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[P]
Taking the "Christ" out of Christmas

By codejack in Culture
Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:35:26 AM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)
Humour

There is an interesting new twist in the age-old "We poor Christians are being attacked!" movement this year: The "keep Christ in Christmas" movement, attracting wannabe-martyrs from churches including Catholic to Methodist ; Baptists, strangely enough, seem divided on the issue. Some others are threatening to boycott Macy's if they do not replace "Happy Holidays" signs with "Merry Christmas" ones. No information is available from Macy's website about whether the Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hannukah, or Saturnalia signs will be replaced.


What exactly is Christmas, anyway? Definitions include Dance moves, a summer holiday, and Christ's birthday, although this last one claims that it is not actually his birthday, but a pagan holiday (Saturnalia) that they moved Christ's birthday to because everyone celebrated it anyway. Maybe we should take it one piece at a time. The 12 day festival with a burning log, the giving of gifts, feasts, and singers walking from house to house originated, as nearly as anyone can tell, with Zagmuk, a festival to help the Sumerian god Marduk in his struggle against Tiamat and the forces of chaos. This was also the earliest known version of the "corn king" ritual, where a criminal is made king, and all his commands obeyed, until he is gruesomely killed to assist the gods, or make the crops grow. Note the resemblance of this practice to the death and rebirth of Christ, dying to wash away sins, etc.

The Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a festival to Saturn, god of fertility and agriculture. It included the giving of gifts, decking halls with garlands, and decorating green trees with candles. It was because the Romans refused to stop celebrating Saturnalia that Bishop Julius I of Rome declared December 25 Christ's birthday, and ordered the celebrations to be in his honor. He also ordered a church occasion, or "mass", on that day, hence "Christmas."

The Mithrans also had a holiday on December 25, the birth of Mithras. Mithras was supposedly created by Ahura-Mazda, the chief deity of Iranian polytheism, to save the world from it's own excesses, born to a virgin, and died after a last supper with his adherents to ascend to heaven. Followers were baptized in the blood of a bull, ate bread and wine to represent Mithras' body and blood, and held Sunday sacred. Suffice it to say that Mithraism was influential in the Roman Empire, and suborning it's followers would have been a priority for the Christian church at the time.

Now we begin to see why "Happy Holidays" has gained such usage; The alternatives, such as "Chrisma-Hannu-Kwanzika", are both cumbersome and bound to leave someone out. On the other hand, when former Texas governor Ann Richards was told that the state should consider removing the star on top of the capitol building, as it was a religious symbol, she replied, "I don't know, I think it might be our only chance of getting three wise men in there."

The truly disturbing aspect of this situation is the self-victimization involved: Stores no longer have "merry Christmas" signs, and that means that Christianity is under attack? Is Judaism under attack because there aren't any "happy Hannukah" signs at Wal-Mart? And don't even ask about Yom Kippur sales events or Ramadan parades. Of course, the same people who are up in arms over banning nativity scenes from public schools would most likely form a lynch mob if I were to put up a Saturnalia display in my front yard. These people are just wierd.

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Poll
Best response to "Put Christ back in Christmas"?
o Saturn back in Saturnalia 31%
o Marduk back in Zagmuk 4%
o Mithras back in ? 4%
o Cthulhu back in Cthulholiday 58%

Votes: 82
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Catholic
o Methodist
o Baptists
o others
o Macy's website
o Dance moves
o summer holiday
o Christ's birthday
o Zagmuk
o Mithrans
o Also by codejack


Display: Sort:
Taking the "Christ" out of Christmas | 159 comments (120 topical, 39 editorial, 0 hidden)
I have a question (2.66 / 3) (#4)
by CodeWright on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 03:17:58 PM EST

What the fuck is Kwanza?

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

What the fuck is Kwanzaa? (2.20 / 5) (#27)
by chushin on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 09:21:26 PM EST

It's a fraudulent racist quasi-African festival designed to discourage black Americans from celebrating Christmas, perhaps to bring about some kind of black marxist state.

In form, it resembles a harvest festival, but at the wrong time of year. Random words from Swahili are injected all over the place to make it seem more African.

See Wikipedia for more (though last time I checked, the Wikipedia article was absurdly credulous).

[ Parent ]

Holey crap! (3.00 / 2) (#111)
by CodeWright on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:53:57 PM EST

Does this mean that I can someday see an Irish Leprechaun state by supporting Saint Paddy's Day?

Then I'm gonna catch one of those damn Leprechauns...

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Happy non-denominational midwinter gift-giving day (none / 1) (#5)
by thejeff on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 03:28:05 PM EST



how north-hemisphere-centric of you (2.85 / 7) (#7)
by gdanjo on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 03:50:26 PM EST

It's summer here in Oz, you insensitive clod.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Marduk and Tiamat! (2.80 / 15) (#6)
by TheGreenLantern on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 03:40:46 PM EST

God, I haven't heard those names in...damn, gotta be 2000 years! I wonder what those vengeful bastards are up to these days? I haven't seen them in like forever!

Reminds me of the time we all went down to Babylon to hang out, drink some space beer and watch the heathens play. Marduk was all like, "I bet I can convert more heathens than both of you put together", and of course it was on at that point. So Tiamat leads off with an earthquake or something, and Marduk is over in Persia whipping them up on some kind of religious jihad. So I said "Amateurs, watch this!" and whipped out my Perfect Love Of The One True God spell, and.....

Oh, now I remember. Perfect Love Of The One True God blinked them and all other dieties out of existance that day. You know now that I think about it they did tell us something about never using that spell in God School, but shit, I'd had more than a couple space beers, and....huh, what do you know, I'd forgotten about that. Oh well, sorry about that Marduk and Tiamat. But since you never existed now anyway, I guess you probably don't care that much.

- Peace out, Jehovah

It hurts when I pee.
said like (none / 0) (#10)
by vivelame on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 05:04:59 PM EST

Jehovah actually existed.

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
lol what (1.00 / 14) (#9)
by Your Moms Cock on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 04:28:18 PM EST




--
Mountain Dew cans. Cat hair. Comic book posters. Living with the folks. Are these our future leaders, our intellectual supermen?

Not being a yankee. (none / 0) (#13)
by caine on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 06:39:11 PM EST

We don't celebrate Christmas anyway. We celebrate Jul. No pussy "changing the name to something christissy".

Also note that the 'midvinterblot' occurs on the 23rd. That's winter solstice sacrifice for those of you not up on your Swedish. Alot of cultures have celebrated winter solstice so that's probably a big reason too why this time of year is so big.

--

yeah (none / 0) (#16)
by white light on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 07:25:15 PM EST

God Jul, självy man!


..do you really want to help foster this type of laziness?
[ Parent ]
Kjeft svensker :-DDD (none / 0) (#26)
by trezor on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 09:18:19 PM EST

God Jul og godt nyttår som man sier i Norge.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
God Jul och gott nytt år :) [NT] (none / 0) (#40)
by caine on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:42:35 AM EST


--

[ Parent ]

God Jul! (none / 0) (#45)
by mikael_j on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 08:33:37 AM EST

Ikväll blir det en traditionell jul med några timmar med släkten och sen öl med kompisarna för att försöka glömma all hemsk julstress.

/Mikael
We give a bad name to the internet in general. - Rusty
[ Parent ]

God Jul! (none / 0) (#89)
by tetsuwan on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 07:00:04 AM EST


Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Gott S:t Luciasfestdag (none / 0) (#114)
by yarbo on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 01:31:04 AM EST

Förlåt för mitt dåligt svenska. Jag är amerikansk.

[ Parent ]
Well, it's cute (3.00 / 3) (#14)
by buck on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 06:41:49 PM EST

but there's nothing new here. This pretty much happens every year. "Happy Birthday, Jesus. The reason for the season." Hell, and I always thought it was about someone named Chris.
-----
“You, on the other hand, just spew forth your mental phlegmwads all over the place and don't have the goddamned courtesy to throw us a tissue afterwards.” -- kitten
Re: What's in a name? (none / 0) (#50)
by Democratus on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 09:23:07 AM EST

Funny thing is, his name wasn't even Jesus.


[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 0) (#113)
by Xptic on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 12:07:22 AM EST

Or are you just a bit confused?  Christ means savior or something like that.  Jesus of Nazarath was suposedly his name.  Or something like that.  It probably wasn't exactly 'Jesus' in the way we pronounce it, but then agian, seing how the Japanese mangle my name, I can see how 2000 year old Aramaic doesn't really work today...

[ Parent ]
His name was probably (none / 0) (#124)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 09:13:52 PM EST

Joshua ben Josef. (Josh, son of Joe) "Jesus" is apparently the romanized form of his name.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]
Actually: Yahshua Ben Yosef (3.00 / 2) (#148)
by Wateshay on Thu Dec 30, 2004 at 11:26:11 AM EST

There was no J in ancient Hebrew (or Greek or Latin for that matter). It's also often written as Yeshua, but I've heard that Yahshua is even more correct. Jesus is indeed the Romanized form of his name, by way of the Latin form: Iesous. It was actually a common name, and appears many other times in the Bible.

"If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for everyone else."


[ Parent ]
Origins & freedom of speech (none / 0) (#20)
by gizzlon on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 08:40:47 PM EST

The origins of christmas seems very complex and not at all given. It seems obvious that its not biblical though. Even so, the christmas we celebrate in the west has a long christian heritage and I guess thats what those who fight to "keep Christ in christmas" is fighting to keep.

For some reason I get the impression thats freedom of speech is threatened in the US, when christmas stuff is banned because its "too religous", is this waay off?

aanyway intersting reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas#Theories_regarding_the_origin_of_the_date_of_Christmas

g

Sort of (none / 0) (#38)
by Perpetual Newbie on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 02:38:43 AM EST

For some reason I get the impression thats freedom of speech is threatened in the US, when christmas stuff is banned because its "too religous", is this waay off?

That would be the case if that was the case, but all the fuss is whether the government can use its power to promote a specific religion, which in the US was decided a long long time ago with the 1st, 9th, and 14th amendments to the US Constitution. The word "public" in the sense here doesn't mean just anything that is out in public that can be seen, but specifically government organs.



[ Parent ]
Culture wars. Again. Surprise! <yawn> (none / 0) (#86)
by killmepleez on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 11:20:16 PM EST

The origins of christmas seems very complex and not at all given. It seems obvious that its not biblical though. Even so, the christmas we celebrate in the west has a long christian heritage and I guess thats what those who fight to "keep Christ in christmas" is fighting to keep.
Precisely. You'll rarely find an honest example of the modern Dobson-style politicized xtian fighting a real attempt to prevent their individual, personal practice of tenets derived directly from the Scriptures. Instead, what they are defending is their religious ethnicity and its ongoing, 1700-year rise to global hegemony.

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
Think you'll find both (none / 1) (#92)
by gizzlon on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 11:03:09 AM EST

but I see your point. Think its more common in the US though .. The problem is not that people fight for their ethnicity, (ok, it can be) but they should'nt pretend to fight for Christianity if its merely an political issue. Then again I dont think people do this on purpose, it can be hard to differ.

g
[ Parent ]
"These people are just wierd." (1.00 / 2) (#25)
by trezor on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 09:15:57 PM EST

Agreed. But so do I also for any religious person.

For your information. I'll vote a +1 for it anyway if it enters voting.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

Yup (2.71 / 7) (#30)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 10:13:16 PM EST

I know some nice Christians.  But there sure are a lot of them that love to act like victims while viciously attacking those whom they hate.

By the way, you did show an interesting progression.  Christmas was orginally about Saturn, the god of the ancient Romans.  Then it was about Jesus who was the new god.  Now it is about our god, money.

Anyway what about getting rid of Christmas all together?  Now that I'm an adult I'm starting to realize that all my friends and coworkers hate it.  I hate it too.  I'm fat and poor and Christmas only makes both problems worse.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

I see. (1.66 / 3) (#47)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 08:36:03 AM EST

I know some nice Christians.  But there sure are a lot of them that love to act like victims while viciously attacking those whom they hate.

That about sums up many of the liberals on k5. Playing the victim is a popular pasttime these days.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]

Getting rid of Christmas... (none / 1) (#56)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 11:14:13 AM EST

Actually, I can agree with this - I'd love to see Christmas "downgraded" so that it was simply on par with other winter festivals.

On the other hand - despite the political bah-humbug going on, there is still something to say for spending several days celebrating the whole peace-on-earth-goodwill-towards-men  meme.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]

It's All About Meme Infection (none / 1) (#82)
by Peahippo on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 09:31:51 PM EST

You get rid of Christmas by not participating in it for sound reasons that you relate to others as occasions demand. Gross materialism alone will win people over to your viewpoint that Christmas has lost the essential elements of increased social structure and peaceful religious practice. Play on that terrible motivator and you will find that anti-Christmas sentiment can only grow.

Why do you think you know so many people who hate Christmas? Some policy of meme infection must be occuring. Help it along. Talk to people. Write editorials. Dare to post a sign that says "TAKE THE MONEY OUT OF CHRISTMAS".

I've yet to see anything like "CHRIST DIDN'T HAVE A CREDIT CARD" posted anywhere. If I do, I'll know that my meme will have finally reached critical levels of population penetration and a true Christmas will be in reach.


[ Parent ]
Resection (1.60 / 5) (#31)
by thelizman on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 11:28:55 PM EST

It's not particularly funny, but there is irony. Apropos, this is more of an Editorial with a tongue and cheek twist. Or, it's a troll and I missed it. Either way, Christians - and you should differentiate between Christians and Evangelical Christians - aren't worried so much about people using "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". It's when school choirs are served papers by ACLU lawyers enjoining them from performing any traditional holiday music which mentions any word even remotely found in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, yet encourages the singing of traditional songs from Islam (which doesn't celebrate Jesus's birth any more than they celebrate any of the other prophets who came before Mohammed), Kwanzaa (a secular holiday which is an amalgamation of traditional African customs, but for all intents and purposes didn't exist until the 60's), or Hinduism which - lock the doors - exhalt the Galilean in texts such as the Rig Veda.

It's funny to watch - the Militant Secularists are handing wood, matches, and gasoline to the Evangelical Christians. Burn baby burn.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Schools (2.50 / 2) (#37)
by Xptic on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 01:38:37 AM EST

Religious celebration belongs in homes and churches...not in our schools.

However, having christians learn about other religions is a good expendature of tax dollars.  Find me a Jew who has never heard of christmas...actually, find anyone in America who has no clue about christmas, and I'll agree that christianity should be taught in a school.  However, having a majority learn about the culture and beliefs of the minority that surounds them will make us all a little more tollerant.

Everyone knows about christians.  Everyone knows about their own beliefs.  What they need is to learn about other's beliefs.  So, teach what people don't know.

[ Parent ]

Aaaah, the collectivist mindset... (1.66 / 3) (#51)
by thelizman on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 09:23:56 AM EST

Thank you for determining what people should and shouldn't learn. I'm so glad we have people like you to make that decision for us. Point in fact, however, you are not only terribly misguided, but completely wrong. Religious celebration, much like religion itself, is a personal act, and not you nor the government nor anyone else has the right to determine where and when an individual or community might engage in observances. Secondly, you are sadly mistaken in assuming people are aware of Christmas. The mere fact that retailers celebrate Christmas more than anyone else ought to exemplify that. Third, you make a blatent assumption that everyone holds the same Christmas beliefs, and therefore there is no need for such observance. In short, you are a terribly terribly bigoted person.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Schools are collectivist you dipshit! (1.00 / 3) (#62)
by communistpoet on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 12:53:55 PM EST

The are funded by the fucking government, GO TO HELL YOU RANDROID!

We must become better men to make a better world.
[ Parent ]
Deduct 10 IQ Points (2.33 / 3) (#80)
by thelizman on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 09:14:00 PM EST

No, they're communal. Which implies they should reflect the attitudes and wishes of the community. Not some central planning authority, as in a collectivist system. Now kindly go re-evaluate your worldview.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Far from everyone. (2.66 / 3) (#52)
by Eight Star on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 09:57:30 AM EST

I know a high schooler who knew essentialy nothing about any bible stories. A few scraps of details, probably gleaned from the culture, but not one story that was anywhere near complete or correct. To many people Moses, Abraham, Jesus, and the rest are essentially the same bearded person.
I am definitely not Christian, I Fully support the complete separation of church and state, I also want to see Bible stories taught in school, at at least the same level that the greek myths are taught at, for exactly the same reason.

[ Parent ]
The thing about teaching bible stories (none / 0) (#110)
by CompUComp on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:43:39 PM EST

The sticky issue of teaching bible stories is that some treat them as fact and some treat them as fiction. And while they may be taught for purposes of cultural literacy only, it doesn't mean that some one wont piggyback their own agenda wheather it be pro or con on them.

Everyone universally beleives that greek mythology is false.

---
Howard Dean 2004
[ Parent ]

Not everyone (n/t) (none / 0) (#112)
by nanobug on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:59:17 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Diversity? (none / 0) (#59)
by ZephyrXero on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 11:38:48 AM EST

Aren't our public schools supposed to promote diversity? What's next, do you want to take Black History month out just b/c you aren't black? To say there should be no Christianity in schools says that they are unimportant and that is discrimination.
"Of all the forces of nature, never underestimate the power of human stupidity."
[ Parent ]
Do you know anything about teaching music? (none / 0) (#158)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Jan 03, 2005 at 02:17:09 PM EST

I'm the husband of a certified music teacher.  She currently teaches in a charter school which only does Kwanzaa, but she's taught elsewhere before.  She's also Pagan.  She's always taught Christmas songs (and other winter holidays -- big into multiculturalism).

There are two very solid reasons for having Christmas music in a winter concert.  First, the vast majority of parents are Christian, and even many secular parents celebrate Christmas.  They want to hear their kids sing Christmas carols, because our culture associates them with winter and warm-fuzzy images like close families.  The families would be outraged if Christmas music was excluded while music from other religious traditions was not.

Second, a large portion of music written in the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods -- which kids should be studying -- was Christian religious music.  A lot of folk song is, too.  When teaching a child, one wants to relate to something they find familiar.  Using Christmas music helps tie the majority of kids to the task of learning the music.

Really, the whole disestablishment clause is about keeping the government from promoting a specific religion, it was never intended to keep all traces of religion out of public view.  As long as the school tries to treat Christian holidays and ideas on par with other cultures and religions, there is no problem.  The ACLU usually gets involved when a school requires a student to, say, sing a Christmas carol when their religious beliefs (or lack thereof) would prevent them.

For example, a child that didn't feel right singing Christmas carols because of being secular should have the right not to be penalized for not participating in that part of the concert.  However, the school would be doing ill if they punished that student, or if the entire concert was solely Christmas music.
--
I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

[ Parent ]

when did this happen? (none / 1) (#39)
by Morkney on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 04:40:02 AM EST

To what incident or incidents are you referring when you claim that the ACLU has forbidden choirs from singing any Christian religious songs, while encouraging the singing of other religious songs?

[ Parent ]
Dear Literacy Challenged Customer (1.00 / 2) (#49)
by thelizman on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 09:18:45 AM EST

I didn't say they had. It is a concern of some. Given the ACLU's actions, I'd be very suprised if it doesn't happen in this year or the next. Other groups, however...
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
that's ridiculous liz (none / 0) (#53)
by WetherMan on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 10:30:05 AM EST

the ACLU would never go anti-christian like that, at the most they'd be pro-secular and want no religious songs performed at all, including christian, islam and jewish, but they'd never be explicitly anti-christian.

not that this would ever happen anyway, but you seem to hate the aclu anyway, so...
---
fluorescent lights make me look like old hot dogs
[ Parent ]

What, you mean they'd never do things like (none / 0) (#55)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 11:10:49 AM EST

complain about a cross on a public seal, while giving a pass to the pagan goddess on the same seal?

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]
They will sue apple next (1.20 / 5) (#61)
by communistpoet on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 12:51:44 PM EST

mac fag. hope the ACLU shuts down apple. Fucking religous nuts.

We must become better men to make a better world.
[ Parent ]
You gotta work on your trolls some more. (none / 0) (#71)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:04:01 PM EST

Since Apple isn't the government, the ACLU couldn't care less what they do. On the other hand, the Society for the Prevention of Fruit Defamation in going to be all over your ass for referring to Apple users as "fags".

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]
I trolled you successfully (none / 0) (#128)
by communistpoet on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 01:42:50 AM EST

I purposely put mistakes in because it drives people like you crazy.

We must become better men to make a better world.
[ Parent ]
well, we could say (none / 1) (#64)
by WetherMan on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 02:26:43 PM EST

that nobody worships that certain pagan goddess, while lots of people worship the cross.  it's not credible to say that the state sanctions worship of that particular pagan goddess, while it is much easier to say that the state does sanction worship of the cross.
---
fluorescent lights make me look like old hot dogs
[ Parent ]
Errr.... Point taken but... (none / 1) (#70)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:02:20 PM EST

No one worships "the cross" - the cross is a symbol representing a religion, just as the star of david represents judaism.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]
right, i'll agree on that point (none / 0) (#117)
by WetherMan on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 11:20:07 AM EST

but the outcome is still the same, the cross still represents a faith.
---
fluorescent lights make me look like old hot dogs
[ Parent ]
True. (nt) (none / 0) (#122)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 08:44:11 PM EST



RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]
The cross was historical (none / 0) (#88)
by Skywise on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 03:20:16 AM EST

The cross was on the seal because Los Angeles was founded originally as a spanish catholic mission until the US got it as part of the Mexican-American War.

It wasn't there to promote a belief in God...it was there as a legacy symbol.

[ Parent ]

You use the present tense (2.50 / 2) (#96)
by Benny Cemoli on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 01:52:20 PM EST

To speculate about something that may happen in the future?

Seems to me you made up some crap that isn't true, got called on it, and are now backpedaling.


"the fabric of space quivers at the touch of even a microbe."
[ Parent ]

Where is this coming from? (none / 0) (#57)
by codejack on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 11:18:29 AM EST

If you'll look, the only time the word "Christian" appears in my story at all is referring to the movement claiming that "Christians are under attack." If you're not claiming that "Christians are under attack," then I would think it obvious that I wasn't referring to you, right?

Other than that, you should be glad that I even bother to capitalize the word "Christian," which you can put down to the mellowness of the Cthulholiday season; Of course, I will still not be capitalizing the word "god."

As for the ACLU, they don't have the balls to do anything like what you're talking about. I don't mind singing Christmas songs, but if they do, they should include Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, etc. songs in the program as well; How do you think the "evangelical Christians" will react to their children being asked to sing Jo Saturnalia! in the school play?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
"Evangelical Christians" (1.75 / 4) (#81)
by fenix down on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 09:21:11 PM EST

There's no need to differentiate.  There are Christians, and then there are Satanists.  Christians follow the Pope.  Satanists don't.

[ Parent ]
hi you stupid liberal (1.03 / 26) (#33)
by Your Moms Cock on Thu Dec 23, 2004 at 11:55:27 PM EST

i dont care about these idiot cultists

and you are obsessed with cultists which makes you even gayer than churchies

please fuck off and die

love, the immoralists


--
Mountain Dew cans. Cat hair. Comic book posters. Living with the folks. Are these our future leaders, our intellectual supermen?

i agree with your mom's cock (nt) (1.00 / 3) (#75)
by football fan on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 06:16:11 PM EST



Don't reply to my comment, RATE my comment

[ Parent ]
I, however, found your moms cock disagreeable. (none / 0) (#87)
by killmepleez on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 11:27:17 PM EST



__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
man i got some big rofs from that post (none / 1) (#103)
by noogie on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 08:20:15 PM EST




*** ANONYMIZED BY THE EVIL KUROFIVEHIN MILITARY JUNTA ***
[ Parent ]
US Centric, +1, USA USA USA! (NT) (1.10 / 10) (#34)
by Father Knows Best on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 12:23:53 AM EST


Your favorite band sucks.
+1 FP, Cthulhu in poll /nt (1.00 / 3) (#42)
by dasnake on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:51:13 AM EST


Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per un selva oscura
che` la dritta via era smarrita.
Dante, Divina Commedia, Inferno, I, 1
Beat that horse baby. (1.30 / 10) (#46)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 08:33:43 AM EST

It might get up yet.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
Yeah, I don't know either. (2.00 / 3) (#63)
by regeya on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 01:10:13 PM EST

As a church-going person, I find it a tad ridiculous that people have such a fit. We're not supposed to be cramming our beliefs down people's throats. WWJD? Jesus wouldn't cast pearls to swine. Not everyone wants to be a Christian, and not everyone will celebrate this holiday by acknowledging the birth of Jesus. I happen to believe it, despite Jesus not being the first mythological figure having divine-virgin origins, as you point out.

Easter, though. Now that one annoys me. I think a Bill Hicks quote sums it up best:

I've been travelling a lot lately. I was over in Australia during Easter. It was interesting to note that they celebrate Easter the same way as we do - commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus by telling our children a giant bunny rabbit left chocolate eggs in the night.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

Heh. (none / 0) (#73)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 05:11:52 PM EST

Yeah, the underlying images in Easter are a whole lot more disturbing than the gift-giving fat man meme.

Yeah, honey, we celebrate the torture and murder of an innocent man by gorging ourselves on chocolate!


RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]

you really do that? (none / 0) (#121)
by gizzlon on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 08:03:28 PM EST

I honestly don't have a clue what the "easter bunny" is or does .. guess it's just a matter of time though :|
g
[ Parent ]
bunnies and chocolate eggs (none / 0) (#133)
by Jazu on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 03:40:52 PM EST

You have to expect a symbolic remnant of a completely unrelated holiday would be a little weird. It wouldn't be very Christian to have all the newly-pubescent boys and girls in town dance around a giant phallic symbol, then run off into the woods and have sex with each other, in order to make the crops grow better, would it?

[ Parent ]
take the 'rus' out of 'kuro5hin' (1.06 / 15) (#65)
by football fan on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 02:29:56 PM EST

we want our fuckin dough back niggas 70k

Don't reply to my comment, RATE my comment

Greeting! (1.33 / 3) (#68)
by nymia_g on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 03:52:37 PM EST

May you have a happy Christmas! You Grinch! :-)

+1, complete crap by a complete idiot. (1.09 / 11) (#74)
by TLNinja on Fri Dec 24, 2004 at 06:06:26 PM EST



You missed an opportunity (none / 0) (#93)
by jolly st nick on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 12:50:47 PM EST

to discuss the more recent history of Christmas, before it became a saturnalia of consumption.

At the start of the nineteenth century, Christmas very little resembled what we have today, either in its peculiar material or spiritual excesses.

On one hand, we had a serious but reasonably modest liturgical holiday, with its emphasis on piety and alms giving. On the other hand, we had a midwinter festival which had halloween like prank playing traditions and practices of relaxing social hierarchy (see the traditions around they Yule log, for example). But, all in all, it was relatively modest.

Then came Dickens.

His Christmas stories ignited the hypercharged atmosphere of Victorian sentimentality. and Christmas became the Holidays. Combined with the rise of the consumer culture and it is practically the Economy.

Hrm. Could be. (none / 1) (#109)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:20:59 PM EST

I've heard that Mr. Dickens was quite the superstar of his day - the equivalent of Britney Spears and Albert Einstein rolled into one - but the events he describes in A Christmas Carol imply that feasting and celebrating Christmas was already common then - although by no means universal.

OTOH, to support your point, I was listening to NPR today when I heard the announcer assert that Dickens had to pay for the publication of A Christmas Carol out of his own pocket, whereupon it became a huge success. That argues for what you're saying - that the Victorians bought into his imagery, rather than the other way around.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]

Mess with their heads (none / 0) (#94)
by pdrap on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 01:28:57 PM EST

We must all put the X into XMas.

That's a Chi, in case any worried Xtians ask. They're not likely to know their own symbology, so explain kindly that Chi (X) is a Xtian symbol for Christ.


Using symbols (none / 1) (#100)
by derumi on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 04:27:14 PM EST

Seeing as X stands for Christ, and Xmas hence stands for Christmas, it's always been my belief that the correct spelling is Xian. That way it converts to Christian rather than Christtian. And MLWTTKK has a song called "Nervous Xians", which is where I first saw the term. As I understand, pentacles used to symbolize the body of Christ, with the five points symbolizing his five wounds. I seriously doubt many modern Xians would believe that now.

[ Parent ]
Multi-use symbols. (none / 0) (#107)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 08:52:40 PM EST

Yeah, a pentacle with one point straight up is a common symbol for man - see Da Vinci's famous drawing of a man with arms and legs outstretched - although I've never heard of it associated with Christ.

It's the pentacle with the point straight down that has all those nasty goat-dude connotations.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]

Put the Festive back in Festivus! (n/t) (3.00 / 2) (#95)
by smithmc on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 01:32:36 PM EST



Christ Never in Christmas in the First Place (none / 0) (#97)
by hardburn on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 02:56:51 PM EST

As the story points out, Christ was never really in "Christmas" in the first place. Making Dec. 25 the celebration of his birth was a political move by members of the Roman empire to get rid of a compeating faith.

In fact, it's mathmatically impossible for this to be the correct date, since Jesus died at 33.5 years of age in the spring. The date is closer to Sept/Oct, but the exact day is completely unknowable.

The star at the top of the tree and the "three wise men" is an excelent example of the basterdization of the event. These guys were following a star--basically, astrologers, something which was banned by Jewish law. Further, they were led first to Hared, someone who, when told that Jesus was to "become a king", viewed this child as a threat (he would later order the execution of all boys under two years old). Hared told the astrologers to seek out this boy and return to him. The astrologers than found Jesus, but were later kept from going back to Hared by a dream.

In short, these are not the people or images you want to be venerating in this celebration.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


Evil King Hared! (none / 1) (#99)
by r0b on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 03:45:53 PM EST



[ Parent ]
33.5 years? (none / 1) (#105)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 08:49:48 PM EST

Out of curiousity - where did you get that age? I know it's commonly accepted that he was 30 years old when he began his ministry, which then ran for ~3 years, but....

In any case, if his birthday was in late december, and he died over passover (in the early spring) then what's the problem? That's pretty close to 33.5...

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]

That and Other Evidence (none / 1) (#118)
by hardburn on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 11:31:15 AM EST

The beginning of Jesus' ministry is thought to have started in the month of Ethanim (Sept/Oct) at the age of 30.

There are other problems with a Dec. birth, too. For instance, there is mention of shepeards tending their flocks at that time. Dec. is a rainy month in Isreal, and the flocks were brought into protective shelters. Sheperds would not be in the field at that time.

Additionally, the reason Joseph and Mary were in Bethlaham at that time was to fullfill an order by the Roman emperor for the populance to return to their place of birth to be registered (mentioned at Luke 2:1-3). The Jews at the time were already prone to revolt, and would not have enjoyed traveling during a rainy season. So it's unlikely such an order would be made during this time.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
Yup (none / 0) (#120)
by gizzlon on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 07:59:49 PM EST

Its not likely it was in December, and I don't see anyone claming that it really was.
g
[ Parent ]
Not Here, but . . . (none / 0) (#134)
by hardburn on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 04:20:02 PM EST

I don't see many here making that cliam, but I've met fundamentalists who strongly beleived that Christmas is the day. When you try to tell them otherwise, they get out their "Keep Christ in Christmas" signs and refuse to talk to you.

Others know it isn't correct, but celebrate it on Dec. 25 anyway as a general celebration of Christ's birth.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
You do realize that most of this is moot (none / 1) (#123)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 08:53:49 PM EST

because the calendars have shifted a fair bit since then. I'm not sure any of the pedants doing all this work have really compensated for that.

In any case, we Catholic school kids were informed pretty early on that the various feast days of the saints (including Christ's Mass) were arbitrary. The only celebration that was locked down ab-initio was Easter, because it is linked to Passover and the Jews set the date for that.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]

Easter (none / 1) (#125)
by hardburn on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 10:15:06 PM EST

Easter is another interesting case. It at least has the decency to be close to the real date. If you want to get closer, you have to follow the old Jewish calandar to hit passover in the month of Nisan, day 14 (remember, Jewish days start after sundown). This is on the first full moon (as viewed from Jerusalem) after the spring equinox. This may or may not occur on the modern date of Easter, but it's close.

Easter itself is even worse than Christmas. The name comes directly from an old Chaldean celebration of spring/fertility that long predates Christianity. The rabbit and the eggs are both fertility symbols, and its incomprehensible how anyone can relate them to the death of Jesus.

Interestingly, the Gosphels only mention a celebration for Christ's death, not birth (and it's an approprietly solem one at that). Hoarding candy is not mentioned at all. The common, modern celebration is a complete mockery of the only event Christians were told the recognize.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
Absolutely correct. (none / 1) (#126)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 11:25:26 PM EST

Yes, the Christians used the microsoft method to convert others (i.e., "embrace and extend"). In their defense, they were usually quite clear that they were adopting the symbols but not the theology of the religions they were supplanting. Eggs in particular were adapted to symbolize new life from an apparently dead source, and so on.

It's easy to understand why Christmas came to be a major holiday, though. Easter is a celebration of decidedly mixed emotions - particularly in the early days when crucifixion was still common - while Christmas let's you feel good without the guilt.

What's fun to watch is how the marketroids - having saturated Christmas and Easter and Valentine's Day - are now working on the secondary holidays like St. Patrick's Day and Halloween.

Halloween is especially fun - a very "adult" concept about death, pagan gods and lost souls, gets made over into a completely kid-friendly event only to be converted a second time into an excuse to sell booze.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]

Jewish Law? (none / 0) (#115)
by Serge on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 07:34:40 AM EST

I think you know not of what you speak. The ancient Jews were heavily into astrology. The term "Movel Tov" means basically "Under a Good Star"

[ Parent ]
They Screwed up in a Lot of Ways (none / 1) (#116)
by hardburn on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 11:17:47 AM EST

The ancient Jews went against the law given by Moses many times. A few Jewish kings adopted relgions from surrounding nations, many of which involved sacrificing your firstborn. Amos prophisized against a father and son using the same temple prostitue.

Out of all that, I'm not surprised astrology sliped through.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
Christmas for non-believers (none / 1) (#98)
by ak1 on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 03:42:50 PM EST

Today I read an interesting weblog entry proposing to introduce a holiday for non-believers, to celebrate human ingenuity - "Thinkmas". That's a nice idea, IMHO, as it keeps the business cycle event, and still makes people celebrate at least something.

Why in think's name would we want to celebrate (none / 0) (#106)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 08:50:12 PM EST

the business cycle?

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]
Alternative to Saturnalia explanation (none / 1) (#101)
by yet another coward on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 07:22:33 PM EST

I read an AP wire article offering a seemingly credible alternative explanation to the appropriation of Saturnalia one. See http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041222/LIFE/412220336 and http://www.kencollins.com/Holy-02t.htm . The claim is that a Jewish tradition teaches that many great prophets died on the dates of either birth or conception. If Jesus died around Passover in late March, this tradition would place his birth nine months later in December. A cursory googling will reveal more ideas on how Christmas came to be on December 25. Many of them conflict with the popular Saturnalia explanation.

Interesting. (none / 0) (#104)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 08:44:57 PM EST

I've run into the meme that Christ died on the day he was conceived but I never compared that to the time till Christmas.


RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]
The double standard (3.00 / 2) (#102)
by dgswensen on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 07:50:02 PM EST

The great thing about Christianity is that you can be both a moral majority AND an oppressed, beleagured minority -- at the same time! Beats me how they do it.

The easiest way is to realize (3.00 / 2) (#108)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Dec 25, 2004 at 10:16:28 PM EST

that "Christians", like "blacks" and "hispanics" are individuals, not mindless drones who march in lock-step with each other.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]
My Take (3.00 / 4) (#119)
by limekiller on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 05:36:56 PM EST

"Happy End-Of-Year Economic Stimulus Event."

That's what I say.  And I'm in retail.

Regards,
Limekiller

Thank Bob! (none / 1) (#127)
by Gravity on Sun Dec 26, 2004 at 11:25:36 PM EST

Wow, am I ever glad thats over! Happy Orgy of Materialism folks! Where even the most non-materialistic/greedy/spoiled children get sucked at least a bit into the maelstorm of "ME ME ME" frenzy!

Missing the point (2.25 / 4) (#129)
by the womble on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 04:38:48 AM EST

No one tries to take the Islam out of ramazan and eid or the judaism out of yom kippur, either you celebrate them, or you do not.

What people are attempting do to Christmas is unique.

I have attended the festivals and ceremonies of many religions but I see no reason to pretend that they are anything other than a festival of that particualr religions.

TThe other holidays that coincide with christmas are red herrings. These are either obsolete (Saturnalie, Mithraen celebrations etc.) or made up in order to get rid of the Christmian references (Kwa-whatever-it-is teh Americans came up with).

People who take the trouble to delete Christian references from Christmas are bigots who  do not want to see what they dislike. The objection to "Happy Holidays" is that concessions to bigots are wrong.

I do not think "Happy holidays" will damage Christisanity, I have seen Christain communities flourish in the face of real persecution. However if something is been done to please bigots, it is worth opposing on principal.

Thank you. (none / 1) (#130)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 12:24:55 PM EST

It's like having squatters take over your mosque and then getting offended when you complain.


RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]
Nope, I think YOU'RE missing the point (2.66 / 3) (#131)
by jubal3 on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 12:53:12 PM EST

The government doesn't have Ramadaan as an official holiday.

There are no statues of the Koran in courthouses.

The Government doesn't enforce a Saturday sabbath.

What you see in the way of resistance to the "Christ" in Christmas, is essentially resistance to a state-supported EXCLUSIVIST religious celebration.

I don't care wtf holiday you celebrate. I Don't object to you taking the day off to celebrate your religious holidays, I support your right to have parades celebrating your holiday (at YOUR expense, not out of the public coffers thanks very much).

What non-Christians ( who aren't nutcase lunatic fringe wackjobs) object to is state support of a specific religion.

"Under God" in the pledge bothers basically no one. Objecting to it isn't a minority opinion, that minority is so small as to be essentially non-existant.

Contrary to what many religious people would like you to believe, The U.S. was NOT established as a Christian Nation. It was deliberately established as secular state.

In fact, many of our greatest thinkers among our founders were overtly hostile to Christianity. Jefferson was a UNITARIAN for instance, but basically, as were most outside of New England, a freethinker or Dieist.

The whole argument is of course academic. 83% of Americans call themselves Christian. That's such an overwhelming majority that little is going to change any time soon.
Holidays for Christmas will still be declared by the government just because almost all Americans celebtrate the day in one form or another. --Might as well go with the tide.

I celebrate the day, basically as Saturnalia. A great many people celebrate it as this. <b>Religious</b> celebration of Christmas, other than a nodding acknowledgement of Jesus, is vanishingly small.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Comment (none / 1) (#135)
by nymia_g on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 05:18:51 PM EST

"Contrary to what many religious people would like you to believe, The U.S. was NOT established as a Christian Nation. It was deliberately established as secular state." Under what authority was it taken? You seem to speak with authority as if you know the truth. Yet, you simply don't have the data to backup your assertions. Please and review history and read over the manifest of the parties who blazed the trails. Go over the list and look at the types of people who went. Then tell if me you saw a secular pilgrim in that list. Ha ha ha.

[ Parent ]
Jubal doesn't let facts get in the way (none / 1) (#137)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 08:42:04 PM EST

He apparently doesn't see any contradiction in the idea that the US was founded as a secular state and yet has all these discriminatory Christian influences in its government.

Where did they come from them?

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]

Please provide some facts (none / 1) (#139)
by jubal3 on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 05:36:24 AM EST

about how I'm wrong on this.

No SHIT there's Christian influence in the government.

Until fairly recently, about 99% of the Population was Christian. The whole country has a Christian tradition going back 2,000 years. It influences the entire western world!

But influences are one thing, and state-supported religion is another.

The founders had the opportunity to put God in the constitution. They didn't do so. They were roundly bashed by religious folk at the time for their omission. The writers of the constitution, many of whom were about as Christian as Ghandi, could have written that Christianity was the official religion. They didn't.

The U.S. is culturally Christian. you'd have to be blind, deaf, dumb and REATRDED not to know it.

But the GOVERNMENT was constituted as secular, rather religiously based. I'm not making the shit up, do your own damn research. I can cite you numerous letter about this issue from people like Madison, Jefferson, Franklin and Hamilton, all of which are quite clear they wish little, if any religious influence from ANY church in the affairs of government. 5 minutes on Google should convince you, if you have any open mindedness on the subject at all.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Ah, sweet, Jubal. (none / 0) (#140)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 04:32:22 PM EST

We've had this conversation before. I've done my research and you've ignored the reality in favor of revisionism.

The first ammendment prohibits the federal government from creating a federal religion or endorsing a particular religion. In point of fact, the majority of the original colonies had official religions or were created for expressly religious purposes. The idea that the first ammendment bans all religious expression in the government's domain is a late 20th century invention. As you, yourself, would discover if you bothered to read the relevant supreme court rulings.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]

I live in the last state to disestablish (none / 1) (#141)
by jolly st nick on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 09:27:19 PM EST

Massachusetts didn't disestablish the Church of England until something like the 1840s. In the 1700s it was in fact compulsory to attend church.

That said, I think that it probably says something that all the states had disestablished their official churches within approximately fifty years of the adoption of the Bill or Rights. It's probably indicitive of an early understanding that established State churches, while not expressly forbidden under the First Amendment, are not in keeping with its spirit.

[ Parent ]

The phrase "congress shall make no law" (none / 0) (#142)
by jubal3 on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 10:15:17 PM EST

applies equally to the states.

This is the basic premise under which the constitution has been interpreted since the very earliest days of the Republic.

The disesablishment clause of the 1st amendment applied equally to all states. The fact that no one bothered to sue the state for 50 years doesn't mean the 1st amendment doesn't apply to the states.

Under your interpretation, states could ban all free newspapers and citizens would have no recourse to the law. States may give MORE rights than the constitution, but not LESS rights. And express prohibitions like the clause mentioned above, apply equally to the states.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Not quite. (none / 0) (#145)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Dec 29, 2004 at 08:33:00 AM EST

Please read the Constitution again. It underpins the federal government, not the state governments. That is why each of the 50 states has their own constitution and why those 50 constitutions don't always agree.

In particular, please note that over the past several years the supreme court has ruled a couple of times that citizens may not sue state governments in federal court - because the states aren't bound by the same rules as citizens.

In any case, the argument isn't whether or not the establishment clause applies to the states - the argument is whether or not it is interpreted the same way today as it was 225 years ago and why you get so upset when people point out that it wasn't.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]

My 2 cents (none / 1) (#152)
by codejack on Sat Jan 01, 2005 at 01:13:25 PM EST

Amendment I:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The first amendment guarantees five rights: Freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, of protest, and of redress of grievances.

Amendment X:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
This says that if the Constitution does not explicitly delegate or prohibit something, then, and only then, it becomes the province of the states or the people. The first amendment guarantees freedom of religion, so the states cannot restrict it.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
The US Constitution is much more like UK's (none / 0) (#146)
by jolly st nick on Wed Dec 29, 2004 at 10:19:09 AM EST

than we'd like to think. More of it is enshrined in traditions than perhaps ought to be.

We like to think of the "Constitution" as a legal contract, a relatively immutable document. But on top of it there is a body of exegesis and tradition that, for better or worse, modifies it. There are some elements of this which we may approve of, such as the extension of first amentment limitations on the federal government to the states. There are others we might not approve of, such as corporate personhood, or if you are of a different political stripe, federal supermacy (as enshrined in McCulloch vs. Maryland).

Not to detract from its many positive aspects, the US Constitution as a kind of social contract has a serious structural flaw: it is too hard to amend. As a result, we adapt it through legal exegesis rather than a more formally defined political process.

[ Parent ]

I disagree (none / 0) (#147)
by jubal3 on Thu Dec 30, 2004 at 12:14:15 AM EST

I think the U.S. constitution's STRENGTH is in its difficulty to amend.

One of the great weaknesses of any Democracy is the tyranny of the Mob.

It's why the electoral college was set up, it's also why it's difficult to amend the constitution.

This prevents temporary situations fom stripping rights from the citizenry, etc.

Remember September 12th, 2001, or Dec. 7th, 1941.

If say congress had the power to amend the constitution, you would have seen things like Habeus Corpus go bye bye on September 12th.

It isn't perfect, far from it. It's just the best thing going at the moment.



***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Well, to be sure (none / 0) (#149)
by jolly st nick on Thu Dec 30, 2004 at 01:24:12 PM EST

you do want to prevent heat-of-the-moment amendments.

But, what we have in effect is back-door ammendment, by packing the court and by the continual pressure of interested parties, examples of which are easy enough to find (e.g. copyright extension).

It is not possible to look at the paper Constitution at this point and to tell what Congress or the States are legally allowed to do. You must look at the body of precedent and tradition.

[ Parent ]

Pretty much, yeah. (none / 0) (#144)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Dec 29, 2004 at 08:24:09 AM EST

And that sort of law - compulsory attendence - is what the first ammendment was intended to prohibit.

Jubal seems to think to ban religious expression which seems to be what he means by "secular". This is ridiculous, I think, since any government not run by an actual mullah or minister is "secular".

I do find it amusing that in one breath he claims that the current law of the land is the way the country was founded then claims he doesn't care what the Supreme Court ruled before.

Why is it such a horrible idea to believe that the legal system has evolved over the past 250 years, I wonder?

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
[ Parent ]

It bans (none / 1) (#143)
by jubal3 on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 10:27:52 PM EST

specific SECTARIAN religious expressions on behalf of government.

The constitution has been interpreted this way for over 100 years.

I'm not talking about mentioning God, I'm talking about government sponsorship of Christianity, as opposed to the many other religions practiced in the U.S.

There is no official religion of the United States. God is not mentioned ANYWHERE in the onstitution, a fact which was a huge bone of contention at the time.

As for historical court opinions, I don't care what the Supreme court ruled 160 years ago.
Should we be ruled by Dredd Scott?

The constitution is supposed to be a living document. It was never supposed to be so static that rights of citizens were to be restricted to the Bill of rights. Writings by the members of the constitutional convention show this SPECIFICALLY and IN DETAIL. It's one of the reasons the Bill of Rights wasn't in the constitution when it was ratified.

The establishment clause was intended to prevent wholesale religious discrimination. One of the proposals had been religious tests for public servants under early revisions of the document.This was thrown out.

At the time, EVERYONE was a Christian. It was designed so Calvinists couldn't persecute Catholics, etc. under color of law.

200 years later, you have 18% of the population that isn't Christian at all.

Objecting to state-sponsorship of SECTARIAN RELIGION is entirely reasonable and in keeping with the spirit of the document, the rights of the minority to be free from the TYRANNY of the majority, etc.

I'm not a revisionist, you are living in a fantasy.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Well, I gave one example (3.00 / 2) (#138)
by jubal3 on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 05:24:17 AM EST

Thomas Jefferson

some others:

Benjamin Franklin -Dieist
Extremely hostile to organized religion in general, gave acknowledgement to a supreme being but was a great enemy of the dominant Christianity observed in his day.

Thomas Paine - Avid Atheist.

James Madison -Raised Anglican, gave nodding lip service to the church, but as with many of his class and time, felt the church was primarily useful to keep the masses in line, rather than divine Truth. Historians disagree over the level of his faith, but NO ONE has argued he had particularly strong Christian views.

So, quite contrary to you assertion, I HAVE read the history, quite a lot of it thank you.

I dispute the idea that the United States was founded as a Christian Nation.

At the time of the constitution's ratification, ministers all over New England were apalled and scandalized by there being no mention of God at all.

Our whole system comes from an increasingly secularist period. The Age of Enlightenment was all about throwing off the restrictive bonds of organized religion. There was in particular, great scepticism about the Anglican Church, but equally there was revulsion to the Religious fanatics of New England, mostly Calvinists of one variety or another.

Educated, wealthy men of thetime, the people who were in charge, were for the most part, either Dieists, Unitarians or outwardly faithful Christians whose private lives and writings reflect a very tame allegience to the Church, if any.

Of course there were a number who were very devout indeed. Adams comes to mind of course, Hamilton was a deeply pious, if not very observant Christian, Washington himself was believer, though the degree of his devotion to religion has been greatly exagerated by many early historians.

As for the Mayflower compact, etc, who cares?
That's not the USA.

The religious sentiment of the population as a whole is an entirely different matter.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

winter equinox as it was called before (none / 0) (#151)
by dudsen on Fri Dec 31, 2004 at 07:44:53 PM EST

Winter equinox is rougly at the same detes as christmas in the nordic and celtic regions, and historians know that it was an big thing in the pre-cristian religions at most places in northern europe.
Another problem is that the actual celebration of cristmas santaclaus and his elves, in denmark we actually feed them at christmas time, plus the tradition of eating pork and duck, points in the direction of non christian traditions.
The problem here is that Chrismas is an christian adaptions to older religions and not someting the christian church actually invented.

[ Parent ]
Errr. no. (none / 0) (#155)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Jan 02, 2005 at 02:48:54 PM EST

The equinoxes occur in the spring and fall - they are the days when day and night are of equal length. The solstices are those days when the day is either longest (summer solstice) or shortest (winter solstice).

Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had one when I came in here...
[ Parent ]
corect it's just my bad english (none / 0) (#156)
by dudsen on Sun Jan 02, 2005 at 03:46:20 PM EST

yes of cause it's the shortest day of the year that arives around christmas

[ Parent ]
Other holidays... (none / 1) (#157)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Jan 03, 2005 at 02:04:19 PM EST


The other holidays that coincide with christmas are red herrings.
Yes.  Let's completely trivialize the spirituality of anyone whose religious beliefs encourage them to celebrate celestial events (like, say the Winter Solstice) rather than the birth of a deity they don't believe in.  And screw Chanukah while we're at it, those Jews don't know anything about the season -- they've only been around for a few thousand years, after all.

Seriously, I'm aware that there are those who make up their own Christmastime holidays so as to have a convenient justification for not participating (cough Kwanzaa[0]).  Because, you know, just saying "I don't celebrate Christmas" would take actual courage.  But that doesn't automatically mean that everyone who observes a holiday near Christmas is automatically copping out.  There are a few people who have entirely valid religious celebrations near Christmas, and it is a bit unreasonable to suggest such celebrations are "red herrings".

[0] Kwanzaa: my wife teaches at an African-Culture immersion charter school; I've seen more about the history and ideals of Kwanzaa than most.  It's actually not a bad holiday, taken on its own merit -- it encourages good values and all -- but it is devoid of any real history, and the date seems to have been picked to mesh with Christmas.  Kwanzaa celebrants can still celebrate Christmas if they choose, but it's close enough that those who choose Kwanzaa exclusively don't have kids that feel "left out" of Christmas.  Truly odd.

--
I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

[ Parent ]

Not true (none / 0) (#159)
by Eccles on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 10:18:40 AM EST

What people are attempting do to Christmas is unique.

Nonsense. What people are attempting to do to Christmas is exactly what Christians did to the pre-existing holidays.

I would not call myself a Christian, but I celebrate Christmas, with all the Santa Claus, elves, gift-giving, lights, trees, and multiple versions of "A Christmas Carol." Many of these, of course, have roots in Christianity, just as many of the Xmas traditions have links to the older celebrations.

So what's the problem? To me, the problem is Christians saying "No, no, you're doing it wrong, you should be putting Jesus back in your holiday", when he was never there for me -- and many others -- in the first place.

[ Parent ]
Another 25th Day Source (none / 1) (#132)
by projectpaperclip on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 02:58:21 PM EST

Hannuakah always begins at sundown on the 25th day of the Jewish month Kislev (lunar calendar)

For the curious... (none / 0) (#136)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Dec 27, 2004 at 08:39:04 PM EST

The American Spectator has an article about how christians have been fighting about the pagan and material influences in Christmas for 1500 years now.

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
Reason magazine has a nice editorial, too (3.00 / 2) (#150)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Dec 30, 2004 at 02:13:25 PM EST

Cathy Young points out the real problem with Christmas is the hyperbole on both sides

RUN !! IT?S AN ATTACK OF THE ?WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS? NAZIS!!!! - Brian Crouch
I love Cathy Young. /nt (none / 0) (#153)
by skyknight on Sun Jan 02, 2005 at 08:30:38 AM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
"Iranian Polytheism" (none / 1) (#154)
by starrynight on Sun Jan 02, 2005 at 01:10:10 PM EST

I don't know anything about this "Mithras" holiday you mention, but Ahura-Mazda is the chief (and only) deity in Zoroastrianism, which is basically monotheistic, or possibly dualistic, but definitely NOT polytheistic.

Taking the "Christ" out of Christmas | 159 comments (120 topical, 39 editorial, 0 hidden)
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