Godly statistics

Christmas is just around the corner … And although the Slovenian word for Christmas is božič I’m not talking about Jure Božič, the director of Ourspace (and his team) ... :) It is the most important Christian holiday and it only makes sense that I write a few words about it, too.


When, a few years back, I was working on a reportage on the GRIP project (Greenland Ice Core Project) where scientists traced climate change about a hundred thousand years back into the past with the help of a 3029-metre ice core of Greenland ice, I also visited the LGGE climate lab in Grenoble. Dating the pieces of ice obtained by the drilling can be extremely precise for the last few thousand years. According to Prof. Claude Boutron, who's an expert in the field, they can use special methods to even determine a specific day! And that is when he showed me, as if it were a sacred relic, a small piece of ice – actually, it was more like snow sticking together – that fell on Christmas Eve of year 1, so on the night when one of the most famous mega celebrities was supposedly born in a stable in Bethlehem, namely Jesus Christ. Well, at least that's what some people claim …


Prof. C. Boutron and snow that fell on Christmas Eve of year 1.


We just somehow went along with the “truth” about the date of Christ’s birth, so indisputable these days, but which was in fact made up and first celebrated only in the 4th century after the immaculate stable episode happened in Bethlehem. That is when the need to worship such and other symbols was increasing as the Church started to take control and shape the world to suit it. Or as the ingenious stand-up comedian George Carlin explains in his answer as to why we have exactly ten commandments: “Because it sounds official !!!”





So the date of birth of such an important figure as Jesus had to be officially determined, too. And it was! As if by “pure coincidence”, this magnificent event took place on a date that was considered something special in paganism. The winter solstice was undoubtedly one of the most important periods in the repetitive annual cycle for people who were completely at the mercy of almighty nature. Historian and ethnologist Damjan Ovsec once wrote: “It’s not surprising that the Christian world put a lot of effort into ensuring that the celebration of Christ’s birth – Christmas – falls precisely on the day when Mithraism worshiped the invincible Sun. Another reason was that the date of Christ’s birth is not known. Scandinavians, for example, decided much earlier that their goddess Freya was born on 25 December and the Slavic god of fire Svarog and his son Svarožič are also linked to that date.” Slovenians might find these last two names rather similar to the words for God (Bog) and Christmas (božič). Hmm, hmm …


So Christmas was simply determined to take place during this very convenient time that brought pagans a new message of Christ, who supposedly brought transcendental heavenly light, protection and hope. Well, the Church mostly hoped that the celebration of Christmas would chase away the unbridled and noisy pagan Roman saturnalias and Greco-Roman January calends that were undermining their teachings and Church moral standards. Two birds with one stone, so to speak … And it’s safe to say that this ambitious project turned out perfectly.


When Christmas was first starting to be celebrated among Christians not everybody joined in and the population in favour of Christmas was even accused of idolatry and worshipping the Sun. The cult of Mithra, which was also present in the area that is now Slovenia, was in complete ideological contrast with budding Christianity. It is said that, before that, Jesus’s birth had even been celebrated on 6 January and because they follow the Julian calendar this date is still used by Orthodox Christians.


And what is my stance on all this Christmas euphoria? During my travels I’ve seen plenty of religions and believers dedicated to them. I’ve photographed everything from the Tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem, militant Islamists in the Middle East and Far East to Hindus, Buddhists, animists and shamans all over the world. And all of them, and I mean ALL, were completely, unmistakably and without a shadow of doubt convinced that they (and only they!!!) are the ones who are right and that only THEIR god is the true one. But as I’ve said and written several times before … What provides them with guarantees for such claims? The number of adherents of their religion? Their teachings? Their religious texts? Their sermons? Their God? Their ego …??? And if we dare assume that, after death, we’ll be welcomed by the arms of, for example, Ik Onkar, the mysterious god of Sikhism believed in by only a tiny part of a small smidgen of human kind (only about 15 times the number of all Slovenians combined!); what would the rest of the 7.5 thousand million inhabitants of this planet say? Atheists and agnostics included …


But regardless of this godly statistic, I would, with all due respect, like to ask all believers just one thing: considering the large diversity of world religions it is inevitable that at least someone must be wrong in their religious teachings and theories … Are you prepared to accept the potential possibility of that someone being you?




Copts in the Church of the Nativity.


Orthodox church.


Islam (Sunni).


Islam (Shia).


Islam (Shia).










Armenian Apostolic Church.


Ethiopian Coptic church.


Animism in a Catholic church.




Seventh Day Baptists.


Mennonites (Anabaptists).






New Age esotericism.





Arne Hodalič
Arne Hodalič

My life-motto is “You can sleep when you’re dead!” and I stick to it every day in my life! I worked with the Company “Our Space appliances” for many years now, and together we have prepared numerous successful events, lectures and team-building articles for you to enjoy and read. The best part of it all is when Jure (the CEO of Our Space appliances) comes to visit my family and me at the seaside and together we can grill a tasty fish or 2. That’s when life becomes even better…

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