by Robert G. Ingersoll
Again we celebrate the victory of Light over Darkness, of the God of day over the hosts of night. Again Samson is victorious over Delilah, and Hercules triumphs once more over Omphale. In the embrace of Isis, Osiris rises from the dead, and the scowling Typhon is defeated once more. Again Apollo, with unerring aim, with his arrow from the quiver of light, destroys the serpent of shadow. This is the festival of Thor, of Baldur and of Prometheus. Again Buddha by a miracle escapes from the tyrant of Madura, Zoroaster foils the King, Bacchus laughs at the rage of Cadmus, and Chrishna eludes the tyrant.
This is the festival of the sun-god, and as such let its observance be universal.
This is the great day of the first religion, the mother of all religions—the worship of the sun.
Sun worship is not only the first, but the most natural and most reasonable of all. And not only the most natural and the most reasonable, but by far the most poetic, the most beautiful.
The sun is the god of benefits, of growth, of life, of warmth, of happiness, of joy. The sun is the
all-seeing, the all-pitying, the all-loving.
This bright God knew no hatred, no malice, never sought for revenge.
All evil qualities were in the breast of the God of darkness, of shadow, of night. And so I say again, this is the festival of light. This is the anniversary of the triumph of the Sun over the hosts of Darkness.
Let us all hope for the triumph of Light—of Right and Reason— for the victory of Fact over Falsehood, of Science over Superstition.
And so hoping, let us celebrate the venerable festival of the Sun.
Robert G. Ingersoll, originally published as
“The Agnostic Christmas,” in The Journal, New York,
December 25, 1892: p. 477 of The Works of Robert G.
Ingersoll, Vol. 11, NY, 1900, pp. 375-376