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L. Neil Smith's
Number 802, December 21, 2014

Happy Zagmuk!

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Happy Zagmuk
Happy Zagmuk

Happy Zagmuk!
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

At about this time every year, I have written an article like this one, initially meant to convey, in the face of Joseph Farah and his fellow chin-dribblers, that this is not necessarily the Christian nation they claim, that the First Amendment wisely sets religion, or lack of it, outside the realm of politics, and that the country was founded by a mixture of atheists and men of faith, with an occasional Jew tossed in, and, who knows? Maybe even a Moslem or a Buddhist or a Hindu.

Let me say at the outset that I am a lifelong atheist, and that I enthusiastically celebrate Christmas. Like voting in elections, it is a part of my heritage as an American, and a proud member of Western Civilization in good standing. It is a traditional period of almost universal hope for peace and understanding. Despite two thousand fourteen iterations, it doesn't seem to have done any more good than voting, but it's something we share and a moment of good feeling. I love it when workers in stores wish me "Merry Christmas!" and hate it when they have to look around gultily to make sure nobody overheard them.

There has come a point in the history of every bunch of people when somebody cried out, "I'm frigging sick of all this lousy weather and darkness! Let's have a party!" Ours is Christmas. There's also Hanukah and Kwanzaa. The ancient German pagans invented decorated Christmas trees and Yule logs (no relation to Yul Brynner). In Southeast Asia, they celebrate Tet Nguyen Dan, a festival with sqirt guns, boat races when everybody gets wet and has a good laugh.It's actually a little bit closer to spring, but it's their day.

Ancient Romans had Saturnalia, a blow-out which seems to have set the pattern for every festival and karnival that ever followed. Mardi Gras looks and feels a lot like Saturnalia to me, bare boobies and all. Greeks had something they called Kronia. Druids had the Winter Solstice. Instead of killing a tree they probably hung lights on Stonehenge.

In any case, for all of you out there, from 9 to 92 (and the occasional vampire 920 years old) although I'm trying to say it many times, many ways, Happy Zagmuk to you.

And a better New Year for all of us.

[ Here are the other Zagmuk articles -- Editor: ]

"Mesopotamian Merriment"

"A Message from the Publisher"

"Christmas in Cuneiform"

"Zagmuk, Christmas, and the Whole Nine Candles"

"Zagmuk Conquers All!"

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