Sorry, But Christmas Never Happened!

Santa Jesus - YM Sidekick

I encourage every Christian to spend this Christmas Eve reading the two Birth Narratives in Matthew and Luke, side by side. No unbiased person can read these two stories and believe that they are talking about the birth of the same child.

Christmas never happened, folks. These stories are ancient tall tales.

Enjoy the holiday. Have a glass of eggnog! But please, stop telling your children that Santa Jesus is real.

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End of post.

31 thoughts on “Sorry, But Christmas Never Happened!

  1. Are God and Santa Claus on the same level though, truly? Here’s an interesting quote. To me, it really is a flawed comparison.

    ” We have strong evidence that Santa Claus does not exist. We know where Christmas gifts come from. We know that humans—let alone, elves—do not live at the North Pole. We can be pretty confident that a human Santa if he existed, would be mortal rather than ageless and undying. This is evidence against Santa. By contrast, we do have evidence for God’s existence—the beginning and fine-tuning of the universe, consciousness, rationality, beauty, human dignity and worth, and free will. The evidence for God is on a different level altogether.”

    You know, does any mature normally functioning adult accept either the existence of Santa or the tooth fairy or speak to imaginary friends? Yet, many intelligent and thoughtful people have come to feel that there is a creator. There is just a huge difference in our reasoning process as adults than when we were children. Or at least, we hope there is. 🙂

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  2. No, there isn’t any ‘huge difference in our reasoning’ between adult and child when it comes to belief in supernatural beings. Faith in god-men, angels, demons and gods doesn’t entail reason, that is why it’s called faith. Really, Becky, as an adult yourself you really should be reasoning much better than you do.

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  3. Rats, this doesn’t look like a good link. But, anyway, check it out on the internet. It’s pretty interesting. Our cognition and understanding is just very different depending on the developmental stage.

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    1. Becky, not directed to me, but I did take a quick look at the study you cited. Here’s a descriptive line from the study that could only come from a believer, not a true scientist:

      The infant lives in a foundational state of either trust or mistrust, depending on the care it receives and its sense of safety in the world. From this foundation, preliminary images of “God” begin to form that will affect future religious perceptions.

      I would agree with the first sentence, but the second one is pure malarkey based on nothing but Christian teachings … which is not surprising since Fowler is a theologian.

      Further, while he has supporters, he also have many critics.

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    2. You are trying to rationalize belief in ghost impregnations of virgins and dead corpse reanimations. No amount of sophisticated-sounding theological mumbo jumbo is going to change that fact. Your beliefs are not rational. Period. That is why you are asked to believe them by faith. The faith of a child.

      Think like an adult, Becky, not like a child. Use critical thinking skills not faith.

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  4. Thanks for your comment, Nan. I think he’s paralleling Piaget’s stages of human development and applying that to faith development. But, you’re right, his bias as a theologian is going to come through this as well. Still, I found it interesting.

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    1. I had a look at this, Becky, though only on Wiki as I couldn’t get any of the sites with Fowler’s material to open. Interesting that he bases his conjecture (and that’s all it is) on Piaget’s highly disputed stages.
      As Gary and I have suggested to you, Becky, your belief in the supernatural is, quite literally, unreasonable. You mistake retroactive rationalization – plenty about this online – of a childlike faith, for reason itself.

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  5. Well, Neil, the man did earn a doctorate from Harvard, and then I understand moved on to Cambridge. I did not read anything about his work until I was an older adult. It was interesting to me because these stages that he seemed to talk about paralleled my own faith development. I’ve actually seen this play out in my own life. For me, I honestly don’t feel like it had anything to do with retroactive rationalization.

    To give you an example, when I was young and newly come to faith, someone sincerely attempted to explain to me that much in the Scripture may be written to be understood in non-literal or metaphorical ways. And, that myth or symbol God can work through to convey deep truth. I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around anthropomorphism.

    Do you know what I thought, Neil? Probably you’ve guessed it.

    I just thought to myself, here is someone who just is cherry-picking the Scripture for their own purpose. Why they simply don’t believe the Bible. Perhaps they are even apostate from the faith and heading for Hell in a handbasket.

    But, then years later, this understanding came to me effortlessly and made perfect sense. I could hardly believe that I thought otherwise. But, you see I had moved into a different, albeit normal developmental stage of my life. And, thank God that my faith and spirituality didn’t just remain stuck to where I was at as a teenager or even as a young adult. The question I struggle with is, “Why do some folks Christian or non-Christian remain stuck?”

    What happens when someone intellectually and developmentally matures normally, but somehow their religious belief system and spirituality just doesn’t follow suit at all. And, then it all comes crashing down. It’s a conundrum and mystery to me.

    One thing I do know, Neil, no matter what we still need to respect and value each other. We can’t drag people to where we’re at or to who we hope they would be. It’s a process that takes time in all our lives. None of us have arrived.

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  6. It’s okay, I guess, to expect people to respect your right to believe mumbo-jumbo – sorry: ‘myth, metaphor and symbolism’ – but no-one is under any obligation to respect the mumbo-jumbo itself.

    As for ‘dragging’ others to ‘where we’re at’ – what is it then you’re doing here?

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      1. Ark, I”ve checked out your blog. Anyone who shows kindness to spiders and loves butterflies can’t be all bad. :): Your rough exterior has hidden the heart of a total sweetheart. I’ve seen your true self. So there.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t eat animals either. So this must make me an even bigger sweetheart. And as I am such a sweetheart, with the individual’s best interests at heart, be they insect or animal, I strongly recommend you see someone about your problem/s.

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          1. Ark, my husband, and I eat plant-based too, although I’m not a total vegan. And, right now have put on some weight through this whole Covid thing. My new trail runners just came yesterday. Now I need to be using them. 🙂

            My husband is completely vegan. He hasn’t eaten meat in probably over 35 years and is in excellent health. For us, it’s very health-related, but I also feel like it’s a way to reduce our carbon footprint, and is just better for the planet. I”m a huge lover of the natural world, but I have to admit to not having the same compassion and affinity toward spiders.

            Ark, are you feeling that all people who feel there is a God and who especially practice the Christian faith are mentally unbalanced. Social welfare, mental health has been my whole field. Or is there something more specific? Is it just the practice of prayer? Help me to understand more where you’re at in this. I mean there are many psychologists/psychiatrists who are people of faith. I’ve known people with issues who have experienced a measure of healing actually through their faith.

            I definitely believe that religion can be used for evil. It can become toxic and harmful. But, I don’t see this as always being the case and I feel that at the bottom lie issues that are much deeper than faith in God.

            Here’s what I’ve actually seen. Often people with mental health issues or trauma can reflect this in their faith. But, when they begin to heal and recover, their expression of faith also becomes more healthy and balanced. Pastoral counselors can greatly help and support people through this process.

            But, you’re feeling it’s all bad. What are the churches like in S. Africa, Ark?

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            1. Ark, I also want to add that I’ve worked with folks who are truly delusional. People who are psychotic and hearing voices, who are completely out of touch with reality. People can have brain diseases that can be detected on a scan.

              This is not the same thing as a Christian believer sensing the presence of God in prayer or who feels that God can answer prayer.

              But, as I’ve shared, there are also folks with mental health problems that practice the Christian faith. So, yes, the line could become blurred. I understand that. Anyway, can you elaborate more. I’ll just listen and try to understand.

              Thank you for your concern for me, Ark. Like I said, I sense your heart.

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            2. Ark, are you feeling that all people who feel there is a God and who especially practice the Christian faith are mentally unbalanced.

              If you consider suffering from a life-long delusion that has been indoctrinated a form of mental illness (in various degrees of severity) then , yes.

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              1. But, Ark, we would have to agree that the majority of people in the world are all delusional and need mental health help. I can’t see it. But, you’ve shared your honest opinion. I can’t ask for more than that.

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                1. There are millions of gods, past and present, worshipped and defunct and thousands of religions.
                  It is obvious to anyone, even ”believers” with any degree of integrity or intellectual acumen they can’t all be right.
                  And before you make the suggestion that a Creator Deity could have decided to manifest in thousands or even millions of different god forms and an equal number of cultures … please don’t. And I’ll presume you are intelligent and thank you up front for not replying why not? either.
                  Therefore, we are faced with the two most likely / possible scenarios:

                  1.Only one is the correct god and thus, the correct religion, or,
                  All religions are wrong (false/man-made) and on this basis there is every likelihood that all gods are likewise man-made.

                  Of course, there are further complications regarding the one god-one religion scenario as well, and if you wish to engage in a doctrinal discussion on the correct interpretation and why there are over 30,000 different Christian sects, then be my guess.
                  I am sure someone such as Gary, who is by far more well read on the myriad variants of Christianity than I, will gladly engage you on the topic.

                  ”I can’t see it”
                  And this is at the root of the problem.

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                  1. Well, I definitely don’t have the definitive word on this subject. If you want, Ark I could share my personal views and speculation. But, I could be wrong, and would not see my opinion as something written in stone. But, I do think it’s one thing to say all expressions of religious faith aren’t equally true or people could be in error in their opinions, or that you don’t agree. It seems another thing to me to assume everyone is delusional and needs mental health help.

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                    1. Share away. Are they evidence based or your feelings?
                      If the latter, rather not waste my time – as I won’t read it, I promise.
                      If evidence-based then I am ”all ears” as they say.

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                    2. No, it would be my opinion, Ark. I definitely agree with you that all expressions of religious faith can’t be equally true, but that doesn’t mean they are all equally false, either. There’s definitely commonality. But, to go further, I would be getting into the realm of speculation, so best to let it go. 🙂

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              2. If you consider suffering from a life-long delusion that has been indoctrinated a form of mental illness (in various degrees of severity) then , yes.

                Since your mom is a Christian, you consider her mentally ill, yes?

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  7. As for ‘dragging’ others to ‘where we’re at’ – what is it then you’re doing here?

    You do have a point here, Neil. 🙂

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