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Old 10-20-2005, 08:05 PM   #1
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The War on Christmas

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846
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Old 10-20-2005, 08:18 PM   #2
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There was a segment on this on the daily show. A certain speaker had been talking about how Christians were being relegated to the "back of the bus." I can't remember exactly what Jon said, but it was something to the effect of, "Oh yes, maybe someday we'll be able to vote and work...and maybe, just maybe, someday we'll reach such heights as to have 43 consecutive presidents in the white house. Someday..."

I find this whole persecution-complex to be hilarious. Yes, a few of those examples such as not allowing instrumental versions of carols are ridiculous. But the case 99% of the time is basically that in addition to Christmas songs/parties, schools will have kids sing Dreidl. The horror. It may seem a little PC to have "holiday parties" instead of "Christmas parties" but is it such a huge sacrifice to make so that students who are Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, etc feel more included?

I don't think we need to be PC to the point of overdoing it, but recognising the growing number of non-Christians who are also Americans hardly constitutes an "assault on Christmas" or whatever the book said.
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Old 10-20-2005, 08:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
There was a segment on this on the daily show. A certain speaker had been talking about how Christians were being relegated to the "back of the bus." I can't remember exactly what Jon said, but it was something to the effect of, "Oh yes, maybe someday we'll be able to vote and work...and maybe, just maybe, someday we'll reach such heights as to have 43 consecutive presidents in the white house. Someday..."

I find this whole persecution-complex to be hilarious. Yes, a few of those examples such as not allowing instrumental versions of carols are ridiculous. But the case 99% of the time is basically that in addition to Christmas songs/parties, schools will have kids sing Dreidl. The horror. It may seem a little PC to have "holiday parties" instead of "Christmas parties" but is it such a huge sacrifice to make so that students who are Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, etc feel more included?

I don't think we need to be PC to the point of overdoing it, but recognising the growing number of non-Christians who are also Americans hardly constitutes an "assault on Christmas" or whatever the book said.
at Jon Stewart. Pretty much hit the nail on the head, didn't he?

Don't mean to offend any US Christians, but stop yer whining! You aren't being persecuted.
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Old 10-20-2005, 08:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
There was a segment on this on the daily show. A certain speaker had been talking about how Christians were being relegated to the "back of the bus." I can't remember exactly what Jon said, but it was something to the effect of, "Oh yes, maybe someday we'll be able to vote and work...and maybe, just maybe, someday we'll reach such heights as to have 43 consecutive presidents in the white house. Someday..."

I find this whole persecution-complex to be hilarious. Yes, a few of those examples such as not allowing instrumental versions of carols are ridiculous. But the case 99% of the time is basically that in addition to Christmas songs/parties, schools will have kids sing Dreidl. The horror. It may seem a little PC to have "holiday parties" instead of "Christmas parties" but is it such a huge sacrifice to make so that students who are Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, etc feel more included?

I don't think we need to be PC to the point of overdoing it, but recognising the growing number of non-Christians who are also Americans hardly constitutes an "assault on Christmas" or whatever the book said.
Put the shoe on the other foot. Can you imagine what people would say if an American went to a Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim country and demanded they used the word Holiday or something else in place of what the cultural tradition was there?
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Old 10-20-2005, 08:42 PM   #5
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Always with the 'wars', something about the endless use of war as a metaphor creeps me out, particularly when it actually isn't a war.

Help, mum, the war on Christmas is under my bed.
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Old 10-20-2005, 08:54 PM   #6
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Originally posted by STING2


Put the shoe on the other foot. Can you imagine what people would say if an American went to a Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim country and demanded they used the word Holiday or something else in place of what the cultural tradition was there?

There are US citizens of other faiths. The US is a SECULAR state with people of many (and no) faiths. Christians should not forget that.
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:12 PM   #7
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All I have to say is boo hoo

No one's taking your trees or mangers from your home or church, if that happens then it will be an issue.

Sting let me ask you this. Have you ever gone to a school or worked in an office that had a Jewish holiday party, Muslim holiday party?
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:18 PM   #8
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right.....

we are a generic homogenous flavorless ordorless state.....

we endorse diversity but laugh at the diverse

we belittle Christianity while barely tolerating Islam and others...

that's god with a little G america
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Put the shoe on the other foot. Can you imagine what people would say if an American went to a Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim country and demanded they used the word Holiday or something else in place of what the cultural tradition was there?


Meaning what? That as a Jewish American, I am the equivalent of a tourist in a foreign land? There have been Jews here since colonial times, and Jewish Americans fought and died in the Revolution (and all our other wars) right alongside the Christians and secularists. Even if that weren't true, it has zero relevance to who "owns" the American cultural legacy. We all do.

Having often had to either work or be in school during Yom Kippur, the holiest day in our calendar (and that's leaving alone all the lesser Jewish holidays unacknowledged by national holiday legislation), I find it hard to be sympathetic to someone going ballistic about how not being able to listen to instrumental carols in school constitutes "religious persecution." I agree with VertigoGal, many of those restrictions are laughably absurd, but the proper locus of blame is PC run amuck, not some nefarious minority plot to take over and run Christians out of the country.

Religious minorities support political secularism because we fear religious majoritarianism (with good historical reason too) and because we believe it is ultimately the fairest way to preserve freedom of religion for everyone--not because we wish to subject Christians or anyone else to everything we've been through. (Not that Christians are strangers to religious persecution either: think Ireland under British rule, the Puritans and the Huguenots, Greek Orthodoxy under the Ottomans, Eastern Orthodox and everyone else under the Soviets, etc. etc....)

If the price of this protection is a little less of those collective national warm fuzzies to go around at holiday time, then so be it. We'll live. I don't need to live in Israel to feel like I belong to the culture around me, and I'd like it to stay that way.
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Old 10-20-2005, 09:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


Put the shoe on the other foot. Can you imagine what people would say if an American went to a Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim country and demanded they used the word Holiday or something else in place of what the cultural tradition was there?
Since when did America become a Christian country?
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Old 10-20-2005, 10:08 PM   #11
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

Sting let me ask you this. Have you ever gone to a school or worked in an office that had a Jewish holiday party, Muslim holiday party?
I actually work at a place where I am a religious minority and a rarity at that, LOL. And I am Christian (Catholic). Apart from me, there is one Sikh, a Protestant whose denomination I can't remember (Lutheran maybe?), a couple of Chinese Buddhists and everybody else is Jewish.

We have had parties at Jewish restaurants (kosher Chinese even!), we have an annual Christmas Party and an annual Chanukkah party, the workplace empties for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and you have a handful of us left, which usually adds up to us leaving early those days or taking them off as well.

I've never been bothered by having a party in honour of another faith's holiday. In fact, it's kind of cool to double dip the holiday time. And if I want to take Easter Monday off or my coworkers want to take Chinese New Year off, nobody will protest that either, so it works out fine.

Speaking of Jon Stewart, however, I saw his act a couple of weeks ago and he talked about this exact same thing. And he said as a Jewish guy, he thought the complaining about Chanukkah should end because "they're celebrating the birth of their saviour and all we have is oil that lasted a few more days. We just can't compete." He's a funny guy.
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Old 10-20-2005, 10:37 PM   #12
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I don't think I have a violin small enough to play for the poor persecuted Christians in the secular United States.

Good Gravy! You'd think Christians really are persecuted here! Go somewhere where they really are and see how much sympathy you get for living in a country where the leaders of the country inject their religion in to law, where you are free to attend church every day if you want, where your religion does not preclude you from attending school, voting, living.

Man, this gets old. Poor things, they only have the president and the fucking Congress.
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Old 10-20-2005, 10:39 PM   #13
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Or better yet, ask a Jew who lived in the Soviet Union during the seventies to compare persecutions.

See how much weeping and sympathy you get there.
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Old 10-20-2005, 11:05 PM   #14
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Originally posted by martha
Or better yet, ask a Jew who lived in the Soviet Union during the seventies to compare persecutions.

See how much weeping and sympathy you get there.
I lived in a Communist country as a Catholic.

When I had my first Communion, I had to put my dress on in the backseat of the car so nobody would see us leaving our apartment to go to Church or my mother, who was a Professor at the time would lose her job and face much more serious consequences.

When my Mom was 18, and at college, she went to a pub around Christmas time. Everyone was partying, drinking, and singing Christmas carols. The following day, the police arrived to collect names of all the college students present, so they could be taken in for questioning regarding their subversive activities. She got lucky in that she was not reported, else she would have had a record.
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Old 10-21-2005, 12:37 AM   #15
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^

To my mind, the pervasiveness of secret police and other such forms of ratting on your neighbor was one of the most horrific abuses perpetuated by the Soviet regime. That is poison. No wonder civil society and the public sphere are so impoverished in many of those countries today.

Your Communion story resonates with similar recollections I've heard from Russian Jewish emigrees. It ought to go without saying that state-mandated atheism is as profoundly undemocratic as other forms of religious persecution. Unfortunately, Cold War-era propaganda portraying that conflict as one of Christian-America-vs.-the-Godless-Communists has left a legacy of confusion about the difference between limiting religious expression in the civic sphere and crushing freedom of worship altogether. Western European friends of mine living here have often expressed bewilderment at how Americans tend to interpret an individual's profession of atheism as a combative or defiant gesture, rather than the matter-of-fact statement they take it to be.

I must confess to being astounded by your description of your workplace. Is this typical up there, or is your company exceptionally diverse?
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Old 10-21-2005, 02:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
I don't think I have a violin small enough to play for the poor persecuted Christians in the secular United States.

Good Gravy! You'd think Christians really are persecuted here! Go somewhere where they really are and see how much sympathy you get for living in a country where the leaders of the country inject their religion in to law, where you are free to attend church every day if you want, where your religion does not preclude you from attending school, voting, living.

Man, this gets old. Poor things, they only have the president and the fucking Congress.
Martha, out of genuine curiosity, do you have any examples of Christians being persecuted abroad? (Besides the Soviet Union, which I am all too aware of!)

I ask because I made the same comment (this gets old, you haven't been crucified since Constantine!) in a response to some persecution-complex e-mail. My devoutly right-wing cousin came back: "You have a right to your opinion, but I only wish you could hear the stories of my missionary friends and then you would know how badly Christians are treated." I was rather cold back and said if they were missionaries, I wouldn't be surprised if they were treated badly.

She never came back with any examples, she made a vague reference to China but that's another Communist country. No surprise there.

But I was really quite curious as I was really doubting her claim. The whole missionary thing raises an enormous red flag with me so I would not be surprised if they were run out.

I have a long theory as to why Christians feel this complex, perhaps I will post it here...
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Old 10-21-2005, 04:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by MadelynIris
right.....

we are a generic homogenous flavorless ordorless state.....

we endorse diversity but laugh at the diverse

we belittle Christianity while barely tolerating Islam and others...

that's god with a little G america
Come on show me where America is doing this!

And give me a reason why they shouldn't...
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Old 10-21-2005, 05:47 AM   #18
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Originally posted by indra



There are US citizens of other faiths. The US is a SECULAR state with people of many (and no) faiths. Christians should not forget that.
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Old 10-21-2005, 07:56 AM   #19
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Typical FYM mentality. Some will defend a charge of racism because the victim should be the one to determine the validity of the charge.

But when it is suggested about Christians, we get responses along the lines of "there are enough of them out there - they can handle it." Guess what - the bigotry is still there.

And we STILL don't have one law that requires you to be a Christian.
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Old 10-21-2005, 07:57 AM   #20
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Martha, out of genuine curiosity, do you have any examples of Christians being persecuted abroad? (Besides the Soviet Union, which I am all too aware of!)
While you directed the question to Martha, when I was in Egypt a few years back, I heard plenty of stories of persecution against both the Coptic and Presbyterian churches there.
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