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It's That Season

Officials in Minnesota removed red poinsettias from a county courthouse because some people consider them a symbol of the Christian Christmas holiday, reports the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune.

Ramsey County Manager Paul Kirkwold had the flowers removed from the hall. Instead, he ordered the installation of ribbons representing flags from around the world and two banners adorned with white doves carrying olive branches and the word "Peace" written in three dozen languages to hang alongside a 36-foot-tall Vision of Peace statue.

People complained, Kirkwold said, so he put in white poinsettias instead. But he maintained his objection to the red flowers. "This is a government building that's open to all people," he said. "We all talk about diversity, but when it hits us close to our traditions, we get nervous."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,40381,00.html


I saw an interesting sign the other day. It was a sign for one of those honey spiral sliced ham companies advocating ordering your "Holiday Ham" early.

This made me think, who other than a Christian would be getting a "Holiday Ham" for Christmas?

I mean, an observant Jew wouldn't be getting a ham for Hannukah. A Moslem wouldn't be getting a ham for Ramadan.

So what is all of this ^%$!! with "Holiday Hams". Why not just say Christmas Hams?

(And no they weren't being cheap and trying to use the same sign for Christmas and New Year's. The sign had Christmas decoration like glass balls and greenery.)

Another sign: "Find out the cheapest places to buy your holiday tree"

Holiday Tree??? It's a freakin CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!


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Holiday Tree??? It's a freakin CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!

Sadly, there are some wannabes that outfit their Hanukah home with a tree. Talk about being insecure.

bigpix
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So what is all of this ^%$!! with "Holiday Hams". Why not just say Christmas Hams?


Ever think that there may be non-muslim, non-jewish, non-christian people that celebrate this time of year by devouring pig flesh?

Or don't people count if they don't belong to the "big three"?

cd
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Why is it wrong to call a national holiday by its own name?

Or should we develop a euphemism for other holidays, such as Halloween, which many people also find offensive?
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...should we develop a euphemism for other holidays, such as Halloween, which many people also find offensive?

Halloween IS a euphemism: All Hallow's Eve in the Catholic calender. It was created to get the people to stop celebrating Samhain (pronounced SOW-en, more or less), the New Year of the so-called Celtic countries.

Moonglade
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FairfaxScott,

Or should we develop a euphemism for other holidays, such as Halloween, which many people also find offensive?

Already happened. The last Halloween Party I went to at a school was called "Fall Festival".

Phil
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Ever think that there may be non-muslim, non-jewish, non-christian people that celebrate this time of year by devouring pig flesh?

Or don't people count if they don't belong to the "big three"?


All people are welcome to celebrate Christmas. The question is, "Don't people count if they are Christians?"
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Holiday Tree??? It's a freakin CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!

The holiday balls are comin' to town.

--Jack (in the Box)
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Smartaz said:

This made me think, who other than a Christian would be getting a "Holiday Ham" for Christmas?

I mean, an observant Jew wouldn't be getting a ham for Hannukah. A Moslem wouldn't be getting a ham for Ramadan.

So what is all of this ^%$!! with "Holiday Hams". Why not just say Christmas Hams?


To which I said:

Ever think that there may be non-muslim, non-jewish, non-christian people that celebrate this time of year by devouring pig flesh?

Or don't people count if they don't belong to the "big three"?


Then FS says:

Why is it wrong to call a national holiday by its own name?

To which I say: Nothing is wrong with it. Why is it wrong for a company to sell "holiday hams"?

He wanted a reason why, I gave it.

cd
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The question is, "Don't people count if they are Christians?"

I don't know if they count. I suppose if they have enough fingers then they can last a little while, at least. ;)

I don't see how a phrase like "holiday ham" would seem disturbing to Christians, care to explain?

cd
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Why is it wrong to call a national holiday by its own name?

To which I say: Nothing is wrong with it. Why is it wrong for a company to sell "holiday hams"?

Which begs the question: Which holiday would they be referring to?
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Which holiday would they be referring to?


Any holiday the CONSUMER wants to associate the ham with.

Marketing, folks. It's all about marketing.

Is it now an insult to say "happy holidays" to someone?

cd
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I don't see how a phrase like "holiday ham" would seem disturbing to Christians, care to explain?

To me, it is eliminating any reference to Christianity from our culture.

In a way, it is akin to ethnic cleansing, but it is cultural cleansing.

Why don't offices have Christmas parties, when the holiday on the calendars I have all say we are celebrating Christmas?

Is it too politically incorrect to say what the holiday is?
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Why don't offices have Christmas parties, when the holiday on the calendars I have all say we are celebrating Christmas?

Is it too politically incorrect to say what the holiday is?


Is it too politically correct for an office filled with people of many religions to celebrate during December and NOT make it a religious based celebration?

Companies don't want to create issues for their non-Christian employees nor make them feel unwelcome to celebrate the PAGAN holiday together with their workmates.

As for the Holiday Hams, I bet they are selling.

Why would anyone insist on having their own religion celebrated by others? Is it not enough for you to have a personal relationship (or lack thereof) with the diety of your choice? Do you need a grocery store to remind you that Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat? Do you need your company to assist you in prayer?

cd
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I don't see how a phrase like "holiday ham" would seem disturbing to Christians, care to explain?

It's disturbing when people try to pretend that a Christian holiday is not Christian. In february we honor the memory of Saint Valentine. Will it become "Holiday Greetings" instead of Valentine Cards? Will that be followed by the "Holiday Bunny" delivering "Holiday Eggs"?

It's disturbing because public officers, sworn to uphold the constitution, are going to ridiculous efforts to discourage public expressions of Christian traditions.
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Will that be followed by the "Holiday Bunny" delivering "Holiday Eggs"?

A poor example, since neither the rabbit nor the egg is a Christian icon. Both were inherited from the Babylonian church, along with several others.
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It's disturbing when people try to pretend that a Christian holiday is not Christian.

I celebrate during December. I take the 25th off of work. I also take 1Jan off. I am not a Christian. Am I not allowed to celebrate as well?

http://www.holidays.net/christmas/story.htm


BTW, if Christians really want to celebrate the birth of Jesus, why not do it in the Spring (when he was actually born, according to most scholars)?

Just because Christians have laid claim to a celebration in December does not mean it solely belongs to them.

cd
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I celebrate during December. I take the 25th off of work. I also take 1Jan off. I am not a Christian. Am I not allowed to celebrate as well?

One more reason that we should retain the term "Christmas".

It is as much an American tradition as it is a Christian tradition.
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Just because Christians have laid claim to a celebration in December does not mean it solely belongs to them.

Not so. The celebration is specifically named CHRISTMAS, not "winter holiday". Other religions have their unique holidays in the same period, each with its own name. There is nothing called "winter holiday". This is a specifically anti-Christian action.
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Smartaz,

>> Just because Christians have laid claim to a celebration in December does not mean it solely belongs to them.

Not so. The celebration is specifically named CHRISTMAS, not "winter holiday". Other religions have their unique holidays in the same period, each with its own name. There is nothing called "winter holiday". This is a specifically anti-Christian action.


Let's say I've been sending Christmas cards for many years. Now assume I make a number of new friends some of which are Jewish. If I want to send cards to all my friends, but not risk offending my Jewish friends by saying "Merry Christmas", might I not choose a card that says "Happy Holidays"? If so, I'd be accomodating my Jewish friends while minimizing the effort on my part. It would not, in any way, be my intention to be anti-Christian or anti-Christmas.

Can you see this concept expanding, for some people, to phrases like "winter holiday"?

Now I'll grant that there may be many reasons for choosing "winter holiday", some of which might well be anti-Christian. But I think it's entirely possible that there are reasons where are not in any way anti-Christian.

Phil
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One more reason that we should retain the term "Christmas".

It is as much an American tradition as it is a Christian tradition.


Hmmmm, ya might want to check with the Native Americans on that one.

Frolix8
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Now I'll grant that there may be many reasons for choosing "winter holiday", some of which might well be anti-Christian. But I think it's entirely possible that there are reasons where are not in any way anti-Christian.

I promise your jewish friends are not offended when you wish them a merry Christmas, since they know very well that Christmas is a popular holiday in this country and they are quite used to it one way or another. Just as you would not be offended if your jewish friends wished you a happy Hannukah. I bet you would not be offended even by a muslim wishing you a happy ramadan.

The situation is that Christians are gagged by this wimpy idea that "somebody" (unnamed) might, just might, be offended in some unpredictable way by any reference to Christian traditions. This is a violation of the right to free expression of religion. There is no such quibbling about mentioning Hannukah or Ramadan or any of the pagan traditions (whatever they are, I'm not familiar with them). There is no complaint about the tree, a pagan carryover (although the poinsetta is uniquely associated with Christmas in recent times), or the drummer boy (a whimsical invention), or lights, or angels, or even the star. It is strictly an anti-Christian sentiment and it is un-American.
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Hmmmm, ya might want to check with the Native Americans on that one.


Another wimpy euphemism. I am a native American. I suppose you mean the indian tribes. They are called indians. I'm sorry we haven't yet adopted a non-ambiguous name for the aboriginal tribes, but in any case those who care about the white man's holidays call it Christmas, the same as the rest of us!
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Smartaz,

I promise your jewish friends are not offended when you wish them a merry Christmas, since they know very well that Christmas is a popular holiday in this country and they are quite used to it one way or another. Just as you would not be offended if your jewish friends wished you a happy Hannukah. I bet you would not be offended even by a muslim wishing you a happy ramadan.

Oh, you're quite wrong there. I have Jewish friends who are indeed offended when people wish them Merry Christmas. Some think it shows thoughlessness, in that you didn't take the time to consider that they don't celebrate Christmas. Others think you're joining the Great Christian Conspiracy. And, yes, some of them are totally OK with it.

Now I personally am a tolerant sorta guy, mostly. I would not be offended by a merriment wish of any sort. But not everyone is like that. I would not offend a friend by saying something I know he or she dislikes, regardless of whether I think that dislike is justified or not.

The situation is that Christians are gagged by this wimpy idea that "somebody" (unnamed) might, just might, be offended in some unpredictable way by any reference to Christian traditions.

In some cases, perhaps. My point was this is not necessarily the case.

This is a violation of the right to free expression of religion.

OK, so let's consider someone who doesn't want to say "Christmas" because they know people who will be offended by that. You wish to force them to say "Christmas", right? (At least, you're complaining that they are using words other than Christmas.) It's your right to have that person say "Merry Christmas" rather than "Happy Holidays", even if they personally wish to say "Happy Holidays" (for whatever reason)?

There is no such quibbling about mentioning Hannukah or Ramadan or any of the pagan traditions (whatever they are, I'm not familiar with them).

I know there are people who say "Happy Holidays" to avoid saying either "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah". I do notice that Jewish people rarely complain about "Happy Holidays", though, it's usually Christians who complain.

There is no complaint about the tree, a pagan carryover (although the poinsetta is uniquely associated with Christmas in recent times), or the drummer boy (a whimsical invention), or lights, or angels, or even the star. It is strictly an anti-Christian sentiment and it is un-American.

Really? I'm sure there have been complaints about putting a decorated tree up on government property. I know the atheist groups here would file lawsuits if government property had a tree with angels on it.

Phil
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I promise your jewish friends are not offended when you wish them a merry Christmas,

If, as you insist, a Jew will not be offended by "Merry Christmas", why are you offended by "Happy Holidays"? Would you prefer to be wished a "Happy Hannukah", or perhaps "Joyous Yule"?

David
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This is a violation of the right to free expression of religion.

Smartaz,

I think I'm missing something in your arguments here. We started out talking about stores choosing to sell "holiday hams" instead of "Christmas hams", how exactly is this a violation of the First Amendment?

I don't see how this particular statement applies to anything we've discussed here. Maybe I'm missing something in my reading, could you please clarify?

cd
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Let's say I've been sending Christmas cards for many years. Now assume I make a number of new friends some of which are Jewish. If I want to send cards to all my friends, but not risk offending my Jewish friends by saying "Merry Christmas", might I not choose a card that says "Happy Holidays"?

Its also possible to buy "Happy New Year" cards. These can be sent to anybody.
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I think I'm missing something in your arguments here. We started out talking about stores choosing to sell "holiday hams" instead of "Christmas hams", how exactly is this a violation of the First Amendment?

Actually, the discussion started out with removing red pointsettas because some people consider them a symbol of the Christian Christmas holiday.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16258626

"Officials in Minnesota removed red poinsettias from a county courthouse because some people consider them a symbol of the Christian Christmas holiday, reports the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune."

The original poster then went on about Christmas vs. holiday ham and tree.

Personally, as a Christian, I think of red pointsettas as a plant. I don't think it is much different from a white pointsetta except for the color.

I think of ham as food.

I think of my tree as a decoration to help my home look festive.

I think the Christmas/holiday lights are a sign of commercialism not at all associated with what the meaning of the holiday is suppose to be. (This goes for whatever holiday you may be celebrating in December.) This isn't any different from various other decorations that grace our homes throughout the year.

In addition, I think that "non-Christians" being threatened by a red pointsetta is as silly as Christians being threatened by a holiday ham.

I find it amusing that nobody in the thread objected to the pointsetta comment. I'm waiting for someone who promotes war to object to the 36-foot tall Peace statue.

Dawn

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In addition, I think that "non-Christians" being threatened by a red pointsetta is as silly as Christians being threatened by a holiday ham.


I let it slide because I thought it was so outrageous that it didn't need addressing. My bad. You are absolutely right wrto the poinsettias.

I'm still trying to figger out what the 1st Amendment has to do with this.

cd
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certainly the stores selling the "holiday hams" have the right to sell them as Christmas hams, but if it is a better marketing strategy, why wouldn't they mark them as holiday?

If a person goes into the store, asks for a Christmas ham, and is given a different price or refused service because the product being sold is the holiday ham and not the Christmas ham, well, then we have a first amendment issue.

jak
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Another wimpy euphemism. I am a native American. I suppose you mean the indian tribes. They are called indians. I'm sorry we haven't yet adopted a non-ambiguous name for the aboriginal tribes, but in any case those who care about the white man's holidays call it Christmas, the same as the rest of us!

If it were possible, I could rec that post for hours without getting bored!
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The fact is that Christmas is a national holiday.

I think taking offense to Merry Christmas is about as relevant as taking offense to Happy St. Patricks Day or Happy Martin Luther King day. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who was just as good a man as Martin Luther King. As a Christian, I would say infinitely more so! (I think Rev. King would feel the same way.)
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The fact is that Christmas is a national holiday.

True, but...

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ

Exactly. So why should Christmas be trivialized by insisting that even those who do not believe in Christ should celebrate it?

David

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So why should Christmas be trivialized by insisting that even those who do not believe in Christ should celebrate it?

Why should it be marginalized in our culture, just because not everyone celebrates it, personally? Why should the majority who do not be allowed to have an office Christmas party? Why should we instead have a Holiday party? Which national holiday are we celebrating?

Why not call it by it's name? Why can't the minority be more tolerant of a holiday that 90% or more of the people do celebrate?

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Exactly. So why should Christmas be trivialized by insisting that even those who do not believe in Christ should celebrate it?

On the other hand, many societies have had a holiday around the beginning of Winter. I can celebrate and have fun, without any ties to the Christmas thing if I so choose. Christmas, after all, was placed where it was on the calendar to "replace" a pagan celebration that was held at the same point in the calendar. The pretty lights on the front of my house may symbolize Christmas, or they may symbolize bringing light to the darkest part of the year just as the Bolivian natives built large fires to bring back the light. You'll never know just by looking at my house. :-)
Ted
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Why should it be marginalized in our culture, just because not everyone celebrates it, personally?

Sorry, but I don't think telling a non-Christian "Happy Holidays" is marginalizing Christmas. It almost sounds as if you resent the fact that Christmas still has a little bit of religion in it, and would prefer to make it a purely secular holiday. Sorry, I can't go for that.

Why should the majority who do not be allowed to have an office Christmas party? Why should we instead have a Holiday party?

Perhaps in respect to the minority. Or would you rather exclude them, just because they are not Christian? Would you be excited about going to an office Channakah (sp?) party? Or a Ramadan fast breaking?

Why not call it by it's name?

Go ahead, call it whatever you like. Just don't jump on other people who prefer to say something different.

Why can't the minority be more tolerant of a holiday that 90% or more of the people do celebrate?

It may depend on what part of the country you are in, but I would guess that in my office, it is well under 90% who celebrate Christmas (unless you count going to Atlantic City on December 25 because everything else is closed). In my town, I would say that the number is probably no higher than 60%. So my question is: Why can't the majority be more tolerant of those who don't celebrate Christmas?

Have a Joyous Yule!
David

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Why can't the minority be more tolerant of a holiday that 90% or more of the people do celebrate?

It may depend on what part of the country you are in, but I would guess that in my office, it is well under 90% who celebrate Christmas (unless you count going to Atlantic City on December 25 because everything else is closed). In my town, I would say that the number is probably no higher than 60%. So my question is: Why can't the majority be more tolerant of those who don't celebrate Christmas?

Who needs to be tolerant of whom? We have a national holiday named Christmas, that celebrates a great man, at the very least. For Christians he is our savior.

It is politically correct tyranny not to use the term Christmas, when that is the name of the holiday.
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It is politically correct tyranny not to use the term Christmas, when that is the name of the holiday.

Methinks thou dost protest too much. Go celebrate Christmas and enjoy. Let others celebrate it or not.

Frolix8
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People may or may not choose to celebrate Thankgiving or St. Patricks Day, which are also religiously based, but no one refers to those holidays by anything other than their real name.

Why is the word Christmas so politically incorrect?

It is a national holiday and a part of our American heritage, whether you personally celebrate it or not.
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Why is the word Christmas so politically incorrect?

It is a national holiday and a part of our American heritage, whether you personally celebrate it or not.


I think the whole point is that many Americans like to celebrate this time of year, but they aren't necessarily Christians.

The only reason to call it Christmas is because, as you state, tradition has dicated so. The tradition of celebrating around the Winter Solstace far outdates the birth of Christ, though, so I see no reason to get bent out of shape when people without Christian faith refer to things like Yule, "The Holidays", Channukah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, or whatever, unless you are bent at getting everyone to accept this time of year as being the sole possession of those of the Christian faith.

So, which tradition is better? I submit that neither one is better and neither is worse. Yule celebrations predated Christ. Romans celebrated Mithra's birthday on Dec 25th. as well as Saturnalia a full month from the Winter Solstace on. Germans honored Oden this time of year. So why should the Christian celebration be the only valid one? These others existed first. If we are to be guided by tradition then we should stay with the oldest tradition, right? All of these traditions predate Christ's birth and obviously the formation of any tradition in America.

It wasn't until the 4th century that Jesus' birth was celebrated by The Church. Pope Julius I created the celebration and appointed 25Dec as it's date (most scholars actually believe that Christ was born in the Spring and that Julius simply chose to accomodate local traditions of Solstace-time celebrations by plunking Christmas in the middle of it).

So what makes it necessary for us to refer to it as anything in particular or anything at all, for that matter? It is by individual choice that we decide to celebrate or not and it is by individual choice that we decide where our traditions should lie. Some of us would even think that Julius' decision to establish his own tradition is no less important than their ability to establish theirs, to include celebrating Holiday Hams, if they like. So I say: let them call it whatever they like. Let people have fun, worship, not worship, be festive, be kind, be rowdy, or whatever. I don't see the harm in establishing new traditions or following existing ones to each person's own desires so long as no one is being hurt. I also see no reason to insist that the populace should be forced to call Dec 25th Christmas, unless you are now submitting to us that we all must be Christians or we must leave, in which case I will say that you'll be hard pressed to get me to leave.

Happy Holidays.

catdaddy


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I disagree with everything you have said.

Christmas is the tradition in the United States of America.

That being said, let me just ask you this:

Taler du Dansk? Jeg har boede i Danmark.
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I disagree with everything you have said.


You do not agree that Yule predates Christ?

You do not agree that Pope Julius I established Christmas in the 4th century?

You do not agree that people can choose to celebrate or not celebrate in accordance with their own beliefs and are free to establish their own tradition?

Then I submit that you are an idiot.

Taler du Dansk? Jeg har boede i Danmark.

That is nice that you live in Denmark. I am quite capable of translating, but I do not fluently speak Danish. Apparently, you are not a Dane, either, since had you been, you would have likely said "Jeg har Dansker". Who cares? My profile is a joke. One that I happen to think is funny. Besides, if you're a Dane, why do you care about American tradition?

Gladeleg Jul,
cd
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Jeg har ogsa boede i Danmark, men jeg ikke feste jul.

I am Jewish. It makes me happy when people who don't know me wish me a 'Happy Holiday'.
I feel excluded enough what with Christmas lights, Christmas music (in the post office), Christmas trees, Christmas cookies! I don't object to any of those things, but if you think there is some wide-spread backlash against Christmas you are wrong! I appreciate it when private companies and/or government offices go out of their way to be inclusive as opposed to exclusive.
If you want to complain about the over-secularization of Christmas, go right ahead, but that's a totally different subject
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It's disturbing because public officers, sworn to uphold the constitution, are going to ridiculous efforts to discourage public expressions of Christian traditions.

Can I get a copy of your Constitution? Mine doesn't have anything about public expressions of Christian traditions being handled by public officers.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...rereading for content...
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If a person goes into the store, asks for a Christmas ham, and is given a different price or refused service because the product being sold is the holiday ham and not the Christmas ham, well, then we have a first amendment issue.

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.

I don't see what that has to do with price gouging for preserved pork, but I'm slow sometimes.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...confused...
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It is politically correct tyranny not to use the term Christmas, when that is the name of the holiday.

"Politically correct tyranny", for those who seem to be a little unclear on the concept, would be me forcing you not to use the term Christmas.

When I say "Happy Holidays", I mean "Happy Holidays" (plural). If I meant "Merry Christmas", I'd say "Merry Christmas".

Interestingly enough, it could be deemed to be "politically correct tyranny" to force people to use the term Christmas.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...sauce for the goose...
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The fact is that Christmas is a national holiday.

True, but...

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ

Exactly. So why should Christmas be trivialized by insisting that even those who do not believe in Christ should celebrate it?

David,

No one insists that all people celebrate any holiday, but they all refer them by their real name. You don't hear people calling St. Patricks Day the March holiday.

I don't personally celebrate St. Patricks Day, but I don't begrudge anyone the fun, or object to seeing shamrocks and leprechauns in public places.

Scott
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I have seen far too many sets of lights purportedly for Christmas in red blooded red, white, and blue. I have great difficulty with that. I feel it turns Christianity into a national religion. That is what killed much of its counter-intuitive spirit when Constatine made it a state religion, followed by Charlemagne's sprited conversion program, and the terrors of Protestant and Roman Catholic conversion which followed.

I prefer Christmas separate from the State. I will speak of Christmas and my faith at work as it comes up, but I will not advocate these red, white, and blue lights at Christmas. Which in many ways I consider a perversion of my faith and my country.

Take care,

Frolix8
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Frolix8,

Get ready for this one. I agree completely.

For everything there is a season.

Red white and blue belongs to patriotic holidays.

Christmas is a religious holiday, that has also attained secular status.

Patriotism, while generally admirable, is not the reason for the season.

Scott
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Patriotism, while generally admirable, is not the reason for the season.

Perhaps, but some would argue that Christmas is a time to truly appreciate the things you do have, and my United States citizenship is one of this things.

I never in a million years would have thought that I'd find christians that advocate rejecting the other good things associated with Christmas.

Susan
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Patriotism, while generally admirable, is not the reason for the season.

Perhaps, but some would argue that Christmas is a time to truly appreciate the things you do have, and my United States citizenship is one of this things.

I never in a million years would have thought that I'd find christians that advocate rejecting the other good things associated with Christmas.


Susan,

I respect your patriotism and your faith. I love Christmas and I love the United States. Personally, though I don't associate Christmas with being an American. Maybe because I have lived in two other countries, Denmark and Germany, and have celebrated Christmas there, that I see it as an international holiday. I've heard they also celebrate it in Japan, albeit generally only the secular version.

I like the way Europeans celebrate Christmas. They have a tree and a manger with Jesus, Mary and Joseph, with the Three Wise Men. They have some reference to a Christmas man, but not the commercialism associated with Santa Claus, Rudolph, etc. They light Christmas candles and turn down the lights. They don't spend too much, but get reasonable gifts. The whole experience is much more religious and traditional. I love it.

Scott


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Personally, though I don't associate Christmas with being an American.

Neither do I, but if you object to red-white-and-blue decorated trees, do you also object to other themed trees and decorations? You know, an all silver tree. Or a green-and-red tree. The way I look at it, if an old lady wants to have a blue Christmas tree under which to put presents for her familt, then more power to her.

Sure traditional is great, but considering the good cheer, the charitable giving and social awareness that occurs at his time of year, I think the secularism you detest does more good than the story of the birth of a white guy in the desert named Jesus.

Everyone's mileage, of course, varies, and I think Christmas is what you make of it.


Susan
(I happen to love A Christmas Carol)
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I like the way Europeans celebrate Christmas. They have a tree and a manger with Jesus, Mary and Joseph, with the Three Wise Men. They have some reference to a Christmas man, but not the commercialism associated with Santa Claus, Rudolph, etc. They light Christmas candles and turn down the lights. They don't spend too much, but get reasonable gifts. The whole experience is much more religious and traditional.

There you go with that "traditional" thing again.

Could you please explain how some things have been done for many years at the same time that other things are being done yet one is "more traditional" than the other?

cd
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I consider a religious Christmas with a manger and candles to be more traditional than Santa Claus, Rudolf, Coca-Cola, Frosty, the Griswolds, etc.

It's a free country. You can have whatever decorations you want, or none.

You could define "more traditional" as pagan witchcraft festivals, if you want, (not that you are), but that is not what most people would understand as a traditional Christmas.


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It's a free country. You can have whatever decorations you want, or none.

For the record, I think I can say with confidence that I will never, ever, ever have a red, white and blue Christmas tree. Way too ugly.

Cheers,
Susan
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I also have those purely aesthetic objections!

What would Martha Stewart do? (WWMSD?)
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I will speak of Christmas and my faith at work as it comes up, but I will not advocate these red, white, and blue lights at Christmas. Which in many ways I consider a perversion of my faith and my country.

A perversion of your faith and your country? Goodness. You are over-reacting. Red, white and blue lights are a perversion of nothing except good taste.

Now, if they put a light-up, red-white-and-blue Baby Jesus on the roof, you'd have cause to complain....
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I like the way Europeans celebrate Christmas. They have a tree and a manger with Jesus, Mary and Joseph, with the Three Wise Men. They have some reference to a Christmas man, but not the commercialism associated with Santa Claus, Rudolph, etc.

In the interest of accuracy, I'd like to point out that in Italy the gift-bearer is female.
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<<<<I've heard they also celebrate it in Japan, albeit generally only the secular version.>>>>

This is generally not true. I have quite a few Japanese friends (been practicing Japanese [Mahayana]Buddhism for a long time), and the "seasonal" celebration there is New Years. It usually involves lots & lots of food! and presents too.

Peace~
Rich

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<<<<I've heard they also celebrate it in Japan, albeit generally only the secular version.>>>>

This is generally not true. I have quite a few Japanese friends (been practicing Japanese [Mahayana]Buddhism for a long time), and the "seasonal" celebration there is New Years. It usually involves lots & lots of food! and presents too.

I'm going on what I was told by a guy who lived there for 5 years.

Could be he was talking about his personal experience.

Scott
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Perhaps I can better describe my objections to red, white, and blue colors being incorporated into Christmas. The First Amendment separates church and state. Admittedly, a given person who wishes to merge church and state in their mind and heart may do so, as long as that person is not a government official who is forcing others to do so.

But, I am greatly concerned about the slippery slope. Patriotism becomes identified with a particular religion. In the early part of the 1800's (and the latter 1700's as well) local Protestant churches received state monies. I was aghast when I learned the predecessor church which I attend received and wanted state money. It would seem the federal government couldn't make a state religion, but the state governments were allowed to do so. Of course, this was prior to fairly strong federalism etc...

The concern I have the state/federal government is defined by the B'Hai for example (fill in any faith you would wish), then thte B'Hai becomes defined by the federal government. Thus, if you aren't B'Hai you aren't patriotic, if you aren't patriotic you aren't B'Hai.

Those who founded this country saw the problem. Unfortunately, it was not solved in their era and perhaps has yet to be solved in ours. the celebration of Christmas became a part of the national psyche because the country was majority Christian.

I grew up in an area where, while not a majority, there was a large poulation of observant Jews. I learned from the most liberal to the most conservative was that they didn't entangle their faith into the government. While patriotic and observant in their faith I noted they kept a fairly strong separation of church and state. Whether there was a great design behind what I noticed or not, I do not know.

My Christian friends on the other hand seemed to want to equate the faith with the country and the country with the faith. Thus, causing both the country and the faith to suffer.

The worst thing which ever happened to Christianity was making it a Roman State religion. It killed many of the open and affirming aspects of the faith. The faith had to adapt to being the faith of those who were the rulers and had to forget the maxim of love your neighbor and the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

Anyhow, that is the long-winded version of what I posted the other day.

Take care,

Frolix8
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Frolix8,

The First Amendment separates church and state.

As I read it, it separates church and the Federal government. There's nothing in the first amendment about state or local governments passing laws or regulations that relate to religion.

Phil
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The Constitutions says that the federal government should not establish a federal religion. It then says that no laws should be made that prohibit the free exercise of religion. Liberals love to forget that part.

Schools and many other places have made rulings that directly violate the right to freedom of religion.

People have no guarantee that they will be sheltered from religious activity. They do have the right to practice their own religion.

As a parallel, people have no expectation that they will never be exposed to politics. They do, however, enjoy freedom of politics.
They do not have freedom from politics.

The dominant political groups continue to dominate the public square, although people are free enough to choose from any party, including the communists, etc. if they want.
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FairfaxScott,

The Constitutions says that the federal government should not establish a federal religion. It then says that no laws should be made that prohibit the free exercise of religion. Liberals love to forget that part.

No, it says "Congress shall make no law" ... prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Everyone loves to forget that part. It's very, very different from saying "No laws shall be made".

Schools and many other places have made rulings that directly violate the right to freedom of religion.

What "right to freedom of religion"? Schools are not Congress.

Phil
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There's nothing in the first amendment about state or local governments passing laws or regulations that relate to religion.

The Civil War Amendments caused the first ten amendments, Bill of Rights, to be applied to all levels of government.

Frolix8
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Frolix8,

The Civil War Amendments caused the first ten amendments, Bill of Rights, to be applied to all levels of government.

I see no mention of the first ten. Perhaps you're thinking of "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."?

Phil
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