Last week I promised to consider how we could possibly ignore all the bad and sad news and try to make this Christmas as joyous and cheerful as possible. But I realized that given the doom and gloom in which have found ourselves, by simply offering a few tips, some upbeat pragmatic advice, and jokes may be taken as facile. If possible, I will try to revisit that promise, because our Christmas ought to be merry no regardless of circumstances, and I hope that all Christians will see it that way.
In this article I would like to focus on a very curious phenomenon that could be called sociological. It concerns the truly merry and cheerful nature of our Christmas which has been taken out of context, appropriated, and then presented as the real nature of the holiday season. Many unsuspecting people get sucked into it and cheerfully celebrate this new cult of Christmas instead of the real Christmas.
From the recent response of many callers to the radio call-back shows it became clear that an overwhelming majority of Canadians still considers Christmas the foremost of all Canadian traditions. Thank God, Christmas is still in our DNA, and, it seems, no virus can evolve it away. Although, sadly, most Canadians today act if they didn’t have a clue what Christmas really means. Or, I’m guessing that many still remember, but choose to ignore the really ‘good news’, focusing rather on the mere pursuit of happiness.
In the most spectacular cultural appropriation heist in history, the principalities and powers of secularized mercantilism, with their hosts of minions, hijacked our Christmas. They want our Christian traditions and celebrations as an escape from the sad reality of this world, which is so badly messed up that they don’t know anymore how to fix it. The merry robbers saw how happy Christians were, how merrily they celebrated the Christmas, and many Scrooges and Grinches became jealous.
Every December, even earlier now, millions if not billions take a ‘happy Christmas pill’, or a ‘sniff of laughing gas’ which anesthetizes their central nervous system, kills pain, tricks their brains, and turns their higher cognitive perception into a silly happy hallucination. Europe kept its old traditions for much longer, even under Marxist communism.
[ I gave an example in my 2015 article The Art of Giving and Receiving Gifts]
But a new Christmas cult emerged in America and spread all over the world, including Asia and Europe. Creation of myths (legends) is nothing new, they are a powerful means by which human mind and imagination can be formed and controlled. Religions are like a mythology. Many cults use some kind of mythology to attract people.
Tolkien and C. S. Lewis learned these principles and tried to invigorate Christianity by writing literary myths (mythopoeia) which drew similarities to Christianity. Because they tried to mimic Christianity in all its intricate details, unfortunately, their myths became so complex, with so many names and stories, that only a minority of university educated fans are willing to devote their free time to studying and following these literary myths.
Really, why not try to learn and follow the real thing, the perfect ‘mythology’ of Christmas with all its intricate history, and learn the Scriptures, rather than ‘study’ Tolkien’s imperfect oversimplifications? Besides, Christianity was not meant for the educated intelligentsia, but its stories and parables were aimed equally at the simple and the educated.
Others followed, but used secular principles, omitting religion. Star Trek and Star Wars with its Force are created mythologies or cults based on Joseph Campbell’s mythological ideas. Harry Potter is another sophisticated ‘magical’ mythology and many confused Christians see it as truly Christian, akin to Tolkien, but there is a crucial difference.
Christmas also became such a mythology and cult. So what is this new American Christmas and who invented it?
“It’s a story that has nothing to do with Christmas, in any kind of religious tradition, it’s an invented myth about an invented holiday.”
[CBC has produced an insightful documentary “Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas” which can be found on YouTube. The quote starts at 00:35:15]
For most people the ‘all-inclusive’ Christmas is today about family, social gathering, friends, shopping, gifts, giving, sharing, charity, food, fun and entertainment. Fair enough, most of these are also genuine Christian values and traditions, but why do all these things still matter? What is their deeper religious meaning? And should the befuddled Christians participate in an invented secular myth?
Every year the secular media prod our curiosity, and they show the same movies, read the same stories and try to incite the same debates about Christmas. I don’t mind some of these, but I watched little Ralph’s Christmas and Grinch so many times that I need a break. This year especially, when our minds are much more somber, many will likely seek deeper and more meaningful insights and reflections.
Except for some important news, this Christmas I have decided to shut down the secular TV and Internet. I don’t subscribe to Netflix or any other subscription services, but I may watch some EWTN programming, and listen to the radio, especially the Christian station. I like to listen to several popular non-Catholic Christian preachers, and the station tries to keep Christ in the Christmas carols it plays. God willing, I hope to have a merry, meaningful, ecumenical lock-down Christmas.
Reading in on the mind of many Albertan’s, and the public libraries report a tremendous increase in the remaining few days before our Christmas lockdown. Multitudes of masked patrons rushed the libraries despite the pleas of our officials not to gather and shop, but eager readers were desperately stocking up with whatever was left on the shelves.
(Originally I was a big fan, but I gave up on the public library long time ago, since it doesn’t carry the kind of materials I am interested in any more.)
I also plan to do some reading, and I have already ordered several books on Amazon. But G. K. Chesterton is one of my most beloved authors. I already own pretty much everything available he wrote, and whenever I feel gloomy and helpless I usually grab one of his numerous books and start flipping the pages. It became my tradition that at Christmas time I read excerpts or articles about Christmas written by Chesterton. Having ample time now, I have already re-read many passages.
Speaking about mythologies, books and Christmas reading, allow me to offer the gist of Chesterton’s January 16, 1909 Christmas article “The Wrong Books at Christmas,” in which Chesterton described a baffling list of advertised books recommended by the publishers for the 1908 Christmas.
The Sexual Ethics by a popular Swiss psychologist who proved by science that man has no conscience, and thus it is wrong to drink fermented liquor, man and woman must have the same political power, and other such proofs with a lot of illustrations from the insect world. Except, as Chesterton pointed out, science didn’t really prove anything like that.
(I am not sure what science says about alcohol these days, but our liqour-stores also reported an unprecedented increase in sales. So it is a good sign, I guess, people who drink alcohol still have conscience.)
There were books about Tolstoy and G. B. Shaw, books by Shaw, none of them in the spirit of Christmas. Both the Russian ‘Christian’ anarchist and the British socialist, the founding father of the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” Fabian Society. All these wolves were the favorite life-long targets of Chesterton’s sharp mind. But I think Chesterton was too polite towards these nasty characters whom he originally called “heretics”. (Read Chesterton’s book “Heretics” which launched his literary career.)
It is even worse today, polite criticism just goes over their heads, or deflects off their arrogant Teflon-coated brains. If we hope to defend Christmas and Christianity, we must laser-sharpen our pens and attack the ‘heretics’ with all the fury we can muster.
Since I don’t want you to get dyspepsia and ruin your holidays I don’t recommend this for Christmas, but later you may want to find the real truth about Tolstoy and other modern celebrities like Rousseau, the father of the French Revolution, by reading the 1988 book “Intellectuals” by Paul Johnson.
As far as Shaw, you can quickly discover the real nature of this kind old man, told by himself, if you search for a very short Youtube clip “Shaw gas chambers”.
[clip: “George Bernard Shaw and the ‘humane gas’” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDez_cjgTZ4 ]
By the way, if you decided to read the highly edited and supervised Wikipedia, used by many as their main historical source, you wouldn’t even get a clue from Shaw’s long magnificent webpage that Chesterton and Belloc were highly critical of Shaw and his pernicious ideology which may have inspired the Nazi gas chambers. You would get the opposite impression that both Belloc and Chesterton were pen-pals and admirers of this nasty wolf who designed the famous Fabian window and who co-founded the London School of Economics.
You can also watch the insightful 2016 EWTN documentary “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”, about the history of Fabian socialism, which started with Shaw and continued with Saul Alinsky in America. After presenting the mystical story about wolf and St. Francis, in conclusion of the original which is still frequently replayed on EWTN, the narrator urges us not to be afraid of wolves and asks us to pray for the souls of these wolves. (The Youtube version does not seem to have this strange request.)
I don’t mind the real wolves, I understand their behavior and biological role in nature. I heard many wolves howling in the Canadian wilderness, and judging by the fresh prints a few big alpha males came very close.
Perhaps it is my imperfect Christian charity, but praying for the souls of the long dead wolves like Shaw and Alinsky, or anarchists like Tolstoy or Lennon, gives me nausea and dyspepsia. I am not even sure if this a theologically sound proposition.
For now I will leave it to God’s all-knowing justice to judge them, and me, at the Last Judgement. Instead, to improve my digestion, I will crack a beer and sing Belloc’s cheerful Christmas carol:
‘May all good fellows that here agree
Drink Audit Ale in heaven with me,
And may all my enemies go to hell!
Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!
I one took the 1908 book “The Scientific Basis of Socialism” seriously, one would never give money to any charity. Socialism, with its ‘higher advanced’ state called communism, has also become a mythology. Historically, since the French Revolution, it became an irreligious mythology of atheists.
Because there are a few instances in the Scriptures, some Christians and theologians think that the original Christianity was socialist or communist, because some of these small communities held all their property in common.
Not too many people in America and Vatican know this, but the ideas of Christian communism were resurrected in the medieval Bohemia, where the Hussite faction of the so called Taborites founded the town called Tábor, derived from the Biblical Mt. Tabor. The Taborites eagerly donated all their property and faithfully tried to live the Biblical ideal of Christian communism.
But, not surprisingly, the original sin, or the imperfect human nature (greed, jealousy, laziness, etc.), soon took over and slowly but surely eroded not only their original enthusiasm for equality and common property, but the whole structure of their idealistically conceived society. It took only several years and the whole Taborite Christian socialist-communist experiment fell apart, quickly reverting back to the principles of private property.
The Taborite communist idealism became widely admired in medieval Europe, especially by half-educated ‘protestant’ sects and uneducated peasants whose preachers carried it from Bohemia to Germany, Poland, Russia and other places. In Germany it resulted in the violent peasant uprisings, and later Marx picked up these ideas and ‘improved’ (or perverted) them by removing their Christian idealism which he substituted with a firm “scientific” evolutionary basis.
Many Christian sects carried the Taborite collectivist ideas to England and later to America. (Doukhobors, Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, etc.) Utopian socialists like Robert Owen tried their own experiments. However, as Chesterton pointed out that what was fundamentally wrong with this new scientific socialism was its “scientific basis”!
A century ago many did take scientific socialism and communism seriously. It was tried, tested by a plethora of socialist technocrats, and it failed miserably in all countries where it was tried. But the pope and the Vatican Jesuits, and many of their rich prominent progressive buddies around the world, still seem to be clinging to such ramshackle socialist ‘social justice’ utopianism.
(If you subscribed to the printed Catholic Insight and kept it, my July/August 2013 article “Václav Havel and His Memorandum” outlined how the famous president described the collapse of socialism in Czechoslovakia in his 1968 play.)
This new ‘charity through taxes’ is also the current mantra of economists (Canadian and British) who argue even more loudly now that the government should be the sole provider for the needy during the pandemic. Taxes have been the revenue of modern governments, and it isn’t clear whose taxes will eventually drastically increase, since the economies have basically collapsed.
Neither is it clear how the broken economies and services will be “built back better”, and who will end up re-paying the mind-boggling debts and deficits. Perhaps the vaccine manufacturers and the medical industry, and a number of elite technocrat-billionaires, since they will make the biggest killing in the history of modern economy.
Another jolly book in the 1908 list, “Our Criminal Fellow-Citizens”, would also likely disturb our Christmas digestion concluded Chesterton, admitting that as he was reading the book he was increasingly tempted to commit the murder of authors capable of writing such “polysyllabic nonsense.”
I also listened to several Christmas book reviews, and I will not trouble you with the boring politically correct recommendations. Following the imagination of the dead Beatle John Lennon, who imagined no religion and wanted to be more famous than Jesus, these books have nothing worthy to add to Christmas. Neither can Lennon’s sarcastic ‘Christmas’ song. If he meant Christians, Lennon was lying, Christian charity has done more good than all the rest combined in history, including the soon-to-be-forgotten Beatles. What have they done? Drugs, “bagism”, “alchemic weddings”, and morally destructive Bed-ins for peace?
I was tempted to read the CBC recommended “Utopia for Realists” by Rutger Bregman. This leftist became famous for telling the technocrat billionaires, who gather at Davos to conspire how to make more money, that their taxes should go up. The latest Davos conspiracy is the so called Great Reset of the world economies during the Covid. If anybody thinks this is just another conspiracy theory, I urge the confused conspiracy debunkers to get the Great Reset announcements straight from the Davos conspirators’ mouths.
But after doing some homework I don’t think the utopian Bregman, who jumped on the socialist bandwagon of Bernie Sanders and AOC, really has any new substantial ideas. I am disappointed that the Fox News pulled Tucker Carlson’s 2019 Bregman interview, in which Carlson’s curiosity turned into sheer disgust. The interview transcripts were somehow reconstructed and if they can be trusted, it seems that after Bregman’s stupid provocative personal attacks Tucker lost it and openly told the utopian socialist that he was an “annoying tiny brained moron”. According to the progressive leftist media Bregman won the p-ssing contest, he likely planned his ‘truth to power’ insults all along to gain popularity. Really, what do you think? How much will the vaccine companies’ and big-tech billionaires’ taxes increase?
The puritanical Fox likely pulled the interview because there was also an exchange of vulgar words which could not be broadcast due to the media politeness code. In comparison, our CBC is more progressive, it doesn’t censor like the fake Fox News, from time to time one can hear these unspeakable words on public Canadian airwaves. I am not sure if soap mouth-washing would help to sanitize the foul-mouthed progressive minds like it cleaned little Ralph’s mouth.
Neither have I yet ordered the pope’s new Christmas bestseller, “Let us Dream”, considered his Great Reset pep-talk by those who have read it. Before spending my money I like to review the books I buy. I have read the ‘free’ Prologue and I was puzzled by many cryptic statements and confusing references. No wonder many Catholics call this confused style of writing “Bergoglism.”
What is this unspecified ‘machinery of wealth’ which is supposed to help people? What is this new theology of “co-creation” we are supposed to participate in? The anti-vaxxers ‘plandemic’ has been condemned and censored as a nasty conspiracy theory, but why does the pope think the climate change is of some hidden viral pandemic origin? The pope urges us to “dare to dream” about many other such cryptic concepts I cannot fathom.
But the pope is quite clear about his guiding principle! He praises the modern era which has developed the concepts of equality and liberty and now he urges us to develop fraternity. Geez, sounds identical to “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” of the “modern era”! It seems that the pope has in mind the principles of the French Revolution. Is he dreaming of a ‘red’ Christmas? Is this some new improved quasi-Christian neo-Marxist experiment he is proposing?
And why is the pope’s favorite poet a confused Lutheran who suffered from a life-long mental disease diagnosed as ‘recurring incurable mental breakdowns’? Or is it because the poet, who was locked up in a lunatic asylum for 36 years had to wear a mask? The mask invented by his attending physician to silence the unbearable screaming of the insane?
I found the pope’s first encyclical confusing, but, charitably, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, praying that God give him divine guidance and wisdom. Based on my diverse personal experience and training in Marxist philosophy, in my long 2016 article “This Economy Kills,” I tried to outline the essence of the problem, and I gave some clues and suggestions.
But it has become clear that, despite all the scandals and criticisms, this papacy is not willing to listen and ponder, and to do its primary job and duty to fix what is broken and scandalous in the Catholic Church. The scandals are repulsing many believers and unbelievers who are increasingly sarcastic about the Catholic Church and Christianity.
Instead, it seems, the pope is stubbornly determined to go along with his Jesuitical theologians who have concocted some new casuistries. He also seems to be lured by the new economic fantasies of Karl the Snarl. Flattered by the neo-Prussian coordinators of world economy, the greedy technocrat gazillionaires, and financial sorcerers who can create money out of thin CO2 deprived air, the pope seems to be dead set to bless the hands which will soon hit the reset button of our devastated virus infected world.
Chesterton’s profound 1908 Christmas observation, which sounds like prophecy today, was that his country was already lacking religion and a clear vision – “religion is really a need, like fires in winter: where there is no vision, the people perish, and perish of cold. The nation that has no gods at all not only dies, but what is more, is bored to death.”
It is time we stopped imagining nonsense and woke up from the nightmarish pipe dreams. I know I will not be bored to death reading and watching phony rubbish this Christmas. But I am a little worried about getting enough heat and light to celebrate our future Christmases after the Great Reset.
Just after I finished the above paragraph the news came that the energy tax is increasing in Canada from $30 to $170 per ton of CO2. This will defund and devastate the Canadian fossil energy sector, especially the already economically depressed Alberta, at the worst possible time during our bleak midwinter.
Lord, when will the bad Covid dream end?