Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Josh Groban - Believe

Children sleeping
Snow is softly falling.
Dreams are calling
like bells in the distance.

We were dreamers not so long ago.
But one by one we all had to grow up.

When it seems the magic slipped away,
we find it all again on Christmas day...
Believe in what your heart is saying,
hear the melody that's playing.
There's no time to waste,
there's so much to celebrate.

Believe in what you feel inside,
And give your dreams the wings to fly.
You have everything you need,
If you just believe,

Trains move quickly to their journey's end.
Destinations are where we begin again.
Ships go sailing far across the sea.
Trusting starlight, to get where they need to be.

When it seems that we have lost our way,
we find ourselves again on Christmas day...

Believe in what your heart is saying,
hear the melody that's playing.
There's no time to waste,
there's so much to celebrate.

Believe in what you feel inside,
And give your dreams the wings to fly.
You have everything you need,
If you just believe.

If you just believe.
If you just believe.
If you just believe.
Just believe.
Just believe
Merry Christmas to you!

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Jesus was born on 25 December AD 1. True or false?

Answer: False! The Nativity, or the birth of Jesus, is calculated to have happened at some time around 18 - 2 BC, that means the AD, Anno Domini, or "in the year of Lord", is not really the year of Lord at all. As for the date 25 December, it's also speculated to be an arbitrary date set by the Roman Catholic Church, in order to replace another Roman festival called Saturnalia, a pagan celebration.

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683611_grahams_christmas_tree_2Jesus Christ was (or is) one of the greatest man who has ever lived on the face of Earth. For millennia, he has left indelible marks on our society, and he will continue to be the icon of humanity for the millennia to come. As a non-Christian, I am happy to see the joy Christians found in the love of Jesus, and the belief in the God. In the season of Christmas, their exuberant spirit is well felt by everyone.

Christmas Day as a festival is no longer a purely religious celebration, today it is a festival throughout the world, celebrated by every cultural group in every nook and corner. When it comes to Christmas every yera, every shop out there is all out on many fronts to net as much profit as possible, from selling Christmas decorations to changing a shopping mall to a Christmas house. Christmas Day has almost become the celebration for businessmen. Despite the commercial implication and the globalization of the festivity, for the believers Christmas Day remains a holy festival where people gather in order to honour Jesus and God while commemorating his birth.

Talking about religions, I have always taken a profound interest in religious matters throughout the world, despite being rather irreligious myself. As a rather agnostic or atheist person, my biggest concern about religion is not its existence or meaning, but rather, the uprising of the fundamentalist community throughout the globe e.g. Southeast US, Palestine, Israel, and Middle East in general. Looking back at the world history, some armies have marched in the name of God, but most are inflicting harms while thinking that it's the ultimate good deed as decreed in their religions. Some died in religious wars knowing that they will be rewarded in Heaven, while some killed others and justified it with the Bible. Yes of course we know that those extremists are in the minority while the rest of the world are rather tolerant and moderate; however, the global trend clearly indicate that fundamentalism is inexorably dominating the Earth in the near future, and as moderate people we are bound to stop this from happening. We are already living with fundamentalism, and we will continue to live with it for a long long time. The twenty-second century is going to be a century of terror and conflicts, should the current trend continue.

Perhaps I have watched too many pessimistic documentaries to see the world so negatively. People say that those who paint a bad picture of religions are anti-religion, or people who have evil agendas. Dogmatic believers would accuse religion-questioning as Satan's act. But they aren't. I agree that most religions are good in nature, it's the humans who deviates from religious teaching; but the deviation is too perilous to be ignored by any of us. From a little search on "fundamentalist" in youtube, everyone can get a picture of the world's biggest problem today - unimaginable epidemic hatred inculcated by an organized brainwashing in children, reinforced by the draconian wars and policies which results in wars and conflicts in many countries.

On the peaceful day of Christmas, let's live up to Jesus' call to all human kind - love. Love your neighbour as yourself, even if your neighbour doesn't share your religion. Say no to fundamentalism. I wish everyone a blissful Christmas!

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[In US,] despite a full century of scientific insights attesting to the antiquity of the earth, more than half of our neighbors [US population] believe that the entire cosmos was created six thousand years ago. This is, incidentally, about a thousand years after the Sumerians invented glue. - Sam Harris in Letter to a Christian Nation

******

Someone: I thought Christmas is the birthday of Santa Claus!

4 comments:

Shoblast said...

Actually, December 25th was the birthday of Mithras, a sun god whose religion had much in common with christianity, up to and including such things as salvation, rebirth, etc etc.

In an effort to stop people from celebrating such "pagan" holidays, the pope authorized the project to replace it with Jesus' birthday. or a commemoration of it anyway.

So, Happy Mithras' Birthday to you! Have a good Yuletide.

kyh said...

cswI'm also fond of religions. But I'm not atheist or agnostic, cos I I have a strong spiritual thirst that need to be quenched. Hence, I find myself a shelter in one of them. :)

Jasmine said...

hey chang yang! i finally have internet access and can read your blog. what you say makes a lot of sense to me.it's sad that religion is the cause of so much anger in our world.
hope you had a good christmas =)

youngyew said...

shoblast: Hey thanks for your info.. Haha you always know so many things that I have no idea about.

kyh: Good on you. :) Religion is not a bad thing, only fanaticism is.

jasmine: Hope you had a great Christmas too!