Posts tagged ‘Christianity’

May 2, 2016

Origins of the term ‘Easter’ are ANGLO-SAXON!!!

by eirenehogan

AAAGGGHHH!!!!  There are all these memes circulating the internet claiming the Ancient Near Eastern Goddess Ishtar is the origin of the name of Easter.

The theory seems to be based on the fact that the name sounds similar.  WHAT???  You can’t base etymology on that.  That is like saying, ‘the sun comes up every day, so, um, how does it get there?, well, it looks like someone must put it there, so, um, a god must put it there.’

Easter is NOT named after the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Ishtar, as the great Goddess of Babylon, is an Akkadian name, and as such is SEMITIC.  The term ‘Easter’ is of Germanic origin.  It is an old Anglo-Saxon name.  And – despite some politicians foolishly believing English is derived from Latin (ie, Christopher Pain — oops I mean, Payne), Anglo-Saxon is a proud member of the Germanic language family.

Bede

The name is Easter is the English term for the Christian festival.  The Romans called it Pascha.  The Anglo-Saxons had a goddess named Eostre.  She was the goddess of spring and the month of the spring, most probably at the time of the spring equinox, was named after her, as was explained by Bede in his book ‘On the Reckoning of Time’.

That name, Eostre, has come down through Middle English and into Modern English, as ‘Easter’.

I would doubt very much that any Anglo-Saxons knew anything of Ishtar.

Jeez, do a bit of research!  In face, all you need to do is check Wikipedia. See the entry Names of Easter.


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July 11, 2015

There is no need to ‘prove’ god does NOT exist

by eirenehogan

It has been said by theists that “One cannot prove that god does not exist any more than one can prove he does”.  But atheists don’t need to prove god does not exist.  There is no evidence of any such thing.  Most likely in our ancient past, before any scientific research was ever done, people made up some stories to explain why things happen in the world and why people die and what happens when they do.  They would also have tried to make up some stories to explain why we feel a sense of moral right and wrong and why people shouldn’t kill and shouldn’t hurt others.  Those stories have become what we call ‘religion’.  They have become part of our culture and have been handed down to us over the centuries.

Why should we have to try and prove if those stories are about something or someone who is ‘real’ or not?  They are not based on any evidence at all.  Do we need to go out and try and prove if Cinderella exists or not?  Or Jack and the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk?  We all consider such fairy tales, that have also been handed down over the generations, to be good yarns that also teach our children something about right and wrong.  No one seriously considers we need to prove that the characters in them do NOT exist.  So why should atheists be expected to have to prove if god does or does not exist?  We consider the stories of god just that, stories, no more.  If someone out there seriously believes Cinderella does exist, it is up to them to prove it.  And they cannot prove it by simply quoting the Cinderella story.

November 2, 2014

The origins of Halloween

by eirenehogan

No, Halloween is not an American Hollywood commercial con, it comes from ancient pagan religious traditions, and was taken on by the Christian church as ‘All Hallows Eve’ (or All Saints Eve) which means, of course, that the 1st of Nov is All Saints Day.  Funny that that day is not noticed much.  LOL.  It was known in the Celtic religion as Samhain.

It represents the end of summer and beginning of winter.  It is the Autumn equivalent of Easter, co-inciding – very roughly – with the Autumn equinox.  In the Celtic religion those times in the year (the equinoxes and solstices) were times when the door between our world and the world of the spirits is open, so ghosts and spirits and all sorts of magically beings can come into our world.  That happens at midnight.  It can happen in spring too (at our Easter).  But as Spring is a fun time with summer coming, then the spirits are seen as good and fun, but in Autumn they are seen as scary.

You can imagine in the old days pre-central heating, when the thought of winter coming would be scary, with the cold and the snow and the winds and the darkness, so the images of the scary ghosts and goblins makes sense. So, basically it’s the ancient version of “Winter is coming”!

I like that it is developing in Australia.  It is a fun thing for kids to do, not taken seriously.  For us it is the beginning of summer – and for the kids it heralds the end of the school year, the coming of Christmas and the beginning of the long summer holidays.

Halloween traditions in Ireland , from old Celtic religion

http://www.ireland-information.com/…/irishhalloweentraditio…

Irish Halloween Traditions
IRELAND-INFORMATION.COM
April 18, 2014

EASTER AND THE ANCIENT MYSTERY RELIGIONS

by eirenehogan

Great Eleusis ReliefMost ancient societies had a spring festival, to celebrate the ending of the cold winter and the beginning of the warmth again. With this warmth came the budding of new life, of plants, flowers, and often of the young of animals. In societies where food was dependent on an almost subsistence existence, ie, where your food depended on your own farm products, then spring was a very important time. Spring meant the growth of new food, both plant and animal. Without spring, all the food stores of winter would be very soon used up, and no more food would come. Without spring would be death.

In a pre scientific age, the most obvious explanation for the seasons were the whims of the gods. Something magic and other-world like would have to explain the seasons, what else would? The sun’s heat ranges from the heat of summer, then fades into the cold of winter. There would always be the fear that maybe one day the sun might not get hot again after winter, that it might continue to fade away and no warmth would return (“Winter is coming”).

Spring was seen as the rebirth of life, the rebirth of plants, and animals, and of the sun, and the very essence of life itself. In primitive societies, the rebirth was seen to be of the gods, or of a particular god or goddess who brought the rebirth of plants and animals with him/her. In ancient Egypt this god was Osiris and his associated Goddess, Isis. In ancient Greece the god Adonis was connected with it, as also was the Goddess Kore/Persephone, and the god Dionysus. In the ancient Near East there was the god Tammuz, who is mentioned in the Bible. These gods, by their discovery of rebirth, offered the secret of eternal life after death to humans. This could be gained by initiation ceremonies, which were often held in Spring, and involved a symbolic retelling of their myth of death and rebirth. The most famous one involved Persephone in the Eleusinian Mysteries of Athens.

When Christianity became the dominant religion in the Roman Empire the festival of the rebirth of Jesus Christ (Easter) took on many of the aspects of these mystery religions.

January 16, 2014

Eastern Orthodox New Year

by eirenehogan

14th January, 2014, is new year according to the Eastern Orthodox church, or some of them, which has kept the Julian calendar – or a version of it –  instead of taking on the Gregorian calendar, which was introduced in 1582.

 

The Julian calendar had been introduced by Julius Caesar and added the leap year to make up 0.25 of a day each year was out.  But the year was actually out by 0.2425 of a day, ie, slightly LESS than a quarter of a day.  By the 1500s this meant the calendar was out by 10 days, and more importantly, meant Easter, which was meant to be celebrated at the time of the Spring equinox, was out, and so the reforms were brought in.

 

But while Catholic countries took it up quickly (as Gregory was the Pope) Protestant and Orthodox countries were suspicious of it.  It wasn’t taken up in England until 1752.

 

The Orthodox churches didn’t take it up within their church, although the countries did slowly adopt it as their civil calendar.  Russia took it up finally in 1918 (ie, after the revolution) and Greece did not take it up until 1923.  That’d be right, the Greeks never did like the Romans.

 

While most countries in the world have taken it up, some still have not, including – according to Wikipedia – Saudi ArabiaEthiopiaNepalIran and Afghanistan

December 20, 2013

Why is Christmas on the 25th December?

by eirenehogan

1 – this is date of mid-winter by the Julian calendar, which was the calendar of the Roman Empire. 

 

2 – The date was in practise as the time of Christ’s birth by the 4th century AD.  There is a theory that an old Jewish tradition of the time believed that people died on the same date they were conceived.  [Huh! If such a belief did not belong to any of the Judeo-Christian-Islam tradition, it would be considered ‘superstition’].  Given that this Jesus character was supposedly killed in a crucifixion during the Jewish Passover, in 33 AD, which was in Spring, then the early Church Elders worked out that, if he had been conceived at that time, he would have been born in December.

 

It is convenient that Jesus died in Spring, a common time for the death of dying gods in ancient Mediterranean religions.  And it is equally convenient that his supposed birth occurred in mid-winter, another time of religious celebrations in ancient Mediterranean religions.

 

Jesus is just another in the long line of dying gods in the Mediterranean, popular with the Greeks.  They tended to be accompanied with ‘Mysteries’ which were secret ceremonies people were inducted into, which generally gave them a promise of eternal life.  Sound familiar?  Christianity was just another Mystery Cult.

 

December 20, 2013

What truly is the “true” meaning of 25th December?

by eirenehogan

Christians haven’t quite got a handle on ‘multiculturalism’ as yet, have they?

 

I received some messages on my Facebook page from relatives and sometimes friends, who speak of the “true meaning of Christmas”.  Now I have a lot of respect for these relatives and friends, but I do get irritated by those statements, such as:

 

Jesus is the reason for the season.

 

Keep the Christ in Christmas

 

Christ is the true meaning of Christmas

 

And such.  Yuck!

 

It irritates me because I am not a believer in the religion of Christians.  In fact I don’t believe in any god and so therefore I do believe that Christianity is just one religion among many.  You choose, for whatever reason, to believe in a god and so choose a religion.  No religion is better than any other religion.

 

As I said, Christians haven’t got a handle on multiculturalism as yet.  Or rather, they don’t have a handle on secularism.  And Australia is secular, it is in our constitution and was an aim of the place from its original colonisation.  Thanks to the Age of Enlightenment in 18th century England.

 

Secularism means even if you believe your God is the one true God, you don’t force it onto others.  If others don’t believe it, they are entitled to NOT believe.

 

So this returns to the idea of the true meaning of Christmas.  Christians seem to want to refuse to allow us to celebrate the end of the year with a party and being nice to each other and happy and maybe giving gifts to others as a token of our love and generosity.  They seem to think that if we are NOT Christian, we aren’t allowed to do that.  Well, you know, if Jesus and his Dad ARE real, then I’d think they would see us secularists acting like that as rather nice and kind and maybe we’d get a good tick next to our name.  And even if he doesn’t, who cares?  Only those who believe care.  Those of us who don’t are happy being nice and kind to our community, regardless.

 

 

Do Christians have it right when they claim Christmas as theirs and theirs alone?

 

OK, the word ‘Christmas’ presumably means ‘Christ’s Mass’ so I guess the actual festivity of  “Christmas” does belong to Christ and the his followers.

 

But does that mean we non-believers are not allowed to have an end of year celebration where we relax and give gifts etc?

 

By non-believers I mean all of those who worship a different god and all of those who worship no god, ie, everyone else who is not Christian.

 

The so-called Christmas tree, the candles, the Christmas dinner, the hymns, Santa Claus and even the gift giving are not actually part of the original Christmas festival.

 

A mid-winter festival is a common festival in many, if not most, if not all, human societies through out history.

OK, we don’t concern ourselves these days over whether the sun will return or not, but we still enjoy an end of year celebration; in fact I would say we NEED to have an end of year celebration.  We need time to relax, to chill out, to take stock, to make resolutions and plans for the new year, to assess what we achieved in this year, or what we did not, to spend time with our family, to mark the passing of time, to just have a rest. Imagine life without it.  Imagine trudging off to work endlessly with no break.

 

So I guess for many the day is really a new year celebration, but for historical reasons it is the Christians holy day.  Maybe we should stop calling it “Christmas” and recognise it for what it is, an end of year celebration.   Maybe we should transfer it to New Year?  Or maybe the whole week from 25th Dec to Jan 1st is an end of year/beginning of year celebration.  Maybe we could call it the Close of the Year and Jan 1st the Opening of the year?

 

So I will accept that “Christmas” is a Christian festival, but the end of year celebration is not.  Christians can celebrate their day how they wish, but the rest of society is allowed to have its end of year party too.

 

 

 

December 20, 2013

The true meaning of 25th December

by eirenehogan

In late Roman times the 25th December was the festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti – the day of the symbolic rebirth of the Unconquerable Sun. He was worshipped in Roman times up to at least 387AD, and in parts up to at least the 5th century AD.

 

The day of his festival (25th December) is just after the winter solstice, the longest night of the year (which is the 22nd December).  His rebirth meant winter would end and the warmth of the sun would bring back life in the world.  If the sun never returned the world would die.

 

Such a rebirth can also be symbolic of the renewal of society and of the individual, who will resolve to live a better and more ethical life in the new year.

 

The emperor Constantine was a worshipper of Sol Invictus before he took up Christianity.

 

In Australia, of course, his day comes just after the Summer solstice – the longest day.  It seems fitting that Sol Invictus could be recognised here, when he is at his height of power in mid-summer.

 

Sol Invictus is the true meaning for the season.

 

Sol Invictus, is the unconquerable son sun.

His symbolic rebirth, the– was celebrated on 25th December.

 

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