Myths, Misconceptions And Misinformation About Christmas

Myths, Misconceptions And Misinformation About Christmas

Let’s begin with an explanation about cultures in the Middle East that most in the West seem to be unaware of. Two thousand years ago–and even today–what we call the Middle East was populated largely by people who identified themselves as being part of a tribe, not of a mega-society of the type many of us are familiar with today.

Tribal values are much different from those of mega-societies. The most obvious is that tribes battle each other frequently, violently and often to the death, even to extermination. Violence is a way of life as tribes vie for dominance in a region. Within each tribe families contend for status as leading families. Leading families gain the most favours. And wealth.

When the great Prophet of Islam–himself a tribal leader who led his followers into many battles–died, two parts of his family formed their own separate religious groups, each with its own leader. These two Muslim groups today are known as Sunnis and Shi’ites. Even today the two battle each other–often to the death as we see from Sunni-dominated Islamic State–rather than coming together as one religion.

Middle Eastern language groups tend to speak in what we might think of as metaphors. Speech was and is peppered with comparisons, what we in the West would consider to be flowery language. Read a translation of the speeches of Osama bin Laden and you might think he spoke in poetry all the time.

Information was, two millennia ago and is often today, conveyed in these languages by metaphor, even to the extent of including little stories. Today we might call some of that kind of story a parable. Jesus of Nazareth was known for his parables, but they would have been very common in his day.

Keep this in mind when thinking about Christmas, Jesus and the whole concept of the celebration. Some parts of the story were intended to be understood as metaphor, not as fact.

Jesus was a Jew for his entire life. He was not the founder of Christianity. That would be better attributed to (St.) Paul. He disputed corrupt Jewish leaders, not the principles of his religion.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that his mother Mary was a virgin. Nowhere. That was an invention of the later Christian church. What the Bible does say is that Mary’s mother, (St.) Anne, was born of Immaculate Conception. That means that Anne was not born with the burden of Original Sin (Adam, Eve and the apple story that supposedly has followed all of Adam’s descendents until today, if you believe the Old Testament). Immaculate Conception has to do with freedom from sin from birth, nothing to do with virginity.

The Bible does not say that Mary and Joseph were not married. In those days a young unmarried woman who got pregnant would have been stoned to death–tribal law. Even today it is common for a young woman (Mary would have been about 13 or 14) in the Middle East to be married to an older man who can support her. Young women who were old enough to procreate were often married as soon as possible. At the time of our story Joseph may well have been in his early 30s.

By the way, Joseph (the carpenter) would have been a stone mason, not a worker with wood. In Aramaic and ancient Hebrew the word for the two trades was the same. There was lots of work for stone masons building Roman cities (in this case Sepphoris), not much work for a wood worker in a desert environment.

Jesus would have been Mary’s first born, but not her only child. It is highly likely that some of his male siblings were among his Disciples, though some question this. Joseph may not have had enough stone work for so many sons, but there was always work for fishermen. In an arid environment it was easier to catch fish from a lake than to grow veggies in your garden.

Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem for the Roman census. Really? It is convenient for Christianity to claim that Jesus came from the family of David (conqueror of Goliath) which was the most prominent family in his tribe.

But which Bethlehem? Though it no longer exists today, there was a village called Bethlehem in Galilee 2000 years ago. Galilee was the area of northern Israel (of today) where Jesus grew up and where he did most of his preaching. How convenient to link the former village of Bethlehem with the modern day city of Bethlehem (David’s home town) which is close to Jerusalem.

When was Jesus of Nazareth born? Likely during the night of September 26-27, in the year 4 BCE. That was the year of the Roman census. December 25 was a convenient time for early Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus during the time when they would have been persecuted by the Romans because the Romans were already celebrating their own Saturnalia on that date.

But the Bible does not state specifically the date of the birth of Jesus. No, but the date may be calculated by clear statements about his birth from other sources in the New Testament. Read about that here:

Why would Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25 when they should be made aware that he was born on September 26-27? Hmmm. Maybe Christians should ask themselves why they spend so much money buying presents for themselves when their supposed role model, Jesus, was a poor man who disavowed wealth during his whole teaching career. In fact, he clearly stated that a rich man could never make it into heaven (an odd statement given the Judaism does not have a clear concept of heaven even today).

The birthplace of Jesus–a cave stable, not a wooden stable structure–would not have been visited by three kings. The Magi, if they came at all, would have been sages and astronomers and it would have taken months (maybe a year) before they arrived to see Jesus as a toddler.

The cave birthplace would have been warm from the body heat from the animals and, if necessary, they would have provided milk for the family.

Did King Herod really want to learn the location of the baby so that he could send troops to kill the child? This part of the story is so absurd that I do not feel the need to address it. Herod died shortly thereafter so it is highly unlikely he would fear a Jewish baby.

What about those shepherds? Sure enough. Farmers commonly kept sheep in an arid area so shepherds simply returning home on their nights off could have accounted for that gathering. How many shepherds would it take to make a cave crowded?

And the shining star in the east? Nope. If it existed at all it would have been in the west because the Magi supposedly came from the east (west was the Mediterranean Sea). People in that area in those days referred to directions differently than we do today. Even today a wind that blows to the east is called a west wind.

Why would the family of Jesus (necessarily that of the father, Joseph) have been forced to have birth in a cave? Inns and hotels would have been rare and overloaded with people needing to have their census records updated, so Joseph and Mary would have been forced to stay with relatives. The home would have been so crowded that Mary would have had more space to give birth (and more privacy) in the stable than in a crowded bedroom in the house above.

If the above is true, why would Christianity not have made these facts known? Religions are notorious for sticking with their interpretation of stories no matter what. Like political parties, they will twist facts out of shape just to maintain that what they said in the past is still correct.

Jesus of Nazareth is considered an important prophet in Judaism and a saint in Islam–he is mentioned by name in the Qur’an, his mother is mentioned twice. Jesus is a person of great importance to all Abrahamic religions.

Finally, did the birth of Jesus really mark the birth of the Son of God? In the Bible Jesus never says he is the Son of God. What he does say to Pilate (Easter story) who asks that question is, so to speak, that is just a story that is going around.

Jesus said that each of us can find God within ourselves. That is the only place we should look for God. God is within each of us, we only need to look for him. That makes each of us children of God. Yup, that includes you.

Christian churches may disagree with some or all of the above. But even they can’t agree on what is true and real. When they feel the need, they make stuff up.

Jesus said not to do that. He positioned himself as a role model, not as a leader or as a deity to be worshipped. If you doubt, read the Bible. Don’t listen to religious leaders who make stuff up.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning it Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems and hundreds of articles that are available free on the internet. Yes, misunderstanding of the Jesus story and abuses that result from it is a social problem.
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The War Against Your Health

The War Against Your Health

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
– Charles Darwin, English naturalist and geologist (1809 – 1882)

I hate conspiracy theories. The odd one has sufficient evidence that needs to be addressed (what and who really caused 9/11?) but most are created by people who know far too little and have too great a desire to stand in the public spotlight. And who can make money or gain recognition by spreading their theories widely. Money’s the big reason behind most.

The war against your health is not a conspiracy theory. Nor is it unwinnable as is the case with the War on Terror or the War on Drugs, where the warriors stand to gain by continuing the war rather than solving and ending it.

Be assured that the war against your health is generating obscene fortunes for those responsible for it, just as is the case for the wars on drugs and terror.

The war against your health is based on your ignorance of the basic truths about the health of your body, your gullibility in believing lies about what is good for you, or your reluctance to change your habits to healthy ones even if you know the truths.

Let’s begin with the basic assumption that your immune system is the foundation on which your health is based. Your well-being depends on your not being ill or getting a debilitating disease. For that you need a healthy immune system.

But what is your immune system? Has anyone ever explained to you what it is or where it’s located in your body? For most the answer would be NO. Why? Because your ignorance about your own immune system makes you vulnerable to forces that stand to make huge profits by feeding you stuff that will harm your health and impair your well-being.

First–here is what may be the most shocking part for you–your immune system is only comprised about two percent of your own body’s cells. The rest of your immune system is made up of bacteria. These are good bacteria that work with your body to make your body healthy as they survive and thrive themselves in and on you.

These good bacteria are everywhere. On your skin, around your organs, in your mouth, in your bloodstream. The biggest majority of them are in your gut, your intestines, the small intestine and the colon. They live in symbiosis with you. You are, as the Star Trek series used to call them, a symbiont.

The bacteria in your immune system can’t live without you and you can’t possibly survive for long without them. Yet all kinds of products on the market want to kill them. Even your own family doctor may prescribe medicines that will kill your immune system.

Cancer, the most common disease in the western world, is treated–sometimes by law only using these treatments–by chemo drugs and radiation. Chemo drugs are all poisons. No doctor will deny this. They won’t tell you that unless you ask. Radiation is another form of poison. Aren’t you told to fear radiation from broken nuclear generating stations such as Fukushima and Chernobyl? Same stuff as doctors use on many cancer patients. Chemo and radiation make money for the medical community and for the industries that support it.

There are proven cures for cancer. Most are illegal. Ask yourself why. Marijuana is but one example. The United States government has a patent on the only cure for cancer accepted by that government. The patent is for marijuana. And it’s illegal in most of the United States. Other cures receive zero publicity from major media that survive on advertising from the companies that make the stuff that could kill you. Yes, it’s that bad.

Antibiotics are prescribed for people who get sick. Antibiotics kill bacteria and your immune system is their major victim. Mouthwashes claim to kill all the microbes in your mouth. Your immune system again. Your first line of defence against pathogens you put into your mouth. It’s that bad.

Many people in North America consider a daily shower (or two) to be normal. They wash off the good bacteria of their immune system that live on their skin.

Many of the foods you eat contain preservatives. Preservatives are designed to kill bacteria that can make food spoil. They also kill the bacteria that comprise the major part of your immune system once they reach your gut. Check ingredient lists on packaged and canned foods. Those words you can’t pronounce are preservatives, the enemies of your immune system. Preservatives are immune system killers.

Fresh produce, that’s good, right? Actually, most of it has been sprayed with poisons before it reaches your market. Apples, for example, are sprayed with poisons (pesticides and herbicides) from the time the apple blossom first comes out until just before it gets trucked to your market. Every two weeks they get sprayed. Apples. They won’t keep the doctor away if they are infused with poisons right from the seeds on out.

Potatoes are almost as bad. Other fruits and vegetables are not sprayed quite so often. All herbicides and pesticides–anything that ends in “…ide”–are poisons. Poisons kill the good bacteria that are your immune system.

Glyphosate, the major component in Roundup by Monsanto, and its kin by other chemical manufacturers, kills every living thing in the soil it touches. The microbes in soil that make it healthy–the very reason people have grown food in dirt for thousands of years–are killed by these chemicals. Chemical companies sell industrial farms more chemicals, such as fertilizers, to grow the crops you buy as food. That kind of food could be grown in crushed rock or sand.

Fluoride is put into municipal water in many communities. While there is no truth to the rumour that Hitler put fluoride in drinking water he gave to his Jewish prisoners to keep them from rioting, it is still true that fluoride is a poison and it does affect the brain. It is claimed that fluoridation of water prevents major tooth decay in children. So poison them rather than teaching kids how to brush their teeth properly twice a day. In business, anything can be justified if the objective is profit.

Municipal water treatment systems already put chlorine in water to kill off microbes in the raw water they take in. How much poison is acceptable in drinking water?

Does water really need poison? Your mouth’s saliva is already an acid that contains microbe killers secretory IgA and lysozyme.

Where do kids learn how to brush their teeth? Or adults for that matter. Mostly from TV commercials. Every TV commercial I have seen for decades teaches the wrong way to brush teeth. They teach people to brush the parts of their teeth that do not need to be brushed because food doesn’t stick there, such as on the bare open area of teeth. That just makes those teeth extra sensitive as the enamel is worn off. So the manufacturers get to sell you toothpaste for sensitive teeth. And dentists do more work on the teeth you damaged yourself by brushing wrong.

As a general piece of advice, you should be cautious about putting anything in your mouth or on your body that is advertised on TV. Dig deep enough and you will find scientific evidence to show that every one of those products are bad for your health.

There is more, too much more to report here. But you get the idea.

Why is this all allowed? Too many people are employed (and pay taxes) for governments to risk putting controls on these products. So it’s up to you how much risk you are prepared to take with your health. Will you be a victim of the war on your health or will you step aside from it and treat your body with the care it needs.

A major study just came out that shows that the life span of Americans is now lower than it was in the recent past. This is the first time ever that life span has been reduced in America. Now you know why.

If you want to pursue this subject you may want to research the evidence around the deaths of over five dozen naturopath and holistic doctors and nutrition specialists in the USA over the past year and a bit. Most–all healthy and none beyond middle age–were ruled as suicides by the police, thus excusing themselves from further investigation and problems with big pharmaceutical companies that wanted these natural cure people “disappeared.”

No matter what you think of any of the above, of this you may be certain. You are the only person who cares deeply about your health and has the ability to do something about it. Neglecting your health or planning to “eat healthy” in your future plays right into the hands of the medical community and the drug makers.

Act now. Your future depends on it.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems and hundreds of articles available on the internet. Attacks on your health is a major social issue of today.
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