View Full Version : When Science and Religion collide

25th December 02, 06:51 PM
Well, since most the sheep of the world thinks he was born today, here is what modern scientists believe JC really looked liked:


Quite a bit different than western organized religions like to portray him don't ya think? So, I guess there was this hippy dude running around the Middle East a few thousand years ago. Ya ever notice how Jesus never even had a tan in any of his pictures? Aw, well, Divine Intervention and all. I guess his dad pulled a few strings to make him look more anglo and said to hell with the laws of nature, or at least them damned Catholics like to believe so.

Oh yeah, here is the linked story (http://popularmechanics.com/science/research/2002/12/real_face_jesus/images/tb_jesuslead-lg.jpg).

25th December 02, 07:35 PM
Thats pretty much how I figured he would look.

25th December 02, 08:36 PM
Say it ain't so, Steps :(

(Pssssst... Jesus was born July/Augustish)

25th December 02, 08:55 PM
this is when you celebrate his birthday, he was born on some other unknown day.

25th December 02, 10:20 PM
If he is, Steps, he sure isn't crying over this thread.

25th December 02, 10:32 PM
Christmas was designed to subvert the heathens. Many of the major holidays were rescheduled around holidays which already existed. Easter is another that comes immediately to mind. I guess the logic is that the change from whatever to Christianity would be a smoother one if all the holidays were around the same times anyway. :)

25th December 02, 10:51 PM
Xio has it right, do ya really want me to lay down the whole history of paganism on through to what we call christmas? Let me warm up the old keyboard. Since it is Christmas and I'm stuck at work, I'll do my best to search it all out and show where Christmas came from:

The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.

In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.

The end of December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. At that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter. For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking.

In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside.

In Rome, where winters were not as harsh as those in the far north, Saturnalia—a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture—was celebrated. Beginning in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month, Saturnalia was a hedonistic time, when food and drink were plentiful and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down. For a month, slaves would become masters. Peasants were in command of the city. Business and schools were closed so that everyone could join in the fun.

Also around the time of the winter solstice, Romans observed Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome. In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun, on December 25. It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For some Romans, Mithra's birthday was the most sacred day of the year.

In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration). Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?), Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.

By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today's Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the "lord of misrule" and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined "debt" to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.

In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.

The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America's new constitution. Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.

It wasn't until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked American interest in the holiday?

The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city's first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.

In 1819, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday. In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly. In Irving's mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status. Irving's fictitious celebrants enjoyed "ancient customs," including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule. Irving's book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended—in fact, many historians say that Irving's account actually "invented" tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season.

Also around this time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. The story's message—the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind—struck a powerful chord in the United States and England and showed members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the holiday.

The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s. Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention—and gifts—on their children without appearing to "spoil" them.

As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. People looked toward recent immigrants and Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated. In the next 100 years, Americans built a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards, and gift-giving. Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, Americans had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation.

As for baby Jesus crying, his mother, Anita, gave him another bottle and he quieted right down.

Seriously, my folks don't celebrate Christmas on December 25th because my step-dad is Jewish and does the whole lighting of the candles thing. He says: You will not be celebrating the birth of a false prophet under my roof!" So, tomorrow I get to go to the folks house and check out the phat lewts they may have gotten me.

As I subscribe to eastern philosophies and not western religions, I tend to shun such holidays like Christmas and Easter. This is not for a lack of faith, but because of the marketing juggernaut it has become. It's not if you love someone, or how you show it, it's how much you spend on them. That isn't me. I make plenty of damned money and tend to live above my means as it is, I don't need some pre-selected spokesman for the economical conglomerates telling me how to spend my money, cause chances are, I don't fit their demographics.

To say I don't have the Christmas spirit is a truism; I don't go buckweasal at the local Best Buy attempting to please my ungrateful relatives. For the most part, they're caddy little spoiled brats and I'm not about to feed their egos by giving them something meaningful when they won't appreciate it. My nieces and nephews feel my buying power wrath, but they're kids, so it's all good, and anymore that's what the Christmas spirit is: Where is mine?!?

By the age of 3-5, kids these days already know there is no Santa and it's the parents and grandparents buying the gifts, but that's not how it was when I was a kid. I had one semi-magical Christmas where I was on the brink of knowing Santa wasn't real, but not too sure. My mother went to great lengths to put on a production where a Santa, with a real beard and all, was in our house running amok with a bag full of gifts. Now, to a 7 year old kid, not quite sure, this was some pretty damned hard evidence to deny. I had a clue as to who it might have been, but when I saw Santa go scuttlebutting down the stairs to our Christmas tree to plant the gifts, I saw the man who I thought was in the costume arrive at the party. It blew my mind.

Not only did this Santa guy do a very convincing job on playing the role, he disappeared from our basement in that big fat man suit somehow. Granted, I was groggy from sleep, and there were a lot of folks milling about at the party, but I thought I did a damned good job keeping tabs on the fat man. He somehow escaped my demasking. I never did find out who the hell was in the suit. So, after all this I am reminded to give my mother the third degree on this subject for the 26th year in a row. She has never fessed up to it, and now even in my mid 30's, she still insists it was the real Santa.

That my friends is the Christmas spirit, keeping the lie alive for a little kid for yet another year of his life, and going to great lengths to do so. I really didn't care about all the presents I got, I was too dumbfounded at maybe meeting the real Santa.

25th December 02, 11:32 PM
Jesus was a black dude, a very special man.
Jesus was a black dude, not some white guy with a tan!

Do de doot doot doo doo, dee dee doo de do de do...
Can't remember no more words to the song, da da de da da doo da de de!

Shorrtee McHeals
25th December 02, 11:57 PM
Yea 5'1" 110 lbs...... I figured he'd be a bit bigger than that...... Say 5'8"-5'10", 160-180...... But people were generally shorter back then...

26th December 02, 06:46 AM
anti-establishment is so passe.

26th December 02, 06:51 AM
Joe, I sincerely thank you for that. Good readin's there, plus you took care of any of my own urge to do the same thing.

I'm an atheist, myself- but I'm always going to participate in the holiday spirit the best I can, because of the sentimentality it means to me. The past few years have sucked awful without family around, but eventually I figure I'll have kids, and I'm definitely passing on Christmas as a holiday for sentimentality and generosity.

26th December 02, 11:53 AM

Funny you should mention Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras was invented as a ploy to let people celebrate before they had to be "good" for lent.

Mardi Gras, the French for 'fat Tuesday', has got quite a few names. While the English used to call it Shrove Tuesday, or, later as Pancake Day, to the Germans it is Fastnachtkuchen, or, just Fastnacht. Yet, irrespective of this name game, Mardi Gras - or at least its counterparts under different names, is no newcomer in the history of humanity. Take, for instance, the Carnival. This can be regarded as the mother of Mardi Gras traditions, with the origin embedded in ancient Rome. However, around the middle of the second century traditions of the Carnival became popular as a way to feast and act wild before the somber days of Lent. This is still celebrated as a splendid festival across South America and in the Catholic countries of Europe.

Pre-Christian root:
Though the timings do vary, different cultures have certain schedules set aside for community jubilation or revelry. And most, if not all, of them have been a celebration of some sort for the changeover of the year. A time of jubilation at the New Year has been traced by anthropologists to prehistoric times and to almost every section of the globe. Often this period was thought to be an intercalary season, that is, a number of days inserted at the year's end to make the lunar calendar coincide with the solar. In a sense, these days were outside time and the ordinary customs and laws held no longer. This is seen in the later Roman feast of the Saturnalia where masters and slaves exchanged places, and as the noted anthropologist Sir James Frazer has observed in 'The Golden Bough', "Feasting that seem to have especially marked this carnival of antiquity, as it went on for 7 days in the streets and public squares and houses of ancient Rome from the 17th to the 23rd of December."

In the festival of Saturnalia the Romans also used to burn the effigy of the king of ancient Saturnalia. The king was an ugly looking personage of Saturn and the master of revels. He suffered a real death in his assumed character when the revels were over. This tradition is present in Carnival in the grotesque looking floats of the Mardi Gras parades even today. This apart, the wild and boisterous revelry on the thoroughfares, the colors and costumes and, of course, the masks featuring this carnival all come as part of the pre-Christian tradition of spring rites.

The earliest observance:
The first observance of Mardi Gras celebration in its present resemblance took place in the Middle Ages. And it was following the period of Reformation that swept Europe during the 14th and 15th centuries.

With the Reforms, restrictions from many of the ancient Roman Catholic practices were lifted. Thus, much of the causes were removed though the customs lingered. The name Fat Tuesday comes from the custom of parading a fat ox through the streets of Paris on Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove Tuesday, derived its name from the old practice of confessing one's sins on this day in preparation of the holy Lenten season. The verb 'to shrive' means to confess oneself and receive absolution. The three-day period of Sunday, Monday, and Shrove Tuesday, was known as Shrovetide. following which the period of Lent begins.

Mardi Gras in the Melting Pot:
Although Mardi Gras is basically a Catholic holiday, today it is party for everyone here in United States. This is especially true in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana which can be credited for introducing this tradition in the country.

Mardi Gras first came to New Orleans through French Culture in the year 1699 when the French explorers celebrated the holiday on the Mississippi River. Over the years, the celebration has witnessed growing national attention with many parades and parties coming in to add to its hue and flavor. Despite the Hispanic invasion later the celebration has not lost its original French influence.

Today though it is celebrated with much fanfare as a public holiday only in the southern states of Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida, its fame gradually extended nationwide. The French tradition apart, influences of the Germans, as well as the British are evident in the day's customs across the country.


26th December 02, 01:01 PM
Believe in Jesus or not, one Christmas spent on a tin can in the Med, 1000 miles from your friends and family and you will learn to love the holidays spent with family. It becomes special, because of the traditions as much as the religious fervor.

26th December 02, 04:21 PM
Really, that's what appeals to me about Christmas. I like spending the time with family, and exchanging presents and the whole deal. When the time comes, I honestly fail to care how many pagans were subjugated! :)

26th December 02, 05:00 PM
Hahaha, nice one:)

26th December 02, 09:02 PM
That actually looks like a buddy of mine named Jaoquin.

26th December 02, 10:26 PM
Steps' friend there looks a whole lot like the hypothetical scientific composite of Jesus.

Nylite Skytear
27th December 02, 03:50 AM
Despite my background of being Batised i gotta agree more with my father's side with Judaism. At least the Torah gives you some reason to believe in it with the whole Hebrew language being codified and their being codes all over the Torah.... my 2 cents, Jesus was a Jew anyways

27th December 02, 05:33 AM
I'm not sure exactly how thats supposed to look like Jesus, as opposed to anyone else. You could just walk down the street in Jerusalem and point out that face one fifty people right now.

29th December 02, 08:31 PM
What going on in this Tavern? I see it happening, this may not be the place for it, but I won't start a new topic unless it is ABSOLUTELY needed. In two other threads, and this one, people mention Steps, but he hasn't posted! Where is he? I don't know.

Do these people invoking him know? Is that why they're talking, to make him come? Or is he here already, has he deleted his posts? Maybe they made their comments before he deleted his posts, maybe that's it. Now I've checked a couple times, and yup, he isn't here. Why do people say his name, not just mentioning, but as though they were addressing something HE has said.

Also, this UE thing that everyone plays, this unnerves me, but only because no one will fill me in, I can handle being out of the loop, but when there is NO LOOP? Access? Not here, friend.

If ignorance is bliss, wipe the smile of my face. Peace out.

P.S. Seriously though, what's happening?

29th December 02, 08:41 PM
Hmm wtf. Yeah, he posted in this very thread like 4 times... must have deleted them? I don't get it either.

29th December 02, 11:04 PM

Where the fuck *did* Steps' posts go?! He DID post in this thread, Rak... and Derreck I know you've read this thread before. Hmm.

29th December 02, 11:13 PM
Steps is a ninja!

Ninja.. VANISH!


3rd March 09, 03:02 PM
The fuck?

3rd March 09, 04:23 PM
Ban the thread-necro for reminding me that I miss the ninja necromancer!

3rd March 09, 04:59 PM
Ban the thread-necro for reminding me that I miss the ninja necromancer!

In your honor, my dear...

Yiktin Voxbane
3rd March 09, 11:49 PM
Ban the thread-necro for reminding me that I miss the ninja necromancer!


//Drinks a dirty Martinin in fond memory of ODNS .

3rd March 09, 11:51 PM
I "banned" NunOnBreak but he had to cry about it and changed his avatar back.