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Old 10-22-2005, 11:20 PM   #151
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Again, I'm mostly amused by the paradigm that the minority just needs to shut up and nod in agreement with whatever the majority desires. After all, "nobody gets hurt." But, yet, the "majority" cannot live up to its own ideals, because semantics mean everything to them. If it isn't named and celebrated publically exactly to their specifications, they whine like hyenas.

That's really why religion and any remotely religious holidays have no business in public schools. Give people an inch, and they'll take a mile. No compromise. Even if Christian holidays were no longer celebrated publically, it wouldn't kill Christmas. Celebrate it with family, friends, your church...not through your government.

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Old 10-23-2005, 04:18 AM   #152
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland

Is it truly then your belief that teachers invoking ideals like inclusiveness, interreligious harmony, and considerateness--however misguidedly--as their reasoning for doing so are lying anti-Christian bigots, who are in truth motivated by nothing more than a desire to spit in Christianity's face? Please tell me it is not. I know you are a conservative fellow STING, but that strikes me as an extraordinarily harsh and uncharitable position to take on the matter. Are you really that deeply suspicious of their intentions?

BTW, there is nothing "sudden" about such practices, either. When I went to public school in not-so-librul-or-irreligious Itta Bena, Mississippi in the 70s, we often had such (in my view) well-intended and fun-for-all, albeit tokenish "holiday" parties, complete with the dreidl song and cardboard menorah decorations, as well as a Christmas tree, manger and all the mistletoe stuff. And I never heard a Christian student (which was virtually everyone except me; it's a Baptist stronghold) complain.
Anyone attempting to change a centuries old tradition for their own reasons is certainly not being guided by some pure desire for inclusiveness and interreligious harmony. It does not hurt anyone to continue to call a Christmas activity a Christmas activity, or a Christmas Party a Christmas Party. In addition, a 150 year school building should not have to remove the cross that has been apart of the structure of the building since it was finished more than a century earlier, simply to satisfy a couple of people who decided to go to court one day and have it removed to satisfy their own political agenda.

My parents grew up in Mississippi and they had plenty of Christmas activities and Christmas Parties at school and they don't recall any suffering or persecution of non-christian childern because of it.
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Old 10-23-2005, 04:23 AM   #153
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Again, I'm mostly amused by the paradigm that the minority just needs to shut up and nod in agreement with whatever the majority desires. After all, "nobody gets hurt." But, yet, the "majority" cannot live up to its own ideals, because semantics mean everything to them. If it isn't named and celebrated publically exactly to their specifications, they whine like hyenas.

That's really why religion and any remotely religious holidays have no business in public schools. Give people an inch, and they'll take a mile. No compromise. Even if Christian holidays were no longer celebrated publically, it wouldn't kill Christmas. Celebrate it with family, friends, your church...not through your government.

Melon
Is it really that difficult to continue to call a Christmas Party a Christmas Party when that is what it had always been refered to for decades or centuries before one or two people decided to go to court to object to it. How far do American traditions and the majority of Americans have to bend in order to please a few dozen people who have their own political agenda's their trying to push on a nation of 300 million people?
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Old 10-23-2005, 05:10 AM   #154
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Terminal disagreement point here then, I guess. What some of us regard as hostile and divisive assaults on the American cultural legacy, others regard as harmless goodwill gestures that actually build unity and solidarity without meaningfully compromising anyone's freedoms.

Is American culture a fragile, brittle and sacrosanct heirloom to which any and all future alterations must be resisted tooth and nail, or is it an organic, flexible matrix capable of accommodating, absorbing and drawing enrichment from many sources, without losing the fundamental commitment to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all that justifies our republic's existence?
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Old 10-23-2005, 05:50 AM   #155
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
My parents grew up in Mississippi and they had plenty of Christmas activities and Christmas Parties at school and they don't recall any suffering or persecution of non-christian childern because of it.
Did I ever say or suggest I felt persecuted by Christmas parties?

So if you could go back with me to one of those "holiday" parties at my grade school in Itta Bena in the 70s, where as I was saying, no Christian child ever complained...you would tell them they should complain, that having that token menorah and dreidl song in there for me was a threat and they should not let the teacher get away with it, and should demand moreover that the party be called a "Christmas party" too?
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Old 10-23-2005, 06:50 AM   #156
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Re: The War on Christmas

Quote:
Originally posted by the iron horse
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846
From the book synopsis:

[Q]• In Illinois, state government workers were forbidden from saying the words "Merry Christmas" while at work
• In Rhode Island, local officials banned Christians from participating in a public project to decorate the lawn of City Hall
• A New Jersey school banned even instrumental versions of traditional Christmas carols
• Arizona school officials ruled it unconstitutional for a student to make any reference to the religious history of Christmas in a class project
[/Q]

Does everyone here think these are good things? Just curious.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:01 AM   #157
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

Here you are being ridiculous again. How do these holidays exclude anyone? These are not religious holidays.


Because we don't get school off for just Christmas. If you haven't noticed Christmas isn't 2 weeks to a month long.
My daughter notcied that it started at back to school time in the mall. No joke, there were decorations being put up the last week in August.

To me, this has done more to harm the true meaning of Christmas than anything. I was proud to see my seven year old recognize this as being wrong too.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:04 AM   #158
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Re: Re: The War on Christmas

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Originally posted by Dreadsox
Does everyone here think these are good things? Just curious.
Haven't read the whole thread, have you?

I'm assuming by "everyone," you actually mean "posters with an aversion to the book's thesis." The first example is *apparently* an urban myth of Chicagoan origin. The second, no posters have commented on (and anyhow, it is suspiciously decontextualized-sounding: using what criteria and for what reasons were "Christian" helpers identified and excluded? and what sort of decorations might have been involved?). The third, several posters, myself included, have acknowledged to be ridiculous. The fourth--see my post on p. 5; I'm too lazy to retype it!

P.S. Treat yourself to reading the Amazon reviews, there are some real howlers in there no matter what your position on the thesis...
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:05 AM   #159
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
In today's context? No.
My experience as a school teacher is that Christmas has reached the same level as Halloween. My impression, and please uderstand I have no data, is that very few children attend church. I would say 1/3. The rest still celebrate Christmas, but not necessarily for the birth of the little lord Jesus.

I do believe we are a nation that has taken the religion out of the holiday.

My 2 cents.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:09 AM   #160
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Re: Re: Re: The War on Christmas

Quote:
Originally posted by yolland

Haven't read the whole thread, have you?
I am trying to read through it now.

I have been busy dealing with the things true school administrators deal with...

Why does my kid have to run/walk a mile in Gym?
So and so hit so and so?
You are persecuting my child with your consequences....
Peanut allergy issues...
Plugged toilets....
People with video cameras outside school property...
Can I leave early???
SO and so spit on so and so....
and....

Hosting the HALLOWEEN PARTY last night and my next big project the Thanksgiving Feast.

I will try and get caught up around here.
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Old 10-23-2005, 08:29 AM   #161
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Re: Re: Re: The War on Christmas

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Originally posted by yolland
The fourth--see my post on p. 5; I'm too lazy to retype it!
FYI....

I am looking at 6 total pages...I adjusted the settings on my personal preferences.
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Old 10-23-2005, 08:49 AM   #162
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Originally posted by STING2


Yes, please describe to me the horror and persecution that has resulted from calling Christmas, Christmas. From calling a party a Christmas party. Do you know any child that was adversly effected by this from the begining of the formation of this country to today? If so explain how. There is simply no reason to change an American cultural tradition to satisfy the tiny minority of people who want to wipe out anything that might remotely refer to christianity in Goverment places or schools.
Sting, perhaps this didn't come across over the Internet, but I asked you an honest question in a sincere effort to understand where you are coming from. It did not warrent the hostile tone above. Can't you discuss this a bit more civilly? I'd appreciate it.

You've asked, so I will describe. My experience is coming from two main experiences--one being a teacher, and two, having lived abroad in cultures radically different from mine where I was the minority, which "put the shoe on the other foot" and taught me what "benign" exclusion is really like. It's degrading, isolating, confusing and painful. Peace Corps is one example when I was in Zimbabwe, the only whiter person and American for several hundred miles. Kids would follow me around any time I went outside in wide-eyed fascination. I was harassed on buses.

Meanwhile, in the classroom. I asked about you classroom experience, String (which you did not answer) because it was amazing to me that someone suggested this issue hasn't been, well, an issue. Anyone in the past 15 years on either side of the desk has had to deal with it. The solution I used wasn't terribly tough: the day before break, we brought in chips, soda, etc, some kids baked Christmas cookies, our school was decorated some for winter (snowflakes, snowmen, etc) and Christmas andHaunakua (sp? ack!) but that's it. In an area (No. VA) with HUGE Asian and Middle Eastern popuations, no Ramadan or Buddist recognition by our public education institutions, which are supported by tax payer $ from Christians and non-Christians alike. I did not call our party a Christmas party--I think I usually used the word holiday. Non-Christian kids had to take days off for their holy days, which created more work for both of us and sent a clear message to the kids (whether intended or no) that their culture is not the one our public (again TAX $ SUPPORTED) institutions recognize, just as sending a Jewish or Buddist or JW kid to the library while other kids have a Christmas party sends that message. You are different, and you need not to be or go away. Perhaps it takes having had the experience of being a minority to really understand this.

Funny, it may seem ironic, but as a Christian who wants to follow the example of the Christ who reached out to the socially undesirable Samaritan, I can't support such exclusion. It comes down to two principles for me. 1. If you pay taxes into a system, it should at least in part represent you. 2. Treat people how you'd want them to treat you.

I guess what I'm submitting, Sting, in response to your sentence that you haven't seen any trouble caused, is that just because you haven't seen it hardly means it hasn't happened.
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Old 10-23-2005, 08:54 AM   #163
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sherry Darling
Meanwhile, in the classroom. I asked about you classroom experience, String (which you did not answer) because it was amazing to me that someone suggested this issue hasn't been, well, an issue. Anyone in the past 15 years on either side of the desk has had to deal with it. The solution I used wasn't terribly tough: the day before break, we brought in chips, soda, etc, some kids baked Christmas cookies, our school was decorated some for winter (snowflakes, snowmen, etc) and Christmas andHaunakua (sp? ack!) but that's it. In an area (No. VA) with HUGE Asian and Middle Eastern popuations, no Ramadan or Buddist recognition by our public education institutions, which are supported by tax payer $ from Christians and non-Christians alike. I did not call our party a Christmas party--I think I usually used the word holiday.
It's worked for me over the last ten years....

Even my Jehovah's Witness parents have been fine with what went on in my school.....

We even have a winter sing along with the whole school.

Never had a complaint....Other than I sing too loud....

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Old 10-23-2005, 08:56 AM   #164
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I would love...absolutely love to see people take a month in a teacher's shoes. I want to see you explain to a kid, that we are having a party, and you have to leave the room. Way to build the sense of community in school.

You want religion in your schools,,,,start one.
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Old 10-23-2005, 09:05 AM   #165
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Different situation we are not talking about Judaism, we are talking about Islam. What I said about Islam holds true for most other religions.

Is any of the following a race?
Christianity
Hinduism
Buddhism
Paganism

Islam is just like most other religions, in that it is not synonymous with race.
I notice you didn't answer my question, A-W.

The answer, as I see it, is that Judaism is both (I'd love to hear from some Jewish posters on this to steer me straight here). This is somewhat true of Islam, as well. It covers a range of ethnicities, and so you are 100% correct in saying that it is not synonymous with any one. Yet it, like the other regilgions you listed, is most associated with specific ethnic groups. That was my point.

I also wonder if your point is a bit overly focused on semantics and hence misses the larger issue. Ok, biggotry against Muslims isn't (totally) about race. It's still biggotry. I applaud your desire for specificity, and have called for that here in this thread myself. But does the kind of prejudgice matter?
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