Gene Expression

And a Merry Christmas to you!

Steinn SigurĂ°sson has an has an amusing post up about his multicultural Christmas. Here is the “American Infidel,” Robert Ingersoll, on Christmas (1892):

This is the festival of the sun-god, and as such let its observance be universal.

This is the great day of the first religion, the mother of all religions — the worship of the sun.

Sun worship is not only the first, but the most natural and most reasonable of all. And not only the most natural and the most reasonable, but by far the most poetic, the most beautiful.

The sun is the god of benefits, of growth, of life, of warmth, of happiness, of joy. The sun is the all-seeing, the all-pitying, the all-loving.

This bright God knew no hatred, no malice, never sought for revenge.

All evil qualities were in the breast of the God of darkness, of shadow, of night. And so I say again, this is the festival of Light. This is the anniversary of the triumph of the Sun over the hosts of Darkness.

Let us all hope for the triumph of Light — of Right and Reason — for the victory of Fact over Falsehood, of Science over Superstition.

And so hoping, let us celebrate the venerable festival of the Sun.

When it comes to Christmas I’m a Post-Modernist, the “reason for the season” is a matter of social debate and interpersonal discourse. To be pithy about it Christmas is universal pagan wine poured into a particular Christian chalice. I choose not to reject the drink no matter the vessel of its deliverance to our modern age.


  1. #1 Federico Contreras
    December 22, 2006

    Well spoken razib, why look for bad reasons to get our drink on when perfectly good reasons are available. Let us drink to the sun, it created us, it made liquid water and beautiful women. Why would we need any more reason to party it up. =)

    I am making a promise this solstice to drink only cactus-based drinks, to encourage the sun to return, even fiercer and more beautiful next year! Happy solstice =)

    Tequila and mezcal (and that crazy shit my uncle brews) for everyone!

    Viva mejico!

  2. #2 Erich Meinecke
    December 23, 2006

    The best post for christmas I have read this year!

    In Germany we say “Weihnachten”, a very old word for the “12 holy nights”.

    (“Yultide”, I find in the English dictionary, Yul is the sun. Jul is a northern german dialect word for christmas as well.)

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