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A Confluence Christmas Classic


Back 2008 I wrote this Christmas post:

Jeebus Was a DFH Moonbat Librul

I was raised in one of those fundie churches. I’m not gonna say which one, but we thought Baptists were gonna burn in Hell for having too much fun.

I stayed in that church from Pre-K to high school. I left the church shortly after the preacher’s daughter took me out back and showed me the holy ghost and since then I’ve only been back for an occasional wedding. But what I learned while I was there is a lot of the reason I’m a liberal.

I believe there once was a man who we know today as Jesus Christ, but it’s almost certain he was not born on December 25th 2008 years ago. If you take the Bible literally then he wasn’t even born during the winter, otherwise the shepards wouldn’t have been “keeping watch over their flocks by night.”

He may have been a composite of two or more people, but someone (singular or plural) triggered a religious movement we now know as “Christianity.” Whoever he was, his name wasn’t Jesus (Gee-zus) because that’s the anglicized version of Jesus (Hay-soos) that the Romans used as his name. His real name was probably something more like “Yeshua.”

He wasn’t a blond, blue-eyed European either. He was a Jew, and not the part-European kind, he was the full-blooded Semite type. Jesus probably looked more like Yasser Arafat than Fabio. When you consider that he was allegedly a carpenter who grew up hewing wood with hand tools, it’s unlikely he looked like the effeminate character we see in art. I’m not making a sexist observation, I’m using the English language. If Jesus was a carpenter, he would have looked a lot more like a Charles Atlas body builder than a 98 pound weakling.

The whole “born in a manger” meme is a bunch of hooey too. The Romans did use the census to figure out how many subjects they had, but they could give a shit about where their subjects were born, they wanted to know where people lived. The stuff in the New Testament about Bethlehem was just put there to “fulfill” a prophecy that the messiah would be born in the “City of David.”

The man we think of as Jesus was probably a Rabbi of the Essene sect of Judaism. A big hint is that he was frequently critical of Sadducees and Pharisees, the two other major sects of Judaism of that era. Dan Brown was correct that Jesus probably had a wife, whether it was Mary Magdalene or some other woman. Celibacy has never been part of Jewish dogma, they are into that whole “be fruitful and multiply” thing. In fact, everything we know about Jewish law and custom of that era says that a respectable adult male in his thirties would be expected to be married.

When I was young and dumb and full of shit I voted for Ronnie Raygun. Part of the reason for that was that I grew up in a church that was hyper-conservative, and even after I left I carried that baggage with me. But as I grew older I realized that Jesus was the original liberal.

If you look at the actual words and deeds of Jesus that are printed in the New Testament, there is no other possible conclusion. He spent his time feeding the hungry and healing the sick, and he didn’t ask for money first.

Jesus said a lot of things that don’t exactly conform to “Christian” doctrine. First of all, Jesus preached about minding your own business. He used the words “brother” and “neighbor” a lot (according to King James) but he used those words in the context of not concerning yourself with what your brother/neighbor was doing.

Matthew 7:5 says:

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

And then there was his position on capital punishment:

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto Him, “Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the Law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest Thou?”

This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him.

But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not. So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?”

She said, “No man, Lord.”

And Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

BTW – If they caught her in the act, where was the man she was “in the act” with? Never mind, let’s move on.

Prayer in schools?

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

What about that Joel Osteen “greed is good” thingie?:

The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus said unto him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
“And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

It goes on and on. My reading of the Gospels says that Jesus would be in favor of universal health care, welfare and desegregation, and he would oppose pretty much all of the teachings of his loudmouthed so-called followers, especially the ones making lots of money spewing bigotry on television.

I’m guessing the “Prince of Peace” wouldn’t approve of pre-emptive war, “enhanced interrogation” or domestic violence. He said “Turn the other cheek” not “shock and awe.”

Jesus consistently spoke against a top-down rule-oriented version of religion, and instead taught that religion was about a personal and individualized relationship with God:

But when the Pharisees had heard that He had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, who was a lawyer, asked Him a question, tempting Him and saying, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”

Jesus said unto him, “`Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it: `Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

I didn’t see anything in the Gospels about hating women, gays or minorities. If you have the right to get married, why shouldn’t everybody have that right? If you don’t want to be abused or discriminated against, why would you want to abuse or discriminate against others?

It’s Christmas. Spread His Word.


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62 Responses

  1. Here’s another post I did about Jeebus:

    Last December on Santa Claus’ birthday I pointed out that Jeebus was a DFH moobat librul. As we watch the Great Astroturf War of 2009 and see the Tea Party movement get their collective panties in a wad over socialized medicine, I think it’s appropriate to review what the man from Nazareth is supposed to have said on the topic.

    Those of you who were raised in one of the various Christian denominations are familiar with the parable I am going to discuss. It is commonly known as “The Good Samaritan.”

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to say to Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” asked Jesus. The man answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “and who is my neighbor teacher?”

    In reply Jesus said:
    “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead with no clothes. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, and he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, he too passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and looked after him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    It is important to understand that two millennia ago in the Galilee region of the place now known as Israel or Palestine that the people from Samaria (Samaritans) were not well liked. You could think of them as the equivalent of illegal aliens.

    I’ll also point out that Jeebus had a low opinion of the religious leaders of His day. Many historians believe that He was a member of the Essene sect of Judaism because he was so critical of the Sadducees and the Pharisees, the other two major sects of that time. Levites were members of the Tribe of Levi and they had special religious and political duties in what was kind of like a hereditary priesthood.

    So when Jeebus mentions the priest and the Levite he was talking about two members of the upper crust of local society. In the parable these two upstanding citizens practiced compassionate conservatism by leaving the injured crime victim laying on the side of the road. Jeebus was specific – they saw the man and crossed the road to avoid him.

    Then this despised Samaritan comes along and helps the injured man. He goes out of his way and even incurs some expense, but he asks nothing in return.

    So if you should run across one of those fundiegelical right-wingers that is wearing a WWJD bracelet while protesting against single payer and he is complaining that he doesn’t want to subsidize lazy bums help pay for health care for any his neighbors that are less fortunate than himself, tell him what Jeebus would do.

    If he doesn’t believe you tell him to open his Bible to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10, verses 25-37. (Strangely enough, many of Jeebus’ followers seem to be unfamiliar with His teachings.)

    You might also point out that Jeebus is supposed to have spent quite a bit of time healing the sick and injured. I don’t recall any Bible verses mentioning that He asked anyone for their insurance billing information first.

    BTW – Luke was a physician.

    • Both your post and the comment/post above are wonderful reminders of the true meaning of Christmas, myiq. Thank you!!

      djmm

  2. My favorite teaching:
    Separation of church and state:

    “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. [22] Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

    He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?”

    “Caesar’s,” they replied.

    He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    • If you read the story about him driving the moneychangers from the temple you might reach the conclusion he wouldn’t have liked these “show me the money” televangelists very much either.

      • I understand that the reason Jeebus was extremely angry at the money changers is that the priests forbade the use of Roman money for anything that had to do with the temple, including the purchase of animals for sacrifice. In addition the priests would find animals that the people brought for sacrifice to have some defect, and were forced to buy from the merchants approved by the priests. It was a big business.

        The wikipedia has a discussion on the subject

        The Temple was big business for the ruling priests

        The area in question was almost certainly the Court of the Gentiles, a location in the massive Temple complex setup specifically for the purpose of purchasing sacrificial animals and—out of necessity—a place where Jewish pilgrims could exchange their foreign coinage for the appropriate local currency.
        The reference to den of thieves may be a reference to inflated pricing or more sinister forms of using a religious cult to exploit the poor. Or, simply to exaggerate the dishonesty of the traders. In Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47 Jesus again accuses the Temple authorities of thieving and this time names poor widows as their victims going on to provide evidence of this in Mark 12:42 and Luke 21:2. Dove sellers were selling doves that were sacrificed by the poor who could not afford grander sacrifices and specifically by women. According to Mark 11:16, Jesus then put an embargo on people carrying any merchandise through the temple—a sanction that would have disrupted all commerce.

  3. Not an authority on the subject. But another purporting Massiah is making new changes in the vocabulary
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2010/12/25/the-morning-sneeze-obama-bans-triangulation/

  4. Amen, Bozo. 🙂

    Here’s one of my favorite Christmas stories.

    http://www.classicreader.com/book/593/1/

  5. Oops, I hadn’t changed my name on this PC. 😳 😛

    • That’s the beauty of the internet – you can have multiple personalities and nobody knows.

      Adopt a new alias, make up a new persona and viola! You can even penetrate the blogstalker inner sanctum.

  6. The funniest Christmas story – posted by a mushroom friend on FB:
    David Spahr
    As a joke, my brother used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them. What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because every Christmas morning, although Jay’s kids’ stockings were overflowed, his poor panty hose hung sadly empty and grew increasingly threadbare.

    One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses and a fake beard and went in search of an inflatable love doll. Of course, they don’t sell those things at Wal-mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown. If you’ve never been in an X-rated store, don’t go. You’ll only confuse yourself. I was there almost three hours saying things like, “What does this do?” “You’re kidding me!” “Who owns that?” “Do you have their phone number?” Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll section. I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll suitable for a night of romance that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush hour. I’m not sure what a complicated doll is. Perhaps one that is subject to wild mood shifts and using a French accent for no reason at all. (That also describes a few ex-girlfriends.) Finding what I wanted was difficult. Love dolls come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I’d only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I figured the “vibro-motion” was a feature Jay could live without, so I settled for Lovable Louise. She was at the bottom of the price scale. To call Louise a “doll” took a huge leap of imagination.

    On Christmas Eve, with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life. My sister-in-law was in on the plan and cleverly left the front door key hidden under the mat. In the wee morning hours, long after Santa had come and gone, I snuck into the house and filled the dangling panty hose with Louise’s pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray.
    Then I let myself out, went home, and giggled for a couple of hours.

    The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy but had left the dog confused. He would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more. I suggested he purchase an inflatable Lassie to set Rover straight. We also agreed that Louise should remain in her panty hose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner. It seemed like a great idea, except that we forgot that Grandma and Grandpa would be there. My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. “What the hell is that?” she asked. My brother quickly explained. “It’s a doll.” “Who would play with something like that?” Granny snapped. I had several candidates in mind, but kept my mouth shut. “Where are her clothes?” Granny continued. I hadn’t seen any in the box, but I kept this information to myself. “Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Granny,” Jay said, trying to steer her into the dining room. But Granny was relentless. “Why doesn’t she have any teeth?” Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, “Hang on Granny, Hang on!”

    My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and said, “Hey, who’s the naked gal by the fireplace?” I told him she was Jay’s friend. A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be Grandpa’s last Christmas at home.

    The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise that sounded a lot like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the panty hose, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa. The cat screamed, I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth to mouth resuscitation. My brother wet his pants and Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the house, and sat in the car. It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember.

    Later in my brother’s garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise’s collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh. Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health. Louise went on to star in several bachelor party movies.

    I think Grandpa still calls her whenever he can get out of the house.

    • Back in my previous life as an exterminator I was working shortly before Christmas and called one of my regular customers to remind her I would be there the next day. Imagine my surprise when she answered the door in some sexy lingerie!

      She took me by the hand, led me to the bedroom and . . . well you can guess what happened next.

      Afterward I was putting my clothes back on when she went to her purse, got out a dollar bill and handed it to me. Thoroughly confused, I asked her what the money was for.

      “Last night I told my husband you were coming today and asked him if we should give you anything for Christmas” she told me. “He said ‘Fuck the exterminator, give him a dollar.'”

  7. and on a very different note, a sweet story about the Clintons from – of all places – NYT
    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/24/where-the-clintons-spent-the-night-before-the-night-before/

  8. merry x -mas everone

  9. Merry Christmas, myiq…

    and Merry Christmas to everyone!

  10. Thanks for the stories, Myiq. I enjoyed them.

    Merry Christmas to All!!

  11. American King James Version John10:16

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

    There’s a reason the golden rule and other basic teachings are ubiquitous throughout all the worlds major religions. One teaching, many cultures and languages. If it weren’t for dogma…

  12. There’s not one shred of proof that Jesus was a Jew. For one, at the time the only way to be a Jew was to be near the Temple, which Jesus was not. For two, the area we’re told this Jesus lived in was a cultural crossroads with lots of people who were not Jewish. (though clearly he was no honky)

    Nor is there any proof that there was a Jesus. No mention of him in the Jewish chronicles and though Josephus mentions John the Baptist, he does not mention Jesus.

    There might have been a Jesus/Yeshua, but if anything he was a social revolutionary (see, Crossan) rather than being a “liberal”.

    More likely than anything else, he (or the writers who created him) was just a replaying of the ancient mystery school myths. All the elements of the Jesus story predate Jesus. Osiris/Isis/Horus. Dionysus. Etc. Pretty straight forward sun god fare. The humble/cave/manger birth at the winter solstice, the metaphorical death and resurrection at the spring equinox, the standard grab bag of Egyptian magic tricks, the focusing inward to find the kingdom of heaven. Humanity had been there and been doing that for thousand of years before Jesus.

    All this is most evident in the Biblical treatment of Simon Magus, who was also a disciple of John the Baptist with the same MO as Jesus but gets withering criticism in the New Testament. Looks like a pretty standard propaganda fight for who gets the leadership mantle of John’s following…which we know from Josephus was large, populist and dangerous in the eyes of the authorities. And what textual evidence for John does exist points even more clearly to Egyptian mystery schools than what we have for Jesus. (There’s also some evidence that there were Churches of John as far afield as Ephesus by the time Paul was spreading the Christian word.)

    Even tight, linguistic and cross-referenced Biblical exegesis is likely to be highly flawed given the contours of canon formation. Proving Jesus to be either conservative or liberal based on the Christian canon is just silliness, especially if it comes from quoting translations of translations.

    • Jesus did not exist and he sure as hell wasn’t Jewish. That’s your point?

      • Sneering at others is the point.

        • When you’re a drugstore cowboy radical lefty you get to sneer at EVERYONE, right, center and left.

          • Lex probably thinks Jesus can’t be real because Lex thinks Obama is the true messiah. 😉

          • Naw, Lex is a cynical anarchist.

            I bet he can quote Foucault

          • Nope, just you. And for the record i have never belonged to a political party. I do not support Obama. And i almost always vote third party…but i always vote.

            Not a radical lefty. Not a Christian because i’ve never been baptized (thanks, Ma). But you guys are cute. Very open minded and “liberal”.

          • And you’re a follower of Assange and Nader. No koolaid there.

          • I don’t know, anyone with an AvtoVAZ car as their avatar cant’ be all bad. 🙂

      • Nah, my point was that proving anything about Jesus by using the text of the New Testament is a pointless exercise. It’s not a work of history, it’s a rewriting of much older myths. As a piece of literature it’s completely compromised by the Church’s tying itself to the decadent end of the Roman State.

        I didn’t say that Jesus didn’t exist. I said that there’s no proof of his existence or Jewishness.

    • All historical records indicate that Jesus was Jewish. How have no idea where the “at the time the only way to be a Jew was to be near the Temple” comes from, but clearly does appear in any historical record.

      Is it from “Mein Kampf?”

      • All historical records, eh? Would you care to source those historical records?

        Oh, and, really, so childish as to try the Nazi smear?

    • Nonsense.

      There were Jews all over the Mediterranean world and Western Asia in the first century, as well as Gentile sympathizers (theophiles) who adopted Jewish beliefs and customs without actually converting. Jews who didn’t live near Jerusalem did exactly what Jesus is depicted as doing: they made pilgrimages at Passover and Sukkoth if they could.

      Give the Achayra S. twaddle a rest. It’s been debunked so many times it’s boring.

      • Lex is one of those pseudo-intellectual types who probably believes it wasn’t Homer who composed the Iliad and the Odyssey, but another Greek with the same name.

        • And he probably doesn’t think Anonymous wrote Beowulf, either.

          I do find it rather charming that he thinks Osiris and Dionysos are sun gods, though.

          • I guess he doesn’t know that Louis Pasteur debunked the theory of spontaneous generation a long time ago.

          • Uh, ok. You’re right, there’s no reason that Jesus was “born” at basically the winter solstice. He’s certainly the first mythical figure to have died and been resurrected. And there’s absolutely no connection between ancient myths and the heavenly cycles.

            Nor did i say that the Jesus story is a straight retelling, though it’s not like he was the first guy to get crucified. Justin Martyr makes the connection between Dionysus and Jesus, not me. (I know full well that in the classical stories, Apollo represents the Sun and Dionysus represents the Moon, but we’re talking about a great many years after that by the time the Christians reworked these stories, no? Not much is static…not much but the underlying motifs. Every last one of which we see in Christianity is predated by other traditions.)

        • Who said anything about Homer? I’ve got no truck with Homer…at the very least he wasn’t a Christian.

    • I’m sure it will come as a shock to you to learn that I’ve read The Historical Jesus by John Dominic Crossan. In fact, I can see it on my book shelf from where I’m sitting. The point of my post was not to prove that any of the stories about Jesus are true. Whether he even actually existed is kind of irrelevant.

      There is a religion called “Christianity” based on the alleged life and teachings of a man named Jesus Christ. If you look at the actual words attributed to him (buy a red-letter edition of the New Testament, the alleged quotes are in red ink) you will see that unlike many of his followers he was clearly a left-winger.

      Merry Christmas.

      • Congratulations, you missed the point entirely. His alleged life and teachings. And it doesn’t matter if he was a “left-winger”…as if your idea of “left-wing” is relevant to to the Eastern Mediterranean Basin 2000 years ago. It stopped being anything about Jesus by the time the Council of Nicaea was convened.

        Those you hope to fight with this interpretation are more concerned with the Old Testament anyhow. Jesus is just a way to cleanse their sins. They’re praying to an angry, jealous god of judgment. (One which at least portions of the early Christian movement took to be a fairly evil demiurge. Now look back and see what how the Christian Church dealt with those early Christians and their texts. That should give you an idea of where your argument is headed. Not that i don’t agree with your argument’s underlying premise, but you’d be better off looking to other sources to prove your point…and thanks to the wonders of archaeology, we have some of those texts.)

        • Wow, I missed the point of MY OWN post?

          Boy, do I feel stupid.

          Here I thought my point that the teachings attributed to the man known as Jesus are consistent with liberal ideology.

          I never claimed he was the one and only son of God who was sent to die for out sins. I never said he performed miracles. I never said he rose from the grave three days after dying on the cross.

          I did say this though:

          “. . . . he would oppose pretty much all of the teachings of his loudmouthed so-called followers . . . “

          BTW – snu snu is way more fun than sneer sneer.

    • Lex reminds me of the Assange look-alike that gets dismantled by Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting.

  13. Merry Christmas Confluence,es
    and a big thanks to all our hard working front pagers. :mrgreen:

  14. Merry Christmas everyone!

  15. MyIQ–Thanks for reposting this–it is one on my top 10 favorite posts of yours. Maybe even top 5. Merry Christmas everybody.

  16. Merry Christmas!!! I’m still working on the Everlasting Sweater but, I’ve been lurking all too often.

    Love the classic post and the great new comments. I even have to appreciate Lex — he opened up a great conversation.

    xxoo
    Happy Day

  17. Great post! Merry Christmas everyone!!!

  18. Santa Claus is the central figure in my holiday season. I believe in Santa.

    Happy, Happy Holiday everyone!!

  19. Merry Christmas everyone! I personally love the great food, wine, family/friends and presents aspect of the holiday, so I’m all for real or fabricated saints and their birthdays!

    Now bring on the turkey and stuffing.

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