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Old 10-23-2005, 05:25 PM   #181
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
This thread could become part of the author's book.
Ah c'mon, give him a little more credit than that.
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Old 10-23-2005, 06:46 PM   #182
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Originally posted by Sherry Darling


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.
I don't see how my post was uncivil. I simply tried to explain my opinion on the issue.

Certainly, people from other countries are going to have to deal with some level of "benign" exclusion when they first come to this country, whether its because they have not fully learned the language yet or simply feel they stick out among so many "white" people. Changing the name of a Christmas party to a Holiday party is not going to change the difficulty that many will have adjusting.

As far as having a Christmas party in the classroom, there is no reason to send anyone to the library. Everyone can participate in, making gifts, giving gifts, eating food, sitting on Santa's lap if they want to etc. You don't have to be a Christian to celebrate Christmas or enjoy a Christmas party. When I say celebrate Christmas, I don't mean necessarily going to mass, although some Muslims do attend Christmas Mass in Bethlehem every year.

As I have said before, Christmas is part of the American tradition, and no one should have to change the name of a "Christmas Party" to a "Holiday Party" just to satisfy some over anxious person who does not necessarily represent the views of their minority as a whole. I also don't think a school should suddenly have to remove a cross or other structure just because it has a tie to Christianity that was apart of the original building. I don't support the movement to remove anything from public life that might, and I underline might, remotely have a connection to a particular religion.
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Old 10-23-2005, 06:48 PM   #183
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Originally posted by yolland

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?
Christmas is part of the American tradition, and there is no reason to have to suddenly in the last half of the 20th century to call a Christmas Party a Holiday Party.
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Old 10-23-2005, 06:53 PM   #184
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Stop thinking about what you're losing, and think about what you'd be gaining if you had a party that celebrated several religious traditions. If you want a hardcore Christmas party, celebrate it with like-minded friends and family at home, or organize one with your church. Again, Christmas is not cancelled when you do not have government acknowledgement of it.

Melon
There is nothing wrong with celebrating something that is an American tradition in American. Think of all the years that a Christmas Party was called a Christmas Party and no one even remotely thought about calling it a Holiday Party. Did anyone suffer adversly? Removing American traditions is not the way to bring about some sort of diversity or greater inclusiveness. Other celebrations are not cancelled because something in government does in some way acknowledge Christmas.
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Old 10-23-2005, 06:55 PM   #185
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Originally posted by STING2
There is nothing wrong with celebrating something that is an American tradition in American. Think of all the years that a Christmas Party was called a Christmas Party and no one even remotely thought about calling it a Holiday Party. Did anyone suffer adversly? Removing American traditions is not the way to bring about some sort of diversity or greater inclusiveness. Other celebrations are not cancelled because something in government does in some way acknowledge Christmas.
Traditions change. See the gift giving shift from New Years Eve to Christmas in the late 19th century as a prime example. If it's good enough to tell the minority to shut up and take it, then I'll tell the majority this:

"Shut up and take it."

Melon
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Old 10-23-2005, 06:56 PM   #186
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I'd like to see the Christian establishment turn against this corporate holiday itself and denounce it.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of Jesus, but #1-get the date right (at least closer to March than December)and #2-turn the occassion back into a religous holiday, solely. That way there is no grey area. Christians could feel free to have their religous holdiday free from being "toyed" with by the state, by removing the holiday itself from the state. As long as it's part oif the state, in some way and remains a religous holiday in part, it's going to continually be "toyed" with.

They won't do it. Why? The people who defend Christmas as a national holiday defend all aspects of it. The commercial aspect and religous aspects are one. All in the name of tradition. A tradition not all that removed from other traditions that needed to be changed.

They cry "why should WE have to change OUR tradition?" Oblivious to the problems, ignorant to the loss of the true meanings, it's a pointless argument. You can only be seen as "hatin' on Jesus" if you "toy" with it.

I used to love Christmas, I have loathed it for many years.
I think it's an absolute embarassment to honor Jesus this way.
An absolute embarassment.

and yes, Easter has it's own commercial offensiveness to me, but it's far less of a bastardized occassion. I just think Christmas, it's true meanings are completely lost on most people, even well intended, good Christian people are lost in this vaunted "tradition"
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:00 PM   #187
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Originally posted by VertigoGal
Sting, it's not excluding Christmas, it's including other traditions as well. I think deep down some Christians are just afraid of losing their idea of America as a Christian nation.
Having a Christmas Party does not prevent having a different type of celebration on another day, nor does it prevent acknowledgement or celebration of another tradition. I can't imagine going to another country and demanding they stop calling or performing centuries old traditions because it was not apart of my culture or tradition. On the contrary, I'd be far more interested in immersing myself in the culture rather than trying to water it down or block it.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:03 PM   #188
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

Well they do say ignorance is bliss. It's nice being part of the majority all your life, I'm guessing the only place you've ever been a minority is in here being part of the conservative few. Being a minority in real life is much different.

Well for your information there are those that feel their faith isn't respected as much as others because of this practice in our school system. How do I know this, because I've had this conversation many many times. A part of my family is Jewish.

200, 100, 50 years ago?! You don't say. Well hell women voting and slavery weren't problems back then either. DAMN THOSE MINORITIES!!!
Its always interesting when people make ignorant presumptions about others. Part of my family is also Jewish. Also interesting to see that calling a Christmas Party a Christmas Party is now being compared to slavery.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:07 PM   #189
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Originally posted by STING2


There is nothing wrong with celebrating something that is an American tradition in American. Think of all the years that a Christmas Party was called a Christmas Party and no one even remotely thought about calling it a Holiday Party. Did anyone suffer adversly? Removing American traditions is not the way to bring about some sort of diversity or greater inclusiveness. Other celebrations are not cancelled because something in government does in some way acknowledge Christmas.
In other words "because that's the way it is".

I'd be willing to listen to a compelling argument the other way, but this line of thinking is reminiscent of the close-mindedness that I believe truly seperates this country more than anything.

People grow up and have to read in their American history books, about embarassing stains on this countrys image because of people who just want to play up to "traditions" and doing things because "that's the way they are".

No, this issue is not tantamount to segregation or more harsh situations, but the point being made is about "traditions". Traditions only mean as much to each individual as they mean to that individual. Once you begin enforcing your own traditions on others, you step into a precarious area where you have ceased being accomodating to differences and you just want it your way "because tha's the way it is/was."It's never a good excuse.

It is no big deal to me, personally, whatever they want to call it they can call it. When this corporate holiday really gets back some of it's meaning, I'll take note and take issue when it is disparaged, until then it's another day off from work.

I am not a champion of the anti-Christmas cause or anything, I just think it's a fight that isn't worth fighting for. It's not a hallowed meaningful religous holiday, maybe it never was, but I think increasingly it's not a Jesus issue.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:10 PM   #190
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Originally posted by melon


Traditions change. See the gift giving shift from New Years Eve to Christmas in the late 19th century as a prime example. If it's good enough to tell the minority to shut up and take it, then I'll tell the majority this:

"Shut up and take it."

Melon
Traditions do evolve over time. But they typcially don't change because a couple of people decided to go to court to force their political agenda on a country of 300 million people. Also, moving the main gift giving time from New Years Eve to Christmas in the late 19th century is not a very good parallel to what were talking about here.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:13 PM   #191
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Originally posted by STING2


Having a Christmas Party does not prevent having a different type of celebration on another day, nor does it prevent acknowledgement or celebration of another tradition. I can't imagine going to another country and demanding they stop calling or performing centuries old traditions because it was not apart of my culture or tradition. On the contrary, I'd be far more interested in immersing myself in the culture rather than trying to water it down or block it.
Well, seeing as no one is really in school ON Christmas, it really is just a party taking place in winter or the holiday season. What is the problem with including other traditions as well? You act as if America is a Christian nation and those of other faiths don't also make up its "culture." Which is funny, because I always thought that one of the very things that set this country apart was that it is not defined by a certain ethnic race or religion, the whole "melting pot" and all. If I were going to Saudi Arabia I'd expect to immerse myself in the Islamic culture but that's not how I'd like to think of this country.

And really, this isn't banning all private family or neighborhood Christmas parties, it's just making parties in publicly funded schools more inclusive and representative of the faiths of other Americans.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:15 PM   #192
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In other words "because that's the way it is".

I'd be willing to listen to a compelling argument the other way, but this line of thinking is reminiscent of the close-mindedness that I believe truly seperates this country more than anything.

People grow up and have to read in their American history books, about embarassing stains on this countrys image because of people who just want to play up to "traditions" and doing things because "that's the way they are".

No, this issue is not tantamount to segregation or more harsh situations, but the point being made is about "traditions". Traditions only mean as much to each individual as they mean to that individual. Once you begin enforcing your own traditions on others, you step into a precarious area where you have ceased being accomodating to differences and you just want it your way "because tha's the way it is/was."It's never a good excuse.

It is no big deal to me, personally, whatever they want to call it they can call it. When this corporate holiday really gets back some of it's meaning, I'll take note and take issue when it is disparaged, until then it's another day off from work.

I am not a champion of the anti-Christmas cause or anything, I just think it's a fight that isn't worth fighting for. It's not a hallowed meaningful religous holiday, maybe it never was, but I think increasingly it's not a Jesus issue.
So if one moves to a new country where there are centuries old cultural traditions, the entire country should remove or cancel such traditions in a way to "accomadate" the new citizen. That is beyond absurd.
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Old 10-23-2005, 07:25 PM   #193
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Well, seeing as no one is really in school ON Christmas, it really is just a party taking place in winter or the holiday season. What is the problem with including other traditions as well? You act as if America is a Christian nation and those of other faiths don't also make up its "culture." Which is funny, because I always thought that one of the very things that set this country apart was that it is not defined by a certain ethnic race or religion, the whole "melting pot" and all. If I were going to Saudi Arabia I'd expect to immerse myself in the Islamic culture but that's not how I'd like to think of this country.

And really, this isn't banning all private family or neighborhood Christmas parties, it's just making parties in publicly funded schools more inclusive and representative of the faiths of other Americans.
There was nothing wrong with Christmas parties at school in the 1880s. There was nothing wrong with Christmas parties at school in the 1930s. There is nothing wrong with having a Christmas party at school today. Having a Christmas party does not exclude anyone. You don't have to be a christian to participate in a Christmas party. Oh the horror of wrapping and giving gifts, eating candy and other food, Christmas Decorations, sitting on santa's lap. You don't have to be a Christian to do these things. I think it is wrong to suddenly have to ban something because a couple of people suddenly have decided that it is offensive to them. Its part of the culture here and no the United States is not a culturless nation. You don't have to call a Christmas Party a Holiday Party to satisfy a couple of over anxious people attempting to push their political agenda on the rest of the country.
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Old 10-23-2005, 08:00 PM   #194
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Sting: A couple of points I might make in response to your last post.

1. From a practical point of view, any teacher can tell you it's not possible to include the holy days of every kid. We'd ever get any teaching done. LOL. Hence from this standpoint, a more all purpose "holiday" fest is the best way to handle scheduling in a way that is inclusive.

2. Your consistently seem to assume that people who protest Christmas are immigrants. This is a telling and false assumption. I would respectfully encourage you to revisit it.

3. You also consistently characertize people who object to their Muslim/Jewish/atheist kid as "whiners" or "over anxious" or "pushing a political agenda". What evidence can you bring to bear to support this description? And what makes you think it's just a few people, anyway? Why, just a tally of this thread alone demonstrates otherwise. BVS, Yolland, Dread, VG and I hardly fit that description, do we?

The below is a general statement and not directed at anyone in specific but musings on people who oppose a simple inclusive gesture such as "holiday party" instead of "Christmas party":
Why so unwilling to share public space? Why can't we just include everyone just cause it's nice to do so? Because we're a welcoming people who are secure enough to be okay with folks who aren't like us?
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Old 10-23-2005, 08:00 PM   #195
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So if one moves to a new country where there are centuries old cultural traditions, the entire country should remove or cancel such traditions in a way to "accomadate" the new citizen. That is beyond absurd.
Well, I didn't say that but read what you want to read.
No point in going any further.
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