‘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:
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…
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…
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…
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.