Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
January 23, 2018, 02:21:57 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: As you may have noticed, this is a very old backup, I'm still working through restoring the site.  Don't be surprised if you post and it all goes missing....
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5
  Print  
Author Topic: Christmas - Separation of Church and State?  (Read 1001 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
madupont
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 5413


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2007, 09:30:10 PM »


Actually, it's a big topic right around here, in fact on the town green in front of my office.  There's an annual to-do where a church or individual applies for and gets the permit to put a creche on the green.  Then the local atheist "group" -- often it's just this one guy, the same one every year -- writes letters to the paper, applies for his own permit, demonstrates, contacts the local news stations, etc. and we go 'round with the church/state argument and never seem to resolve anything. 

Down in the gold coast of Fairfield, the town says that a creche must be attended 24/7, so this little old man, about 100 years old, schleps out there for three days or so right before Christmas and also always makes the news. And then follows the comments about the heartless town, making this old man shiver in all kinds of weather, etc.  Though the last couple of years he's probably enjoyed the global warming thing a little, we've had some pretty mild winters lately.


Are you sure this isn't the Larry David episode for Christmas 2007 ?  I loved the original.

It sounds like you have the similar scene with your office on the square as I did  in Hopewell  with the old newspaper office on the original town square; no green.  That was reserved two blocks down, if I walked the back path to the drug-store or the post-office, along the cornfield at the top of our  hill. The Green consisted of a  Gazebo, more of a summer bandstand dedicated to life in, "Our Town",Yesteryear.  The rabbi next to me, a somewhat Conservative - Reformed woman who came from Maryland, probably had an office in her residence too because she objected to "noise" on the Square when a bagpiper appeared(? that's not the right word is it for someone who makes what the rabbi calls "noise" and the piper believes is music of a kind that is also a call to arms.) By the way, the piper is a very methodical lass and this is Mercer county settled in the 17th.century so we're all Presbyterians aren't we and Dad reads out prayers from the Bible to us at home.

The Rabbi gets to have it both ways. She can have naps in the afternoon, and she can build her own creche out back up hill between her house and the hen-house for Shavuoth but that isn't a Conservative-Reform version of Christmas as it happens, in Fall, and she decorates it with Autumnal things for her kids. The lass drives away slowly having packed up her pipes and bag in the trunk, she goes purposefully; just wait 'til the Black Watch arrives, the lot of them, and parade the other side of the Delaware's Washington's Crossing State Park.

This kind of difference of ideas is as nothing. You should have been here when we had the war between Iraq and Iran down at our swimming hole in Pennington which is an old quarry with rubber inner tubes, old ladies from some department at the university, and travelers who come from afar, Philadelphia,Trenton, New York on a bad day when the  man-hole covers are blowing geysers in the streets outside Gramercy Park.

Tell me, that 24/7 thing in Fairfield, is that because the creche is illuminated? It sounds to me like the old man is making a point if this is a logical place to keep warm but if not enough to keep him warm is there really any danger of fire, does he ring a bell and collect or is he merely "civil minded" as elderly New Englanders are wont to be?  You understand that  New England begins for me immediately after Pelham Pkwy.  Is he abstemious or do people bring him hot toddy of rum; or would he be arrested for public drunkeness and they'd leave him there in stocks for three days?

Isn't Rhode Island in your vicinity? Do you know Senator Sheldon Whitehouse? Great name; implies things. He is going to see to it that I am not deprived, spell that with an "i", of my vote; the people who would wrest my vote away from me get an "a", for they are truly ........

It is great, living in the Colonies, as it is generally never entirely Blue, or Red, but an admixture of becoming Purple. Joyce Carol Oates wears it all the time.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 09:31:42 PM by madupont » Logged
oskylad
Guest

« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2007, 09:59:24 PM »

Sundays should never have been the mandatory 'Sabbath' for all.

But we can't make Tuesdays the mandatory Sabbath!  Tuesdays commemorate the Nordic god Tyr.  Where is the separation of church and state in that?

And think of the confusion in the workplace if we left it to everyone to pick their own Sabbath.  Pretty soon we would all have to work every day, because the whole idea of a day of rest has religious overtones.   
Logged
harrie
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1143



View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2007, 09:00:12 AM »

madupont, true stories all, we have a bunch of Larry Davids in CT.   

As for Fairfield situation, it's a Fairfield town ordinance that displays on town property can be displayed three days maximum, and must be manned. Here's a story from last year about Mr. Fairfield - sorry it's not from the local paper, but they only keep stuff online for three months or so. http://tinyurl.com/2qekkj
Logged
barton
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2016


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2007, 11:14:22 AM »

Insane law.  Absurd, dunderheaded, petty, mean-spirited....where's my thesaurus?  Either ban religious displays on public property or don't.  I've noticed a plentiful supply of yards in this country....perhaps someone can put up a creche or a giant golden buddha or whatever in their yard.

Logged

"Nothing more foolish than a man chasing his hat!"
madupont
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 5413


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2007, 06:52:46 PM »

Harrie, great article, and just as I suspected.

You see, this is were the lady rabbi had an edge because she did have her shavuot arbor (which constructionally is a kind of creche --in fact we have numerous similar constructions on the side of supermarket parking lots where the Amish hitch their horses when they park the buggie while they are shopping) but, instead of hitching horses or Nello, the goat, and she did have several goats with litters in Spring, it faced toward her house and they could do their Autumn harvest picnic religiously out there right on her own private property.

The Barton idea occurred to me last night but then it might end up like the Halloween competition that we had around here to see who would win the prize for best Halloween decoration. I endured something around the corner from my door, where the upstairs apartment dweller had hung a display something like the production values when HBO did the series ROME that opened with exotic music and pornographic grafitti vaguely glimpsed in a panning shot.

Besides, when you leave the immediate vicinity for the internet, in here we have the poster who doesn't know that Thursday is Thor's-day, which means Tyr is more of a Tuesday pagan deity like Mars. Let those two guys fight it out but generally Nordic gods are in disrepute in the US because it gets to be a problem although they are free to use the National Parks.  I will never forget the guy that we had posting, quite young I expect, who thought that National Socialists were the guys that the American right wing considers Liberals because isn't that what Socialism is all about? The L word.

Logged
MrUtley3
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 7323


Willie Randolph's Real Killers


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2007, 10:14:19 PM »

Why get rid of Christmas?  It has long since ceased to be a Christian holiday. It has become the Carnival of the Capitalists, lumped together with Channakah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, and New Year's, into the "Holidays", a multicultural bacchanalia of fun and festivity.  Any semblance to the original Christian idea of Advent reflection and recognition of God's gift is merely vestigial.

Curiously, when one is shopping for gifts at Valentine's Day and Hallowe'en the sales clerks still use those Christian-derived names for those holidays.  But not Christmas.  One is greeted with "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings".  It is considered an affront to use the name Christmas.

What music do you hear?  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Santa Claus is Coming to Town.  I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.  Frosty the Snowman.

The government will continue to recognize a Christmas holiday.  The only question will be whether it will be called "Christmas".  


   


I think you have to blame Christians for this. They are in the majority, you know.

Get back to us when you straighten them out.
Logged

"That guy over there played with Ty Cobb," said Phillies bench coach Jimy Williams, pointing to Chase Utley. "He's been here before."  quoted in the Boston Globe
oskylad
Guest

« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2007, 10:58:16 PM »

OK.  I've straightened them out.

What group shall we go after next?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 11:17:12 PM by oskylad » Logged
MrUtley3
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 7323


Willie Randolph's Real Killers


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2007, 03:35:56 AM »

OK.  I've straightened them out.

What group shall we go after next?

Oh? Not willing to put fact up there alongside your fiction?

Come on, 'lad, you maybe young, but you're not inexperienced. Not when you toss out such pointed and aliterate terms as "Carnival of Capitalists".

Come on, now, back it all up. Explain who is out there plotting to "get rid of Christmas", as you put it?

Tell us who has allowed it to be so commercialized, and why churches have not been able to influence their own flocks in order to ensure that the "true meaning" of Christmas stay in their hearts.

Then tell us why each December the government should bear the responsibility of ensuring that Christian beliefs are publicly promoted.

Logged

"That guy over there played with Ty Cobb," said Phillies bench coach Jimy Williams, pointing to Chase Utley. "He's been here before."  quoted in the Boston Globe
srnich
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 808


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2007, 02:28:49 PM »

Citizens of the United States have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. 

Not so fast. We have freedom FROM State sponsored religion, as in the State cannot force and or advocate a certain religion.
Logged
srnich
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 808


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2007, 02:35:34 PM »


Curiously, when one is shopping for gifts at Valentine's Day and Hallowe'en the sales clerks still use those Christian-derived names for those holidays.  But not Christmas.  One is greeted with "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings".  It is considered an affront to use the name Christmas.

Bull Pucky! I hear Merry Christmas all the time.

Just hearing a "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" once in awhile is not an omen of the coming "Anti-Christmas" fer cryin' out loud!

Lighten up!


The government will continue to recognize a Christmas holiday.  The only question will be whether it will be called "Christmas".  
[/quote]

Still is......................
Logged
oskylad
Guest

« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2007, 07:05:12 PM »

Citizens of the United States have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. 

Not so fast. We have freedom FROM State sponsored religion, as in the State cannot force and or advocate a certain religion.

Freedom of religion includes not only the freedom I have under the Bill of Rights to practice my religion; it also includes the freedom I have under the Bill of Rights not to have a religion imposed on me by the state. 

Freedom from religion, on the other hand, signifies that the government would have the power to protect me from unwanted religions.  That is true in most of the world.  Even Germany has outlawed Scientology.  The Bill of Rights is not intended to protect me from religion; it is intended to protect my rights to decide for myself whether and how to practice my religion. 

There are those that think religion should just be a private matter, and should not be a part of the public debate.  That is not the American way.

      
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 12:04:58 AM by oskylad » Logged
oskylad
Guest

« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2007, 07:13:10 PM »

Utley has challenged me to Here Comes Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer because he wanted to honor the Christ child.  He wrote it to make a buck.  [Side-note – I enjoy Gene Autry singing those “Christmas” songs].  The commercialization of Christmas came about by individuals like Gene Autry just trying to get ahead economically and the rest of us buying into it, whether we are Christians or not.

But in determining whether Christmas should continue to be recognized as a federal holiday, it doesn’t much matter who has allowed it to become commercialized.  Nor does it matter why.  It only matters that the modern American Christmas is no longer a religious holiday.  It is a secular holiday, with its own celebrations and traditions that have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus.  Barton, the blue druid, gets it when he says “the near-solstice consumerist orgy has long ago shed any real connection (except calendrical) to the mass of Christ”.

And it is not only in America that Christmas is a secular holiday.  It is true around the world.  As reported in http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/worldxmas/china.htm (among other places), Christmas has even become a festive occasion in mainland China, an officially atheist country where only 1% of the people are Christian.  Christmas decorations have become increasingly prevalent during the month of December.  People decorate their homes with Christmas lights.  Christmas trees are called "trees of light" and are also decorated with paper chains, paper flowers, and paper lanterns.  Children hang up stockings in hopes that Dun Che Lao Ren (China's Santa) will visit and fill them with presents.  Stores have men dressed as Santa Claus handing out candy and waitresses with Santa hats. 

It has been said that the one (if not the only) purpose that Christmas serves in China is to get people out there to spend their hard-earned yuan and buy, buy, buy.  Check out these photos of Christmas in China and tell me what you see that is different from Christmas in (supposedly Christian) America. http://en.chinafotopress.com/index/topicview?tpid=8900

Perhaps the last vestige of Christ in the holiday is the name.  And even that is too much for those grinches who want to take the name away and change it to something inane like Winter Holiday.

Merry Christmas Winter Holiday to all and to all a good night.


Logged
ponderosa
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 585



View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2007, 08:34:19 AM »

http://youtube.com/watch?v=pn10FF-FQfs

Charles Schulz was hip to that notion forty years ago.
Logged
kidcarter8
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 7906


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2007, 07:40:16 PM »



That is not the question at hand.  The question is "should Christmas continue to be recognized as a federal holiday?”  My response was: “Why get rid of Christmas?  It has long since ceased to be a Christian holiday. 

.................... the modern American Christmas is no longer a religious holiday. 




You're obviously not much of a Christian.
Logged
oskylad
Guest

« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2007, 12:00:10 AM »

You're obviously not much of a Christian. 

Or perhaps my notion of what it means to be a Christian differs from yours.  What do you find Christian in the mad consumerism of modern America? 

I am not arguing that Christmas does not survive in the hearts and minds of those who follow Jesus.  I am arguing that the modern American Christmas has its own celebrations and traditions, and they have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus.  That is why the government will continue to recognize Christmas despite the grumpings of those who complain that this amounts to public promotion of Christian beliefs.  The only question is, as I said in my first post, will it be called "Christmas".   
 
« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 12:33:53 AM by oskylad » Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!