On the road, over two thousand years ago
Balthasar: hey guys, I was doing up that kid’s astrology chart.
Caspar: what kid’s?
Melchior: You know, that one who is going to be king of the Jews one day, you gave the myrrh.
Caspar: Oh yeah. What about him?
Balthasas: I think we got the wrong one. Damnit, I knew I should have read those Jewish myths more closely. This one is dead in a little over 30 years, tortured to death by the Romans and Jews. That Jupiter in retrograde is a bitch.
Melchoir: But I did a chart and shows that this kid would be celebrated for millenia.
Caspar: So this god made a kid, had it killed for what this god decreed to happen in the Jewish myths and then people celebrated that? But not the Jews?
Balthasar: (tossing his scroll onto the camp fire) This stuff is such crap. When we get home, I’m just sticking with observation and experimentation.
On our road trip to see family this weekend, my husband noted that it was really weird to have a big winter celebration in honor of the birth of a child that was decreed to die in a few decades because of its father needing a death to make itself happy for something it did intentionally thousands of years before.
Of course, the story about the magi is yet another time when the bible shows its failure in making any sense. The magi go into a house, not a stable or manger. Per the story, the kid was around two years old, since Herod supposedly had a massacre of children of that age (no evidence for this either). The eastern orthodox churches have up to 12 magi (which makes me think of the scene in The Life of Brian when the roman soldiers are filing in and out of the hide out of the People’s Front of Judea) visiting which would just be funny.
And of course the actual scene with the magi:
Being happy about a birth that only leads to death and misery required by a god though the actions of its supposed archenemy for no reason is a greedy sadist’s act.
It’s a lot more coherent to celebrate the sun’s warmth, the turning of the seasons and the best things in life: food, drink and the people you love in your life.