4 Dec

War On Christmas? [Reader Post]

                                       

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‘Tis the time of year for the annual “war on Christmas” complaints.

The idea is that there is a secular plot to undermine Christmas through the use of terms like “Happy Holidays,” “Holiday Tree,” “holiday cards,” etc. People get downright incensed when department stores and such put up “Happy Holidays” signs.

Christmas was always a private religious holiday until President Ulysses S. Grant signed a law designating Christmas as a national holiday in 1870. At that moment, Christmas was officially secularized (First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion”). Congress had no right to declare a national religious holiday — by designating Christmas as a holiday for all Americans, it was, Constitutionally-speaking, declaring Christmas to be a non-religious, secular holiday.

The following Christmas songs were written by Jews (cribbed from a web site, but I first heard the story on a locally produced radio show of an NPR affiliate station):

The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) – Writers Mel Torme and Bob Wells…Jewish
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Holly Jolly Christmas and Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Johnny Marks was a Jew who specialized in Christmas songs.
Santa Baby – written by Fred Ebb and Joan Javits (both Jews, Javits of the famous family)
I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Walter Kent, who wrote the music and Kim Gannon, who co-wrote the lyrics…Jewish
Silver Bells – Jay Livingston and Ran Evans…Jewish
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – George Wylie (not his birth name) is also famous for writing the Gilligan’s Island Theme Song
Sleigh Ride – Mitchell Parish who wrote the lyrics, was Jewish and born “Michael Hyman Pashelinsky” obviously.
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – lyricist Sammy Cahn and music composer Jule Styne … Jewish
There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays – Al Stillman, the lyricist…Jewis
White Christmas – Irving Berlin wrote this one… his birth name Israel Isidore Baline

Of all the Christmas songs, the one with the largest national air play on TV and radio is the “Chestnuts roasting” song.

All this music was a direct result of declaring Christmas to be a national (secular) holiday. Were Christmas treated the same way as Easter (not a national holiday), it would have about the same impact, culturally speaking — i.e. an important day for religious Christians, but something on akin to Halloween or Valentine’s Day for the un-Churched.

Would we really wish Easter to rise to the level of Christmas, as a secular holiday?

Christmas is a huge holiday in Japan, where a grand total of ONE PERCENT of the people are Christian. On one of my trips to Japan, I was there for several days after Thanksgiving. On every block there was not just one but about a dozen public Christmas trees — everywhere in downtown Tokyo. Lots and lots of silver streamers and other decorations. Lots of TV commercials, promoting Christmas products. Enormous live Christmas trees in the lobbies of the big hotels. And everywhere you go it’s “Merry Christmas” (“Merikurisumasu” –> “Me-ree-koo-ris-mahs-u”). Not “Happy Holidays.”

Huge holiday. All “Merry Christmas” — but devoid of any and all religious meaning.

I personally think that “Happy Holidays” is a much better term for use in commercial advertising, secular decorations, greetings from non-Christian people, etc. The way to put the Christ back in Christmas is to take Christmas out of the secular culture, which means not to force secular people to say “Merry Christmas,” when all they are really trying to say is “Happy Holidays.”

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA
P.S. Merry Christmas

This entry was posted in Holidays, Religion, War on Christmas. Bookmark the permalink. Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 at 4:06 pm
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199 Responses to War On Christmas? [Reader Post]

  1. Wm T Sherman says: 1

    “Holidays” does not invoke the same powerful appeal to common purpose and our better natures as does “Christmas.” Not even close. This is the result of the particular history of the observance of Christmas, much of it secualr, and not Christian.

    Particular, actual history matters. It is not on the same level as a homogenized, smooth pablum designed to have minor impact and to be, above all, centrally managed and predictable. Some people don’t like things that just sort of happened and persevered on their own. Traditions in society that are self perpetuating and potentially influence peoples’ behavior outside of government control are viewed with genuine suspicion by many people. We call them “Leftists.” They want a government certified guarantee, and certainly do not wish to tolerate leaving something lying around dangerously if it just sort of happened organically on its own.

    The underlying fear being promoted is that if people are free to live in their particular history without central approval and control, the next thing you know we’ll be back in the days of Jim Crow.

    I am not religious. I see crosses on a number of hills around town. They do not bother me. They do not fill me with a desire to cut off the arms of cross and turn it into a secular meditation pylon. I can tolerate people who live in their history and don’t bother me with it, even though it is not my history.

    But militant atheists, ethnic grievance hoarders, professional victims, and various busybodies out to sell segments of the public useless prophylaxis against non-existant threats, just can’t keep their hands to themselves.

    Is Thanksgiving a celebration of white supremacy?

    Is Columbus day a monstrous thing that commemorates genocide?

    Because, that kind of assertion is a part of the “homogenize tradition into an unrecognizable beige emulsion” movement that includes this secular xmas replacement .

    These holidays are supposed to bring different people together. Bringing people together without centralized leadership intereferes with the incomes and power of self-appointed spokesmen who seek to provide an unsolicited voice for victims of all sorts.

    How about we cut to the chase and just start openly celebrating our differences instead of seeking things to have in common? That’s already well underway and we can catch the wave. You say these ‘traditional’ holidays are calculated, blueprinted and engineered just like their homogenized replacements. Of course you do — what else would you say? Well, lets put some paper on the drafting table. Working title for the new holiday is “Year Zero” (see Pol Pot et al). It celebrates forgetting the past and building a brave new world where the good guys have their boots on the necks of the bad guys (refer C. Manifesto, K. Marx, F. Engels). It will feature an aluminum pole instead of a tree and the “airing of the ethnic grievances” ceremony. Oh wait — I’m plagiarizing part of the holiday from Seinfeld here. Oh well – if Islam can plagiarize from paganism and Christianity and still be celebrated by the Left, then I think I can slide here. Donate generously. It’s for a good cause — grievance and amnesia.

    Note: Draft proposal includes provision that once this whole thing is set up, attendence will be mandatory.

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  2. Skookum says: 2

    Larry, I expected much more; the opening are limitless on this subject, but you chose a generic skim milk formula. From you we should be reading material from where no man has gone before. However, if we must slog through the mundane in this age of Obama’s mediocrity, I will cater to this lack of originality or cautiousness on your part. You who should be taking a heroic stand that would leave us mere mortals breathless. My goodness Larry, it is unfortunate you didn’t have a creative writing instructor like me to push and inspire you to reach for new heights.

    However, this is the Age of Mediocrity or the Age of Obama’s Mediocrity, so why should we expose ourselves to ridicule for expressing innovative creativity? It is a rhetorical question, don’t bother to answer that one.

    If my fast fading memory serves me correctly, didn’t the tyrant Lincoln set up Thanksgiving as a national holiday to entice people to forget the carnage being waged in America in 1863. Carnage based on the right of Northern States to impose tariffs on Southern states. In the mind of a tyrant, a paid religious holiday would help balm the wound caused by 620,000 battlefield deaths. Amazing isn’t it, Obama’s basic patronage of the masses was set up in 1863, with dollars provided by thousands of employers and it didn’t cost Lincoln a cent. He tried to buy complacency with two or three dollars worth of wages from private people and the people went for it like hogs to slop.

    Was Grant a religious man? Hell no! Not many religious men walked around their camps drunk and stark naked.

    The point is, there is political advantage to setting up a holiday and political advantage in destroying a religious holiday.

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  3. johngalt says: 3

    I, personally, have no problem with people telling me “Happy Holidays”. I know that many people do not subscribe to the Christian doctrines anymore, and even as much as it pains me that they don’t, we live in a country where religious freedom is held sacred (most of the time, anyways).

    What I do have a problem with is the continual push by devout atheists (an oxymoron?) to push Christmas out of the public arena, sometimes by whatever means necessary.

    Our country was founded, partially, on religious freedom. We entombed that freedom within our Constitution. However, too many people, in my opinion, do not understand exactly what was set forth, regarding religion, in our Constitution. There never was an intent by the founders to put a wall up between church and state. The intent was to prevent a religion from becoming the national religion by government force. Therefore, the adoption of a religious holiday was not a violation of this principle, as it did not force everyone within the country to obey the Christian church’s doctrines. As such, Christmas doesn’t deserve the hatred from certain directions that it has experienced over the recent years.

    It’s freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Larry!

    P.S. In the spirit of honesty, I must admit that my birthday is, in fact, on Christmas. So, I might be a little prejudiced in favor of it. But probably not.

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  4. Wordsmith says: 4

    Larry,

    For some of the reasons stated in your post, the converse should hold equally true: There should be no problem for people to say “Merry Christmas” (The Japanese have the right spirit) and to receive that greeting without making a big brouhaha over it. “Happy Holidays” is as generic and colorless as “winter carols” and “holiday tree”.

    I only started pushing back against saying “Happy Holidays” when militant atheists and the ACLU began their “war on Christmas”.

    It is the secularization of Christmas and the mixing of pagan traditions, religion, and commercialism that makes it so universally appealing and all-inclusive.

    Would we really wish Easter to rise to the level of Christmas, as a secular holiday?

    My dad used to hide an Easter basket full of goodies and sweets from the Easter Bunny and we’d color eggs. :-)

    My dad is an atheist who hates religion and my mom is Buddhist. Yet they raised me not to feel threatened by exposure to Christian traditions that are woven into the very fabric of our nation and society. We celebrated the tradition and national holiday that is Christmas; did not discriminate between secular Christmas songs and those songs with more blatant religiosity. My childhood was enriched by having Christmas presents under the Christmas tree, half of which magically appeared overnight from Santa Claus. I loved watching a Charlie Brown Christmas (Linus reciting from the Bible) and the Little Drummer Boy claymation (very religious). Of what harm did that do to me? None.

    If I were Jewish or Muslim, my acceptance and acknowledgment of the Judeo-Christian traditions and heritage of this country would remain steadfast and loyal. I see the tradition of Christmas as deeply American, and “universally” loved with widespread appeal, as demonstrated by your Japan example (my mom’s Japanese, btw, and one of the funniest things I remember seeing one Christmas in Japan was a KFC Col. Sanders statue with a Santa hat).

    I believe we as a nation are impoverished by the cultural eradication of what has been a deep part of our nation’s history for fear of offending those who choose to alienate and exclude themselves from participation in a joyous holiday like Christmas.

    People simply need to quit being offended all the time. And quit teaching their kids to be offended by the inoffensive! I remember during one winter camp with kids, one young girl piped out, “Don’t wish me a Merry Christmas because I’m Jewish!” Oooookaaay….

    When someone wishes me “Merry Christmas” or if more people said to me, “Have a Happy Hannukah”, my first reaction wouldn’t be “I’m not Christian” or “I don’t celebrate”. What I read into those messages is, “Happy Holidays! I wish you peace, good cheer, and good will to all men at this time of the year” :-)

    I accept it in the spirit in which the words are delivered.

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  5. Larry
    hi,
    you mentioned all the beautiful songs of CHRISTMAS, still favorite, and created by JEWS
    IT’S showing their respect and love for AMERICA, they knew to give like a gift for CHRISTMAS
    to the CHRISTIANS, they have endure more than any other NATION, they still do,
    to defend their space they must stay defensive to their hateful neighbor which are growing
    into dangerous beast who hate forever.
    thank you to them for embellishing our CHRISTMAS, those songs will never die
    and CHRISTMAS WILL NOT DISAPPEAR EVER ALSO,
    NO MATTER HOW OBAMA TRY TO LEAD THOSE TO DESTROY FROM BEHIND,
    WE WILL CRUSH THE HEAD OF THE SNAKE,
    thank you for the POST, I think it’s your first is in it?
    bye
    don’t no one destroy CHRISTMAS, it’s part of the MAJORITY,
    and if the minority don’t like it, that’s just to bad, we put up with you,
    you just have to live with it ,this is AMERICA,
    not a foreign nation,

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  6. Wm T Sherman says: 6

    I posted a reply here yesterday. It’s gone. Who removed it?

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  7. Skook says: 7

    @Wm T Sherman: Are you sure you posted correctly? The people who have the access are not really into that kind of caper; some really bad comments are allowed to remain in print. I have made a mistake and posted improperly, only to wonder what happened to my comment and then finding it intact by thumbing back through the pages.

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  8. Hard Right says: 8

    Excellent post Word.
    I pity the militant athiests so full of intolerance and even hate, that they cannot see what Merry Christmas really means.

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  9. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 9

    @Skookum: Skook is full of criticism of people’s writing styles today (talk about a narcissist—“to bad you didn’t have a good creative writing teacher, like myself). Unfortunately, his form of fiction is also devoid of fact. I personally thought Larry’s matter-of-fact, non-political style was heartening—instead of Skookum’s fetish for finding a Communist or Marxist in every liberal’s words. Although being non-religious myself, I can enjoy a pagan holiday—which it was originally. Happy Holidays.

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  10. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 10

    @johngalt: If atheists didn’t take the actions they have, we would still be saying prayer in schools, adultery would be a crime punishable by stoning, etc. It takes these kind of overt actions—often seen as limiting freedom—to make head way. That’s one reason the civil rights issue was opposed during the 60’s—because it interfered with a business’s rights to serve whom they chose. Freedom would actually be enhanced, in my view, if people weren’t tied to a religion. These kind of conservative arguments just impede progress, in my opinion.

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  11. Wm T Sherman says: 11

    @Skook:

    It posted. I was able to edit and save it afterwards. Can the OP remove comments?

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  12. retire05 says: 12

    As is his m.o., Larry takes truth and puts a liberal spin on it. So let’s examine what Larry has said, shall we?

    First, Larry said that in 1870, President U.S. Grant declared Christmas a “national” holiday. Not true. Grant declared Christmas a “federal” holiday, not the same thing as a “national” holiday. According to a February 8, 1999 report to Congress entitled CRS Report For Congress, Federal Holidays: Evolution and Application, written by Stephen W. Stathis, Specialist in American National Government, Government Division, it states:

    “Congress has statutorily established 11 permanent federal holidays, which are legally applicable only to federal employees and the District of Columbia. Neither Congress nor the President has asserted the authority to declare a “national holiday” which would be binding on the 50 states.”

    Christmas is a “national” holiday only in the respect that all federal offices are closed, and states, consequently, decided to close state offices as well. There is no binding law that requires the states to do so, or for private industry to honor those “federal” holidays that apply only to “federal” employees.

    The bill, that Grant signed, was written as such:

    “An Act making the first Day of January, the twenty-fifth of December, the fourth Day of July, and Thanksgiving Day, Holidays, within the District of Columbia. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the following days, to wit: The first day of January, commonly called New Year’s Day, the fourth day of July, the twenty-fifth day of December, commonly called Christmas Day, and any day appointed or recommended by the President of the United States as a day of public fasting or thanksgiving (italics mine) shall be holidays within the District of Columbia, and shall, for all purposes of presenting for payment or acceptance of the maturity and protest, and giving notice of the dishonor of bills of exchange, bank checks and promissory notes or other negotiable or commercial paper, be treated and considered as is the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, and all notes, drafts, checks or other commercial or negotiable paper falling due or maturing on either of said holidays shall be deemed as having matured on the day previous.

    Approved, June 28, 1870 by President Ulysses S. Grant.”

    This bill covered nothing other than the District of Columbia, affected only federal employees, was NOT solely specific to Christmas Day and affected financial transactions only in the District of Columbia. So, no, contrary to what Larry says, it was not a bill to declare a religious holiday, as it included New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July, and it was NOT for all Americans as it only affected federal employees in the District of Columbia.

    And no, it was not making Christmas secular, as it is not within the power of Congress to do so. And it did not violate the First Amendment, as Christianity is NOT a religion, as proposed by Larry, but rather a philosophy. There are many “religions” that subscribe to the Christian philosophy; Methodists, Lutherns, Catholics, Baptists, Anglicans, et al, yet none of them were declared “national” religions, which would have violated the First Amendment.

    I find it also ironic that Larry, in his list of Christmas music, seemed to include on those songs written in the 20th century, although some of the most popular Christmas music are carols or other songs written by Christians prior to the 20th century. Many of those songs were taken from the song books of various Christian faiths. Does anyone doubt that the song Oh, Come All Ye Faithful is not a favorite among all Americans?

    Christmas is a holiday that is celebrated by the faithful on the event of the birth of Christ. Now, perhaps Larry, who claims Catholic bona fides, wants to secularize that day, but for most Christians, Catholic or otherwise, the day’s meaning remains the same, and “Happy Holidays” just doesn’t cut it. Most Americans enjoy the practice of celebrating the birth of the Christ child. Maybe we should lobby that all persons, not of any Christian faith, not be allowed to celebrate that day with a day off with pay, since that is not a law but simply a courtesy granted by employers. And perhaps it is time for Larry to turn in his box of collection envelopes and just admit that he is a secularist who doesn’t really adhere to the tenets of the faith he claims nor holds in great respect its traditions.

    Let us not forget that Thanksgiving Day is also a “religious” holiday enjoyed by the secular masses. The purpose of the day was to set aside a day for “prayer and thanksgiving.” Ummm, wonder who those people were to direct their thanksgiving to? Yet Larry did not suggest that we no longer say “Happy Thanksgiving.”

    Sorry, Larry, making claims that Grant “secularized” Christmas, that using the term “holidays” instead of Christmas is better, because like all things statist, is is all inclusive, that modern Christmas songs were written by Jews (therefore removing Christianity from the day) does not convince me that I should accept your Marxist views that religion must be removed from the public consciousness.

    Wishing someone “Merry Christmas” doesn’t give honor to their faith, it gives honor to mine, and is a way for me to share my faith with others. If I say “Happy Chanukkah” to a Jewish person, I am simply showing respect for their faith. Perhaps Larry finds that insulting or insensitive, but there is no law that says I cannot insult anyone. There are laws that say Larry cannot act on being insulted. You know, part of that whole First Amendment thingie. Larry seems to not think that respect is in order for Christians who actually understand what the day is all about. But like all statists, it is all about them and their feelings or opinions and not about respect for each other, no matter our differences.

    Larry, you continue to affirm my opinion of you.

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  13. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 13

    @Hard Right: Your analysis of the atheists mind-set if completely wrong. We are interested in peace on earth, goodwill to men, without Christ and performing good works based on salvation in another world.

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  14. retire05 says: 14

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    If you want to celebrate the pagan holiday (winter soltice), I suggest you celebrate it on Dec. 21st, as that is the day it starts this year, and be sure to work on Dec. 25 (providing you even have a job).

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  15. retire05 says: 15

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    Your “opinion” isn’t worth the time it takes you to express it. If you don’t want to celebrate “Christian” holidays, don’t. It is just that simple. But you progressives are not happy to just stop there. You want to force your anti-religion beliefs on all of the rest of us. And what has your secular beliefs brought us since prayer was removed from our schools (stoning for adultry was never an American punishment)? Less crime? Less poverty? Fewer people on welfare? More personal responsibility among Americans? Can you honestly say we are better off now?

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  16. Aqua says: 16

    Larry, I think I’m going to go with Word on this. Although I will be the first to admit I’m pretty tired of the commercialization of the holidays. They barely get the Halloween stuff down before Christmas stuff is up. I know the stores need this time of year to help with sales, but it is just getting ridiculous.
    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    adultery would be a crime punishable by stoning, etc.

    Really?

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  17. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 17

    You @retire05: First, conservatives try to run away from anti-abortion by erroneously appealing to science; now, the run away for Christianity as a religion, by calling it a philosophy. Granted, there are certainly some philosophical elements to Christianity, but there are more supernatural elements which Christian sects teach, which qualify it as a religion. You confused the term ‘religion’ with ‘denomination’ (Methodist, Baptist, etc.)—hence the term ‘non-denominational’ Christianity. Look up the definition of ‘denomination': http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denomination (reference examples, “Methodists, Baptists, and other Christian denominations.”) Hyper-conservatives are fond of making up their own meanings of word, but if we don’t stick to the common meanings of the English language, we won’t be able to communicate.

    It’s a shame that there is scant (some would say none) objective evidence substantiating the fact the Jesus Christ even existed, let alone when he was born, except for the religious books—much like the gods, titans, and heroes of ancient Greece. l

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  18. johngalt says: 18

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    These kind of conservative arguments just impede progress, in my opinion.

    Progress towards what, may I ask? Your view of how society should be? Or the view that your brothers and sisters in progressivism share? What makes that view the correct one? Because you say so? Or because you’ve somehow gathered enough power in government to force people to behave as you would have us behave?

    That’s not progress, Lib1. That’s tyranny. That’s the opposite of liberty and freedom.

    Atheism is all fine and good, Lib1. I don’t have any problem with people not believing in God, or Gods, or an afterlife, or whatever else people believe in. The thing is, you have it all backwards, as usual. It is not Christians that are forcing people to believe as they believe. It is the atheists who are using the force of government to make Christians believe as they do. And you call this “progress”.

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  19. johngalt says: 19

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    Hyper-conservatives are fond of making up their own meanings of word, but if we don’t stick to the common meanings of the English language, we won’t be able to communicate.

    Once again accusing conservatives of that which the liberal/progressives engage in. Does “fairness” ring a bell, Lib1?

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  20. Aqua says: 20

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    It’s a shame that there is scant (some would say none) objective evidence substantiating the fact the Jesus Christ even existed, let alone when he was born, except for the religious book

    Wrong. Try the writings of Flavius Josephus.

    First, conservatives try to run away from anti-abortion by erroneously appealing to science; now, the run away for Christianity as a religion, by calling it a philosophy.

    Anti-abortion is not just a religious issue. I pointed out various “Atheists Against Abortion” groups to you in another thread. And I’m not running from Christianity. Among the definitions (since you seem all about Merriam-Webster) of Philosophy is this one: any system of belief, values, or tenets
    I’m Catholic. I do not have the same beliefs as some of my Protestant brothers and sisters. But I share the same Philosophy.

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  21. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 21

    @retire05: I’m sorry you don’t appreciate my posts. But, apparently there are few posts by liberals that you do appreciate on this blog—so I don’t feel alone. Although stoning for adultery has never been the written law in the US, I’m sure this type of biblical punishment was doled out somewhere in America—like burning witches at the stake (a fate as bad as bad as stoning)—where it was considered the Word of God. You see, that’s the problem with religion: They rely on the Word as truth, even when it leads to murder and inhumane death. The odds are very slim of finding a psychopathic killer who doesn’t believe in god—and in fact doesn’t believe that god told them to do what they did.
    Extreme conservatives often yearn for the good old days when all were religious and doing good works. But they forget the all were not so happy in those days, because many lacked civil rights based of the color of their. Or, as many Christians said, “they were people cursed with the mark of Cain, or a dark skin, and this was the reason they should be hung or burned at the stake or simply ostracized”. But this situation is what you call better.

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  22. Curt says: 22

    @Wm T Sherman: Sorry Wm, it was held for moderation for some reason, the system will do that sometimes and I had a late night at work last night so didn’t realize it.

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  23. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 23

    @Aqua: Josephus is credited with one or two statements about Jesus—and some question the authenticity of this. Really, don’t you think someone as great a Christ is supposed to be have been would be mentioned more in history?

    Now, you share a supernatural belief with Protestants—which is what distinguishes a religion from a philosophy. Or don’t you think there is a difference? A dictionary definition is a list of most common usage of the meaning words. The final definition—which is the position of the one you referred to—is the most rudimentary and least commonly used.

    I use a dictionary to clarify meanings; you seem to use it as a statement of fact—which it isn’t.

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  24. johngalt says: 24

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    But they forget the all were not so happy in those days, because many lacked civil rights based of the color of their.

    You are using anecdotal evidence to tar and feather an entire religious segment, Lib1. If what you stated were the norm, then blacks, in general, wouldn’t associate, in as great a numbers as what they do, with Christianity. 92% of blacks associate with Christianity. Compare that to the general public, where only 85% do.

    But go ahead. Keep trashing the Christian faith, and all other religions while you are at it. You are only making a fool of yourself, and showing the readership here what a true, devout, atheistic Marxist is all about. Do you know how many religious people were persecuted in Soviet Russia? I do, and it isn’t a small number. Is that what you would like to see here?

    Is that the “progress” you want to see come to the US?

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  25. Nan G says: 25

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity): “….don’t you think someone as great a Christ is supposed to be have been would be mentioned more in history?”

    Heh.
    This from a guy who has to know how often world leaders before and even after Jesus’ day would obliterate any and all traces of their predecessors, their brothers, their opponents.
    From the time of the Pharohs of Egypt to the time of the printing press this was pretty common.
    Even Claudius who reigned around the same time as Jesus lived was scared about his writings being discovered by a brother or cousin who held power.

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  26. Nan G says: 26

    @Nan G: But why should I be surprised that Liberals forget that history before them had been erased and altered before the advent of the printing press made that more difficult.
    Even today Liberals try to eradicate things by making corrections in their media without admitting they made a change, just simply changing the web page.
    Today Liberals try to scrub web sites and try to set ”Google-bombs” so that people get their side first and foremost.
    In Islam scrubbing history has a name: Jahiliyya.
    Jahiliyya is not just the eradication of everything non-Islamic but it also involves writing phony ”history” books where all of Christopher Columbus’ crew were Muslims and all of the Natives here on the North American continent were also.

    But ask yourselves WHY does Islam and the Left keep trying to do this?
    Easy answer:
    Get the youth to say, “My ancestry isn’t as important as today’s things.”
    Then they don’t even need to convert.
    All they need to do is live like their own people’s past never happened.
    Like the created reality of their Lefty teachers is real…..one generation later we learn how flawed that vision is.
    All the unintended consequences come home to roost.

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  27. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 27

    @johngalt: You’re the only one making a fool of himself by not knowing the facts. The answer to you question is that most people just admit that sometimes Christians do un-Christian things, and they let it go at that. They are so involved in Christianity as their eternal salvation, that they don’t want to give up their faith, regardless of the facts. Yes, Stalinists persecuted Christians, just like Nazis (who were predominantly Christians) persecuted Jews.

    My purpose as this subject goes, is to offer a different view of the world that does not equate with Cold War view of atheists and Marxism. My view of atheism can be described as secular humanism—which might require some research on your part, to understand (rather the just chalking up everything you don’t like the Communism, Marxism, and Socialism).

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  28. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 28

    @Aqua: I’m sure there are some atheists who are pro-life—just like some religious people (in fact most) are pro-choice. But, this does not mean that the bulk of the reasoning against abortion is not religiously based. Again, this just supports the fact that in this predominantly Christian country, although people who initiate progressive ideas are, by accident, Christian; and, similarly, those who stand in the way of progress are also Christians—though they differ from the first category by being Fundamentalist.

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  29. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 29

    @Nan G: Yes, it sounds to me like the recreation of history laid out in the Book of Mormon.

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  30. Aqua says: 30

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    Josephus is credited with one or two statements about Jesus—and some question the authenticity of this. Really, don’t you think someone as great a Christ is supposed to be have been would be mentioned more in history?

    Didn’t know Josephus was considered a fraud. Must be a new tactic in the war on Christianity. Liberals typically attack the history when nothing else works, so I guess I should have known.
    There is also Tacitus. There are some others, Samosata and Celsus, but they are not as well known as Tacitus.

    Now, you share a supernatural belief with Protestants—which is what distinguishes a religion from a philosophy.

    Actually, this is what separates your opinion from my beliefs.

    The final definition—which is the position of the one you referred to—is the most rudimentary and least commonly used.

    So Buddhism quite commonly referred to as a religion. But it is a philosophy. Gautama was a philosopher that left Hinduism. Buddhism is a set of values, beliefs, and tenets. Christianity is a set of values, beliefs, and tenets. Until Pope John Paul II, Catholics did not even consider other Christian beliefs to be heresy.

    I use a dictionary to clarify meanings; you seem to use it as a statement of fact—which it isn’t.

    Nope, you just tend to use the dictionary quite a bit to make a point. I did the same.

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  31. Richard Wheeler says: 31

    J.G. and Aqua You guys are wasting your time ” debating ” Lib I. He in no way speaks for even a small percentage of Liberals. ON ANY SUBJECT. You start to look as foolish as he does. Larry,Tom and Greg are worthy carriers of that torch.
    BTW Have you noticed the long absence of Mata and Aye from this forum? The increased presence of retire o5 and the never ending of babble from Bees and NanG?
    BORING.
    To Curt and all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year——GO IRISH

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  32. IMHO, the wretched and feeble profferings from the moralizing liberal mindset are vain attempts to scrub their own insecurities, while worshipping at the alter of all that is “politically correct.”

    Regardless what events meandered through our history to bring our society the event of CHRISTMAS, the event of Celebration, the event of Giving, the event of Gratitude, the myth of Santa, the rare but welcome event of JOY, . . . Christmas remains and retains a positive energy which as many as possible should and do enjoy. Many a child’s fondest memories are of Christmas. It is a “Merry Christmas,” and not a merry-generic-day-off.

    I am not religious but I am Spiritual, and I have celebrated Christmas in a predominantly Muslim country, as well as in predominantly Christian countries. I have experienced the “Merry Christmas” well-wishing from Christians, from Jews, from Buddhists, from Muslims, but I guess I just haven’t crossed paths with enough humorless-self-righteous-politically-correct-guilt-ridden-liberal zealots at Christmas time. They might have ruined my day. Hmm, OK, . . . they might have tried to.

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  33. retire05 says: 33

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    So you base your assumption that the probability that Christ never actually lived is on the lack of any emperical data that assertains, with certainty, that he did? Do you also question the existance of Akhenaten or Cleopatra? All references to Akhenaten were wiped out by his own people immediately upon his death, and there is little empirical data that proves the existance of Cleopatra, yet I am sure you do not question their existance.

    Can you prove there is no God? And if so, from where did you garner your proof? Can you prove that humans do not possess a soul, which ties them to God and differentiates them from the rest of the animal kingdom? I am sure that you also believe that your ancestors evolved from apes (I personally don’t think my ancestors ever swung from trees) yet, that is only a “theory” and not proven conclusively.

    The problem I have with you, and the rest of the progressive atheist movement, is that you are not just content to believe the way you choose, you want to enforce your beliefs on the rest of us. It is like gun laws: you are not just happy in the knowledge that you are not required to purchase a gun, you want to force the rest of us to not be able to purchase a gun. If you truly were a “liberal” you would be happy with your opinions and allow the rest of us, ours.

    Now, perhaps you would like to tell us all what you are “progressing” toward if not Marxism? And at what point will we have “progressed” to the point where you are content?

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  34. Wm T Sherman says: 34

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    Usually you make one or two drive-by comments and then disappear. However, any thread having to do with Christmas causes you to wade in and slug away incessantly about atheisim. Is the problem that you think Christianity condemns your lifestyle?

    ReplyReply
  35. retire05 says: 35

    @Richard Wheeler:

    Larry, Tom and Greg are NOT liberals. They are progressives. There is a huge difference. True liberalism is “live, and let live” while progressivism is a policital philosphy that encourages the enforcement of that philosophy on ALL people.

    As to my posts here, since you don’t own this website, you actually have no cause to complain. If you want to have a say in who posts, get your own website.

    ReplyReply
  36. johngalt says: 36

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    I’m not “chalking” anything up to Marxism, Communism, or Socialism. You were the one who brought up how you see atheists persecuting Christianity as “progress”. I’m just relating your viewpoint on religion to your political viewpoint, which is closely aligned with Marxism, Communism, Socialism, or more generally, Statism.

    A person who forces their viewpoint on others is a tyrant. The atheists who pursue the removal of Christian symbols from the public are nothing but tyrants. And that includes you, Lib1, since you seem to be of the belief that removal of the religious from public display is “progress”. They make books and movies about your worldview all the time, Lib1. And they cast people who believe as you do as the villains. For a reason.

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  37. Aqua says: 37

    @Richard Wheeler:

    You start to look as foolish as he does.

    My replies to Lib1 are well laid out and fact-filled. :-)
    I love religious studies; I took an extra class in college just for the fun of it. I also happen to be a huge fan of Ancient Aliens. The Apocryphical books, especially the Book of Enoch are filled accounts of aliens. Even so, I believe what I believe.

    GO IRISH

    Good luck. The SEC Championship was probably the best I have ever seen. Bama is going to be tough. If the Irish win, it will be quite the feat.

    ReplyReply
  38. johngalt says: 38

    @Richard Wheeler:

    BORING.

    You can be quite the a**hole when you want to, can’t you?

    You should be ashamed of what you say, but given your ideological viewpoints, I don’t know that it is possible with you.

    Calling Bees’ comments “babble”? Shame on you. And if you cannot figure out why, that’s your problem.

    ReplyReply
  39. Richard Wheeler
    the babble will continue on next year, and I personally will target you, for what you just said, so expect the unexpected to hit you, any time, next year,

    ReplyReply
  40. DrJohn says: 40

    Larry

    I wrote “Hava Nagila.” FYI

    ReplyReply
  41. DrJohn
    this one is priceless,
    and think he vote for OBAMA

    ReplyReply
  42. Wm T Sherman
    would it be the one on number one?

    ReplyReply
  43. Skookum
    can I TEASE YOU?
    that is a good way to cover your errors,
    just teasing, I could not resist it,
    the devil made me do it,

    ReplyReply
  44. Nathan Blue says: 44

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity): @Liberal1 (Objectivity): I think you’d like Paul Tillich’s, The Dynamics of Faith. I’m not trying to change your mind about religions or anything, but Tillich’s work is exquisite, and “Dynamics” tries to capture what it is that people are doing when they put “faith” in anything.

    You are, however, going to need an open mind and stop saying that religious people are simply believing in supernatural crap because they are afraid of what happens to them when they die (a childish view on religion, and not one shared by anyone who has conducted an serious inquiry. It’s a little more complicated than that).

    The other large part of the book involves “Ultimate Concern,” being what a person places the bulk of their identity and belief in. Even Atheists (and Secular Humanists) have an Ultimate Concern. Defining it for one’s self is enlightening.

    Just look it up anywhere. I really think you’ll enjoy it (seriously), but it doesn’t call Christianity “right” and Secular Humanism “wrong.” It’s rather objective. Warning: Tillich is considered a Christian Theologian, but one respected by many intellectuals of all beliefs–don’t let his place as a theologian prevent you for taking a look . . .

    ReplyReply
  45. Kevin says: 45

    My spirits soar every time I drive into our neighborhood. The family which lives in the entrance/corner lot (the first lot which anyone coming to visit me would see) goes to amazing lengths to set up a elaborate, intricate, and beautiful display in their yard. It’s centered about a Nativity scene (yeah, good enough to capitalize :-) ), and it absolutely exudes all the beauty and wonder that that family finds in the Christian holiday of Christmas. In a word, the display is “awesome” – I love that it’s what greets me as I enter the neighborhood (in contrast to the gaudy display 5 houses down with 5, yes 5, massive, randomly-placed inflatables… but let’s not get on a tangent here). And anyone, ever, that tried to infringe on that family’s right to express to the world that which they find sacred during the holiday season would certainly be facing me and many others in a fight to the end (legally speaking).

    And yet, I remain adamant that the State ought not tax its citizens in order to allocate state-owned resources; property, money, or state-employed personnel, to advance the same religious viewpoint, no matter how splendidly. Not to sound like a broken record, but I have yet to see anyone take up my challenge; that is, to state a flaw with the following principle:

    The U.S. Government should not expend any state resources (state-owned platforms, land, money, or personnel) for the promotion or endorsement of any specific religious viewpoint, unless said resources are equally accessible for the promotion of all religious viewpoints.

    Wordsmith – you’d addressed this before, making a reference to a speech by George Washington, but as far as I can tell, you opted not to take on the challenge directly. I’ll reiterate – do you think the principle above is sound, or do you think it is inherently flawed? If you do agree with the principle, please let me know how you feel it translates in face of, say, a Nativity scene built on the grounds of a town’s City Hall building? If you feel it is flawed, can you let me know in which way you feel it should be altered?

    ReplyReply
  46. Skook says: 46

    @ilovebeeswarzone: I take good natured teasing better than most and I appreciate having a mistake corrected (better to correct it now than let it stand forever!). Although you may have previously noticed, I suffer fools and imbeciles with no regard for convention of etiquette. Slip the knife between the ribs in the area of liver or kidney and draw it roughly to the outer regions in a rough manner is my motto, so fire away when ready Gridley.

    ReplyReply
  47. Skook says: 47

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity): So lib, please point out examples where I have criticized someone’s writing, other than yours and a few who were capable of much more, i.e. Larry. You see Lib, Larry doesn’t suffer from a poor self-image. He will take the barbs with a smirk and counter with seasoned wit and superior intellect. My interaction with Larry is didactic discourse; it is a lark and great fun. Your hate filled braggadocio is boring and without literary merit. You contribute nothing but the blathering of an ideologue. In a textbook example of bathos, your bleating attempts at sublime intellect leaves you tumbling into illogic until it disintegrates from the mundane to the ultimate Bathos, the bottom, the non-plus ultra. In other words: Ye Gods! annihilate but space and time and make two lovers happy. ” Pope”

    This is your lot as the village idiot or the idiot of this blog, but take heart, you have made a distinction of yourself, for few people can take pride in being the village idiot of a blog.

    ReplyReply
  48. SKOOKUM
    I know you have taken my tease well now,
    but I would not make it an habit, just in case I do it on the wrong day,
    bye

    ReplyReply
  49. Aqua
    you mention TACITUS, I never heard of him,
    but his name must have been taken and melted in the FRENCH language,
    to become; TACITURN, it describe a person who is not easy to get along,
    or who don’t smile easy, no sense of humor, a not pleasant to be with,
    or a person who has been reprimand and turn into a sad and silent and stay out of the group,
    in his corner,I use to try to figure names or words, but I had never figure this one as a name of one who has lived in the history, I will try to find what his life was about, to see if it confirm my analogy
    of a similar name,
    if you know, please let me know,
    bye

    ReplyReply
  50. Ditto says: 50

    @Kevin:

    Not to sound like a broken record, but I have yet to see anyone take up my challenge; that is, to state a flaw with the following principle: (offers only slightly altered “principle” from last time.)

    Liar. As Wordsmith knows and commented on, I did answer your challenge and debunked your principle on the First Amendment grounds of free speech. If the government has to place bans on ideological belief based speech on it’s property because it might be of a religious nature, than it must ban all ideologically based free speech, otherwise the law is not being applied with equality and fairness. All free speech is based on the presentation of beliefs. The Constitution states quite clearly that:

    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.

    Kevin, you only see the first part of the amendment in regards to religion, but never consider that free speech must also apply towards religious speech. At it’s base, religion is simply an ideology or system of beliefs. By censuring free speech because it has a religious element, you abridge it’s free exercise. The latest bigoted fad of radical atheists is going to court to keep congregations from assembling on or renting public space. This is secular intolerance towards religion because atheists disagree the free speech and free exercise of religion. Yet, let a person or group come along any non-religious speech, no matter how radical or offensive it might be to religious persons, and these self same atheists will fight to the supreme court that the radical’s speech must be allowed. The Black Panthers, KKK, Code Pink, Marxists, even Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejada must be allowed to speak their ideology or beliefs, but let the Boy Scouts sing a Christmas carol and you would demand that they be tossed out on their ear. This is bigoted hypocrisy, censoring of a message that you don’t ascribe to, not because it it could harm you, but just to harass and silence them.

    The message of Christmas has ever been “Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all. ” but this is speech you don’t want to hear, and that atheists hate. Shame on you! I say more speech not less.

    ReplyReply

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