Silent Night: A “Progressive” and “Enlightened” Reinterpretation

“Radiant beams from thy holy face/With the dawn of redeeming grace”

Grigory Gagarin (1810-1893), “Christmas”
Grigory Gagarin (1810-1893), “Christmas” (photo: Public Domain)

(Warning: Satire Ahead!)

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Silent night

Sentimental twaddle about a supposed divine baby in a manger, as retold by nursery rhyme songs with pretty melodies doesn’t provide one iota of proof for this ludicrous assertion. We have no good historiographical evidence for any of this.

Holy night

How can a night be holy? This is a fundamental confusion of category. Nighttime is an astronomical phenomenon caused by the earth’s rotation. Besides, what does “holiness” mean, anyway? There are no absolutes of (what people call) “right” and “wrong.” What is “holy” for one might be a terrible thing for another. Ethics are relative to the situation.

All is calm, all is bright

How can this be proven? What does it mean to say everything is calm? Or bright — during nighttime? This makes no sense, and is meaningless. Maybe there was a full moon: that can get pretty bright.

Round yon Virgin

This nonsense about “Mary” being a virgin is more proof of the incoherence of this report. How can a virgin be a mother? Motherhood comes from a biological event whereby the male . . . (well, young children may be reading this, . . .); anyway, since virginal motherhood is impossible and could never happen (being contrary to the known laws of biological science), then one must account for the existence of such a mythical account. The best educated guess is that it came from the well-known aversion of the Catholic Church to sexuality. How can one be a “mother” of the so-called God-man and yet not have engaged in sexual activity? So some wise sage/monk in the third or fourth century came up with the “virgin birth.” Knowing that Christians are gullible and will accept anything, no matter how implausible, the myth grew and grew till we have the sad situation today.

Mother and Child... Holy Infant so tender and mild

For the “mother” claim, see the previous entry. Now, about all this “divine child” foolishness: infants are neither good nor bad and there is no such thing as original sin. Christians obviously had to invent an extraordinary persona for this “incarnate God” because of the elaborate Yahweh myth they had built up (by way of the Jews) for over two millennia. So the fiction of a “perfect, sinless” and “mild” person was created. Yet Christians’ own accounts show that Jesus was a “sinner”; for example, look at the account (assuming it actually occurred, for the sake of argument) where he lost his temper and “overturned the tables of the moneychangers” (Matthew 21:12). How inconsiderate of those merchants who were simply trying to make a living, and judgmental on “Jesus”’ part! Didn’t this “Jesus” have any inkling of commerce and exchange of goods? He acted like Bonnie and Clyde at a bank robbery. There is no justification for this. What gives him the right to act so intolerantly of fellow human beings?

Sleep in Heavenly peace… Sleep in Heavenly peace

Here again is that confusion of category and imaginative mishmash for which fundamentalist (and Catholic) Christians are notorious. Heaven is a psychologically comforting crutch for those who can’t handle life’s troubles and trials. Faced with a threatening world which doesn’t comport with their notion of a good God and a “meaning” of life with a fairy-tale ending, they invent “heaven” as this perfect paradise in the sky, where all will be made good after death. This comforts them, but it is psychologically maladjusted and leads to a “pie-in-the-sky” mentality and an inability to face reality on this earth (the basic component of mental illness). All Christians do is think of the “next world” and do nothing to help alleviate social misery and injustice in this one.

Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from Heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Hallelujah
Christ, the Savior is born
Christ, the Savior is born

First of all, there is no independent historical evidence for this tale. It comes from the Bible, which contains gibberish such as a talking snake, a man swallowed by a whale, floods which cover the entire earth, talking donkeys, “demons” entering into a bunch of pigs (and men, too), and parting seas. Can anyone trust anything in it? Secondly, angels are simply another fiction which serve to comfort infantile, weak people who can’t face daily life without inventing supernatural “miracles.” Everyone knows that alleged “spiritual” entities are not things at all because they have no mass or cells or atoms in order to be anything. Therefore, this couldn’t have happened. It’s as simple as that.

Silent night, Holy night… Son of God, love’s pure light

All thinking people now know that “Jesus” never existed. That’s the basic historical data that we need to work from. Therefore, we need not worry ourselves about the old wives’ tale of his being the “son of God” or “God the son.” Even granting that he did exist, how would one go about proving such a thing scientifically? How can you take some of “Jesus”‘ DNA and prove that he was something other than human? It’s not possible. The only reason the mythical Jesus is believed in at all is because people learn these comforting stories and fairy tales when they are too young to critically appraise them. When they get old enough to think and learn good progressive techniques of attaining knowledge and wisdom, it’s too late. The die has been cast. And of course, Christmas conjures up all sorts of “warm fuzzy” memories. This interferes with a clear, philosophically sound thinking process, and thus Christianity is perpetuated despite having been falsified in many ways by us smart, enlightened people.

Radiant beams from thy Holy face... With the dawn of redeeming grace... Jesus, Lord, at thy birth... Jesus, Lord, at thy birth

This is the same old malarkey and hogwash, simply repeated in slightly different form, so we need not waste any additional time on it.

[see Lk 16:31; Jn 20:29; Rom 1:18-22; 1 Cor 1:20-27]