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By: Kirsten West Savali, Your Black World
Growing up in an African Methodist Episcopal household (A.M.E. — shout out to Richard Allen!), the annual Christmas program was a huge deal. From the flowing red gowns of the female choir members to the gold candles illuminating the sanctuary in a warm glow, the soaring notes of “O Holy Night,” and “Silent Night’ were congregant favorites. Everyone would sway and sing along, celebrating the birth of their one, true savior, Jesus — or Joshua for those people who like to be historically correct.
There’s only one small problem:
December 25 is not his birthday.
The rumor that Jesus was born on December 25 has been debunked time and time again, but for some reason, as is the case with Easter, creationism, and the entire Old Testament, many Christians have wrestled the concept from its origins, even going so far as declaring that people are heathens, ungrateful and unscrupulous for daring to take the “Christ” out of X-mas.
I guess I would feel more comfortable with the scathing criticism, if in fact, Christmas was ever intended to be a Christian holiday, but it was not. That is not myth, legend or subjective opinion, that is fact.
Many people are familiar with the Winter Solstice, and for those who are not, it’s when the sun reaches it’s lowest point in the sky on December 21, actually appearing to stop moving for three days, then rising again on December 25. With just a cursory examination, one can understand that the “Birth of the Son” is actually the “Return of the Sun.” And those three wise men? The three stars of Orion’s Belt have always been referred to as “The Three Kings,” and astronomy tells us that they appear to follow the bright star, Sirius, who over the years has evolved into Mary, the Virgin Mother.
Besides the fact that there is a long list of deities throughout antiquity who pre-date Jesus, from the pagan Sun God Mithra to Egypt’s Horus and Ra, to Syria’s Baal, Rome’s Sol Invictus and Greece’s Helios, it wasn’t until the year 350, that Pope Julius I declared that the “Christ-Mass” would be held on December 25, to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.