Sol Invictus Is the Reason For the Season

December 24, 2010

Defenders in the imaginary War on Christmas are out in force again this year, this time it seems with less top-down organization from the right-wing gasbags, and more from the grass roots.

For example, I received the following Grinchy email the other day from a VERY conservative (and not at all religious) friend-of-a-friend:

I will be making  a conscious effort to wish everyone A Merry Christmas this year …
My way of saying that I am celebrating The birth Of Jesus Christ.
So I am asking my email buddies, If you agree with me, To please do the same.
And if you’ll pass this on to your email buddies, and so on…
Maybe we can prevent one more American tradition from being lost in the sea of “Political Correctness”.

To one and All…
Jesus is the reason for the season!

My response:  “Happy holidays to you too, Terry.”

So it has come to this – a season allegedly about peace on Earth and good will towards men (and women) now is about limiting the celebration to a very modern and very “Christian” interpretation.

Check out the following message from the Orthodox Observer:

I know you all know that Christmas is one of the Great Feasts of our Church.  But did you know this date was originally a pagan holiday?  This holiday was called the feast of the Sol Invictus or the feast of the Unconquerable Sun. In the fourth century, the Christian church chose December 25th as the date to celebrate the Nativity to show the True Unconquered Son. The sun was celebrated as the great light source but as Christians we know that the Son is the true light of the world. So before you “deck the halls with boughs and holly,” check out more facts about the great feast of our Lord:


(My thanks to our good friend “Say What” for that gem.)

By the way, Orthodox Christians make every effort to practice their Christianity as closely as possible to the ways of the Ancient Faith of the earliest Christians.  They know what they are talking about.  Follow that link to the Orthodox Research Institute if you interested in more about the origins of our present-day Christmas celebration.  It is excellent.

I close by wishing everyone the happiest of holiday seasons, whatever that may mean to you.  And with a small poem by Edwin Markham:

He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!


  1. “Over the past few years, a number of theories have been offered about the rise of fundamentalism. Roy proposes the most original — and the most persuasive. Fundamentalism, in his view, is a symptom of, rather than a reaction against, the increasing secularization of society. Whether it takes the form of the Christian right in the United States or Salafist purity in the Muslim world, fundamentalism is not about restoring a more authentic and deeply spiritual religious experience. It is instead a manifestation of holy ignorance, Roy’s biting term meant to characterize the worldview of those who, having lost both their theology and their roots, subscribe to ideas as incoherent as they are ultimately futile. The most important thing to know about those urging the restoration of a lost religious authenticity is that they are sustained by the very forces they denounce.”


    • That’s a great book review. And now I’m looking forward to reading “Holy Ignorance.”

  2. Good post Gray. It’s amazing that we can’t stop fighting, even on Christmas. Everything is a “war” on everything.

    I like that circle poem … real cool.

    Have a Happy! (You too Dog!)

  3. And another thought -is the apparent increase in racism and ultra reactionaries an indication of thier coming demise? Think so.

    • racism.. errrr I think you need to watch a little Pano..

      did you know that Santa Claus is GREEK.. oh yeah.. Nick is Greek..

  4. Whoa.. I feel kinda sick today.. too much HAM, Turkey, Pastiso, spanokopeta, mashed potatoes, cucumber salad, veggies, homemade kolach, buckeyes, toffee, fudge, cheese balls, salt n vingar chips and dip, oh yeah.. and STRAWBERRY Daqs!. I have to lose 25-26 lbs.. too bloated. BRING OUT THE SPANDEX!

  5. The Italian Creme Cake was the cherry on top!.. I can’t help but love that cake!

  6. NP Blue. We’ll just rename you “Chubs”.
    Greek lamb shank w orzo for dinner.

  7. Chubs is good.. cause that I am after eating all the stuff.. That lamb sounds good.. I will make that one for EASTER.

    • Devastating satire.

      I keep hoping that the latest TSA nonsense will be the turning point – when America will stop cowering under the bed over “The Terrorists” and start questioning what the government is doing to us in the name of “national security.”

    • Osama won.

  8. there is no such thing as National Security today! We have the internet and then some..

    Any good movies out.. We saw the fockers.. it was stupid. Transformers was on TV.. I liked that one… My brother (one who has been married 3 times to different GREEK WOMEN) gave me 5 CD’s of Greek History.. ha ha.. I gave them to my new son.. Ian. Need to hellenize him.

  9. ohh.. and my sister mailed me two Greek pot holders.. too funny.. one is a woman and the other a man in evzone. Like what am I gonna do with these.. I stuffed them into Ian’s bag; however, he found them and put them back in my room.. ha ha.. We will pass these back and forth FOREVER!

    • Yeah we have a few souvenirs like that – from parent’s trips. O Dear. Stuff them in a closet and sell them at a house sale – or give them to charity.

  10. no Tacori this year! My diamond days are over. Need another 25.. to get another one.

  11. Whether it takes the form of the Christian right in the United States or Salafist purity in the Muslim world, fundamentalism is not about restoring a more authentic and deeply spiritual religious experience. It is instead a manifestation of holy ignorance, Roy’s biting term meant to characterize the worldview of those who, having lost both their theology and their roots, subscribe to ideas as incoherent as they are ultimately futile.

    This makes an incredibly large assumption that Salafists have lost their theology and their roots AND that their ideas are incoherent and futile. Objectively, Salafists regularly demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of both their theology and the roots of their faith. Subjectively, the futility of their ideas or their incoherence is in the eye of the beholder. If you don’t get it, and I suspect you don’t, then it isn’t going to make sense, when in fact, according to their faith and their history,

    • Point made- a typical regressive staring at the abyss

    • Ape, there is nothing sophisticated or coherent about a theology that commands its followers to blow up the infidels. And if that opinion is in the eye of this beholder, then so be it.

      Would you care to fill us in on the alleged “sophistication” of the Salafists? I certainly can’t see it. Their “sophistication” seems to be approximately equal to the religious sophistication of Tex Taylor. You know – the guy who thinks that the story of Noah and the Ark is literally true.

    • Refer back to comment one. Fundamentalists are losers.

    • If you studied Islamic law, the history of Islamic law and the premises through which it initially developed, you’d find a sophisticated ideological structure. In fact, I’d bet dollars to doghnuts that you would be a fan of it because it carries heavy socialist tendencies. It takes a village and all that. But you don’t know Islamic law. In fact, you know very little about Islam- and Christianity I’ll venture- altogether.

      You speak from ignorance a lot, both you nand the mutt should probably spend some time on the history of Islam. Once you get a tast of that, then look at the law and theories, the context is important.

      Of course, being a liberal, context doesn’t mean very much, neither do means… just the ends count.

  12. it is clear.

  13. Where is the real terrorism?
    How many have died as a result of terrorists in the US? 4000 perhaps? How much has been spent to stop them? Trillions. How many people would be saved by providing medical care they cannot afford? Or food they cannot afford? How many would be saved by enforcing traffic laws? But it is better to feed the banstas and the military industrial complex and to continue to stike fear into the weak of mind – Stalin style

  14. Ape.. that is really heavy..

  15. So called “Muslim terrorists” are no more Muslim than regressive me me me hate spewing bible thumpers are Christian. Osama and his ilk hate Muslims and have killed more Muslims than they have killed anybody else.

    • This is true; however, it is the goal of the radical Islamic cult to wipe out Christianity. Ask any Palestinian.. or Jew. Do some history Dog.. Those arabs folk have been at each others throats since the dawn of man..

      Ever wonder why they behead people.. they don’t want to get the ‘Mati’.. evil eye. Seriously!

    • Pls remind me what christian missionaries are for?
      And what were the crusades about again?

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