Friday, December 23, 2022

Highlights from the Final Report of the Select Committee To Investigate The January 26th Attack On The United States Capital.

What follows are my highlights from the Final Report of the Select Committee To Investigate The January 26th Attack On The United States Capital. You can read the full document here:

gressSecond Session House Report 117-000 

These are excerpts from the Executive Summary, which is the shorter version of a much longer report contained in the same document. I obviously have not included anywhere near all the information from the summary; the full report contains significantly more information than the summary.


I encourage you to read the whole thing (or at least the full summary). Of all the politicians or political operatives interviewed, all but one are Republican. This is not the testimony of Democrats going after a political enemy. This is testimony from those who saw how the political sausage was made leading up to the 2020 election and leading directly to the insurrection on January 6. 

Yes, this is a really long post. 

But how it happened matters. Why it happened matters. And who made it happen matters perhaps most of all. 

Thursday, December 8, 2022

A Flyover of Christmas History, Folklore, and Celebrations


The date of Jesus’ birth is not known. Dionysius (1st century) is known for doing the historical math and arriving at a birth year around BC 12.[1] Others disagreed.[2]Generally, Jesus’ birth date is now placed around 4 BC, but there is nothing of theological or spiritual significance that hangs on this date. It was not a priority in the early church, and no writer of Scripture saw fit to include a date.

The early church associated birthday celebrations with the pagan gods.[3] Early Christian writers (Irenaeus, 130–200; Tertullian, 155–240; Origen of Alexandria, 165–264) mocked Roman celebrations of birth anniversaries, dismissing them as “pagan” practices—a strong indication that Jesus’ birth was not marked with festivities at that place and time.[4] Origen (c.185-c.254) said it would be wrong to honor Christ in the same way Pharaoh and Herod were honored. Tertullian did not list it as a Christian holiday for sure.

When Jesus’ birthdate was discussed, the date would have been figured out from a tradition that martyrs died on the same date they were conceived. If Jesus died on 14 Nisan (March 25), he was conceived on a March 25, which meant he was born on December 25 if the timing was perfect.

Hippolytus' Commentary on Daniel (early 200s) claimed either March or December 25 as the date for Jesus' birth; Clement thought March 25 as the date of Jesus conception, thus 9 months before his birth and death.[5]

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SATURNALIA: In the time that Jesus was born, Roman had been observing Saturnalia starting December 17 and generally lasting 6 days. It was a holiday in honor of Saturn, “the birthday of the unconquered sun,” and it was a party (to say the least) characterized by a lot of personal and societal chaos. It was a mix of good and bad for sure.

There seems to be little reason to think Christians chose December 25 to join or subvert a pagan holiday.[6] The Jewish population from which Christianity emerged was quite good at establishing their own holidays, and their math was based on Jesus’ death date/conception date. Really, because the early church did not celebrate birthdays, the likelihood of Saturnalia influencing a Christmas celebration is small. The more likely candidate for potential overlap is the next one.

SOLIS INVICTI. “On December 25th, 274 AD, the Emperor Aurelian created a holiday called Dies Natalis Solis Invicti – the birthday of the Sun – officially elevating the Sun to the highest position among the gods.”[7] This would be a better candidate for the melding of Christian and pagan holidays, but by the time December 25 becomes a Christian celebration, Solas Invicti was largely more of a cultural festival than a religious one.[8] In addition, this means the holiday was created well after Hippolytus and others had claimed that day as a potential birth day.”[9]