The Reason for the Season
Living in Maine, Celebrating the Earth
Surely you have seen them; various churches (usually Fundamentalist) who proclaim, "Jesus
is the Reason for the Season". Some of these folks may be upset over the commercialization
of the season. Others, would have you believe that, if not for Jesus, there would be nothing
to celebrate at this time of year. It was not until around 400 years after the supposed birth of
Jesus that the Christians either celebrated his birth, or determined the date to use.
It is interesting to note that each culture throughout the world has had a celebration associ-
ated with a Sun God which has been held around the time of the Winter Solstice. The an-
cient Egyptians had Osirus, The ancient Romans and Greeks had Apollo. The Persians had
Mithras, the Norse had Balder. Phoenicians had Baal, and the Celts had Bel.
Jesus seems to parallel (some might say, imitate) many of the attributes previously associated
with these other Gods. For example; Osirus and Mithras were each supposedly born on
December 25. Mithras was born of a virgin, healed the sick, worked miracles and sacrificed
himself to redeem mankind. Descending into the underworld, he conquered death and rose
to life again on the third day. By drinking his blood and eating his flesh (by proxy, from a
slain bull) his devotees could conquer death. Sound familiar?
Why is it that humans throughout the world tend to celebrate at this time of the year?
Goodness knows, at this time of year people are heading into the coldest and bleakest time
of year. If you don't think that is a major concern, ask the next homeless person you meet.
In ancient times there were no new crops to eat, it was hard to keep warm, and without the
education to understand the solar cycle, it would appear that the days will continue to get
shorter and colder. Is this truly something to celebrate?
As the educated in each culture came to understand the cycles of nature, they rea