The Christmas Story is a Very Political Story

Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church, Bethlehem, West Bank

I know that title will irritate many, especially on the theological and political right, but don’t get angry with me. Get angry with Luke.

Luke’s story is built around contrasts, and those contrasts begin with the Roman Emperor Augustus. You don’t get more political than starting your story like this:

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered.

Luke introduces us to the Roman emperor, Augustus, and his governor in Syria, Quirinius, doing what emperors and governors do: issuing orders. Here, the orders are related to the chief function of emperors and governors everywhere: collecting money. “We need to know how many folks live where, so we know how much we can expect to raise in taxes, and how many soldiers and tax farmers we will need to send out to collect it.” So the imperial orders get issued, and the ordinary people do what they do when emperors and governors issue orders: they do what they are told.

Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Enter Joseph and Mary, some of the countless ordinary folks to whom the orders were given. They do what they have been told, and head off to the ancestral home of Bethlehem, where they can’t find a place to stay and are forced to move into a stable. But this doesn’t matter to Augustus and Quirinius. All that matters to them is that their orders are carried out, regardless of the inconveniences or costs to the ordinary folks. All hail the power of the Senate and People of Rome!

And in that stable, Mary gives birth. Not in a hospital, not in their own home in Nazareth surrounded by family and friends, but in a stable surrounded by animals. To Mary and Joseph, what matters is the new life that has entered their lives under difficult circumstances. To Augustus and Quirinius, the only thing that matters is the count: add one more to the census for the newborn. More people, more taxes to collect.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.

Then Luke brings more of the folks on the bottom of society into the story: the shepherds. And make no mistake: shepherds were definitely on the bottom. The simple fact that they were out in the field at night, tending their flocks, ought to tell you just how much on the bottom they were. Rain or clear, cold or hot, shepherds were out in the fields, tending their flocks. If you are a storyteller wanting to describe the extremes of power and privilege, emperors and governors are at one end of the spectrum, and shepherds are at the other.

So far, this is an ordinary tale of ordinary life in an empire. The folks on top have the power and the money and give the orders, and the folks on the bottom do what they are told.

But not tonight.

Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

Here, finally, is the real contrast that Luke has been building toward: Augustus and his minions on the one hand and God on the other, standing with shepherds and ordinary folks. The messengers of Augustus announce the census, issue the orders, and prepare for the tax collections to come. The messengers of God, on the other hand, announce the birth of a savior, the Messiah, the one whose birth signals a new age.

Note that the angels came to the shepherds, not to the emperor or the governor. The messengers of good news came to those on the margins of society and those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, proclaiming that all the power and wealth of the emperor is no match for the power and love of God. In their joy and excitement, the shepherds became angels—messengers of God—themselves, going to the stable where they told Mary and Joseph about what they had heard and seen.

Like I said, the Christmas story is a very political story.

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Lots of families display a creche in their homes, showing the stable with its animals, the shepherds and their sheep, the wise men and their camels and gifts, and the holy family with the babe lying in the manger. These nativity scenes come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, from the realistic to the symbolic, from the pious to the kitschy. Many churches have their own nativity displays, and some go so far as to have a “living” nativity scene outdoors on the church lawn with members in costume.

The image at the top of this post is from Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem – part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land. (You can click on the picture to get a larger version.) NPR did a story this past week on the churches of Bethlehem and how the fighting in Gaza has changed this holiday season there. Toward the end of the piece is this:

A short walk from the Church of the Nativity is the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church. There, the Rev. Munther Isaac and his congregation chose this year to make a statement about the killing of so many children in Gaza.

Using broken cement and paving stones, they placed the baby Jesus in the center of a pile of debris from a collapsed home, inspired by television images of children being pulled from the rubble, Issac says.

“I always say we need to de-romanticize Christmas,” he says. “In reality, it’s a story of a baby who was born in the most difficult circumstances and the Roman Empire under occupation, who survived the massacre of children himself when he was born. So the connection was natural to us.”

Issac says he’s surprised at the international interest that his church has received as a result of its display of baby Jesus amid the rubble.

Broken cement and paving stones, with the baby Jesus wrapped in a keffiyeh. Of all the creches I have seen, the one sitting to the side of the altar at Christmas Lutheran in Bethlehem tonight is by far the most powerful.

Peace to you, my friends, at this celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace, and peace to those who work for peace — peace in our families, peace in our communities, and peace in our world.

44 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    Thank you for that, and peace to you also. We could use a little peace here, with six adult family in the house for 4 days straight now, some strong personalities; the board games can get a bit testy. But it will be fine: Mass is at 4, then dinner, blessing the house, and finally the goodies under the tree.

    A small thing, but I’ll offer up a newly found (for me) rendition of a favorite carol, found in a HuffPost article “The Definitive Top Ten Renditions of O Holy Night”. The writer says: “Literally out of left–make that right field (because how many people follow the evangelical Christian mega church music scene?) David Phelps has a voice that will leave your jaw on the ground. His voice is on point, and he isn’t afraid to embrace, embody and TELL the message of the song–an important trait for a singer to do in every song, but especially with this king of carols.”

    The performance is first quiet, and then powerful. It won’t be everyone’s favorite, but it’s very good at what it sets out to do. Merry Christmas.

    • nord dakota says:

      Several years ago I heard an NPR program about the origins of various Christmas carols. Wikipedia:
      Adolphe Adam described O Holy Night as “a religious Marseillaise”, the 1792 song that became the national anthem of France, around the time of the French Revolution of 1848.[6] As early as 1864, the Revue de Musique Sacrée, a publication focused on Catholic liturgical music, noted that Minuit Chrétiens was sung in the streets, in bars, and at other social gatherings, and that the song had become “debased and degenerated”. While not banned, the song was rarely included in the hymnals in France, despite its growing international popularity.[6] Official French publications of Catholic music described Cappeau as a socialist and a drunk and a falsehood about Adam being Jewish circulated; in 1930 Vincent d’Indy published an article that praised Richard Wagner and claimed that Jewish composers, including Adam, were only motivated by financial interest.[6]

      Love the song.

      • bloopie2 says:

        Yes, this is wonderful, thank you. Illustrates how a fine piece of music, with a story to tell, can be rendered impressively in different ways, by different singers.

  2. Cats+Dogs says:

    Lovers in a dangerous time … Thank you.
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  3. soundgood2 says:

    Thank you for this. I saw the photo from Bethlehem this morning on CBS Sunday Morning. I was moved by it. I am not a religious person, I don’t study the Bible. I grew up nominally Greek Orthodox. We went to church whenever my Dad could talk my Mom into going, usually on a holiday and for the final 15 minutes of the service which was in Greek. My mom sent to us kids to Lutheran Bible school in the summer to get us out of the house. I read the Bible as literature in High School. I used to open up the Bible at random when I went to listen to my daughter sing in a Methodist Choir. Every time I opened it I seemed to land on some horrific scene of violence. What I came away with was the story of Jesus is the story of the meek standing up for themselves against the mighty. How that story has been twisted into the prosperity gospel has always been appalling to me. I find so many opening their Bibles to justify their hate.

  4. Spencer Dawkins says:

    Peterr, thank you for this post.

    I preached on the Magnificat last Sunday (Luke 1:40-55, for the curious), and made two points:

    Mary starts out by thanking God for showing everyone around her that this mysteriously pregnant engaged teenager had done the right thing, so at least some gossips will think twice before talking behind her back, but goes on to thank God for being the kind of God who is both willing and capable to turn everything upside down in a world that desperately needs it.

    I think my understanding of Christmas is consistent with yours, although yours made me think.

    And your title only offends people who were asleep when the gospel of Luke went past!

    I wish I knew you better, and heard your thoughts more often.

  5. SteveBev says:

    I was brought up in a Welsh Non-Conformist traditions with a substantial number of preachers amongst my not too distant ancestors, several of whom established families and churches in the US.
    A feature of the Welsh language is that there are two words for peace
    “Heddwch” and “tangnefedd”- “heddwch” roughly corresponds to the English use of the word peace, but importantly has the nuance of command or advice depending on context, thus “Be at peace”. Welsh Bibles translate the Angel’s advice to the shepherds “Be not afraid” as “Heddwch” = “Be at peace”
    “Tangnefedd” is a compound term “tanc”+”nefedd” which is perhaps best rendered as “heaven’s peace”

    In Welsh Bibles “Bring peace on earth” is translated with “tangnefedd” so “bring heaven’s peace to earth.”

    Christ the Prince of peace is the bringer of “Heddwch”and “Tangnefedd” to the material world, as well as the promise of heaven thereafter.

  6. Allagashed says:

    A far more appropriate creche than the ubiquitous plastic lawn ornaments around here; thank you for this post. I grew up as the only child of a couple of state department wonks. When I was in HS, we were stationed in Tehran (1979). The revolution scattered everyone and I and a couple of friends made our way to Israel for Christmas. Being a teenage atheist, I was prepared to scoff and mock everything I saw there. What happened was an epiphany. I am still an atheist, but every time I returned to Israel in later years, I was struck dumb by the power of the history that washed over me. Christmas eve in Bethlehem (1979), standing in front of the church of the Nativity, we watched an elderly Palestinian man drag a goat up to the steps of the church and cut its throat, the blood running everywhere. The man was immediately swarmed by Jewish soldiers who beat the ever livin’ shite out of him. I realized then that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. I wish I had an answer, I really do.

    • Bay State Librul says:

      Solum certum nihil esse certi
      Only one thing is certain, that nothing is certain

      Pliny the Elder

    • Greg Hunter says:

      Thanks for this story as I find the reaction to “sacrificing” one animal another “tell” in the biblical story. I became an atheist after much study of the Bible and one of my prime questions is why God sacrificed animals for Adam and Eve when they were the ones that “sinned”? I always thought it was the sinner that was the one to do the chore or provide the animal? Or was this “the first sacrifice” and that set the whole thing in motion? In my later years as I worked with animals, I could see how a human might be conflicted about killing and eating one their cousins which gave rise to the religion.

      Today I wondered how many animals had to be sacrificed prior to the ending of this practice so I asked Bing and the numbers in question seemed astronomical. I wonder if people were finally sick of so much waste? So much so that I can now see why the angels told the shepherds first that Jesus, the first animal activist, was going to ensure that their efforts were not wasted on “worship”, but would go to feed the people. Hallelujah!

      • DrGecko says:

        Not sure what the ‘waste’ would be. Universal practice was that the meat would be eaten, typically split between the priests and the families that had brought the animal. For many poor Jews in Jesus’s time, for example, Passover was one of the few times in the year that they would eat meat.
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  7. Frank_24DEC2023_1825h says:

    Luke is a work of contrast. Real savior and son of God. Christ offers the alternative to and real peace for Rome and the world. Too layered for a short commentary, but Merry Christmasse’ Marcy. Appreciate your work.
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  8. Lisboeta says:

    Thank you Peterr. And I would echo peace to everyone. I’m atheist, but Peace, Salaam, Shalom was very moving.

  9. posaune says:

    Thank you, Peter. Very thought provoking, and I’m so glad you posted this on Christmas Eve. Blessings to you and all here at emptywheel. This is a very special place.

  10. dpa3.14159 says:

    Thanks Peterr! Your input in these posts is always refreshing and surprising. And much appreciated.

    I notice that the infant is no longer wrapped in swaddling clothes (archaic) but is still lying in a manger, which modern farmers call a feeding trough. Also the angels now send peace to those in whom God finds favor, rather than everyone, which I always preferred, being as how the Lord causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike. I’m not sure these are improvements to the liturgy, but I’m getting use to it.

    But it doesn’t meter as well: “The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to those in whom God finds favor.”

    Peace to everyone this Christmas Eve.


  11. trnc2023 says:

    “Enter Joseph and Mary, some of the countless ordinary folks to whom the orders were given. They do what they have been told, and head off to the ancestral home of Bethlehem, where they can’t find a place to stay and are forced to move into a stable. But this doesn’t matter to Augustus and Quirinius. All that matters to them is that their orders are carried out, regardless of the inconveniences or costs to the ordinary folks.”

    Sure, if you take the story at face value. However, it’s entirely possible that story is as accurate as many other things in the bible (hint, hint!), in which case the purpose of placing Mary and Joseph in the barn could very well be to set up the story of the persecution of Christians. I mean, let’s face it, talking about persecuting Christians literally before the first Christian existed is (chef’s kiss).

    Rupert Murdock learned from the best.

  12. BobBobCon says:

    It’s always been interesting to me that the birth of Jesus was so important to Luke and Matthew, but not to Mark and John. It highlights how the Gospels are really different books with very different viewpoints, and Christianity should be open to a wide range of beliefs rather than a single unified doctrine.

    Unfortunately, so many Christian leaders have missed this perspective going back almost to the beginning. Somehow steamrolling differences had mattered more to the doctrinists than being open to all of the possibilities.

  13. RMD De Plume says:

    Thank you Peter, enjoyed reading this post and the comments.
    Thanks very much to Dr. Wheeler, Rayne and other contributors for such an unimaginable output– unrivaled in both quality and quantity–throughout the year.
    Merry Christmas and Best Wishes to all for a Happy New Year!

  14. Marci Kiser says:

    “Woe to the rich!” Luke was definitely the SJW of his cohort. In Matthew’s gospel the angels visit the magi (popularly styled as three Eastern kings, though we’re never explicitly told how many there are), where as you point out, in Luke they visit the shepherds in the field (in December? Don’t overthink it.) Where Matthew has Jesus saying “blessed are the poor in spirit”, Luke is happy with “blessed are the poor”. It’s Luke where we learn that it’s easier for a camel-rope to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom. No, rich people go to a Mad Max-style Hades, where they beg the poor for water.

    Luke’s message was always two-fold: Worship Jesus, and Eat The Rich.

  15. PeaceRme says:

    Sometimes, despite being an atheist. (I suppose, I believe that my higher power is “the truth”, whatever that is, I feel ok seeking it for the rest of my life and holding it above myself).

    But Jesus. Since I was a little girl was a contrast to the power and control in my home. It was so validating as a child because Jesus wouldn’t hit me. Jesus wouldn’t scream at me, or make me feel stupid.

    Jesus used the power of love or acceptance and truth to rule. And as a child it kept me sane. It told me that war is insane. It told me my father was wrong to hurt me. It told me my rapists at age 12 were wrong to hurt me. It has been the guiding voice that helped me know that the violence against me was not truth. Not helpful and not Jesus.

    Even as my father prayed to Jesus. It comforted me that Jesus knew my dad was wrong to hurt us. That a power greater than me said it’s wrong to hurt others.

    Which could be very threatening, and could get you killed in a power and control world. There is nothing more threatening than a truth seeker exposing the lies behind the fear than brainwashes in a power and control paradigm.

    A truth seeker who will not allow fear or guilt or shame to rule word or deed. Who refuses to harm others to control them. That is power a despot cannot fight except to annihilate. And the annihilation story of killing the peace maker could last for thousands of years. Jesus, Buddha, were the anti power and control message.

    I saw the contrast. And it kept me sane. I never believed it was ok. And I never believed any other human deserved it either.

    For that I am grateful for the concept of Jesus. The idea saved me. Jesus in fact was my savior. It’s just that I know that, the real Jesus, the anti power and control Jesus, did not need my worship. Only a narcissistic god needs worship. Worship is part of power and control and results from the fawning instinct created by power and control. But peace, as a way to live? That required discipline, mindfulness, attention, and intention.

    I have spent my life trying to get people to understand that the rage we use and the fear and guilt we use to control others is the true evil. It damages the brain. We have more than enough science to prove that it causes mental illness and is the root to all violence.

    Christian or Buddhist or whatever religion, may we all seek a role model that refrains from power and control. A leader who worships truth and lets truth speak to power. (Without violence)

    But always we must know that truth and peace threatens power and control more than any other behavior.

    It tells a narrative that maintains sanity, reality and prevents the final brain washing effect of power and control. That’s why the truly fearless truth seeker is the greatest threat to Putin, to Donald Trump and to the USA.

    It’s the Martin Luther King Jr quote that it’s not being willing to kill for what we believe in that brings peace or makes one brave. It never will be. But instead, it is about what we would die to protect.

    Brave is the one who will speak truth even though it could get you killed. And there is nothing more threatening to the paradigm of power and control than truth and the message that violence is anti human.

    As long as Israel seeks power and control, there will be no peace. Because it’s doing damage and creating violence and mental illness for all who experience and witness it.

    The same to Hamaas. The US. It doesn’t matter if Israel is right. The Palestinians dying from Israel’s righteousness will never be grateful for losing a loved one to righteousness. Oh thanks for killing I finally see your point. That’s not how it works!! Nor will any Israeli be grateful for the destruction that finally made a point about the Palestinian struggle. Oh thanks for the violence I finally see the truth!!

    Being right and hurting others with rightness behind us will always perpetuate a lie. Being right is irrelevant to the truth that harming others damages truth. Hurting people creates more mental illness, more addiction, more brainwashing, less use of the frontal lobe.

    It will always over time, like a virus perpetuate in a ripple effect of more violence. Whether by suicide, war, or assaults to children.

    Maybe we need a new anti power and control leader to emerge. But deep down we know it’s true that the anti power and control leader must be willing to be martyred, The only way a despot can fight love, acceptance and power and control is to kill it.

    And to kill it, all the despot must do is to kill the leader and get people to participate in the power and control. It muddies the water. Makes accountability impossible. Obscures truth. And actually allows more power and control.

    The violence creates such intense emotion that truth is obscured. Right and wrong are not more important than the reality that harming others to teach the truth only obscures reality.

    Now we can’t tell who is right or wrong. We just act as animals from our wounds and fears. As we can see that while the civil war stopped slavery, or wait a minute, did it really? But imagine if tomorrow we all woke up and knew that violence is anti humanity. What if we finally understood that using violence whether we believe we are right or not, does harm? For generations. (Yes there is science to back this.)

    But person who seeks peace and truth must die. Because that person cannot be controlled by the fear. That person cannot be brainwashed by power and control. That human sees truth, lives the truth and threatens the power and control paradigm by simply breathing and living in a different paradigm.

    There is nothing more threatening to power and control than peace and truth. They had to kill Jesus!! Don’t you see? They had to kill Martin Luther King Jr.

    So Christmas, will always be celebrated by me. Even as I refuse to worship Jesus.

    May we all find serenity one day at a time. And thank you to Dr Marcy Wheeler for being part of my serenity every day.

    • Peterr says:

      Thanks for all this.

      You wrote: “For that I am grateful for the concept of Jesus. The idea saved me. Jesus in fact was my savior. It’s just that I know that, the real Jesus, the anti power and control Jesus, did not need my worship.”

      The notion that “if I worship God in just the right way, then I am acceptable to God and will get what I ask for” is misguided at best and dangerous at worst. This idea of worship is nothing more than trying to play God — “If I do it just right, then I can manipulate God!”

      Your comment here, though, has things working in the other direction: your gratitude for how Jesus touched your life inspired you to offer praise and thanks.

      To borrow a secular parallel appropriate to the day . . . It’s like when you open a package at Christmas that is *just perfect* and fits you so well, that you are moved to worship the giver. “Thanks so much! It’s just what I wanted, and I didn’t even know that I wanted it! You know me so well and love me so much, it’s incredible!”

      Or something like that.

  16. PeaceRme says:

    I am so sorry that rant was so long. I did it in the dark on my phone. I know so well it’s impossible to read on a phone when so long but it’s so hard to tell when writing in the little box. Shocked at the length. Apologies.

    • bloopie2 says:

      A beautiful note, thank you. .

      A minor sub-point to the political origin discussion is my feeling that in many respects the Christmas story was also random. How many parts of the story could have been different from what we have come to know? Time, place, people, and so on. Our reading last night was from Matthew, starting right out with the genealogy — 42 (I think) generations, with a few indiscretions along the way. What could have changed along the course of that millennium? Would we today be living differently? But that doesn’t really matter, those indiscretions, and the way things came out, does it, if we practice acceptance and peace?

    • FLwolverine says:

      In my (mostly irrelevant) opinion, you display the most meaningful kind of “worship”: you comprehend and understand Jesus’s message and try to work it out in your life. All of the prayers and hymns and rituals of Christianity don’t mean much if that fundamental message is lost, misunderstood, or ignored.

      I was thinking about this as I watched the David Phelps video. The people around him were moved to (almost) “fall on your knees”, but how many of them truly registered the meaning in the third verse “Truly, he taught us to love one another; his law is love and his gospel is peace” ? (Of course, I’m making a lot of cynical uncharitable assumptions based on appearances and circumstances.)

    • Rayne says:

      Oh, I read that article about the arrest. Wish Guardian-UK in which I read that piece had done the work of adding the Golden Ratio overlay on top of the photo because it seemed like a stretch to me.

      • nord dakota says:

        I thought so too, but I am sorely tempted to use a still from that video for next year’s Christmas card.

  17. nord dakota says:

    A seasonal tidbit–
    “Some things never change. In winter 1610, Johannes Kepler was stressing out about holiday gifts — in particular, one for his friend and benefactor, the rather grandly-named Johannes Matthaeus Wacker von Wackenfels. Kepler, at the time employed as Imperial Mathematician at the court of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II, records his musings on the problem in the opening pages of his now-famous discourse, The Six-Cornered Snowflake.

    Kepler sets a high standard for himself. His gift should be of the intellectual variety: an amusing idea or a clever argument. After all, that’s why Wacker keeps him around. Kepler considers several potential topics, dismissing each in turn as being either too serious or too light. Kepler’s intellectual respect for Wacker — who was an accomplished scholar and amateur philosopher in his own right — renders other topics off limits. (An example: given the impressive size of his patron’s zoological library, Kepler jokingly complains that writing a treatise about animals would be “like bringing owls to Athens.”) Wandering around town, feeling guilty about his procrastination, Kepler notices some snowflakes landing on his coat, “all with six corners and feathered radii” [1]. Kepler immediately identifies the perfect topic for his essay”

    “‘Pon my word, here was something smaller than any drop, yet with a pattern; here was the ideal New Year’s gift… the very thing for a mathematician to give.”

    Quoting from a web page (I was hoping to find a link to the book in translation) –but I actually bought the book as a gift for my son years ago. If I remember, Kepler called the snowflakes falling on his coat starlets.

  18. e.a. foster says:

    PeaceRme, thank you for what you wrote.
    Christmas seemed silly to me as a child. Santa Claus made more sense and had more benefits. Never figured out why some kids didn’t get presents or have a big dinner because the neighbours and us all did. Got a little older, age 10, and learned everything I needed to know about dirty politics in Church/Sunday School. Figured out there was no God and he didn’t have a son either or the world wouldn’t have been unjust, by this time I’m 11. Once I got the hang of the Easter story, not the easter bunny, did wonder why it was O.K. for the courts to order other people be killed, if Jesus had died for every one’s signs. The Easter Bunny had benefits and people where we lived had bunnies, and they were cute and didn’t hurt anyone.
    For all the material benefits we enjoyed, life was not pleasant for me. The idea was to stay alive and survive, and get the hell out asap, without anyone knowing.
    What I learnt from all those christian people was they weren’t nice, they didn’t care about people who were poor and could be vicious towards people they thought were beneath them. That it was best to be the toughest in the room, to duck, and get the hell out of there asap. In my early 20’s a friend told me, “the best revenge in life is living well”. That is what I did. Of course for somethings, living well is not the best revenge, its winning. Its scaring the shit out of some one.

    When I became an adult I loved Christmas, it was fun, all the decorations, the food, the parties, buying Christmas presents for people you liked and giving money to the Sally Ann. Considered it a winter festival with the Santa, sleigh, etc. Christmas is still fun. You can shop till you drop adn then take it to the Transition House, homeless shelter, kids Christmas gift group or kids in your area whose parents spent the money on drugs

    Easter, well that is spring and the bunnies and chocolates and flowers in the garden.

    a real marketing genius must have thought up this christian thing with christmas and easter thrown in. people have been making money off of it for centuries now.

    As to whose fault it is, my vote goes to all those who propagated lies and took advantage of children and other audlts. Canada has a huge ugly history of Indigenous children being taken from their parents and placed in church run boarding schools where they were beaten, starved, sexually assault, killed. Ya, I’m not too keen on churches The Canadian government still has to pay out billions in compensation

    Hope every one had a good day. In Canada we get a second run at it tomorrow with Boxing Day, more food, more drinking, and some times more presents because more relatives come over.

  19. scroogemcduck says:

    Thank you Peterr for this thought -provoking post. There are many Christians around the world who would benefit from being reminded of this message on a regular basis.

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