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Old 12-01-2010, 05:55 PM   #16  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vdander24 View Post

To be direct, The "Christmas" we are discussing is a commercial one, not the faith-based one. (In My Opinion only, please don't attack) The Christian Christmas is what generates most Christmas money. Unfortunately Hannukah, Kwanzaa and other ventures don't make the money, so they don't get as much attention. (Again, IMO, only)
The "Christmas" Christians are defending is the faith-based one, because maybe they are trying to stop the commercial one that has taken over, and othe people of faith dont realize that the "Christmas" they see in the mall has little to do with a different faith.

I know my view seems cynical, and it is, but what I have learned is to appreciate this time of the year in as many ways as possible.

While I absolutely agree with you on the commercialization aspect of it, I disagree that people of other faiths don't "see it", and that the commercialization doesn't affect them. I know several Jewish families that have "Christmas trees". I know several Hindu children that want the latest and greatest "Christmas" toys out. I think it's a big fight right now in the majority of religious families to get away from the greed and materialism that the holiday season brings with it - and get back to the faith that brought it there originally, again regardless of which description of God that family chooses to worship. It's a battle being fought on all fronts, and it seems that the "Christians" think it's only them.


I really don't mean to attack here, either. I attend Christmas mass, put up a Christmas tree, and volunteer Christmas day with Christian-run organizations. But I think a little bit of acceptance, and education for the "other side" of the debate could really go a long way....
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:01 PM   #17  
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Well Said...
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:01 PM   #18  
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I think that the idea is that government run places have an obligation not to represent any one religion. By displaying any one religions paraphenalia they are essentially stating that they support that holiday/religion/etc to the exclusion of any others.

As a non-Christian I believe that people should be able to say whatever they want, put whatever they want in their own space, Churches should be able to post Nativity scenes on their own property, etc. But so should every other religion be allowed to do those things.

The fact is that Christmas for the majority of people- Christians included- is not so much about Christ but about the tree, feast, presents- the things that we are sold and that are shoved down our throats starting BEFORE Thanksgiving. The secular version of Christmas is everywhere and if I were a Christian I do not think I would support it or want to have any part of it.

I don't care if people say "Merry Christmas" to me, but I also wouldn't say it to someone who's religious beliefs I did not know because I am conscientious of it and I don't want to offend others. It's a courtesy. Just like I wouldn't go around telling people "Happy Winter Solstice" "Merry Meán Geimhridh" or "Happy Yule" etc because I don't know if that will offend. I like Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays because it IS inclusive.

Side note, for some reason it does bother me when I see the "Jesus is the reason for the season" signs. I know it shouldn't bother me, and I'm not entirely sure why it does- but it just does.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:42 PM   #19  
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I totally agree,Eskinomad. You know what the best part of the internet is? I don't care what you look like, your religion,or if you are religious,if you are rich or poor ect.. I like everyone the way they are and that is what Christmas should be like too., that is the way life should be. I don't like the way stores start in October celebrating Christmas, it makes me feel bad because I can not afford to buy everyone one something. You know we are not even giving the gifts this year except for my Mother in law and my niece at my house, for the family lost 2 this year and we are so thankful for just being here enjoying each others company, making precious memories. That is the best present of all!
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:52 PM   #20  
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As someone who would describe herself as an atheist, I have absolutely no problem with Christmas. I have no problem with Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Eid, the Winter Solstice, Easter or any of the many other religious holidays celebrated by American citizens. If someone says Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, or God Bless You, I say "Thank you," and I am genuinely thankful because I see it as another person wishing me well. However, I definitely make a point every year of looking up the start of Hanukkah (tonight, in fact) in order to say Happy Hanukkah to the school secretary on the day it begins, because I know she gets annoyed that everyone says Merry Christmas to each other, but they seem to ignore her holiday.

What I can't stand is that fact that the celebration of Christmas has become a month-long (if not longer) period of time when my students all talk about what they hope they get, and how mad they'll be if they don't get it. I get upset when Thanksgiving gets ignored and stores put out Christmas decorations after Halloween. I get upset that in our society, the commercialization of Christmas has eclipsed the actual religious observation of the holiday in so many families.

lizziep - I agree with a lot of what you said. And, personally, I'm not fond of "Jesus is the reason for the season," because it feels like selling things and making money has become the reason for the (extended) season - not the celebration of Jesus' life.

Last edited by spixiet; 12-01-2010 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:35 PM   #21  
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This just in from Philadelphia....

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/201...-hall-village/

I believe this story is part of what started this discussion.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:55 PM   #22  
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I'd bet if they'd made it "Winter Village" instead of "Holiday Village" that it would have pacified everyone. Enough snowflakes, cider, and pretty lights and it would have gone over better.

Holiday Village sounds like a gas station and a cheap motel.

Though the minority here, I'm sad at their decision.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:58 PM   #23  
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Sad isn't it?....people getting all upset because somebody wished them a Merry Christmas....the nerve!

Don'tcha just wanna smack that Salvation Army elf out there freezing his butt off ringing that damn bell....for what? To collect some guys hard earn $$$$ for somebody down on their luck....kids to feed...the nerve of some people

And what is with ALL these stores? Are you freakin' kidding me? Are they ALL owned by Christians?....All they want is your $$$$...setting up their displays and merchandise before these days....you'd think they were all just trying to sell stuff and make a living in this hard economy....geesh....what is wrong with people?

There is a big difference folks between the Christian CHRISTmas, the Santa Claus Christmas and the Holiday I Want To Play Too Christmas.....

These issues will never go away People will never get along

The closest we came was 9/11 And even then 1/2 the world

As for me and my family we will do what we usually do....we will celebrate a We will exchange one, drawn name, gift between our family and friends on our annual CHRISTmas Eve party....we will go to church, much like we do all other weeks of the year....then on CHRISTmas Day we will sit down as a family and decide where we want to "help" someone/cause with the $$$$ we used to spend on each other. Something we have done since my children became young adults.

For years I have decorated my house with a sign....last year I wasn't able to do it as I was still recovering from hernia surgery. Yesterday two people stopped to ask if I was going to put it up....they said they missed it last year, this morning a gentleman passed and asked me if I could please put it up this year...he actually thought that I had moved since it wasn't up last year I put it up today....my neighbor came over with her granddaughter and thanked me, said she loved seeing it from her house.

But folks, that's what I do

Whatever you choose to do I hope your day is special

Last edited by EZMONEY; 09-16-2011 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:29 AM   #24  
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Gary, you are always the voice of reason. I can't improve on your post . I like your Christmas Decorations and if I lived in your area would enjoy driving by during the Christmas Season.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:54 PM   #25  
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ditto what Bargoo said
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:09 PM   #26  
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Oh Gary just love your post!
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:40 PM   #27  
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Gary rocks once again.
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:55 PM   #28  
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*sigh* Every year this happens and every year I want to pull my hair out and bang heads on both sides of the religious fence.

For the record, I'm Christian. I work as a church secretary. My entire life this month revolves around everything and anything Christmas related.

Having said that, as far as I'm concerned you can be a Pagan, a Wiccan, or heck, worship the flying spaghetti monster if it makes you happy. Put up a Nativity set, put up a Menorah or put up a sign telling me I'm stupid for believing in God at all. Wish me a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwaanza, A Merry Winter Solistice, Happy Holidays or a Merry Christmas - to me it's all good because my faith is strong enough to be exposed to other ideas, thoughts, and religions (or lack thereof) without becoming shaken or otherwise invalidated.

Just my humble opinion.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:17 PM   #29  
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I am an atheist (husband and I both are). While I mean no direct disrespect to anyone in particular in this post, and am not really meaning to antagonize or upset, I am trying to speak my mind as clearly as possible. I will not apologize for my thoughts or feelings, but as they do not coincide with the mainstream, someone is bound to be offended. That's fine with me, but know that my purpose was to speak my mind and express my just-as-valid thoughts, not to offend.

Also, it's incredibly long for someone's second or third post as a n00b on this forum...*shrugs*

Quote:
Originally Posted by spixiet View Post
lizziep - I agree with a lot of what you said. And, personally, I'm not fond of "Jesus is the reason for the season," because it feels like selling things and making money has become the reason for the (extended) season - not the celebration of Jesus' life.
It is offensive because it simply isn't true. The phrase "Jesus is the reason for the season" blatantly ignores (and therein excludes) any other holiday that is not based around the alleged (if it happened, there is debate as to the time line, even in non-secular circles) birth of christ.

For one quick example of many, Yule was celebrated towards the end of
December/beginning of January, depending on the lunar Germanic calendar (I think, but I'm not pagan. Feel free to check me.)...and Yule was only set to December 25th when the christian (Julian) calendar was adopted.

(I understand that the OP has expressed understanding of this, I guess I'm just clarifying)

One religion's "success" does not magically exclude others. While everyone is free to celebrate the season as they see fit, and while jesus may indeed be the reason for the season for many, it is not the only reason that people celebrate during this time of year. I have many christian friends who also consider the phrase to be obnoxious (they understand the history of their own religion).

The season is not celebrated solely due to the birth of a single religion's deity. The "reason for the season" is love. Peace. Goodwill. The reason for the season is hope. Love. In any and all of it's many, many forms.

That being said (and trying to get back to the main idea behind the thread), people have the right to offend and be offended. One of the greatest parts of humanity is our ability is to constantly learn from and adapt to each other, to understand that there is not always (and, in fact, is very rarely) one correct way/thought/method/belief/idea.

To quote the OP:

"Except I hate the fact that free speech only applies when you're tearing Christianity down, and you're told to stuff it if you are celebrating Christianity"

This simply isn't true. Do you understand why it seems that the "free speech thing" comes into play when "you're tearing christianity down"?

It is because free speech is serving it's purpose: the concept of free speech is the need to protect the smaller voice. The voice that doesn't have huge financial backing, the voice that isn't supported by countless charities and donation plates and 10% tithes. The voice that goes against the grain, that doesn't have the safety, support and luxury of mainstream acceptance.

The smaller voice is no less valid than the vocal majority and yet, it must fight incredibly hard just to be heard. The minority has the right to be seen and heard, to challenge what is comfortable and normal, to exist and offend and not be simply ignored or washed away, drowned out by the sea of louder, stronger voices.

So, why does the "free speech thing" come up when a controversial subject seeks light? Because that subject is challenging the majority, and if it is not protected by law, those who already have the ability to be heard at will (the christian masses) will simply sweep it under the rug.

Just because something (in this case, art) isn't agreeable to you (you being general, not anyone specific here) doesn't make it any less valid, any less of a piece of art.

Something you hate has just as much of a right to exist and be seen, taught, and understood as something you love.


People have the right to be offended by anything that challenges their beliefs and likes, what they hold true. However, people do not have the right to censor something offensive from the entire world. Censor your own lives, and let your voice be heard as to why you are offended, by all means...but the decision of what is "appropriate" is extremely subjective, and is simply not the decision of one to make for another.

You have the right to be offended by material, not to take the offensive material away. On that same note (admittedly, a bit less heated than the art debate), I'm bothered by the "Jesus is the reason for the season", but I have absolutely no right to demand that the sign be brought down...to tell that person to "shut up, what you think/feel bothers me and that just cannot be!"

I was raised to say "Merry Christmas"...(my hometown is heavily drenched in christianity, and even though my parents are non-religious, they were raised in christian homes) but changed of my own accord when I was five or six to "Happy Holidays" when I learned that there was more than one holiday in December and that just acknowledging my own was selfish and not in the spirit of the holiday. How simple it can all seem when we're young.

Ooookay. Veering back out of that tangent (yikes), and back again to the heart of the matter...a lot of public places opt to say "holiday" in greetings and event titles because it is much more inclusive than "christmas". If the event is being held in a public venue, then City Hall has the right to DEMAND that the vocal majority (in this case, Christmasfolk) does not get to exclude the minority (nonChristmasfolk).

It's the free speech/art thing again, but on a smaller scale.

I shouldn't have to deal with a sparkle-light cross (however pretty) or a nativity scene when I go to the DMV. Or a public school. While I'm not fond of the music in chain stores (Fred Meyers, Joann's Crafts, so on) this time of year, I understand the market appeal and bite my tongue.

As far as individually owned shops are concerned, you have the right to do whatever you wish. Perhaps you will lose customers over that nativity/menorah/little doggie in the window, or perhaps you will gain some...but it is your right to display.

What I'm not understanding is this: WHO is telling your church that you cannot display a Nativity scene on their property?! It's a CHURCH! The nativity is an important element of your celebration. If it is on the church's property (or, lets be fair...if the church is leasing land/in a leased building, it is still obviously established as a place of worship and should be treated as such)....there is no good reason that I can think of for you to be denied the RIGHT to display something so relevant to the celebration of your religion. I'm interested to hear the reasoning behind it.

Everyone has a right to and deserves to celebrate this season in whichever way they see fit. I will end this incredibly long-winded spiel by, oh yes, quoting an ENTIRE post. It makes sense, and sums up my ideals and sentiments well:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eskinomad View Post
"Merry Christmas" doesn't offend me.

"Christmas Market" slightly offends me.

"I think it is idiotic for there to be such a problem with Christian terms. - Vdander24" and "some people are just so easily offended or maybe they just want to whine about something - nitenurse" highly offends me.

Maybe it's not the message itself that's so offensive (though it's without a doubt highly exclusive of the public if you turn a HOLIDAY market that's supposed to be open to ANY faiths into a strictly Christian one), but the deliberately offensive mentalities behind "defending" Christmas festivities that makes people so angsty.

I think nativity scenes outside of churches are absolutely beautiful. I think live reenactments are brilliant from the "Christian perspective" as well as just a fantastic nod toward history, and community involvement.

I do not think having a religion shoved down my throat when I'm trying to make a business transaction is okay - no matter what religion. If the CEO of YOUR company only gave you Ramadan off, NOT Christmas, or instead of saying "Merry Christmas" strangers constantly told your children "Happy Muharram" every time you entered into a building (which could be upwards of 15 times a day, and if your children understood what it was they were implying) - wouldn't YOU start to feel a little excluded, or overwhelmed??


Why is it that so many Christians are offended by an INCLUSIVE Holiday Market? Or an INCLUSIVE Holiday Work Party?

Last edited by ArcticFrogs; 12-02-2010 at 05:23 PM. Reason: to finish a sentence (oi!) and reformat a bit.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:28 PM   #30  
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Sunshine 73 - HERE HERE!
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