Not a rant... not a sermon... just talk.
The christians didn't start Christmas... the Late December ritual Saturnalia was a pagan celebration;
see [ :: http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/Saturnalia.html :: ]
And Jesus's existance is far from "well documented in legal texts"... why do you think there was such a big ass deal about the shroud of turin (sp?) or that recent (proven fake) engraving found on an ancient burial box... Jesus is not a well documented rabbi.
And you would be hard pressed to recount just what it was that the dead-sea-scrolls actually say about the history that was then re-written by several scholars into the text that formed the source for the King James Bible.
Do not be angry... I - of course - welcome you're celebration of your faith... and I would never begrudge or deny your right to it. Your beliefs are your own and you are welcome to them... (to borrow a phrase) I would lay down my life defending your right to make free choices.
In that same spirit... I chose to consider organized religion .... to be bunk.
To paraphrase Douglas Adams... "Why do otherwise intelegent people believe in this stuff?"
And I will claim my right to feel that way.
If it offends you to know that I - and I'm speaking generically here to anyone reading - feel this way about religion... grow up and get a life... being "offended" at another persons beliefs or expression there of is exactly what lays at the root of most of the historically significant conflicts... (just look at Ireland!!).
My christmas message began by recognizing that Christianity has hijacked Christmas as their own... and while that may be fine... the vast majority of it's celebrants are not engaged in the execution of a religious holiday... they are celebrating the Day! How many - as a percentage of the population - went to church on christmas?
I went on to talk about how I felt the true beauty of the day was that it ignores all gender, faith and race lines in our culture and gives even the most cold hearted or jaded individuals the excuse he or she needs to explore the glory of love, friendship and charity.
That was the message...
It was not a rant or a dig against religion or christianity.