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As for the actual Christmas tree, the Germans used the Evergreen tree to worship the Yule God. Sound familiar? Of course-Yuletide greetings...Yule logs..."Yuletide carols being sung by the choir..." The Germans also had a tradition of giving gifts as a part of the Yule celebration.
A Winter Solstice celebration, Yule was Christianized as Christmas and imbued with the birth of Jesus story. The Romans incorporated this and a number of other pagan celebrations starting when Constantine recreated, rewrote and consolidated Christianity and the Bible in 432 AD.
And finally, the German Yule celebration included hanging mistletoe and holly. How "Christian" are these symbols? Let's see...going back to the Sun God, worshippers believed that the white berries on the mistletoe represented the Sun God's semen, while the red holly was held by witches to represent the menstrual blood of heaven's queen, Diana.
There are also other fertility references, including the evergreen tree, which was regarded as a symbol of the essence of life and was used as a phallic symbol in the rituals of fertility worship.
Of course, since many Christians never really read the Bible or study history, I will be seen as evil and a hater of Christians, which is okay, because those who will label me as such are stupid anyway.
But, let's take a look at who believes in God.
According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, ten per cent of Protestants, twenty-one per cent of Roman Catholics and fifty-two per cent of Jews do not believe in God. Surprised? Well, there's more that may also shock you.
Eighty-four per cent of women believe in God, while only seventy-three per cent of men do.
In terms of education and faith, eighty-two per cent of those with no college education believe in God, while only seventy-three per cent of those who went to college have faith.
Eighty-seven per cent of Republicans believe, while seventy-eight per cent of Democrats and seventy-five per cent of Independents have faith.
When it comes to race, guess who has the greatest faith? African Americans lead the faithful at ninety-one per cent, while eighty-one per cent of Hispanics and only seventy-eight per cent of whites have faith.
That brings us back to the holiday season. Many people do not believe in God and yet they celebrate Christmas. Still, others believe in God, but do not believe in Jesus Christ and yet, they too, celebrate Christmas.
The season has come to symbolize much more than the Christian holiday it originally was designed to be. It is now a season-a season of love and giving, a season of understanding and a season of peace and kindness.
Such a powerful season should have a powerful impact on people, particularly men and women who claim to love and believe in Jesus Christ, who, incidentally, was not a Christian.
I'll deal with that in depth next week.