I can understand why some people might have too little faith in their convictions to laugh at themselves or a fundamental belief system that would prevent them from seeing the tongue-in-cheek nature of my previous comments so let me briefly qualify some of the facts I mentioned about Christian and Pagan festivals.
It’s certainly true that Christianity and Paganism have not shared a harmonious existence. This is because the Pagan festivals of winter and spring were in existence way before Mary got knocked up by some super-powered divine semen and were hijacked by Christians in order to make Christianity more appealing to the Pagan masses. The exchanging of Easter Eggs is an excellent example of this. Quite what a mythical bunny that lays chocolate eggs has to do with Jesus getting nailed to a cross and rising again three days later is beyond me. But look at the Pagan beliefs of fertile Mother Nature’s springtime rebirth and it all becomes clear.
As for Christmas, the Winter Solstice festival was not created by Christians. There is nothing in the Bible that would remotely suggest that Jesus was born on the 25th December. Is it coincidence that the remembrance of the birth of hope and light into the world in the form of a baby Jesus coincides with a time when people would celebrate the return of the life-giving Sun to the world? No, because the early Christians weren’t ones to miss a trick. In fact every element of the story of Jesus’ life, from the immaculate conception through to the death and resurrection of a miracle working character can be found in mythology that existed in many different guises since man first asked, ‘What are we even doing here?’
‘What has this got to do with the Festival of student theatre we are currently celebrating?’ I hear you cry. Nothing, which is why I just want to mention the brilliant pyro show I was privy to this evening. Sometimes (in fact all of the time) I think techies have a much better deal than anyone else in theatre. They get to play with awesome lighting, mind-bending sound effects and things that explode in a shower of flames and sparkles. How is that not the coolest job ever? Techies, I salute you and your ability to create literal pillars of fire.
If you're still offended by my words then I refer you to the incomparable Bill Hicks who, when confronted with Christians who took offence at what he said, simply replied, "Forgive me."