Happy Winter Solstice!

Happy Winter Solstice!

Posted in the Gaston Forum



#1 Dec 21, 2006
I'm not religious, I've tried, but it never took. And that's a good thing -- cause it's allowed me to continue to grow in a number of ways that would certainly have been stifled by organized religion. About this time of year it nearly drives me nuts listening to pushy Christian's claim, "Jesus is the reason for the season"... Not!..

My wife e-mailed me a week ago from the office, there was a dispute over when JC (Jesus Christ) was actually born. A coworker claimed he was born on "Christmas Day." When the boss stepped in, my wife turned to me ... the following is what I sent back.

This was found online ... I don't have the address: "Biblical scholars readily tell us that it was most likely NOT on December 25th, A.D. 0. Why? When were shepherds in the fields? Israeli meteorologists tracked December weather patterns for many years and concluded that the climate in Israel has been essentially constant for at least the last 2,000 years. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible states that, "broadly speaking, weather phenomena and climatic conditions as pictured in the Bible correspond with conditions as observed today" (R.B.Y. Scott, Vol. 3, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1962, p. 625)."

-- Me here... JC was born mid to late Summer, the real scholars of the bible agree upon that. The "Christian Religion" has used their holiday's to replace those of every culture they've conquered. South and Central America are excellent examples; their Priests used made-up Christian holidays just to give the natives something 'Christian' to celebrate, cause they'd be partying with their gods anyway.

The Winter Solstice has been celebrated by people in the northern hemisphere for eons, thousands of years before 'Christ.' One way the Romans forced Christianity on our ancestors was to replace our Pagan celebrations with their own. And since this was the biggest and most important of annual events {it began to get light again!}-- the religious powers proclaimed it "the day of JC's birth." The reason it's on the 25, and not the 21st (the actual Winter Solstice), is because the Roman calendar was off -- by 4 days! They were shooting for the 21st. I'm glad they missed, but if they hadn't - this would be a LOT easier to explain -- it would be the Winter Solstice.

Here's some extra info on the Solstice, it looks pretty 'neutral.' http://www.candlegrove.com/solstice.html#othe...


#2 Dec 21, 2006

Part One.

The Winter Solstice takes place today, Thursday December 21, 2006 at
7:22 PM EST.{That was 4:22 PM PST}

This event marks the Sun's lowest point in its apparent annual journey
across the sky as seen from our planet's Northern Hemisphere. South
of the equator, the Sun appears to reach the highest position marking
the onset of summer. For those of us in the United States, Europe and
other points north, however, Winter Solstice is also the shortest day
of the year, in the sense that the period of time between sunrise and
sunset on this day is a minimum for that 365-plus days it takes Earth,
our home, to revolve around our star.

There has been abundant speculation about what of this meant to early
peoples even with their limited understanding of celestial mechanics
and the movements of planets, the Sun and the Moon. We know that
"ancient astronomers" tracked phenomenon including the position of the
rising sun throughout the year. They erected monuments like
Stonehenge, and devised calendars to record these movements which were
so intimately connected with the repetitive cycle of the year. The
summer and winter solstices were crucial events in the seasonal
oscillation, marking the depth of winter or the height of the summer.
The solar risings around June 21 and December 21 seemed fixed at
either their most northern or southern point on the horizon. The
Latin term "Solstice" is, then, a combination of two terms: "sol" or
"Sun" and "sistere," or "stitium"
meaning to cause a stoppage or stand still.

All of this is caused by the 23.5-degree tilt of Earth's axis.
Today that axis points to a potion in space near Polaris, the
so-called North Star. As a result, during this time of year the
Southern Hemisphere receives more direct sunlight than our part of the
planet. The conditions reverse six-months later when it is summer in
the North.

The rhythms of life itself were intimately attached to the Solstices
and the two Equinoxes when night and day were of equal length.
Planting, harvesting and other events called for celebration and
ritual which were integral elements of early communal life.


#3 Dec 21, 2006
Part Two.

Countless cultures have celebrated this and other "natural holidays"
or events since ancient times. But the symbolism, rituals and meaning
of this holiday, especially Solstice, was co-opted and even banned by
the Christian church as it gained political and cultural hegemony.
Pagan celebrations like Saturnalia were grafted on to church doctrine.
The "Sun," giver of life, was transformed into the "Son" of God, a
dreary, self-sacrificing being cobbled together from artifacts of
earlier religions (such as virgin birth, death and resurrection).

There is a renaissance of interest, however, in events like the
Solstice as people seek new rituals and means of celebration
appropriate to our increasingly diverse, secular world. In the
history of modern Atheism, it was Madalyn Murray O'Hair who first
proposed that the four major astronomical events of the year -- the
two Solstices and the two Equinoxes -- become "natural holidays"
again for all humanity to recognize and celebrate. Different groups
including many Atheists, Freethinkers and Humanists have taken up the
call, and various organizations sponsor Winter Solstice events.
Under a tapestry of names, we search for new ways to re-connect with
the natural world in the spirit of friendship and conviviality without
the need for religious dogmas.

So, to all of you, a Happy Winter Solstice from the President,
Officers, Board Members and staff at American Atheists!

For more information on the Winter Solstice...

("The Solstice Season," by Madalyn Murray O'Hair)

("Winter Solstice: Sun, Moon and Worship," by Conrad Goeringer)

("The Solstitial and Equinoctial Seasons," by Frank Zindler)

("Remnants of Christmas Past," by Conrad Goeringer)

("What I want for Winter Solstice," by Ellen Johnson)

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