Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, a bloke born in a shed out the back of a pub.
In his adult life he put forward a simple message – love God, love others. Because he marched to this simple drumbeat, not the drums of the powerful, they tortured him to death.
To quote Voltaire, the famous author and philosopher, “if God did not exist we would have to invent him”.
And even for those who believe we evolved from a firecracker, would they not think that it would be a better world if people believed they should create good for others, even if the others are people who put them down.
The ruler of a small kingdom in Germany – not all that far away from the homeland of the English speaking peoples – decided it would be a good idea on Christ’s birthday to celebrate by giving gifts to poor people. His name was Staniclaus. He became St. Nicholas and we know him today as Santa Claus.
In the night of Christmas, in that terrible war across the lines of the Somme – where in two months 250,000 men died in front of the barrels of machine guns – the German soldiers stopped fighting and started singing Silent Night. This in fact was a German song that had been translated into English. The French and British, of whom we Australians were part, also stopped fighting and started singing the English version of Silent Night.
These things are the message of Christmas.
- Bob Katter