Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ferchrissakes, Cultural Christians, get it bloody right!

I’ve just heard Geraldine ‘Ma’ Doogue, hosting the ABC1 program Compass, refer to Christmas as “the biggest event on the Christian calendar.”

Last week a young chap in my office referred to Christmas as “the day we were saved.”

Another colleague, who actually knows what she’s talking about, corrected him thus: “Christmas is when our Redeemer was born. We were actually saved at Easter.”

Ahem. Now, what’s the biggest event on the Christian calendar?


Christmas is in fact the biggest event on the Capitalist calendar (ignoring chocolate sales).

Merry Christmas to all readers! And to all non-readers too.



Blogger Father Park said...

Overblown, hyperbolic claptrap. Plainly Easter is the biggest event on the Christian calendar.

Quite simply: if it didn't ocurr as the Church says so (death and resurrection) there is no religion.

Christmas is clearly the largest commercial feast of the year as you point out.

Of course, it is now Advent and the correctly coloured vestments must be worn. Heaven knows (Mr Alison) what God might think of his priests wearing the incorrectly coloured accoutrement...

21/12/09 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't give a pan fried Zoroastrian what the most important date on the Christian colander is - at the moment.

I've got ring side seats for the second coming on 29th February 2011.

It will be a blast and supercede any date we have to date for greatness and glory.

No doubt we will cruficy the carpenter once again - but this time it will be on Youtube.


22/12/09 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Harry Heidelberg said...

Here's an interesting thing. I live in a Catholic part of Switzerland so we get all the Catholic holidays. We recently had one for Immaculate Conception. I thought it was about the conception of Jesus but it's not. It is about Mary and HER conception. In Catholic dogma she was conceived without the stain of original sin. The adjoining canton is protestant so I used the day to shop. Anyway you can imagine people mixing up aspects of Catholic dogma but not even knowing the difference in significance between Christmas and Easter is pretty weird. I also suspect a lot of people don't know the common links of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Then again some don't understand the quota system and the senate and the basics of the federation so what hope is there? I don't think some even understand how preferential voting works. If you don't understand something, you shouldn't vote for it. The ETS surtax burden. No one understands it. If they couldn't get no disadvantage or whatever it is through their thick heads, their not likely to get the ETS surtax burden.

I wish the Challita family a Happy Christmas and extend the goodwill to all within our circle including those on this blog.

23/12/09 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Harry Heidelberg said...

Correction- second "their" in second last line of first para of last post should have been "they're"

23/12/09 3:04 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

It is about Mary and HER conception. In Catholic dogma she was conceived without the stain of original sin.

Indeed it is and she was. The "virgin birth" though is a topos of Greco-Near Eastern history (religious and otherwise). Alexander the great was a son of Zeus (or Ammon). Such ideas were propagated by his mother who had him sired upon her by the god - minus Philip II's input.... so to speak.

Anyway you can imagine people mixing up aspects of Catholic dogma but not even knowing the difference in significance between Christmas and Easter is pretty weird.

Extremely. There is no doubt as to what the most "significant" feast is. There is no religion (Christian) without Easter.

Merry Christams: down a pilsener for me.

23/12/09 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Harry Heidelberg said...

Ah, interesting re the virgin birth. So clearly it wasn't the first time someone had thought of that one!

Sort of an aside, but didn't Alexander the Great turn out to be gay? A woman who does not have mortal sex begets a man who wouldn't have sex with a woman anyway!

Back to Christmas and Easter - yes, plenty of people are born but few die and come back.

I will down a pilsener for you and I hope your vestments beers and wine are ready for the big day. I've actually been downing James Boag beer most recently. I'm back in Sydney for Christmas. Last night we were in the city having James Squires golden (not the amber). What a top Sydney beer that is.

I was up in Brisbane too and even enjoyed an ice cold XXXX. If it is SUPER cold it is great but above a few degrees..... forget it!

23/12/09 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you'll find Alexander was pretty normal for his era. He probably had a woman or two (on the side) but most likely had more fun with his mates - whom I have read were taken by Alex on one hell of a road trip, where they got up to lots of naughty stuff - pity about Afghanistan.


23/12/09 9:12 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

Justin's just about got it spot on. Christian notions of "homosexuality" have no place in those times: they didn't draw lines in the way they are now drawn for us. The concept didn't exist as it does in "modern" terms.

I quite like JB's Premium. As for Chuck's Malt Shovel Brewery, his pilsener is by far the best - closely followed by the "porter" - this is the beer I'll order on tap when available.

23/12/09 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Harry Heidelberg said...

I know what you are saying about homosexuality but doesn't that imply that our current assumptions may be invalid? Don't the vast majority of heterosexual males swear on a stack of Bibles that under no circumstances would they have any interest in men?

Biologically, why would things be different then than now?

This thing about mates...... Justin..... I mean it is not as if the average heterosexual male is having any sexual encounters with his mates at all.

There's something about all this stuff that doesn't add up...... unless you say that homosexuality is some sort of modern construct and essentially most men are bisexual.

I don't believe that.

I think the vast majority have a clear preference. If Alexander the Great was having heaps of sexual encounters with men, I suspect he actually enjoyed it. It wasn't just because it wasn't frowned upon and that the construct of homosexuality had not been invented.

See my point?

24/12/09 1:29 AM  
Blogger Kathy Farrelly said...

Hey! Merry Christmas to you guys.

Hope you all have a good one.

I'll pass on the beer and opt for a nice glass(or two or three....) of Ferngrove sauvignon blanc semillon 2007 from the Frankland River.. (Great Southern region of WA) Bliss!


24/12/09 1:39 AM  
Anonymous Harry Heidelberg said...

I suppose what I am saying is that let's say I am making a wild assumption that you are both heterosexual.

Isn't that your natural and honest preference? Isn't the reason you are not having sex with men just as much to do with the fact that you are simply not interested rather than some invented taboo?

I do appreciate Father Park that the taboo may not have existed and that intimate contact between males may have been more common but if it's all rum, sodomy and the lash, I am wondering what kind of army they were running? Isn't that when the whole thing goes to hell when it gets like that?

Also, no one can tell me that the huge majority of males are simply not interested in sexual relations with their mates. More than that, they actually find them physically hideous!

I find it quite a stretch to imagine that it is all a later invention of the mind.

It's just like if you tried to twist it the other way. Some men are simply not interested in women. It's not as if they were TOLD to be that way or it was a social construct, historical accident, choice or trend. That's just simply how they are.

I'm not being argumentative here. I'm honestly interested in if you were able to strip culture, dogma and the rest of it aside, what would people choose?

I'm thinking most are mainly one or the other but am open to suggestion (so to speak).

24/12/09 1:45 AM  
Anonymous harry Heidelberg said...

I had an excellent Margaret River chardonnay a couple of days ago. Really reminded me how chardonnay can be so good, despite some strange local attitudes.

24/12/09 1:47 AM  
Blogger Kathy Farrelly said...

Nothing wrong with a good chardonnay, Harry. Wignalls unwooded chardonnay 2007, from Albany is a top drop.

Thoughtful Hubby bought me a carton of it for my birthday, earlier this year :)

24/12/09 1:55 AM  
Blogger Kathy Farrelly said...

Me on one of my rare nights out.

I am sure Mike could identify with this. Probably Harry, too. And Justin.. Even Jarcob.

24/12/09 2:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The roots of Greek pederasty lie in the tribal past of Greece, before the rise of the city-state as a unit of political organization. These tribal communities were organized according to age groups. When it came time for a boy to embrace the age group of the adult and to "become a man," he would leave the tribe in the company of an older man for a period of time that constituted a rite of passage. This older man would educate the youth in the ways of Greek life and the responsibilities of adulthood, and he would also take the boy as his lover. - Wiki

I'm glad I didn't go to school back in them days - but if I did, getting rogered by an old bloke would have been par for the course.

Human Beings, what an amusing species we are.

Could Santa Clause be gay? He must be, what man would wear a red suit and give lollies to kids.

Best we keep that one to ourselves wise Christmas may go belly up, or down.

24/12/09 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Harry Heidelberg said...

Yes, best not to think about it! Rite of passage alright, but whose passage and under what circumstances will they be allowed in?

My thoughts are now turning from ancient Greece to the here and now..... to Christmas wrapping paper. This part bugs me. I was so good with everything else!

Oh well but I have avoided Aussie shops totally. VERY happy about that aspect.

Thanks for the wine tip, Kathy.

24/12/09 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post! GA is also my biggest earning. However, it’s not a much.

27/12/09 3:31 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Harry - while the urge to hetro or homo sexuality might be intrinsic, the cultural context of any behavior is demonstrably important to whether or not behaviors are acted upon, even by those who might otherwise not be at all inclined to act.

Way back in the days when guys wore nice pleated tunics, they were also prone to marrying their sisters, so other close relative, and had children with them. Indeed, children married children, if the need in the upper echelons arose. Everyone thought it was pretty normal.

Why then would you question, or be startled by, the possibility that gay behavior (by which I mean sex between men, as opposed to a mincing-walk or a stud earring)is not determined by social or cultural context?

In modern times, studies from the 70s found that a huge number of ostensibly gay / bi-sexual men did not self-identify as gay, were often married, yet, freely and frequently sought out gay sex. The internal denial was pretty total. Very different to the ancient times, when sex between men might have been tolerated, or perhaps seen as so ordinary (if no women were available) that it wasn't worth mentioning. The modern cultural context was more around condemnation and prohibition, hence denial.

Men in jail who have sex with other men but are definitely not gay are also behaving situationally, within a cultural setting that doesn't condemn a heterosexual man for having sex with another man.

The social construction of sexuality and the manner in which it is permissible to express sexuality is quite extreme. Sex, alas, is so socially controlled (religion, medicine, judiciary & policing, as well as social mores) none of us can even imagine what "sex" would be if we were all left unconstrained to develop as sexual beings. Sad really.

2/1/10 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

6/1/10 6:58 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Wow Jacob, you must be chuffed at such heartfelt praise and encouragement.

As you were.

Carry on.

6/1/10 9:29 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

BTW Harry - ancient Roman law recognized marriage between aristocratic males, apparently.

Mike would know whether that was true or not. I don't know much knowledge of the days of blokes in pleated skirts.

9/1/10 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

Yes Caz, makes it all seem worthwhile, eh?

10/1/10 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Harry Heidelberg said...

So it seems the ancient world is more and more like Massachusetts than we first thought!

16/1/10 4:09 PM  

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