As virtually everyone in Armitage world enters into Hobbit frenzy, I find myself in a kind of funk I’ve named Hobbit Hiatus as I grade like a madwoman to finish the fall semester by Friday. In the midst, seeking a breather, I took a scroll through my RL Facebook feed….whoops, that was a mistake!
**What follows is an irritated rant that is in no way related to Richard Armitage and only tangentially related to the ancient world, so feel free to abandon ship now.
If, however, you’d like to hear about what is currently burning my buns…
^^^^THIS, or something very similar to it has appeared on my RLFB at least three times in the past few weeks and it’s really starting to frost me. This is the kind of exclusionary arrogance of thought that gives Christians a bad name. I’ve got nothing against Christians per se..regular readers will know that I consider myself among their ranks. Heck, someone even turned a Christian pulpit over to me recently and no one ran out screaming “heretic at the helm!!,” but….
Sometimes I really wish that my fellow Christians would take a minute to learn a little something about the religion before they insist on imposing it on everyone…whether the imposee practices it or not. For instance:
ONE: Virtually every culture on the planet holds some reverence for the winter solstice (December 21st-ish)…many have established a holiday to mark the event. Christmas is not the only, or even the oldest of the holidays connected to the solstice
TWO: Apparently little known fact among HTT (holier than thou) Christians asserting greeting exclusivity as a statement of faith: Christianity has zero inherent connection to December 25th. Nobody…that’s right, NOBODY, knows the precise date on which Jesus of Nazareth was born. Not now, and not then.
In fact, for the first three hundred years of Christian development Christmas was nowhere to be found on the calendar and there was a great deal of resistance amongst the leadership to any sort of celebration marking Christ’s birth since that was considered dangerously close to pagan practice.
Any accurate record of the actual birthdate long lost, church officials argued back and forth until the 4th century BC when they landed on December 25th. In a time when Christianity was seeking to actively integrate with imperial Rome, it was a date that conveniently syncretized a Christian celebration to a Roman festival honoring Sol Invictus which was in turn connected to the solstice.
So much for any exclusive claim to December holiday greeting lingo rights!
FINALLY: As long as a Christian holds G-d and Christ in his or her heart, the verbiage of the greeting is irrelevant. It’s a quintessential “It’s the thought that counts” moment.
The next time I see one of these things I’m simply going to share this one in response:
End Rant…whew – I feel much better now!