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Bartleby the Scrivener vegan27
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christmas is weird and i don't like it
There is a lot to hate about Christmas aside from the same five saccharine-sweet songs barking into your ears from all directions incessantly from Halloween to New Year every single year until you die.

In addition to that, there is something about reverent displays of the nativity scene that creeps me out. Think about the whole point of Jesus' life: to be executed as a final sacrifice to atone for the sins of mankind. So what is really going on in this scene?



In ancient Judaism (and sometimes today), one's sins were atoned for through animal sacrifice. But with Jesus, God took human form in order to suffer and die as the only sacrifice worthy to atone for humanity's collective sins, once and for all. Humans would benefit from this sacrifice, and humans would be the one to carry it out--Jesus was not tortured and crucified by God, angels or cherubs, but by human beings.

When I look at a nativity scene, I see a group of human beings preparing their blood sacrifice. Of course the baby was protected, anointed and venerated, but so were the subjects of both animal and human sacrifices throughout history and even today. Children sacrificed by the Incas were beautifully dressed when their murders occurred. The Romans who invaded Britain described a Druidic practice where the individual to be sacrificed would be crowned king for a day and paraded around before being burned alive as an offering to the gods. (There is a really good 1970s horror film that draws parallels between Christianity and pagan ritual sacrifice, if you're interested!) And the inclusion of animals in the familiar manger scene is intentionally symbolic of the slaughter that would take place 33 years later.

At Christmastime, musicians perform Handel's Messiah, which includes pieces about the birth of Jesus, but mostly songs about his suffering, death, and returning to the earth to raise the dead. The final chorus in Messiah is "Worthy is the Lamb that was Slain." That's the last thing you hear before leaving the church and taking one final look at the nativity scene and its poor, doomed baby.



And then you have to go to the mall and buy presents.

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