Family Issues

On Christmas, Escaping the Well-Lit Prison

Give the gift of forgiveness this holiday season.


The Hinkle household is a blended one, which is to say that half the management is male and the other is female. This usually works out fine until around Christmas, when certain politically incorrect gender stereotypes exert themselves.

At the time of the merger several years ago, the male half's holiday décor consisted of whatever Christmas cards came in the mail. Pick out a festive one, tape it to the front door, and voila! – you're done. The female half of the enterprise came with several large storage tubs filled with tree trimmings, lights, stockings, garlands, advent calendars, ribbons, bows, wreaths, and so on. This admittedly amps up the holiday atmosphere by several notches, but somebody has to haul it all out and put it all up. So the male half of the household hauls it out and then waits for instructions.

And yet when it comes to decorating we are relative pikers. The house across the street has so many lights it could serve as a beacon for the space shuttle, if the shuttle were still flying. The folks up the hill have gone to even greater lengths. But then one of them also spent Halloween night on the porch roof in a hockey mask waving around a running chainsaw. Someone always has to blow the curve.

It's the same with presents. Some of us like to get all the buying and wrapping done early—no later than the Fourth of July, if possible. But others, like a former editor at the newspaper here, prefer to wait until after work on Christmas Eve, then buy everything in a mad rush. It's faster that way, but you take your chances: Grandma might have to settle for metric socket wrenches instead of standard ones. Well, that's life.

The focus on gifts is something we're all supposed to feel vaguely guilty about, according to certain grim people with very strong views about the Evils of our Commercialized, Materialist Society. In lieu of presents these people give things like certified carbon offsets and donations in your name to International A.N.S.W.E.R. Their kids get seaweed gummy kits and "Peace in Our Time" cooperative board games from the Catalog of Socially Responsible Gifts, and exact revenge by growing up to become arbitrageurs.

On the other end of the spectrum are the market ideologues. These are the folks who write earnest monographs on how everybody has the wrong idea about Ebeneezer Scrooge, who was really a thrifty capitalist hero. Their idea of a neat Christmas present is something like a "Who Is John Galt?" doormat—except there isn't one, because John Galt was nobody's doormat, dammit, so instead you get a book on Basel bank-capital requirements and a bookmark in the shape of Ludwig von Mises.

Which is not to say that either group is wrong, mind you—merely that, like the madman in Chesterton's "Orthodoxy," they are "trapped in the well-lit prison of one idea…sharpened to one painful point." You want to say to them, look: If British and German soldiers could sing carols together at Ypres in WWI, then the rest of us are entitled to give politics a break for one lousy day. Here, have some peppermint bark.

After all, giving people a break is what the holiday is all about. The story of Christmas is the story of a wrathful, smiting God who had a change of heart. A God who said: "You know what? All those horrible, awful, things you've done? Forgiven. We're going to wipe the slate clean and start over. Yet get a second chance."

That is, at bottom, what makes Christmas such a poignantly joyous holiday. There are not many of us who have not at some time felt lost, broken, inadequate, consumed with guilt. To be forgiven is a great relief. But it is also a great relief to forgive someone else: to let go of grudges and resentments, to give them a reprieve and accept them as they are. And this is something even those of us who cannot swallow the New Testament whole can take part in. You don't have to make peace with the story of Jesus to make peace with your neighbor.

That's why the tut-tutting about the commercial side of Christmas seems overwrought. The spirit of generosity that pervades the season is a state of mind, but gifts are its tangible expression. And practical experience, as well as research on human happiness, both show that the quickest way to cheer yourself up is to do something nice for someone else.

All of which helps explain why you find so many people walking around at Christmastime with silly grins on their faces, or humming hokey carols along with Bing and Nat while they put up yet another string of lights from the manifold storage tubs in the garage. It's hard not to feel cheerful when you know that – for one day at least—the long knives have been put down, everyone is okay with everyone else, and all is right with the world.

A. Barton Hinkle is a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where this article originally appeared.

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  1. New slogan for Christmas:

    “Christmas: when Yaweh stopped being a dick.”

    1. Hilarious and true story: when I was in middle school, our world history teacher was doing a quick lesson on early Christianity in the Roman Empire, and called god Yaweh.

      This chick immediately stops him and in the most affronted voice I have to this day ever heard, informed him that, “I have been a Christian all my life and I do not worship anything called Yahweh. His name is God!”

      1. Shades of the old story of a Biblical translator speaking to a group of churchladies, at which one of the latter exclaims that “the English language was good enough for Jesus and that makes it good enough for me!”

    2. I prefer “Christmas: when YHWH took a break from slaughtering a whole load of bastards who deserved it.”

      Frankly, seeing how many people Atheist, Muslim, and Pagans’ fascist regimes have been murdering of late, I’m ready to get back to work. We can start by deporting all the Atheists and Pagans to Iran.

      1. Well, you have a merry Christmas too. Yikes.

      2. Them and all those fuckin’ homos too! YEah!

        Seriously, fuck off.

      3. I missed any of the atheist regimes anywhere, or any slaughtering being done by them.

        Oh, do you mean Marxists regimes?

        It is common for people to confuse Marxists with atheists, based presumably on Marx’s denunciation of the mainstream churches of his day.

        A lesser known fact is that Marx favored restoration of Primitive Christianity, something he had in common with preachers from the middle ages through the nineteenth century.

        Most advocates for Primitive Christianity interpretted the early church’s teachings to advocate a form of communism. Marx agreed. See also the early Mormon Church under Joseph Smith.

        If you’re talking about stalin or Mao, note that it’s pretty hard to establish someone who has made the State (or himself) God as an atheist.

        1. Well put, Kreel. The list of violence atheists have perpetrated in the name of atheism seems pretty short. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t even know what to start the list with.

        2. Oh, in case a citation is needed that Communists are just a new breed of Christian, here it is.

        3. I missed any of the atheist regimes anywhere, or any slaughtering being done by them.


          1. “being done by them”. The French revolution is a bit old news.

            1. All right, then it’s a reply to sloopyinca’s comment.

              1. Yeah, but notice I said “in the name of atheism.”

        4. No true Scotsman…

    3. “Christmas: Just Another Celebration of Gambol-Lockdown.”

  2. I thought the true meaning of Christmas was the miraculous story of how a boy and his sister, hidden from their evil father at birth, returned and provided him with redemption for his wicked ways?

    That’s Christmas I’m thinking of, right?

    1. No, no, no. Christmas was when a short guy with big hairy feet crawled up a mountain and dumped a cheap piece of costume jewelry into lava. In doing so he freed us from the Heat Miser and defeated the Six-Fingered Man. Get your story straight.

      Hobbits are the reason for the Season.

      1. You’re both wrong… Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of Santa.

        1. Didn’t he go to shcool at Hogwarts?

          1. grrrr!

    2. No, the boy gave the father redemption; the sister was backup in case the boy failed – and meanwhile flirted with the boy’s best friend.

  3. Is it appropriate for an atheist to celebrate Christmas?

    “Yes, of course. A national holiday, in this country, cannot have an exclusively religious meaning. The secular meaning of the Christmas holiday is wider than the tenets of any particular religion: it is good will toward men?a frame of mind which is not the exclusive property (though it is supposed to be part, but is a largely unobserved part) of the Christian religion.

    “The charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way. One says: “Merry Christmas”?not “Weep and Repent.” And the good will is expressed in a material, earthly form?by giving presents to one’s friends, or by sending them cards in token of remembrance . . . .

    “The best aspect of Christmas is the aspect usually decried by the mystics: the fact that Christmas has been commercialized. The gift-buying . . . stimulates an enormous outpouring of ingenuity in the creation of products devoted to a single purpose: to give men pleasure. And the street decorations put up by department stores and other institutions?the Christmas trees, the winking lights, the glittering colors?provide the city with a spectacular display, which only “commercial greed” could afford to give us. One would have to be terribly depressed to resist the wonderful gaiety of that spectacle.”

    1. Hell my wife and I are athiests, and we put up a tree in the living room and hang up lights outside. It’s about being cheerful and ushering out the old year and welcoming in the new, etc.

      1. Yup. Unless you’re one of those “war on Christmas” paranoid Christian-majority malcontents like Bill O’Reilly. Funny how atheists enjoy Christmas more than theists.

        1. I hate militant religous “War on Christmas” types AND militant athiets. I haven’t believed in the supernatural since I was young, but what’s the point of being a curmugeon about it? Just be festive and enjoy the season.

          1. The problem is that the season is TWO MONTHS LONG.

            I can only get psyched for Christmas every two or three years. I’m not a dick about it, though.

            1. I will definitely grant you that it annoys the shit out of me that Christmas pretty much starts the day after Halloween.

              1. Yeah, me too. I refuse to purchase anything for Christmas, decorations included until the day after Thanksgiving.

                1. “until the day after Thanksgiving.”

                  I usually give it another week as I woudl rather die than go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I made that mistake exactly once.

              2. And then it ends the day after Christmas. I like to put stuff up late and leave it until all the needles fall off the tree. It’s just nice to have something sparkly and festive in the house when it is all cold and dark all the time.

                1. I usually leave my stuff up until Jan 6th (Epiphany). I wonder if the new HOA will freak out on me. I hope so, cause I’d like to make the Drudge Report when those people infringe on my religious beliefs even though I agreed to follow the rules when I moved in.

                  1. I try to aim for groundhogs day.

                  2. You agreed to an HOA?! Philistine.

            2. One of the local radio stations switched to 24/7 Christmas music at the beginning of November. (It might have been as late as Veterans’ Day, but no later.)

              My bigger problem with Christmas is having to deal with family. 🙁

              1. This year try to stay the fuck out of their underwear drawers

    2. Well, you can certainly tell how deeply depressed the country has become under Obama (and understandably so), because Christmas isn’t anywhere near as generally festive this year as it normally is.

      1. It never is in communist countries.

  4. Beverley DiAngelo had a great rack back in the day and looked quite good in that blouse in that movie.

    1. Hair.

      Man she sure got cringeworthily pathetic on Entourage though. So much Botox she couldn’t enunciate.

      1. That was Beverly D’Angelo? This whole time I thought Ernest Borgnine was on that show.

        1. I’m more concerned with the Audrey and Rusty characters changing ages and actors through the movies. It was horrible, to say the least.

          Oh, and Jim, is my Vacation catalog not complete until I get Vegas Vacation 2?

          1. If you’re going to claim that you have the Vacation set, then yes, you would need it.

            1. Blasphemy! Can I get a little help here, people? Jim needs to be straightened out.

              1. Vegas Vacation is apocryphal.

                1. We need to hold some sort of ecumenical council to hash all of this shit out.

                2. But what about this?

                  1. Randy Quaid needs all the help he can get. If you’re not willing to buy that movie, I label you a monster and eater of children.

                    1. And take a look at his library of work. It’s a veritable list of Hollywood’s worst.*

                      With Vacation, Christmas Vacation, Midnight Express and Kingpin excepted, of course.

                    2. I rather liked Parents.

                  2. I hear the weather in Nicea is nice this time of year.

                    1. Yeah, if you can keep out of the Turkish jails. For me, the risk just isn’t worth it.

                      I propose Puerto Rico. The Council of Fajardo has a nice ring to it.

                    2. I’m not sure I can afford the airfare. Can’t we get a government grant for this important deed? What’s the Keynesian multiplier of ecumenical councils?

                    3. There’s not even a happiness multiplier. All that happens is usually somebody who doesn’t get their way goes schismatic.

                    4. As long as I don’t have to pay for it, why should I care? Also, my Vacation principles are beyond question.

    2. Hell, go back to her shower scene in the first Vacation movie.

      1. Hair, fucking Hair. Full frontal–Milo? Forman’s second greatest contribution to cinema (yeah, I consider One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest more classic than B D’As wet erect nipples).

      2. Didn’t see your post when I made mine.

        Agree 1000%

    3. She always had my attention. I think I’d rather go skinny dipping with her than Christy Brinkley.

      1. Let’s not get crazy now.

        1. Thank you, Mike. A little sanity was needed.

    4. The first Vacation movie – the shower scene towards the beginning?


  5. I will be celebrating by viewing prodigiouos amounts of lesbian women wrestling naked on the intertubes while consuming pabst and corndogs…
    and I will like it!

    1. Every family has got to have a tradition.

    2. pabst

      You hipster heathen. I’ve got half a mind to drive 45 minutes and find you just so I can beat your ass.

      1. Hey…it’s great for living history Vietnam groups.

        1. I’m still pissed that you think the saga is not complete unless I buy Rambo (2008).

          What say reason? I got the Rambo trilogy for under $10 at fye this week, and Jim says I ain’t got shit because I didn’t buy the latest one where Sly Stallone shows up in a wheelchair and shakes his cane at the gooks for killing his mentor…or whatever the plotline of that piece of shit is.

          1. It isn’t a set unless you have them all. I’ll get it for you for Christmas.

          2. And I’d like to point out that Rambo III was awful, so you can’t use “it’s not good!” as an excuse to exclude any of them.

            1. What do you mean, awful? He pops out of a spider hole and takes down a fucking Mi-24 Hind without even aiming.

              Awful? Pshaw!

      2. When the hell did Pabst become hipster?

        I grew up in the 70s and was under the impression then that Pabst was one of the low-rent beers, only a step above stuff I thought was local, like Genesee Beer

        1. It became hipster when clear-lensed Wayfarer-wearing dipshits on fixed-gear bikes started drinking it for the irony.

        2. Genessee cream ale is a remarkable beer in that as soon as a can is opened, it already tastes like someone has put cigarette butts in it.

          1. Genny Cream is the only beverage in the world that tastes worse than Mickey’s Big Mouth.

            1. Before Bennigan’s went under, they had a beer special they called “Grandpa’s Fridge”, but which we lovingly called “the bucket o’ shit”. You could order it using that phrase, and they knew what you were talking about.

              It was an iced bucket with 40 cans of Pabst, the Beast (light), Lone Star, Schlitt’s, and a few other tasty choices. We’d have to buy good beer to chase it with.

              1. The throwback Schlitz is actually pretty good production beer.

                1. Splitter!!!

                  1. Or rather, Schlitter!

            2. How about Little Kings.

              1. I actually like Little Kings.

                1. I haven’t had one for 25 years or so. Used to get those for road trips since you could basically down them in one swig.

                  1. Little Kings (7oz. bottles) were also useful for sneaking into movie theaters, high school stadiums, etc.

                    1. 7 oz? Pfft… you can sneak in any amount of booze you want, just as long as you pour it in an opaque bottle first.

        3. You don’t like 12-horse ale?

      3. Really! It’s Pabst with a big P.

  6. Four articles that you see on the web every year.

    1. Haven’t seen anything about Kwanza this year. Not that I’m complaining.

      1. Happy Saturnalia, y’all!

        1. What about Festivus?

          1. Splitter!

  7. It’s 6:30 in the PM here, the Christmas weekend has already started. I love living in the future. Eat it biatches!

    Also great stuff as usual Mr Hinkleheimer Schmidt.

    1. Can a brother get some lotto numbers from your magical future land?

      1. I’m sorry but I need those numbers, iridium-plated monocles don’t exactly grow on tree, you know.

        1. Ooh! Excellent choice for leering at the proletariat chattel without sacrificing style.

        2. Does that have night vision?

          1. The important part is that the proles can’t afford it. But I think they included night vision.

            1. PS doesn’t know if they included night vision or not, because like any good capitalist oppressor, he hired people to see in the dark for him.

              1. I like to think it’s my love of oppression that separates me from the run-of-the-mill capitalist oppressors.

                1. I’m with you. I’m particularly amused when the oppression is random and capricious.

                  1. I like what you have written and would wish to subscribe to you newsletter.

  8. This is a real (and typical) invitation to join various friends at Christmas, who are blessed by being single and an orphan:

    “My mother in law is a b*tch on wheels – all she does is kvetch and piss and moan. J*sus could bake the turkey and she would complain that it was dry. And father in law is worse and farts besides….so, you will be joining us this year, right?”

  9. damn, I meant to say “while I am blessed to be single and an orphan”

    editing – how do it work?

  10. Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.

    1. Yeah, all religions. Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopals, Free Presbyterians, Locked Up Presbyterians, and Lutherans.

      1. Hey, fuck you.

  11. All those horrible, awful, things you’ve done? Forgiven.

    This is what easter is about, not Christmas (also you forgot to mention the whole torturing your own son to death thing that was needed for the forgiving to work)

    1. Was it ever stated definitively that he wasn’t a masochist?

    2. Yeah, but Easter is no fun. It’s always on Sunday so you don’t even get a day off. And you need Christmas before you can have Easter.

      1. And the rabbit – egg connection is incomprehensible to everyone.

        1. Not so much if one perceives Easter to be a Christianized version of earlier pagan fertility/rebirth-themed Spring festivities.

  12. Spot on, Mr. Hinkle.

    It’s the philosophical aspects of Jesus teachings that make the holiday important to me. That, and the candy.

  13. Yes Virgina, there is a Santa Claus….

  14. I think everyone here knows I’m one of the resident Christians. (We had quite the conversation last year on Dec 25, IIRC.) And I can honestly and happily say the spirit of Christmas is no longer tied to the religious aspects of the holiday. Sure, some of us still go to Mass. Many will go to church. And the random dickheads will protest Target because they won’t let people proselytize in front of their store. But the true meaning of the holiday has transcended the Jesus birth narrative (which is wholly inaccurate insomuch as Jesus was not born in the dead of winter).

    The true meaning of Christmas is to go out and be happy. It is to see family and friends you rarely get to see. It’s to wear stupid sweaters and go to holiday parties and get fucked up on the company dime consequence-free. It is a chance to take a 11-day vacation from work while only burning 3 vacation days. It is a chance to buy presents and see the look of joy on your children’s faces as they open hem…only to see the look of terror as they realize it’s WM2 you got them instead of MW3.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to this Christmas more than most of the recent ones. I’ve a lot to be thankful for. It’s been my best year financially. It’s been a great year socially, sexually and parentally as well.

    Best Wishes to all of H&R this Christmas season. And a Happy New Year too.*

    *with some notable exceptions like White Indian and his ilk.

    1. FUCK YOU quit trying to shove your religion down my throat!

      Don’t tell me to have a good Christmas, you’re not the boss of me!

      1. And tell your heathen Chinese wife as well!

        1. …well, you’ve got me there. She is a heathen.

          1. I’m jealous

    2. Well, I was born in the dead of winter. So worship me.

      1. Anyone who does not embrace the divine goodness of the Evening Links deserves scorn, not worship. Begone, false prophet!

        1. One day all the links of the world will live together peacefully in a glorious, continuous 24-hour links cycle. So say we all.

    3. Jesus was not born in the dead of winter

      I didn’t learn this until I was 25.

      Merry Christmas to you too commish.

      1. My kids learned it on Wednesday as we were driving home from the mall. The look of confusion on their faces was priceless.

        1. I hope you then beat them mercilessly. That’s what I do to my kids of they ever look confused. Confusion is a sign of mental weakness – never show it! A real man always knows exactly what’s going on and understands the situation perfectly!

          1. I hope you then beat them mercilessly.

            Never around the holidays.

            1. Never around the holidays.

              Is “the holidays” your families slang for “the genitals”?

              1. There’s a Jingle Balls joke in there somewhere.

    4. Well if you are going to be serious, we (my wife sorta made us) watched Havel’s funeral. It was pretty moving in parts (if ridiculously long), especially when they rang the bells and we opened the windows to hear them (we don’t live that far from Prague Castle).

      1. My god you’re insufferable, always rubbing it in our faces that you live in the land of castles and cheap green-card girls (I haven’t been there since the 90s, but I assume those hot bitches are still lined up on the road outside of the German border?)

        1. The chicks lined up on the Teplice highway are only moderately hot these days. Also they throw balloons at the passing cars to get attention, competition being rather brisk.

          1. They throw balloons now? Holy hell, I’ve got to plan a trip to see this.

            Used to be, they’d be lined up in the cold, weary some skimpy outfit and a cheap faux-fur coat, shivering and waving at all the GIs who passed.

            Maybe the same ones I saw are still there, which is why they’re only moderately hot now, having aged.

            1. They are still amazingly impervious to the cold, perhaps moreso. I don’t even remember cheap faux-fur coats last time I passed through. I think it’s a pretty clear example of the free market exploiting women.

    5. We only celebrate Christmas in December because the early Christians wanted to avoid being persecuted and held the holiday during Saturnalia. Personally, I wouldn’t mind having the Saturnalia festival make a comeback

    6. sloopyinca, am I in the ilk?

      1. Not this year.

  15. The story of Christmas is the story of a wrathful, smiting God who had a change of heart. A God who said: “You know what? All those horrible, awful, things you’ve done? Forgiven. We’re going to wipe the slate clean and start over. Yet get a second chance.”

    It’s more like the story of a rebellious son who said, “You know, I love my old man and all that, but he’s kind of a dick, so ixnay on the genocide and whatnot in Leviticus.” And then a bunch of other guys who, being major league pricks themselves, liked the dickish old man and his frequent spells of murdererous rage over trivial offenses, killed the younger guy for his insolence. And then a bunch of people in denial said the young guy wasn’t REALLY dead …

    And so on.

    1. You shoudl write your own godspel.

  16. Confident, charismatic and extremely self-assured Marlene is the kind of girl who knows exactly where she’s headed and what she wants from life.

    With her striking looks it would be easy to think that Marlene is just another pretty face. But that would be underestimating her by a long way. Quite an incredible girl, she is currently in her 6th year at university. Marlene is studying for her Masters degree in psychology, specializing in the area of ‘trauma.’

    As a model Marlene proved to be an excellent poser, she moves like a cat and wasn’t shy at all! She is ultra-petite weighing only 43 kilos and her wardrobe consists solely of Japanese designer clothes, as these are perfect for her tiny frame. She favors clothes in lace and other luxurious fabrics and has her own unique style.

    Very aware of her own sexuality and presence, Marlene is a rare combination of intelligence and allure.…

    1. Yes yes, but what is her opinion on the secularization of Christmas? Be sure to reference Ron Paul’s newsletters in your response.

      1. And WTF is a French Geisha? Isn’t being Japanese a requirement to being a geisha? Jim, ask your wife. She’s Chinese which is about the same as being Japanese, so she should know.

        1. Actually there is Western woman recognized and accepted as a geisha.

          But you’re right, Chinese, Japanese, Korean…they’re pretty much interchangable. That’s why I tell my wife it’s OK if I cheat on her as long as it’s only with other East Asian women.

        2. She’s Chinese which is about the same as being Japanese

          That’s like saying “She’s Irish, which is about the same as being Greek”

          If you were saying Korean versus Japanese, I’d let it pass, but not the actual ignorant comment you made. 🙂

          1. Or…if your sarcasm meter were operating correctly you might also let it pass.

            I know what I’m getting you for Christmas now.

            1. Meet Bubba. He knows his way around a car engine, and his bills show it! He has a low-key erotic appeal in his baseball cap, which is turned to the front, not the back, because he’s a real American.

              He makes the girls giddy as he shoots a stream of tobacco juice from his kissable lips to the spitoon in the corner.

              He already knows all about Marlene, since she is Miss December in his office calendar.

              This New Year, let Bubba fix *your* broken transmission!

      2. She fells the same way about the secularization of Christmas as she fells about Ron Paul’s newletters.

        1. So, she loves both? She’s a War on Christmas-er AND a racist!

    2. Well at least you finally started posting the links.

    3. Where’s my free trial?

      1. Fuck off, freeloader.

  17. Christmas is the time we get together and watch movies like this. Why, Hulk? Why?

  18. It’s hard not to feel cheerful when you know that ? for one day at least?the long knives have been put down, everyone is okay with everyone else, and all is right with the world.


  19. If you drink Pabst, I automatically hate you.

  20. I think most Christians are pleased to share a holiday with atheists. I acknowledge that there’s a secular penumbra around Christmas, which non-Christians can cheerfully participate in.

    At the same time, though, the holiday being celebrated is Christmas – until they manage to revive Saturnalia. I shouldn’t have mentioned Saturnalia, come to think of it, because then several posts will express nostalgia for that celebration.

    Anyway, ho ho ho.

  21. You have to admit that dude is totally rocking.

    1. Airwolf sucked.

  22. I’mnot one to predict the future, but I’m pretty sure that when I wake up the day after tomorrow, I’m still going to hate everyone.

  23. A sadistic God who ordered the murder of the entire population of Jericho and Ai and demanded the death penalty for homosexuality and blasphemy shouldn’t be offering forgiveness; He should be asking for it.

    The idea of Christmas is that people are evil sinners who need to be forgiven, or we deserve to be tortured forever. If more people recognized the mythical monster Yahweh for what he is, that would be a good start toward improving humanity.

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