I am baffled at the continuing ignorant, or shall I say, stupid remarks when it comes to religion. In the past weeks, I’ve read remarks on FB such as:
“I don’t want to hear anything about Allah, the Muslim’s God. We pray to a Christian God and there should be no reference about Allah in the schools. We’re a Christian Nation, etc.”
They fail to understand (or don’t want to understand) that the word, “Allah” is the Arabic name for God. The Arabs as well as the Christians believe in one God. It is the age-old religious philosophy that creates the problem. Different beliefs on how to worship this same God continues to create conflict.
When studying the history of religion, I found it interesting that many Germans that settled in Pennsylvania brought with them various interpretations of the Bible and were divided by religious Sects, later to be called religious denominations. The interpretation of a single scripture (or word in a scripture) could start a new denomination. That continued with many spin-offs and thus we have literally hundreds of churches with their special philosophical creed based on interpretations of Biblical scripture. Translations from Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, German and into English altered the meaning of words. When we examine our own English dictionary, we find how the meaning of words has changed over the years and that Dictionaries are updated to reflect current usage. Considering a similar occurrence in old languages coupled with the meanings applied in translations, it becomes a puzzle to know what meaning differentiates one philosophy from another. One word that has puzzled me was the word, “Virgin”. In early writings, the word meant “young woman”. That was translated to mean “Virgin”. Virgin in the English language has its own connotation. To say that Jesus was born of a young woman makes good sense. To believe that she was a virgin before she became pregnant is also believable. Immaculate Conception was a creation of the Catholic Church and that philosophy remains. Getting all bent out of shape over how Jesus was born and who was the father other than Joseph, is ridiculous.
We have songs with lyrics that say that Jesus was: “Born on Christmas Day.” Although that makes good lyrics, it is misleading. No one knows on what day he was born. December 25th was a day established based on pagan culture on a pagan holiday, to celebrate the birth.
I enjoy Christmas. How we celebrate this day is a personal thing. For many it is a day of “Gift giving”. I imagine that may have something to do with the “Three Wise Men” bringing gifts for the baby Jesus. That’s purely an assumption.
We know that Jesus was born and existed. According to Jewish custom, a young man had to be married at an early age. We know that some of his Apostles were married. Some Religious Scholars think that Jesus may have been a widower. Further, they think it is possible that the Church may have suppressed the fact that Jesus was married.
Whatever your religious beliefs/philosophy, it is a personal thing and should not be something that causes strife. I like the verse: “God is Love”.