Almost Christmas Eve: the merging of paganism with Roman Christianity has led to a hybrid Saturnalian creation that grows monstrously every year, pure, unadulterated materialism robed in fantastical spiritual clothing. Interestingly enough, many Protestants still dislike Christmas whereas Catholics love the more paganistic parts. In actuality, it is entirely pagan now which is why rightwingers decry the 'war on Christmas'.
Among the findings:
_Santa is important to 60 percent of Catholics, 51 percent of those without a religious affiliation and 47 percent of Protestants, when households both with and without children are surveyed.
_Nearly half, 47 percent, said Santa detracts from the religious significance of Christmas; over one-third, 36 percent, said he enhances the religious nature of the holiday.
_91 percent of whites believed in Santa as a child; 72 percent of minorities did. One quarter of those now living in households with incomes under $25,000 did not believe in Santa.
It is truly sad that 25% of the people who are poor have given up on Santa Claus. It seems the jolly elf likes rich kids much more than poor ones. This makes him much more a pagan god that celebrates wealth and power rather than the humble Christian handing out alms to the poor of yore.
Of course, the way things worked in the good old days of the Christian Medieval times, the Church joined the nobility in ruthlessly tithing the peasants and taking even their beds, their stools (chairs were forbidden!) and the rags off of their very backs not to mention ten percent of the crops and a quarter of the days they labored in the fields!
St. Nicholas handed out money to the very poor but it was much more like winning the lottery rather than getting one's due. Here is a short film made by a Christian group concerning Santa Claus:
The Protestants didn't celebrate Christmas. They considered it (correctly) as a pagan festival wearing a thin veneer of Christianity. Indeed, Protestants, far from celebrating Christmas, WORKED that day! The famous 'Scrooge' story was a reaction by Dickens and his literary circle to recapture the rapture of Christmas lost when Henry VIII abjured Catholicism.
There was a long struggle with Christmas in America where it was NOT celebrated universally until the German and Irish migrations brought in two forces that made Santa Claus possible. The 'new' Christmas sprang up near my mountain, in the Taconic and Hudson valleys where the Dutch influence was greatest. Students in one school rioted when they were forced to go to school on Christmas day, for example. The Christmas tree, a revival of pagan celebrations in Germany brought in with the antiquity researchers of the 18th and 19th centuries, came here via German professors and this got welded with the Dutch St. Nicholas and the Irish elf that came down the smokehole and rose out of the hearth fires, a domestic god of fertility that had to be fed milk and bisquits or it would make the cows dry up and the wheat moldy.
This conflagation of so many odd pagan attributes were remade here in New York into a marketing ploy: the modern Santa Claus. Jewish merchants happily joined the parade because he was not a religious symbol but merely an icon of a shopping cycle. So it took off in NYC.
The after effects of this are obvious: many non-Christians are quite happy with the Santa Claus concept. It doesn't offend them. My own grandfather could barely tolerate Christmas. He disliked it. Being of old Victorian stock, he still had the suspicions of the celebration. Because of this, we didn't believe in Santa Claus because our own parents dismissed him outright. Despite my German side of the family, the rejection of paganism was important to my parents.
The obvious question is, how did I end up a pagan? Well, fate had a big hand in that. This didn't mean I fell for Santa Claus at all. Being logical, it pissed me off that Santa Claus showered his love on the rich and kicked the poor to the curb. If someone real didn't go forth and right this wrong by personally giving gifts to the poor, they went without.
The pouty Bratz dolls so popular as Christmas presents are made at a factory in southern China where workers are obliged to toil up to 94 hours a week, among other violations, a labour rights group said in a report released Friday.
The report by U.S.-based China Labour Watch and the National Labour Committee details allegations of harsh working conditions, especially during peak delivery months, and of violations of workers' rights to injury and health insurance.
Workers are paid the equivalent of 17 cents US for each doll, the report said, while the dolls retail for $16 US a piece or more.
An awful lot of Americans make a lot of money selling stuff made by semi-slave labor in China. Chinese children of these hard-working people don't get Santa's bounty. Sigh. The love of gift giving is great in Asia, Japan has totally embraced Christmas as a pagan gift-giving holiday. It is spreading to China, too.
A group of Chinese students has criticised a rise in Christmas revelry, urging people to "resist Western cultural invasion", state media says.
The 10 students, all from elite universities, posted their views on an internet website, the China Daily said.
They condemned the proliferation of Christmas trees, seasonal messages in the media and people celebrating "until very late" on Christmas Eve.
The social side effect of Santa Claus is the stubborn idea that one will get goodies by being 'good'. Many Christians have cast aside the 'being good' part and cheerfully embraced the much easier and happier concept that if they ask Jesus to forgive them, they can sin like crazy. A certain madness has gripped the world as clashing ideas and ideologies confuse people. For example, many Christians want to give their children presents. They hate 'violence' and 'evil' but their kids are addicted to this stuff because it is our culture.
So the right wing Christians created a video game that is about the End of Times whereby their youths can merrily rampage around Manhattan, creating hell while 'saving' people. This lunatic game is being marketed as an antidote to heathen games where peope go around Manhattan, rampaging and creating hell. See?
It is well worth watching this little promo put out by these destructive elves. One thing that really amused me was the 'Fish' of Jesus in one segment: it is a skeleton! As many Christians toil day and night to turn themselves into the devils of the Apocalypse, as they embrace the concept and design of the Anti-Christ, they hate Santa Claus. Go figure.
They want this season to not be about the sun being reborn and cease moving south but to begin to climb north again, lengthening the days once more. Nope. they want this to be all about their own god, a man made god who will come back...to kill us! And destroy everything? GAH. At least Santa Claus goes back to the North Pole and continues his pagan ways, oppressing his elves, rather than coming here and killing me with tremendous brutality.
No wonder Santa Claus is so popular worldwide.