Scribbles
By Bob Curtis, Local Secretary

January 2014

We begin a new year with this issue of IMprint. We are still looking for members to help judge the essays submitted from northern New Jersey as part of the Mensa scholarship applications. The judging will be on January 26th. Contact Nisha Zoeller, scholarship chair, at nishazoeller@gmail.com or (973) 541-4881. Consider contributing to our own Wendy Sailer Scholarship and send a check to our treasurer, Bill Holzmann.

In the category of "the little known and less cared about," I would like to share with you an email I received from a friend, Ron Bowers:

Christmas on Dec 25 (Julian Calendar) was an attempt to use religion to overwhelm the continuation of the pagan rituals and sexual and alcohol excesses of the Winter Solstice days and the lengthening of days that followed - a day of new birth. The prior custom treated the 6th of January as covering all of Jesus' life from birth to baptism as the "Epiphany" = "arrival" or "coming forth".

But the overwhelming of partying did not happen. The reason for the parties merely changed names. Christmas became as much of a hedonistic event as the pagan event had been.

The Puritans banned it when they gained control over the British Parliament and the religion dominated Massachusetts also banned it. It did not entirely turn religious and there were still Christmas parties. Those bans disappeared as people demanded that government stop imposing religion.

--Ron Bowers.



In December 2005, I was in China, and I was surprised and impressed by all the Christmas decorations and celebrating taking place in this predominately atheist country.