face whilst doing so. Those huge walls of posts in reply was annoying and I was getting tired of it hahaha

  21. Christmas was a pagan holiday that was reapprpriated as birth of Christ. December the 25th was the day when an influential cult of roman soldiers who celebrated the Mithra or Sol the God of sun. Since catholics couldn’t stop them celebrating Christmas so they changed to symbolize the navitity of Christ. Also Romans celebrated saturnalia during the winter solstice when had banquets and likely orgies. When u hang your decorations on your Christmas tree; it is likely originated when the nords and ancient Germanic people who celebrated the winter solstice holiday called Yule where they brought in a spruce near their fire to worship their pagan god Odin. Various other cultures such Egyptians, Aztecs also used evergreen trees to symbolize eternal life.
    Scholars are not even sure when was Jesus even born.
    Christmas is an interesting topic though. Then again many modern practices have paganiv influences or similarities

    1. The celebration of Sol Invictus didn’t exist until the late 200s. Well after the time of Christ and subsequent celebrations of His birth…

  22. there is always this bitching about the holidays being “boring and commercial” and having to endure the relatives when it’s our fault that such a nice time of the year has become what it has become. Nothing like a little religion to put joy in Christmas again

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