Should Black Christians Celebrate Christmas?
If you live in America, you are currently in the midst of the Christmas season onslaught – the biggest retail season of the entire year. If you have begun to gain Knowledge of Self, you have also begun to question the soundness of the religions that you have been born into – and you are right to do so! For if you are able to question religion with an open heart and mind and receive answers that you are able to prove or disprove, then you can trust in the soundness of that religion.
Unfortunately, most Black men and women have been sold on Christianity and as a result, we gleefully participate in one of the most false, pagan celebrations in all of Christendom, that of Christmas. This article asks the question of all my devoted Christian readers; should you celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior?
The celebration of Christmas on December 25th means putting up a Christmas Tree, exchanging gifts (delivered by some apparition named Santa Claus), and observing the birth of Jesus Christ – usually by attending church services or offering prayers. Lets look at each of these factors in detail.
We commonly observe December 25th as the day that Jesus Christ was born. However, no one is really sure of when Jesus was born. Of course we know that the scriptures do not reveal the date of Jesus’ birth. In fact, the Catholic encyclopedia admits that even within the scriptures of the Bible, there is a significant amount of contradiction and innacuracy concerning the date of Christ’s birth:
“Concerning the date of Christ’s birth the Gospels give no help; upon their data contradictory arguments are based. The census would have been impossible in winter: a whole population could not then be put in motion. Again, in winter it must have been; then only field labour was suspended. But Rome was not thus considerate. Authorities moreover differ as to whether shepherds could or would keep flocks exposed during the nights of the rainy season.”
So how did we settle on December 25th as the day that we choose to observe the birth of the founder of Christianity? Heres how: In the early 4th Century, December 25th was chosen by Pope Julius the First of Rome to correspond with the date of the birth of Mithra, the pagan Christ. Mithra, a Babylonian deity, and Jesus Christ have a few strange similarities:
Mithra was born on December 25th of the virgin Anahita.
The babe was wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger and attended by shepherds.
He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.
He had 12 companions or “disciples.”
He performed miracles.
As the “great bull of the Sun,” Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.
He ascended to heaven.
Mithra was viewed as the Good Shepherd, the “Way, the Truth and the Light,” the Redeemer, the Savior, the Messiah.
Mithra is omniscient, as he “hears all, sees all, knows all: none can deceive him.”
He was identified with both the Lion and the Lamb.
His sacred day was Sunday, “the Lord’s Day,” hundreds of years before the appearance of Christ.
His religion had a eucharist or “Lord’s Supper.”
Mithra “sets his marks on the foreheads of his soldiers.”
Mithraism emphasized baptism
Romans adopted the Babylonian sun – god as “the divine Sun, the Unconquered Sun; mighty in strength, mighty ruler, greatest king of gods! O Sun, lord of heaven and earth, God of Gods!”
Like the Babylonians, Mithra was also deemed “the mediator” between heaven and earth, a role often ascribed to the god of the sun.
By 100 AD, the Romans had begun to build altars to “Sol Invictus Mithras” – which lets us know that Rome had completely absorbed the Babylonian god into their own copycat spiritual system. By the Third century A.D., Mithraism had spread from as far east as India to as far west as Scotland. In the fifth century, the emperor Julian, having rejected his birth-religion of Christianity, adopted Mithraism and “introduced the practise of the worship at Constantinople.” (Schaff-Herzog, VII, 423)
To summarize, in The Worship of Nature Sir James G. Frazer made the following comment circa 1925:
If the Mithraic mysteries were indeed a Satanic copy of a divine original, we are driven to conclude that Christianity took a leaf out of the devil’s book when it fixed the birth of the Saviour on the twenty-fifth of December; for there can be no doubt that the day in question was celebrated as the birthday of the Sun by the heathen before the Church, by an afterthought, arbitrarily transferred the Nativity of its Founder from the sixth of January to the twenty-fifth of December.
So to my Christian readers, do you think it is appropriate to celebrate the birth of Jesus on a day based on the celebration of a false God?
The Origin of the Christmas Tree
Part of the traditional American way of celebrating Christmas is to put up an decorate a Christmas tree, but why?? To answer this question, one must examine the origins of this practice.
The Black Conscious community may be surprised to learn that the tradition of brining evergreen trees into the home dates back to ancient Kemet. The people of Kemet prized evergreen plants, and when the winter solstice arrived, they would bringt green date palm leaves into their homes to symbolize life’s triumph over death.
Later, Romans would celebrate winter solstice by decorating their homes in a similar fashion during the festival of Saturnalia. This festival – held from December 17th to December 23rd in honor of the mythological god, Saturn, was not a holy one, but was filled with debauchery. Sacrifices were held in the Temple of Saturn, drunken orgies, gambling, and continual partying ensued in a carnival of materialism. Shops and schools were closed to encourage them to participate in the revelries.
As Christianity rose, leaders of the church determined that something had to be done to convert pagans to the new religion. In the 4th Century, Saturnalia was integrated into Christianity and thus successfully converted many pagans into Christianity. Thus, the Christmas tree became integral in the practice of Christmas celebration. Pagans had long worshipped trees in the forest, or brought them into their homes and decorated them, and this observance was adopted and painted with a Christian veneer by the Church.
Due to its pagan origin, the Christmas festival – which was based on the old Saturnalia festival was banned in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681 by the Puritans as an illegal observance.
So to my Christian readers, do you think it is appropriate to buy and decorate a Christmas tree when it has its roots in a pagan, tree-worshiping Roman celebration of a false god by means of drunken debauchery?
The Tradition of Gift-Giving
There are traditions of gift-giving around the world in every culture. However, as a customary Christian celebration, gift giving can also be traced back to pagan origins.
On a specific day on December 23rd called Sigillaria during the festival of Saturnalia, gifts were exchanged to celebrate the spirit of the season. Unlike today, the gifts that were given were cheap – usually made of clay or wax. The idea was to honor the spirit of the season, and gifts of high value would mark social status in contrast to that season. In other words, this wasn’t a time to lavish one another with expensive gifts.
As time went on, the archetype that is Santa Claus developed – based on a 4th century Catholic Bishop who gave away all his money and property. His charity and selfless giving became an example of the true Christian spirit. By his example, if one were to truly follow the example of the first Santa Claus, they would sell or distribute all of their household trinkets to the poor.
Fast forward to the year 2012, and the Christmas season has been hijacked in the name of capitalism to move cheaply made (but expensively priced) products.
Christmas has become a peer-pressured reason to go into debt buying cheap items made with planned obsolescence for the sole purpose of materialistically demonstrating how much one cares for another.
So to my Christian readers, if you say that the celebration of Christmas is about spreading “joy and good cheer”, how exactly is that accomplished with the participation in Wal-Mart Black Friday deals? What would Christ himself say about the practice of gift giving as a reward for good behavior, or the demonstration of ones love for another?
If No Christmas, Then What?
Now that I have (hopefully) shattered the myth of Christmas, you may be feeling a sense of alienation and loss. “What do I do while everyone is having a great time opening gifts and decorating trees? What do I tell my children? What do I tell my partner, who believes in Christmas and wants to celebrate it?”
You share this knowledge with them. You hold them accountable for their false beliefs, and you encourage them to become truly charitable, peaceful, reconciling, and empathetic to the plight of the less fortunate among us. Right knowledge corrects wrong behavior, so use this season to really explore the truth behind Christmas, Christianity, and European spiritual systems as a whole.
If you choose to participate, then that is your choice. But if you are a true Christian, would Christ himself approve? And if you are Black and conscious (or developing knowledge of self), ask yourself how the practice of a Eurocentric pagan holiday furthers your spiritual development?