The Fallacy of Christmas: Book Review
You may be familiar with the various scrolls we have in store, and perhaps you’ve read some yourself. Each month we’ll be doing a short book review on different scrolls to give you some knowledge to help you along your journey.
Santa or Satan? The Fallacy of Christmas: As Sayyid Al Imaam Isa Al Haadi Al Mahdi (Dr. Malachi Z. York): Books

This months’ scroll is ‘The Fallacy of Christmas: Santa or Satan?’ 

This scroll helps to draw a connection between traditional Christmas norms and pagan festivities from an Islamic point of view. It outlines some of the main events in the bible, leading to the time of year which is notoriously thought to be the birth of Jesus.

All around the world, many people particularly Christians, gather from about December 25th to January 1st to take part in festivities which include eating, drinking, and being merry. The scroll draws attention to the idea that many of the ways Christmas is now celebrated include indulging in a commercial event, advertised internationally. Billions of dollars are spent worldwide on advertising alone, leading to trillions of dollars being spent on things like trees, decorations, presents and more. Not only a time for increased spending; Dr Malachi Z York emphasizes that the Christmas holidays are a time for more debt, more deaths, and more drunkenness.

With money and material possessions often being the focal point of Christmas, the scroll brings light to the correlation that people have created between money and power, spending it to buy the latest products in the market, giving them as gifts, and using them for symbols of their success. But how did this tradition come about? And what does it have to do with spirituality? This is up for debate, as the scroll challenges the traditional belief that this custom was started by the story of The Three Wise Men, where they brought Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Instead, Dr York links this tradition with Saturnalia, a pagan Roman celebration during the winter solstice which reveres the deity Saturn, and when people gathered to offer gifts and sacrifices.

Around 366 A.D, The Romans and Christians had decided to celebrate Christmas, as it coincided with the pagan festivities already in place. Not only does the scroll point out that the Bible does not state that Jesus was born on December 25th, but it also says that this is the date more closely associated with the birth of Nimrod, whose name means rebellion, is the builder of the tower of Babylon and is also the great-grandson of Noah. Speaking of names, Old Nick is another name used for Satan. Which is said to derive from St. Nicholas, patron saint of thieves and gangsters.

Dr York points out that Satan, evil, sin, anger, and bloodshed are often ideas associated with the colour red. The question is, why is this colour so heavily associated with Santa and Christmas? Also, why is it, as the scroll points out, that Santa descends into the fireplace? Fire is associated with hell, where Satan resides. It is important to note that some of the things we are used to observing as part of Christmas tradition, should be questioned so that we are not blindly following.

On the other hand, the scroll points to traditions which, although considered to be pagan in origin, are symbolic of warding off evil. For example, mistletoe is said to be used by the Druids to protect against witchcraft and bring fertility to the land. Holly sprigs were said to possess healing power, and protect against evil, yule log was burned in honour of the god Thor, to protect against evil, fire, and storms. Although the church also gave this significance by saying that the messiah was first washed by ash log. Another tradition is the Christmas tree, which is said to represent the Garden of Eden, and symbolises Christ as redemption.

Overall, the scroll illuminates many of the ideas typically associated with Christmas and points us towards their origins. Dr York reminds us that Satan is notorious for being a deceiver and can show up in any form. He provides us with an interesting foundation on which we can further investigate how, and why Christmas is celebrated.

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