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WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HOLIDAYS?
by Dean A. Banks, D.D.

What has happened to the sanctity of the most joyous season of the year? It is supposed to be about the birth of Jesus for the Christian believers even though any biblical scholar worth his salt will tell you that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th. More than likely, September 28th was the day. The Universal (Catholic) “Official” Church of Christianity made several accommodations to get more pagans into their church during the Dark Ages. The Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday (the pagan worship day). Babylonian golden eggs became symbols of Easter. Babylonian trees decorated with gold and silver became symbols of Christmas. The Babylonian festival of Saturnalia was adopted to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

It is no wonder that the 21st Century god of Capitalism goes haywire every Saturnalia. It is the most profitable time of the year. People spend money on gifts to please family and friends. Whether people believe in Christmas or not, is truly not what is important. What is important is that it’s supposed to be a time of joy, peace and humanhood that has people racing around in their cars cursing at one another.

I remember one year going to Toy’s ‘R Us to get a Power Ranger figurine for my son Walter and a lady rushed in and pushed me aside to grab the last one and run to the register. Several people looked at me with astonishment and all I could say was “God bless her.” I found another Power Ranger a few days later that was actually the one my son really wanted. I guess that happened because I didn’t let it bother me and I just let it go.

I am old enough to remember a slower time when people respected one another, didn’t step on each other’s toes and patiently waited in line. A time where a complete stranger would smile at you and say, “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Hanukah” and “Happy New Year” instead of the neutral politically correct “Happy Holidays.”

Whatever faith you ascribe to, the basic tenets of that faith claim that God is our Creator! If God truly created us, does He want us bickering and fighting with each other over places in line, traffic lane positioning or plastic figurine possession? Or, does He want us to love one another for who we are as He loves us? When you learn to love another as God loves us, it becomes clearer and clearer how we should all behave. Peace, joy and understanding to all of you this joyous season! ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

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Quotes By Dr. Dean

Choosing Love

Aggravation and dissension create more of the same. Instead of fighting and arguing choose to love and understand. The bounty of this choice creates and unparalleled life for you rich with friends and admirers. ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

Moving Forward

Those who are afraid to move forward in a direction that benefits all of us are doomed to a life of restriction, selfishness and lack of insight. ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

Ignoring The Teachings

To blame an entire religion for the actions of a few radicals is ludicrous. There are many kind and loving Muslims in this world who are being discriminated against for their beliefs. Is this fair? Is burning their holy book a solution? If you profess to be a Christian then follow the words of Christ and not the moronic behaviors of the Glenn Becks and radical pastors of the world. Don't profess to be a follower of Christ while you ignore what he taught. ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

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ALL IN ONE?
by Dean A. Banks, D.D.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to have Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Diwali and all other joyful and celebratory holidays all year long? Wouldn’t people get burned out? Would they be so joyous that it would become a way of life? Would we all begin to look at each other differently? Would the magnificence of a few days lose their impact on us if we experienced them all year long? Or are there reasons that they are all spaced out within the year?

Holidays are great times for family and friends and they are a reminder to all of us, no matter what religion or belief system you espouse, that we are here to live in joy and peace with each other. We are here to love one another; not hurt, kill or be degraded by anyone. When will we all expect this to happen?

When we allow the Spirit of God within to grow and expand Divine love through each and every one of us every day of our lives? May you be a vehicle of Divine allowance and may you live in the peace, joy, understanding and love that you were created to live in everyday. ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

SATURNALIA
by Dean A. Banks, D.D.

First off, Christmas is the 'recognized' birth of Christ even though he was born in late September. It was originally Saturnalia, a Babylonian tradition established by Nimrod; the one who defied God. Who won that battle? According to the story, God did by scattering his people in all directions with different languages at the Tower of Babel. However, Nimrod's mother (whom he had an incestuous relationship with),  had his servants go into the mountains late one evening and cut down a giant fir tree and place it where the sapling was. She had it decorated with silver and gold in honor of Nimrod and convinced their people that it was Nimrod's might (Nimrod means mighty hunter) that made the sapling grew overnight into this giant fir tree. She lied and deceived her people to elevate her son.

Christmas has NOTHING to do with the actual birth of Christ and the Christmas tree has its origins in symbolizing one who defied God. Besides all of this, this country was founded on religious freedom; freedom to practice religion and freedom FROM religion. Anytime religious views get into government and business it is in violation to the First Amendment of our Constitution. Religion, from the Latin, means a binding together of people with common beliefs; it is NOT a social club to beat up or deny the rights of other individuals practicing their freedom to worship and believe AS THEY SO CHOOSE! No one has the right to deny anyone else their religious freedom. Yet, some pseudo-Christian morons insist their Second Amendment right to bear arms in direct contradiction to what Christ taught is perfectly acceptable!

I have adopted saying Happy Holidays in honor of ALL religions. There is NOTHING wrong with respecting the beliefs and rights of everyone. If you argue against that, then you have revealed just how selfish and prejudiced you truly are. May everyone have a blessed holiday season. ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US!
by Dean A. Banks, D.D.

Did you know that December 23rd is Festivus Eve? The night before the secular holiday of Festivus. “Festivus, a well-celebrated parody, has become a secular holiday celebrated on December 23rd which serves as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas holiday season.

Originally a family tradition of scriptwriter Dan O'Keefe working on the American sitcom Seinfeld, the holiday entered popular culture after it was made the focus of a 1997 episode of the program. The holiday's celebration, as it was shown on Seinfeld, includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum "Festivus pole," practices such as the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength," and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles."

The episode refers to it as "a Festivus for the rest of us", referencing its non-commercial aspect. It has also been described as a "parody holiday festival" and as a form of playful consumer resistance. Some atheists advocate Festivus because of its lack of religious significance and have joined other people in erecting "festivus poles" alongside public displays of the crèche of Christmas and the menorah of Hanukkah.” So, have a Happy Festivus, you Atheist Bastards! Just kidding! ~Dean A. Banks, D.D.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus

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