Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy April 6

Today, in Utah, much celebration called Christmas will take place. Interspersed among the pagan symbolism (Christmas trees etc) and materialistic indulgence (presents under said Christmas tree) are notions of the tortured god-made-man-made-god called Jesus. The ugly “Jesus is the reason for the season” signs will only be put out by the baptists, but most Mormons will tell you that Christmas is the birthday of Jesus. Unless you ask them about April 6th.

Some Mormons may even say they do not know about April 6th. Some pretend that it is erroneous.

Since the interface between Mormon belief and observable reality is a constantly changing vapid morass of conjecture it is not surprising that something as concrete as a date becomes blurry. This is surprising as the April 6th date is established in Mormon scripture (as opposed to the generally used December 25th date which is kinda made up). The Mormon scriptures may be so ambiguously written as to throw even those to whom they were written into doubt, but the Mormons also have living prophets. Two living prophets (Lee and Kimball) spoke of April 6th as the birthday of Jesus. This means that, should you get confused by the scripture, god spoke directly through his prophets to tell you when his son's birthday was.

That should be pretty strong stuff, if you believe in the prophet-scripture-faith thing at all. That so many people who call themselves Mormons deny or avoid this seemingly concrete mapping of their revelation onto the calendar is interesting.

If the local WalMart could be convinced (Just like they have been convinced to have an LDS book section up near the registers) to promote Christmas in April I think it might catch on. Perhaps I could be more blunt and state that the unique perspective on Christmas, that when we celebrate it does not actually mean anything , is an opportunity to emphasize those things we truly believe. Those things being that we like a god who does stuff (like the pagan gods who make trees and seasons) and more than that we like the stuff that god makes (Particularly X-Box games).

Now I do not hold that the concrete specifics of a religion make it any more or less believable. The idea that everything could be the result of happenings in a galaxy long long ago and far far away is just as palatable as any more local myth.  I am always amazed at the problems associated with mapping things that supposedly shaped all everything with actual dates and times. For instance, if the world was created in a day, then what date was that exactly? I've been told it was a Tuesday in October. Shouldn't there be celebrations in October for this; “World start day” or “let their be light day”?

Even if it is not spring the days are getting longer in this northern hemisphere. This is reason enough to celebrate. I've been in favor of the idea of pushing Christmas back to the solstice so it could be centered in an observable phenomenon. However you look at it a celebration in the darkest of winter months is a good thing. One cannot blame the Mormons for re-arranging their worship calendar to get a holiday in winter. However, one can point and laugh. It is always good to have laughter at parties, even Official Holiday parties.

"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!" - Kurt Vonnegut

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