Virgin Births (an excerpt from The Heathen’s Guide to Christmas)

The Nativity

I wanted to give birth as opposed to being delivered.‘ ~ Ricki Lake

Let’s start with a little game of Virgin Birth. Here’s the way it works: find someone who’s pro-Christian/pro-Christmas. After assuring them that you’re not going to offend them with a bit of historical fact (lie) read the following bits out loud and ask them to guess who you’re talking about. You get one point for pissing them off, five points for being told you’re going to hell, and 25 points (and a mention on my website) if they actually haul off and hit you.

Here we go, Scenario One:

Attis
Born on December 25 to a virgin mother, this great man later sacrificed his life so he could save all humanity from eternal torment. He died at Easter of acute crucifixion, and descended for three days into the underworld. On Easter Sunday, he rose again. To commemorate this heroic story, his followers wore an image of him being crucified and he was symbolically eaten by his followers in the form of bread during services.

Answer: Attis, a Phrygian god from Asia Minor. If anyone said Jesus, point your finger, laugh, and sign yourself up for 5 points. That one was pretty obscure though. To be fair, let’s jump ahead a bit to the actual time of Jesus…

Scenario Two:

Dionysus
He was worshipped in Jerusalem in the 1st century. He was the Son of God. The Creator made his mother pregnant through mystic means and his flesh and blood were symbolically eaten in the form of bread and wine by his devotees to celebrate his birth on December 25. The guy’s into healing, saving your soul, and eternal love. Oh… and a star appeared above when he was born. Don’t forget to mention the star.

Answer: Dionysus, the son of Zeus. Dionysian worship was really big in Rome and all the territories that Rome controlled, including Israel/Judea.

Ok, let’s try this one on for size…

Scenario Three:

Osiris

A savior-god called the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, God of Gods. He is the Resurrection and the Life, the Good Shepherd, yadda yadda, (you get the idea). Three Wise Men announced his birth. His followers ate cakes of wheat that symbolized his body, and he was worshipped in Judea in the first century AD.

Answer: That one’s Osiris, the Egyptian God who was chopped into 14 pieces as a sacrifice for all humanity. The difference between his lore and Jesus’ is that when Osiris came back from the dead, when Isis helped him out, she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) find his penis. For this reason Osiris is generally portrayed as neutered. Rome had accepted Osiris into the Hall of Gods by the time of Jesus, and Osiris worship was an accepted practice under Rome’s Hellenism. (Hellenism, by the way, was kind of a syncratic mish-mash of all the gods into one religion. Syncratic, by the way, is just a big word for mish-mash.)

Ok… that’s three virgin births and three resurrections, and we’re still not up to the late great JC. Here comes my favorite…

Scenario Four:

Mithra
A guy born of a virgin on December 25 (popular day for virgin births, huh?). As an adult he casts out demons, cures people and walks on water. He was killed to save all humanity, came back from the dead, then ascended into heaven. He’ll come again to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

The Answer: Mithra, the god of Mithraism (also associated with Zoroastrianism). It was from this religion that Christianity stole the bulk of its lore. Mithra was the Sol Invictus, or Unconquerable Sun. He did battle on behalf of humanity, died a martyr, and rose again. His story comes complete with 12 apostles, a Last Supper, the Wise Men and the Shepherds bit. His Godly Father, Ahura Mazda, was the One True God (except for that other pesky god he kept having trouble with.)

Ok, tally up your score and see how you did. If you’re bleeding or incapable of writing because you’ve just had your hands broken, don’t bother counting it all up. You win automatically.

Written by Wm. Hopper, http://www.heathensguide.com.

‘The Heathen’s Guide to Christmas’.

Ammunition for the War on Christmas.
Available just in time for Christmas with the in-laws.

The Heathen’s Guide to Christmas
www.heathensguide.com

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36 Responses to “Virgin Births (an excerpt from The Heathen’s Guide to Christmas)”

  1. Answering Mithra with Jesus Christ « The Church of Jesus Christ Says:

    [...] a comment » Around every holiday season (be it Christmas or Easter) the idea that the Christian history is somehow connect to Mithra, Attis, Dionysus, Osiris arises and is uses to demonstrated that Christianity is [...]

    • heathensguide Says:

      (I will assume you are LDS, not RLDS).

      The issue comes up because it is so blatantly true. Whether there is any truth i Christianity or not, the proponents of the faith have to admit that socially, the faith stole a lot of its myths from other religions. This has always been the way of it… newer religions using existing theologies to validate their own. Religion Marketing 101.

  2. Polycarp Says:

    Actually, I am not LDS – which a casual reading of my blog would quickly tell. No, what I admit is that the scaffolding that is known as modern Christianity as adopted myths and rituals, understandings as well, from other religions. This is easily known and seen, even by those that practice such stolen things. You are quick to lump us into one branch, but you forget that many seek only what is said in the Scriptures, nothing else. Not ritual, not adopted traditions, only what we can read and understand, going not beyond what is written.

    • heathensguide Says:

      The scriptures themselves are a product of the same stolen practices, enshrined through councils, myths and rituals. Many of the proverbs, stories, and events that were adopted into the Bible can be found in other cultures, other holy books. To trust the bible as holy scripture is to trust Emperor Constantine and 300 politically motivated bishops who put the books together into one “bible”.

      In short, the search for any real Christianity has to start by sorting through the BS that was laid over top of whatever was originally there… if anything.

      • Xtremefaith Says:

        If a man goes to doctor and find out from a test he has cancer, but then stops doctor from treatment, explaining I would like to pray first. Then prays with church body and request the test be re-taken before the procedure only to discover the cancer is now gone, what does both the doctor and the man say?

        The man would surely praise God for the miracle, the doctor would likely request another test and assume 1 of the 2 test was wrong (cause science is very consistent). Correct?

        The point is this, same evidence, but 2 obviously different understandings of the evidence. You have clearly chosen to see evidence of God’s story scattered throughout many generations and cultures to mean God was lying or fake in some how (for the moment giving credit to these stories even though many of them have misplaced context if you actually research them), but I have chosen to see God’s provision in these stories. Like a game of telephone the message seems to get more and more distorted the further it gets from the source.

        My faith is not in Constantine or any of the other men before me, I know a God who claims to be all that He says He is does not depend on any man (or virgin) to carry out His will, BUT He can and does use them. Good luck in your research, I’m sure if you’re looking for truth you will find it because real truth is not insecure, it is not changing and will be there when you find it.

  3. Polycarp Says:

    The first real council came in 325, long after the scriptures were written, unless of course you consider all religion created. The myth that Constantine ‘put together’ the bible in 325 is false, as the Canon of Scripture was essentially completed in the Core by the time of Ignatius. (100)

    Give me a honest opinion, here, please: http://thechurchofjesuschrist.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/the-ultimate-conspiracy-theory-%C2%AB-woman-on-the-edge-of-reality/

    There are manuscript evidence from the 60′s that the Gospels (which would make them 30 years removed) are remarkably accurate in text crit.

    • heathensguide Says:

      I think the cannon set down in Sicily a few years earlier was a political reaction to the rise of “the Gnostic heresy”. The Roman church (which was heavily influenced by Constantine and Roman culture) had a Rome-friendly concept of a divine “man-god” akin to Apollo. That “sold” in Rome. The idea of a religion started by a simple rabbi (Jesus) simply would not sell.

      Nicaea was the editing point… the point where Jesus became divine by virtue of the books that were accepted into the Codex. ALL of the rejected texts reflecteed elements of a non-divine Jesus. That was the main reason for the council.

      Now, whether you attribute this to the influence of Constantine or to the overall influence of Roman culture is debatable, but imho it was here that the stories of a Jewish rabbi became the stories of the all-powerful divine god incarnate, akin to many of the Roman and Greek myths.

  4. Icon-o-plastic Says:

    All of this is interesting and compelling albeit well-documented stuff. But what it does not address is the apparent need for a god of any kind, a need that seems to reach back into the darkest recesses of history even as it seeps into the darkest uncharted areas of our unconscious. All religions share the use of archetypes, both borrowed and new, to appeal to this universal need, and it is that need that is the real issue- not how the need is fulfilled. Unless of course you want to hold a war party and rally the troops around your own collection of mythic motivators, and then it becomes a very big deal indeed.

    Christianity in the West has a diminishing role of containing impulsive behaviour, a role that has been largely supplanted by education, jurisprudence and even entertainment’s morality plays. If all we are left with is the quaint fairy tales of biblical scripture, religion is in trouble indeed.

  5. Answering Mithra with Jesus Christ | The Church of Jesus Christ Says:

    [...] | Posted by Polycarp Around every holiday season (be it Christmas or Easter) the idea that the Christian history is somehow connect to Mithra, Attis, Dionysus, Osiris arises and is uses to demonstrated that Christianity is [...]

  6. Eli Says:

    The reason for 12/25 is based on the stars. During the year, up to the winter solstice, the days are getting shorter, correct? This is because each day the sun is moving one degree to the south, giving us less sun throughout the day. So, on the 22, 23, and 24, something weird happens. The sun does not move south, it stays put. (Jesus died for three days, right?) Then, on the twenty-fifth, it rises one degree. So the 25 symbolizes him being born, whether it be being born again, after being crucified, or being brought into the world. Why was Jesus an anthropomorphism of the sun? Because the Christian faith is based off of primitive Egyptian sun worship, and other religions based off of the same thing. Please forgive me if anything is wrong, I’m very new to this subject.

    I found out much of my information from the original Zeitgeist, but be wary of any subjects other that than the religion part of the movie. The political part of the video is disinformation.

  7. Anthony Says:

    The only problem with this is that you’re assuming Christians actually think Jesus was born on the 25th. Theologians maintain that they actually are clueless to the actual day of His birth.

  8. Kimberlynn Silva Says:

    Well . . . happy f-ing easter to all of the worlds’ religions who are celebrating it. Because, not just Christmas is a shared holy day. Easter is as well.
    Great post. Thanks for sharing and for all of the work you put into getting this out.

  9. Edwina Deets Says:

    Is it possible for the reader to follow this blog through different means beside with RSS? I can’t see it on any readers whil it is possible to see it from ie.

  10. RetSquid Says:

    What are your sources? All the ones I’ve seen don’t match your claims.

  11. William Mckinney Says:

    Your story of Attis is not even close. Do your research before post thing other wise you just look like a scorned, spoiled brat who is just trying to stir up stuff.

    • heathensguide Says:

      Let’s see:
      Attis was a Phrygian god: Check

      He was born to Nana, who gave birth to him by laying the fruit from an almond tree on her belly. Sounds kinda virginal to me. So, Check.

      “Sacrificed his life so he could save all humanity from eternal torment. He died at Easter of acute crucifixion,” If we ignore the later Greek stories of his death-by-pig and stick to the original tale, he was hung from a tree till he died. Proto-crucifixion. Check.

      “and descended for three days into the underworld. He rose again.” Again, various version of the story exist, but basically Cybele gets Zeus (or Midas or whomever) to help resurrect him. Check.

      “To commemorate this heroic story, his followers wore an image of him being crucified and he was symbolically eaten by his followers in the form of bread during services.” Pretty self-explanatory. Let me know where you think I’m wrong on that one.

      And as to doing my research: Five years university studying World Religions with a minors in Classical studies. Not that I’m never wrong (I am), but I’m seldom as wrong as you seem to think my recounting of Attis’ life is.

  12. William Mckinney Says:

    Dionysus, the son of Zeus…..his mother is never said to a Virgin, and she did not deliver him, Zeus did after he stitched Dionysus to his own thigh. Nothing in his story is even close to the story of Christ, did you even check your history. Anyone can go to http://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/Dionysus/dionysus.htmand read about Dionysus and make up their own minds, something you should have probably done instead of regergitating someone elses thoughts on to a websit and then passing them off as your own.

    • heathensguide Says:

      Actually folks, I recc. you skip the greekmythology link (for this topic) and go to the Catholic Encyclopedia. Sure, I hate religions and all, but I have to admit they do their research and aren’t afraid to cite stuff that makes them look bad. It’s online. Just type in Dionysus and you’ll get the story.
      And to William McKinney: I’m going to assume you have no idea who I am. All good. But I’ve a very extensive background in religions, history, etc. Lots of postgrad, years of dusty old tomes and annoying Greek and Latin classes. (Not that I am terrible good with either language these days). If I’m wrong I’ll correct myself, but I sure as hell don’t pluck my opinions from websites. I’ve been writing books and articles on religions since before the internet existed.

  13. Ken Says:

    It really doesn’t matter who you are. For you there is no God for me there is. You can spend your whole life in school and yet you will never convince me or the billions of others there is no God.
    If there is a God as I believe there is, then as infinite as He is, it would seem to me He would allow similarities in these religions to point the way for when the “fullness of time” came. However, I think you are stretching things quite far to make it fit your own disbelief.
    Peace.

  14. Ann Says:

    Well.. I’m not a theologian or a religious philosopher or someone who studied the history of regilion/God/divinity etc. Perhaps my thoughts are lame, but if someone could clarify it for me, it would be great: 1)Does history have any record of the above mentioned Greek Gods existing? I believe that there is a historical record of Jesus right? 2) I have always wondered why God didn’t reveal His true self to others before Judaism (Old Testament)? And if He did reveal Himself, shouldn’t there be a consistent story about Him and His plans? Virgin birth, crucifixion, death, resurrection-Supposing these similarites existed because God chose to reveal Himself, His plan etc to people and people perceived these revelations and wrote them down but they wrote it down before the time of Jesus – so they just gave Him (jesus) a different name – kind of like naming an object or person in different languages.. (Abraham/Ibrahim etc.). Doesn’t the consistency of all these point toward the consistency of God’s plan? Of course this is based on the premise, that people who wrote down these stories experienced some kind of divine power that inspired them to write whatever they did..

    • heathensguide Says:

      Actually, no there is no historical mention of Jesus until about the third century AD. No Roman records exist, none of the great writers of the day mentioned him, and none of the records we have from Judea at the time mention a Jesus of Nazareth.(and we have a lot of those).
      This is why many contend that the story and character of Jesus was entirely constructed from Roman gods, notably Mithra, to create a new religion in 325AD. I don’t tend to talk about this much because it’s a bit far for most Christians to consider, but there’s a lot out there on it.

      • thegloriousone Says:

        Is there really no historic metnion of Jesus? I was always under the impression that he probably existed historically, but that he was declared God and divine etc. after the fact. That the case for his divinity was built around an actual person who actually did travel around and speak etc.

        When did Saul of Tarsus do his thing?

      • heathensguide Says:

        Not that I have found… and trust me, I’ve looked. Outside of Xianity Jesus’ life is a non-event. He may have existed, but neither Rome nor the Jews mention him until teh rise of Xianity in the third century.

      • heathensguide Says:

        Paul and Peter hung around together, so we can assume Paul was around between 30 and 75 AD or so. Contemporary with the disciples, but he never met Jesus. He came along after Jesus was gone but had a vision of the divine Jesus. Or high blood sugar. One of the two.

      • thegloriousone Says:

        The reason I ask about Saul is because his letters explicitly refer to Jesus, and he is widely believed to have lived and died well before the Council of Nicea.

        It is most probable that none of the evangelists responsible for writing the canonical gospels had any direct contact or knowledge of Jesus, but I’ve never heard anyone suggest that these works did not exist until after the Council of Nicea.

        in fact, Iranaeus of Lyons mentions the gospels in his works, and Iranaeus himself was dead before Nicea.

      • heathensguide Says:

        I may have been unclear. The individual books and letter existed before the council. But the Bible (or Codex) did not exist. The authoritative compilation of books we now know as the Bible came into being at Nicaea. Prior to this there were dozens of Christian sects with different books and letters etc. Most of these were declared heretical and tossed out in 325. Paul’s stuff was accepted as canon by Rome in 325 where many books were not.

      • thegloriousone Says:

        That’s where I was going. You write “This is why many contend that the story and character of Jesus was entirely constructed from Roman gods, notably Mithra, to create a new religion in 325AD.”

        I guess my point is that it seems unlikey that the entire character of Jesus was put together and based of off Mithra in 325 when the Jesus divinity program was in full swing well before that. He may have been based off of Mithra etc., but that would have had to have happened well before 325.

        My understanding of Nicea is that Constantine didn’t really care whether Jesus was divine or not provided Rome settled on whether he was divine or not in unison. It was more important to have a single book and single belief regardless of what that belief was.

      • heathensguide Says:

        Honestly (and I don’t usually say this online, and would never do a post on it because it’s total conjecture). I think the Jesus of modern fame was patterned after a guy named Jesu Ben Surrah, one of the leaders of the failed Jewish Revolt of 66AD. I think the Gnostic stuff meshed in with Judaism just before the fall of Israel, and it all became the myth of Jesu by the turn of the century. Tales grow in the telling, and by 325 when this was all looked at by the council Jesu Ben Surrah had become intertwined with so many other god legends (like Mithra) that it was all a hodgepodge of theology. Rome accepted the Roman aspects of it, and rejected the other influences. But this is just a personal suspicion based on research. Not a hard, cold fact that I could defend.

      • thegloriousone Says:

        I’m assuming if he led a failed revolt that he wasn’t the peaceful, turn the other cheek Jesus style character?

        Anyway, I appreciate your thoughts and the quick replies. Take care.

        Bill

  15. Peacenut Says:

    It is really interesting in 2012 that we people are going by ancient writings of creation and Gods. I love studying how this all came about and how this has created so many wars and pain instead of bringing about peace, love and understanding. The premise held by many people that a person is morally bankrupt unless they believe and study a “holy” text is so wrong. I base my actions on what I choose to create in this world and not on if I will go to heaven or hell. I choose not to harm any beings on purpose and respect all of life because that is who I am. I appreciate the history Heathensguide.

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