From WILL - The Public Square -

Carol Ammons of Urbana on the Grinches Who Stole Christ-Mass

I am a social worker by trade. However, my real life's work is community activism, social justice and political awareness. I'm married to a wonderful man, have three children and work with wonderful people in my community to help create a better more informed society.

Christmas is a time of peace and joy, right? Well that depends on who you're asking. So, what is this thing called Christmas? Traditionally, Christmas has been said to be the day Jesus was born. Myth. Scripturally and scientifically it has been proven that Christ could not have been born in December.

Further research leads us to conclude that the origin of Christmas is rooted in idolatry and paganism. The pagans celebrated the winter solstice as the Unconquered Sun. After this day, the Sun would begin to stay in the sky longer each day, and there would be less cold, and less night; the Sun would win the battle of night and day. There would be feasts, evergreens would be brought into the house to be decorated and lighted with candles to pay tribute to the Sun.

Both the Sun worshipers and the Christians saw the solstice/birthday as a transition from darkness to light. Christ conquered the darkness, as did the Sun. Since the theme was similar, the traditions of one blended well with the other.

Clear instructions are given to Christians about idol worshipping in Jeremiah 10. In a country where religion is used to enslave human beings for economic gain, it certainly stands to reason that the exploitation of American citizens through religious fervor and commercialization would blend.

As we gasp for air beneath the pre-Christmas avalanche of retailers battling for the pounds in our pockets, this fine yuletide tradition is followed closely by yet another great tradition: the annual debt. Retailers get about a quarter of their revenue during this period. The complete control of people has been and will always be through means of advertising. The company, group or organization that is most effective in capturing the minds of the masses with their advertising schemes wins the "coin in the fishes' mouth."

In a span of about three minutes I saw six commercials advertising the "joy of the season", the spirit of giving, sharing, caring and a whole host of so-called expressions of holiday cheer. The season for giving may well also be a season of financial peril for many families this year. Why are we going in debt for one day?

Maybe if we were all a little more realistic and a lot less materialistic, this wouldn't even be an issue. Holiday symbols are used both to dramatize and to ritualize shopping. Holidays and festivals are superb commercial opportunities for greedy merchants, legal money launderers, gospel manipulators. We run out and spend money we don't have on stuff we don't need.

The solution to this problem is a no-brainer. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. It's just keeping you down. A word to the wise, The Sayings of Amon Ra urges us to "Guard against habit, overindulgence and lack of self-control." Don't let the greedy merchants steal your Christ.