Jesus not reason for the season take Christ out of Christmas
Photo: Simosmme / CC BY 2.0

For two months every year, the United States of America becomes an uninhabitable zoo drowning in violence, superficiality, bad music, and cheap trash made in China. Well, I mean more so than usual.

America, it’s high time we had a little talk about your Christmas problem. You can’t even wait for Thanksgiving to end before barfing decorations everywhere, and Jesus is not the reason for the season — and if he is, that only makes this sickening Black Friday thing that much worse.

Let’s just do this now before everyone gets all weird and googly-eyed in a few months.

Jesus is not the reason for the season

If celebrating Christ’s birth were truly the point of Christmas, it would be tragic, because the season has become utterly ruined as a celebration of Jesus in any way. And no, going to a church service or a pageant or whatever doesn’t make up for all the excessive materialistic behavior for the rest of the season any more than going to church the morning after a pub crawl makes you not want to vomit into a hymnal.

First, let me address the elephant in the room.

The man’s name wasn’t Jesus.

It was Yeshua. It still is.

Imagine a holiday revolving around Johann Sebastian Bach, the father of modern harmony. (There damn well should be a global holiday dedicated to him!) The Anglicized version of “Johann” is “John.” How ridiculous is it to refer to him as “John Bach?” What if we called Guillermo del Toro “Billy the Bull?”

So why in blazes are we calling Yeshua “Jesus?” Because they told us a story when we were kids that we believed without bothering to check to verify it? The guy allegedly dies for our alleged sins, and we don’t even know his name? When we’re calling out his name in agony or ecstacy, he’s thinking, “Dear me, they can’t even get my name right. Le sigh.”

But back to the point: Like it or not, dude just ain’t the reason for the season. The guy was born in spring — that is, assuming that he was born at all, which is a dubious claim considering the evidence to the contrary. But whether Yeshua is a fictional character or not, shepherds sure as hell weren’t tending their flocks in the dead of winter. And even if Yeshua were born in winter, it wouldn’t matter to the rest of the world. I had a Jewish girlfriend in college who was from L.A. and whose entire Jewish family celebrated Christmas. Le sigh.

Some actual reasons for the season

Reason for the season No. 1: Earth’s axis is tilted at 23.5 degrees, causing an annual fluctuation of temperatures globally. Now I’m just being snarky.

Reason No. 2: Mithras.

Reason No. 3: Saturnalia, Sol Invicti, Apollo’s birthday, whatever you want to call it.

Reason No. 4: Horus.

Reason No. 5: Marduk.

Reason No. 6: The other myriad proto-Christ deities who also had virgin births, performed miracles, had immaculately trimmed beards, etc.

Reason No. 6: Huitzilopochli. Child sacrifice, anyone? Merry Huitzilopochlimas!

Reason No. 7: Pretty much every single pagan winter festival in the recorded history of mankind aligned with the winter solstice (see reason No. 1).

Reason No. 8: Mammon.

Ah, Mammon — the true patron deity of both southern Utah as well as of our great imperial corporatocracy, America the beautiful. The religious herds here venerate Him. Though they give lip service to Yeshua (er, Jesus, rather), Mammon delights in the greed, the usury, and the gleeful concentration of financial power that corrupts without bias. Yes, as Christmas bolsters quarterly profits, Mammon is the true reason for the season. He who denies it with words often still verifies it with action, sometimes unknowingly.

Prove me wrong. Anyone who disagrees can simply opt not to spend a shit-ton of cash on useless Christmas binge shopping — unless he or she is simply too conditioned to think and act for him or herself, too addicted to nostalgia and the opiate of social conformity. Like a rat in a cage on cocaine.

But if Jesus really is the reason of the season, let’s see that backed up with direct action — not trite, mindless Palinisms or unbridled shopaholism.

Christmas is crawling up the ass of our one relevant national holiday, Thanksgiving

I’ll go on my Thanksgiving tangent when it’s time (you’ll love it!), but at least this holiday had good intentions in it’s origins. For the sake of the argument, I’ll ignore the fact that it has become a bacchanalian display of waste and overconsumption. The idea is to take a second from our overprivileged, destructive lives and at least try to be grateful for what we have.

But our capitalist overlords just can’t wait for you to gobble up that last bite of hormone- and antibiotic-soaked bird corpse so that they can slap Christmas paraphernalia all over everything! Everything. They’re waiting in the wings every fourth Thursday in November.

What does that say to you? What does it say to your kids, if you have them? Kiddies, what does it look like the reason for the season is to you? Rampant materialism, or the birth of a guy who was outspoken against that way of life?

This leads us to my final point for the day, at least until it’s time for me to lecture the cat on hygiene etiquette. Really, who licks their butthole?

Black Friday is the anti-Christ’s birthday

Ok, what I really mean is that Black Friday is like the anti-Christmas. If Christmas is Christ’s birthday, Black Friday — representing everything Yeshua loathed — would most appropriately be the anti-Christ’s birthday. People fighting over junk. Yelling, hitting, even killing each other over it. At least in Sodom and Gomorrah, it was just orgies. Americans should be turned into pillars of … I dunno, pumpkin spice?

How festive-sounding is “Black Friday?” You would think that would be held a week or so before Easter to commemorate Yeshua’s — sorry, Jesus’ — execution. But no, it only serves to highlight the depraved and debauched nature of the nationwide shopping spree that is modern Christmas.

“Verily, I say unto ye, stomp that bitch before she gets the last iPod.” —Jesus, I guess

Anyone who participates in Black Friday has missed the point of the entire teachings of Yeshua — humility, generosity, peace … you know, other boring un-American shit. WWJD? Elbow someone’s grandma in the teeth over a cheap DVR? Blow cash on stuff that no one needs while tens of thousands of people — mostly children, by the way — starve to death daily?

It’s time to take Christ out of Christmas

The Puritans banned Christmas in the 1600s, but they were less humorous about it than me. Why? Because it was shameful behavior that was an insult to the memory of Christ.

They were right.

As such, I am calling for an all-out ban on Christmas — not a ban on the observance of Yeshua’s birth (glaring historical inaccuracy aside) but a ban on the holiday itself.

We need to take Christ out of Christmas out of respect for Christ, even if he is only an idea. This isn’t about religion. Christ was a badass. The fact that Jesus is a mythical rather than historical figure is irrelevant. His teachings are, or allegedly were at some point, a cornerstone of both Western civilization and American identity. But they aren’t any longer.

America, shame on you. You insult the memory of Christ. You have skullfucked Christmas into a limp, bloody pulp that simply won’t die but instead bleeds money and misery for months. I’ll have no part of it. Merry Huitzilopochlimas in advance, and to all a good night. (Except the kids. We sacrifice them.)

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Widely regarded as the greatest writer of all time, ever, Jason Gottfried is editor of The Independent as well as a freelance editor, writer, multi-instrumental musician, and composer transplanted to Utah from Nashville by way of Gainesville, Florida. He has previously been an album reviewer, opinion columnist, humor writer, staff writer, copy editor, and opinion editor of The Independent. Before that, he was editor of SOKY Happenings magazine and wrote a column, The Vociferous Vegan. He was also general manager of Nashville’s fabled The Wild Cow Vegetarian Restaurant and briefly co-owner of Gainesville's longtime staple vegetarian restaurant, Book Lover's Cafe. When he is away from the computer, he plays between Colorado and California as a live and session musician. He sexually identifies as an Apache AH-64 attack helicopter and cannot be accurately referred to using any currently existing pronouns.


  1. December 25th was once the date of the Winter Solstice. The SUN (son) is symbolically born on the Winter Solstice as each day thereafter the hours of the sun increase from the lowest point of the year. When dealing with the name of Jesus/Jeshua/etc,, unless you default to Hebrew… i.e… 22 letter alphabet, you’re lost in the forest. As far as the material aspect of Xmas I feel you missed the point entirely. Although there is a sense of marginalization, you will find if you turn off your TV and stay away from the malls, that perception dissapates dramatically. You missed one critical point of view – that of a little kid getting out of bed at 5am on Christmas to see if Santa showed up… Go back to the drawing board. As far as Jesus being the reason for the season, from a solar celestial astral Masonic standpoint, that is correct. PS.. an average of 3 people die annually on the African continent from Bison. And yes you can eat grizzly bear burgers too… 🙂

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