Well, hostilities have already begun. And with the right wing reeling from the recent election, and pining for a fight, this year's battle is shaping up to be one of the bloodiest.
I'm referring, of course, to the "war on Christmas". This war has always been a source of bewilderment to me.
I just don't get this Christian "persecution complex", which manifests itself every year though this perceived "war".
Oh, the horror of war.
Of slogging your way thru the trenches on the way to the mall only to be ambushed by someone saying 'happy holidays' instead of Merry Christmas! Or, once you make your way in, of experiencing the shock and trauma of encountering a "Holiday" tree instead of a "Christmas" tree!
The horror… the horrors of war.
Nope, I don't get it.
I do get why it's important to theocracy advocates who, by definition, must have this type of dogmatic compulsion and assurance in order to shore up their faith, but I've pretty much given up trying to understand why it gains so much traction among the rank and file Christian community.
But once in a while, amidst all the contrived persecution, a question or point is raised that peaks my interest. It came from a post in my local paper. The writer asked: "I have a question for the liberal fronts that are attacking Christmas. If Christ was not born, what would you be attacking now?"
I don't know what a "liberal front" is, and no one I've talked to does either, but I'm guessing it's one of those amorphous Christmas hating groups who spark this annual war with their insidious "seasons greetings" attacks.
Since I couldn't find anyone from the "liberal front", I'm going to take a stab at answering the question myself, as best I can (I just watched "It's a Wonderful Life", so this concept of "never been born" is fresh in my mind).
The short answer to the query is "Mithramas". This is what the "liberal fronts" might be attacking with their 'happy holidays' assaults if Jesus had never been born.
The Persian savior Mithra was born on Dec 25th, sometime prior to 500 BCE. His birth (to a supposed virgin, or else formed wholly from a rock) was witnessed by shepherds and Magi, and during his lifetime he performed miracles, cured illnesses, and cast out devils. He shared a last meal with his 12 disciples, then ascended to heaven at the time of the spring equinox.
Worship of Mithra was common throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, and in 274 CE (AD) Emperor Aurelian declared Mithraism the official religion of the Roman Empire. His Dec 25th birth was celebrated with other god/man/saviors including Appolo, Attis, Baal, Dionysus, Helios, Hercules, Horus, Osiris, Perseus, and Theseusas as the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun".
It wasn't until around 330-350 CE that the Christian church adopted Dec 25th as the birthday of the 'Christ' Jesus.
Mithraism remained the primary competitor of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire until Emperor Theodosius declared Christianity the official state religion in 391 CE, and banned the worship of Mithra.