Is Millennial socialism a straw man? Kinda up in the air, so far, but open to perspectives.
The date for Christmas
Atheists, historians, Orthodox agree: Christians, like most subcultures, are very insular, and aren’t really paying attention to whatever intellectual fad has captured the popular imagination. But we live in Internet Times, so communicating anything you can learn from books is really only of the moment if you can communicate that same thing less well, but using hyperlinks.
In this particular case, the date for Christmas came up in another forum. (A Slack, since you didn’t ask.) To save myself the trouble of typing this out again, should the occasion arise, I’m posting it here on the Internet, where I can be sure it will last forever. (Things on the internet are permanent, right?)
No, but seriously: if you’re wondering why we celebrate Christmas on December 25th, it is based on the date for the Crucifixion. Tradition holds that Christ was crucified on the date that, in English, is identified as March 25th. (It’s actually a day in a month called “Nisan” in another language, but when you translate it into our calendar, it’s March 25th.)
(Another side note, here: the ancients, and especially Christians, didn’t really care about birthdays. This is a Germanic custom, like Christmas trees, that is charming and fun, but also wholly outside the scope of traditional & historical Christianity.)
According to an ancient tradition, a perfect life, or the life of a perfect man, begins and ends on the same day. Since the Crucifixion happened on March 25th, then Christ must have been conceived on the same day. No one knew for sure, and there are ancient notes that indicate that few people thought Christ was actually born in December. But the date wasn’t chosen to celebrate a birth, but to anchor the commemoration in a yearly cycle of commemorations.
If you check the dates of other births and conceptions on the church calendar, you’ll see that those dates are all off from a “perfect” 9 months by just 1 day. For example, the Orthodox & Roman Catholics commemorate the conception of the Theotokos / Mary by her mother, “the righteous Anna,” on December 9th, and commemorate the birth of the Theotokos / Mary on September 8th, 9 months less 1 day later.
But the date for this event, the Crucifixion, is why the Annunciation (where a messenger from God tells the Theotokos / Mary that she is going to bear the Christ) is celebrated on March 25th, too - because of that ancient belief about a perfect life beginning and ending on the same day. And it’s why, a perfect 9 months later, we celebrate the Liturgy of the “Nativity in the Flesh of Our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ” - the Christ Mass, or, in the vernacular, “Christmas”.
Please note that none of the foregoing is meant to claim (or even imply) that Christians did not borrow, in some cases wholesale, from pagan religions. Of course they did. Lots of those practices and customs are really cool. Other practices participate in the underlying truth (“logos”) of the human experience in meaningful and important ways. Frequently, those practices are both cool and meaningful.
But borrowing a date from someone else because you’re jealous of them?
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Rainy day: the Bear, programming a new game on Scratch.
Look, Dick The Butcher was a bad guy, so, no, I’m not saying we oughta kill all the lawyers. But could we at least teach them to put the tedium in the footnootes, and not bury the lede? For example, try to find annual contribution limits on the page (that the IRS identifies as the one) that tells you your annual contribution limit.
Snapped this surreptitiously during Sunday morning Orthros/Matins. Just kinda like it for some reason. (@readerjohn figure you were probably in the same place, doing the same thing. : )
A lonely little ditty: noonpacific.com
Kind advice on divorce.
As one friend puts it, “Being a divorced coparent is like being the co-owner of a business. Except it’s the most important company in the world and having it fail is not an option. So you have to treat your business partner accordingly.”
flic.kr is back.
Memories are made of this..
Steven Pressfield, on Resistance: > [I]t was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to stare at a blank square of canvas.
Lawyers as the witch doctors/priests of modernity, from Harari’s Sapiens.
May need more math to understand the Janus Point: Mind-Bending Study Suggests Time Did Actually Exist Before The Big Bang
Known vs. WordPress: thoughts? Preferences? M.b compatibility issues?
Like being a dog leashed to a moving cart
Cheerful acceptance? Or ignorant refusal? In the end, they amount to the same.
From The Daily Stoic
Got my first in-app notification this afternoon. Love this app, and the delightful people in this community.
Anybody following Brexit? I suspected a 2nd referendum since shortly after the first, but haven’t followed and couldn’t say now whether that suspicion was warranted. With Brexit nearing, it’d be interesting to find out how wrong I was. Who’s an expert or three worth a read?
Revisiting this classic: Why we Praise Meaningless Jargon and Fail to Realize the Emperor has No Clothes.
Finished reading: Born To Run by Christopher McDougall 📚
If you notebook, Paper Sizes is one of those hyper-niche, hyper-useful sites.
Just started a new Google Doc by entering doc.new in the browser location bar. You can do the same thing with sheet.new and slide.new – wow.