Today is Valentine’s day and tomorrow is President’s day. Ask most American’s why they get a three day weekend, and to which holiday do you think they will attribute their little bit of extra freedom? Probably Valentine’s day, a celebration of love and a ritual of excess. As most are aware, the modern Valentine’s Day is a cleverly constructed Hallmark-a-day, an advertising ruse designed to prey on our fundamental desire to love and be loved. Love is for sale in America today, and like most items on the shelf, the price has been unfairly marked up. Like treadmills, oxygen bars, and bottled water, Valentine’s day sells us something we can already get for free. We are all racking up credit card debt on the yellow brick road without a Wonderful Wizard to show us that we had a brain, a heart, and courage along. Let us remind ourselves that it is always more important to spend time with the one’s we love than it is to spend money on them. Remember that the more money you spend on love, the cheaper it becomes.
So what’s all the hub-bub about? Is the REAL Valentine’s day actually of any importance either? Not really. The real reason Valentine’s martyrdom was adopted as a Christian holiday was to supersede the Pagan holiday of Lupercalia which occurred at the same time. So the establishment of Valentine’s day has nothing to do with love, it was a power-grab, a religious coup to undermine other competing religions. The completely fictionalized December 25th birthday of Jesus was similar coup to undermine Winter Solstice traditions. This was a typical tactic of early Christianity, a kind of homogenization of religious practices which culminated in Rome’s official adoption of Christianity. While other animistic and polytheistic faiths separated traditions and religious power among various deities and temples, the early Christians sought to consolidate that power into one super-religion. Why worship multiple pagan gods with specific powers when you get all your worship done in one place? Christianity became the Wal-Mart of religion, a convenient one stop salvation experience. Just like Wal Mart drove out small Main Street businesses, early Christianity put mom and pop religions out of business. Just like Wal-Mart threatens the sanctity of American freedom, our country’s continued and I would argue unconstitutional national reverence for Christian power grabs masked as celebrations of life and love threatens the sanctity of our very souls. These holidays encourage us to embrace excess and waste, the precise pillars of imperial Godlessness which Jesus warned us against. This imperial decadence murdered men like Christ and Valentine, and the followers of these men aligned themselves with their martyr’s murderers by absorbing pagan practices into the vast and corrupt mechanism of their religious hegemony. To this day, we pay the price of early Christianity’s cowardice and betrayal.
Now the homogenization of Christian religious practices is firmly aligned with America’s own imperial excesses. Like Rome’s eventual acquiescence to Christianity’s religious dominance, American commerce has become the financial advocate for Christian cultural hegemony. The result is the Hallmark-a-day, the Valentine’s Days and the Christmases. The “Hallmark-a-day” is the festering offspring of centuries of lies, half-truths, excesses, power grabs, and cultural co-opting. How many beautiful and authentic celebrations of life and love have we lost to the lumbering beast of religious homogenization? How many Lupercalias, Solstices, Purims, and Pesachs have been swallowed up by the gaping maw of Christian conformity?
No more I say, no more. Remember that Jesus loves you no matter what you buy, and so should your wife.