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Merry Christmas!!

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Balladeer
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25 posted 12-26-2004 08:03 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I must say I don't really get the connection between Christmas coinciding with the winter solstice hundreds of years ago and banning Christmas trees on public property or chastising students for simply wishing someone Merry Christmas or any of the other examples which began this thread. Perhaps that was in the mayor's mind when he basically abolished any form of Christmas celebrations in his town? Somehow I doubt it.....
Ron
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26 posted 12-26-2004 10:05 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Placing a religious figure in a public place is not what I consider "shoving".

Wal-Mart is a public place, Mike. So, too, are these forums. You and Denise both keep using the word public, but public has never been an issue. If, on the other hand, you mean government places, then ANY sanctioned demonstration of personal faith is inappropriate and tantamount to shoving. As every parent already knows, an authority doesn't always have to "force" something to be greatly influential on something.

It's really not that difficult.

If all religions are to be treated equally under the law, government has to be the ONE PLACE where no religion can be practiced. It is the spiritually neutral meeting ground where every religion can come for fair treatment. Keeping religion out of government isn't about the fear of offending people who think differently. It's about offending the principals of fairness.

People can practice their faith in their homes, in their churches, in the friends' homes, in their businesses, where they play and where they shop, in private and in public, everywhere they want EXCEPT this one place. I just don't see why that should be so hard for anyone, especially when greed and the need to have it all will only ultimately mean the potential loss of everything else.

There can be no religious freedom for anyone without religious freedom for everyone.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and at least a few had one a bit warmer than this single-digit temperature crap we're seeing in Michigan right now.
Balladeer
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27 posted 12-26-2004 11:14 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, Ron, I used the word public because I thought that's what my examples referred to. Let me double-check...

The town of Bay Harbor Islands in Florida refuses to allow a Nativity scene on public property but has menorahs and the Star of David on lampposts and permitted a local synagogue to erect a 14-foot-high menorah on public land.

That does say public land, I believe - and if the town in all its wisdom would not allow a nativity scene then why wouldn't it hold true for the menorah and Star of David?

A fairly new tactic in the Christmas wars can be called the sensitive person's veto. In 2000, the city of Eugene, Ore., banned Christmas trees on public property

Thay also says public property, it seems...and two people out of an entire city were allowed to make policy.

The principal of Braden Middle School in Florida said, "You won't see any Christmas trees around here. We keep it generic." Some principals and teachers around the country even ban the word "Christmas." In Rochester, Minn., two girls were reprimanded for saying "Merry Christmas" in a school skit.

I suppose you can call a school a government institution if you feel its appropriate. I know when I went to school it was PS 132, not  GS 132. The word Christmas should be banned? Students reprimanded for saying Merry Christmas? You find that appropriate?

The White House still has a Christmas tree

So the White House is less governmental than a school?

The South Orange/Maplewood, N.J., school district banned religious Christmas songs, even in instrumental versions

One can't even hum White Christmas without violating school policy?

In Florida, an elementary school concert included songs about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, but offered not a single note of Christmas music.

Sounds to me like a ban on Christmas only, not other holidays.

A recent winter parade in Denver looked very much like a Christmas event, except for one small thing: Every reference to Christmas was banned

Parade? Sounds like a public place to me...

It is the spiritually neutral meeting ground where every religion can come for fair treatment.

Doesn't sound like it to me, Ron. I see no fair treatment at all. If you sincerely believe that the examples I displayed are just and right, then so be it. I, personally, cannot imagine that line of thought. I see no government interference here. I see only school principals and town leaders afraid of lawsuits covering their gluteus maximii.

Why not just ban everything that not all of the population agrees with and then no one will be offended? Where does it end?


Ron
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28 posted 12-27-2004 02:00 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Sounds to me like a ban on Christmas only, not other holidays.

Then you should certainly do something constructive, Mike, to have other religious holidays treated the same. I, for one, don't think a Star of David placed at government expense and approval is any more appropriate than any other religious icon.

If Christians appear to be singled out, as I'll admit seems to often be the case, maybe it's because too many Christians act just so incredulous when what they see as the accepted way of things isn't immediately accepted. Yes, the pendulum has swung too wide of the mark in many cases, Mike. The answer, however, isn't to try pushing it clear back to the other side. The answer is to stop pushing entirely. Christians do not have a God-given right to infringe on the rights of others, and the sooner they realize that the sooner the pendulum can come to rest where it should.

Like it or not, separation of church and state IS the law of the land, because the founders of this country recognized the dangers of other alternatives. The many evils traditionally laid at the feet of organized religion, after all, should in truth be laid at the feet of a government unable to separate itself from its religious roots. The crusades, the inquisition, the witch hunts, none of those were perpetrated directly by a church. Faith and secular power just don't mix really well. Our founders didn't just know that, many of them lived through it.

quote:
Why not just ban everything that not all of the population agrees with and then no one will be offended?

Being offended has nothing to do with anything, Mike. When the sheriff pulls me over and wants to search my trunk without a warrant, I don't get offended. But neither do I willingly abrogate my rights, either. That I have nothing to hide isn't the reason the right was granted by our Constitution.

Being offended isn't the issue. Doing what's right, simply because it is what's right, is the only issue that matters. Separation of church and state protects everyone. Even those who personally find it a little inconvenient.
Kit McCallum
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29 posted 12-27-2004 09:47 AM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

I’ve been reading and reviewing this subject over the last week or so, to try to gain a better understanding and perspective on this issue for myself.  

It sparked some interesting conversation over my family’s Christmas gatherings Saturday and Sunday when I presented a copy of Nan’s and my Christmas duet to them.  

I’m sadly finding out that this is more widespread than I realized. I hate to admit it, but I’ve been a fair bit naïve I guess.  To be honest, this kind of thing scares the tar out of me, but I wanted to say thanks for the discussion everyone. It's been a bit of an eye opener for me.

Anyway, without me being repetitive regarding some of the information I reviewed, if you're interested, here are two of the more interesting links I found on the subject when doing a Google Search on:  

illegal christmas  manger OR nativity OR santa

Christian Law Association: Has Christmas Become Illegal in America? (2004)
http://www.christianlaw.org/christmas2004.html


“Nativity scenes on public lands are illegal, rules the Supreme Court. Except when they're not. (2001)”
http://www.slate.com/Default.aspx?id=2060070


I guess the bottom line I found was that we need to be aware that there are issues and that there is a lot of grey areas that are getting muddled up in communities.  People should attempt to know their rights from both sides of the fence.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if human beings from all aspects of life could learn to tolerate faiths different from their own, rather than discourage and squash those who do practice something different from themselves? That said ... I know, I know ... my naivety and optimism for the future are showing, so I'd best go back into my land of make believe and hope that man figures it out some day.
Huan Yi
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30 posted 12-28-2004 12:48 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


"Aren't we forgetting the true meaning of this day — the birth of Santa?"

Bart Simpson
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31 posted 12-28-2004 12:57 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

John?

one more like that and I just may grow fond of you...

sheesh.



We could quote south park, but hey?

they killed Kenny, didn't they?

*chuckle*
Balladeer
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32 posted 12-29-2004 09:29 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Christians do not have a God-given right to infringe on the rights of others, and the sooner they realize that the sooner the pendulum can come to rest where it should.

That seems to be the major issue in our inability to come to an understanding, Ron. For the life of me, I cannot see the throat-shoving, pushing or infringing you refer to. No one has called Christianity the law of the land that I know of. People are not punished for not being Christians that I know of. I don't see any examples of what refer to. People do have the right to accept or reject whatever they choose. When it comes down to disciplining high school students for saying Merr Christmas in aschool play, then when do the copies of Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" get pulled from the school library? When does "It's a Wonderful Life" get an "R" rating?

Like it or not, separation of church and state IS the law of the land, because the founders of this country recognized the dangers of other alternatives.
Faith and secular power just don't mix really well. Our founders didn't just know that, many of them lived through it.


Let's look at a couple of quotes that are on public record from these founders you refer to....

Patrick Henry 1776..

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religious, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here."

Thomas Jefferson....

"I am a Christian, that is to say a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator and, I hope, to the pure doctrine of Jesus also."

James Madison, primary author of the Constitution of the United States, said this:
    "We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments."
George Washington, in his farewell speech on September 19, 1796:

"It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are the indispensable supporters. Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that our national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

John Adams, second president, who also served as chairman of the American Bible Society..

"We have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and true religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

John Jay, first Supreme Court Justice..

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian Nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."

John Quincy Adams..

On July 4, 1821, President Adams said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."

Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first.

Harvard University, chartered in 1636. In the original Harvard Student Handbook rule number 1 was that students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the scriptures

In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that Bible reading was outlawed as unconstitutional in the public school system. The court offered this justification: "If portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could and have been psychologically harmful to children." Bible reading was then unconstitutional , though the Bible was quoted 94 percent of the time by those who wrote our constitution and shaped our Nation and its system of education and justice and government.

In 1965, the Courts denied as unconstitutional the rights of a student in the public school cafeteria to bow his head and pray audibly for his food. In 1980, Stone vs. Graham outlawed the Ten Commandments in our public schools. The Supreme Court said this: "If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments were to have any effect at all, it would be to induce school children to read them. And if they read them, meditated upon them, and perhaps venerated and observed them, this is not a permissible objective."

So, Ron, when you refer to the wisdom of the founding fathers with regards to separation of  church and state, it appears they based their actions on a morally and spiritually strong set of convictions which were extremely religious. Only the politicians which came around 190 years later decided the founder's actions were detrimental and offensive - the founders didn't.


I have to smile while reading my replies to this thread. It appears I may come across as a Bible-thumpin' religious zealot out to change the world - and I'm about as far from that as one can get. I believe in some superior being or force but neither Christianity nor any other religion has convinced me their guy is that force. I believe everyone has the right to worship or not worship, believe or not believe. If someone says to me "God bless you" if I sneeze, I don't get offended. If I see a Jew with a beanie cap in public, I don't get offended. I get offended at  someone being attacked for their honest beliefs, expecially when it comes to the point of the stupidity displayed in my examples which began this thread. I would carry the same cross (pun intended) for Jews, Wiccans, Druids or any group which caried out it's beliefs without force. I do not believe a Christmas tree on display or singing songs like Silent Night, The First Noel or We Three Kings show forcing religion down one's throat.

I'm back, btw. Nice to catch up on almost everyone's thoughts...  

Titia Geertman
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33 posted 12-29-2004 11:44 AM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman


I've followed this thread with growing amazement and I came to one conclusion:

AM I GLAD THAT I'M JUST A DUTCHIE

who can celebrate any feast she wants, wishing everybody what she wants, and decorate her house with whatever she wants.

You really are serious that in some of your cities it is forbidden to say 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' to one another????? and that there are no Christmas trees, with all them lovely lights

Are they forcing you in going back to the Middle Ages??? To underground celebrations???

Just can't grasp that.

Titia, a happy Dutchie

Like scattered leaves...my words will flow

Ron
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34 posted 12-29-2004 01:37 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... who can celebrate any feast she wants, wishing everybody what she wants, and decorate her house with whatever she wants.

Titia, you can most certainly do the same things in America, and most everyone does. You just can't use our tax money to do any of those things.

quote:
Wouldn't it be wonderful if human beings from all aspects of life could learn to tolerate faiths different from their own, rather than discourage and squash those who do practice something different from themselves?

Isn't that exactly what separation of church and state does, Kit? Instead of saying of my religion is better than your religion, we agree that in this one area and one area alone, no faith will be allowed to hold sway over any other. Tolerance isn't a matter of agreeing with everyone else, but rather, is a matter of choosing to not disagree with anyone.

quote:
That seems to be the major issue in our inability to come to an understanding, Ron. For the life of me, I cannot see the throat-shoving, pushing or infringing you refer to.

You're right, Mike, I suspect it IS the major issue that separates our understanding.

"Give me your children at the age of two; I'll return them at the age of nine. And will own them forever."

Those words, in a hundred different variations, have been attributed to everyone from Stalin to Hitler to the Catholic Church. While there is no doubting their truth, no matter who first said them, the words hide the fact that we are all children to some extent, regardless of age. I spent twelve weeks in Marine Corps boot camp and was reshaped in ways I would not have believed possible. Control a person's environment, and whether they are two or twenty, you control they way the think. Something Orwell knew and expressed very well.

The word, of course, is indoctrination, and it is particularly powerful in the hands of authority. Teachers, principals, mayors, and presidents (as your long list of quotations might suggest) carry weight. I believe you cannot escape the tendrils of influence. The best any can hope to do is control the content.

Yea, we are by and large a Christian nation. But which Christianity, Mike? When you open the door to mixing religion with law, you have to accept anything that comes through the door. Anyone here ready to go to jail for trying to get an illegal divorce? Anyone here ready to have their son or daughter told that most single parents are going straight to hell? I'm not sure there's even a single Christian precept that isn't contradicted by a different Christian precept elsewhere. Even within the same religion, we can't seem to agree on right and wrong.

Instead of trying to tell you what you believe is wrong, Mike, I simply ask that you don't bring it into our collective home. The schools, the court houses, the vast array of city halls, they belong to all of us. Allowing your beliefs, or my beliefs, or Hitler's anti-Semitic beliefs, to hold sway endangers ALL of our beliefs.

This, I think, is one of the instances where the only way to grant a freedom-to is to first grant a freedom-from.
Huan Yi
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35 posted 12-29-2004 01:40 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Titia,

How do the Dutch deal with Moslem sensitivities
which may not be as celebratory?

nakdthoughts
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36 posted 12-29-2004 07:02 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

I noticed Michael, that not one sales person even wished me a Merry Christmas this year..it was always "Happy Holidays". So it must have been "memoed" to everyone to do so..even in grocery stores.

btw...a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours


M
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37 posted 12-29-2004 08:04 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Once again, ROn, I have to shake my head at your comparisons. You're speaking of indoctrinations and mixing religion with laws and I'm speaking of putting up Christmas trees and singing a Christmas carol. This is indoctrination? You set up examples of mind-control, Hitler's youth camps and marine basic training and compare them to putting up a tree in the square or saying Merry Christmas in a school play?

Allowing your beliefs, or my beliefs, or Hitler's anti-Semitic beliefs, to hold sway endangers ALL of our beliefs.

Sorry, Ron. I will not compare my beliefs, nor yours, on similar ground with Hitler's beliefs....nor do I believe they should be compared.

I simply ask that you don't bring it into our collective home. The schools, the court houses, the vast array of city halls, they belong to all of us.

Fine, then. Empty out the school libraries of all religious books. Let nothing controversial remain. Make it illegal to raise your child believing there is a Santa Claus. That's a form of indoctrination, right? Make it illegal for any person to speak of their religion in a public place. Do not allow any diner to bow his head to say grace in any public restaurant or dining area.

Catholics have been accused of indoctrination? Oh, yes! I went to threee years of a Catholic grade school...it IS indoctrination. Fact is, though, I wasn't kidnapped and dragged inside. My parents chose to put me there. There was choice involved. There is choice involved in all religions.

I simply cannot compare how we celebrate Christmas to Hitler mind control...sorry. You paint pictures in strokes that are way too broad for a narrow-minded soul like me.  


RIght back atcha, Maureen
Huan Yi
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38 posted 12-29-2004 08:31 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Mike,

As I mentioned before, we would have to change the year dating
on coins, in government approved school books, etc. because
they refer back to the birth of you know who.
Brad
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39 posted 12-29-2004 09:28 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I've said it before, I'll say it again. America should simply get rid of the establishment clause, recognize religion, and be done with this silliness.

Of course, Christians will always find something else to feel victimized by, but at least it will be different.  

Face it, once the lions disappeared, you've never been happy.

Titia Geertman
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40 posted 12-29-2004 10:57 PM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman

Huan Yi:
How do the Dutch deal with Moslem sensitivities
which may not be as celebratory?


The Netherlands are originally Christians of some sort and every person who comes to live here, has to respect that fact, though they're free to think different and celebrate their own feasts.
There isn't a city or town in The Netherlands that doesn't have a Christmas tree at the square and have all the lights out hanging above the streets, all official buildings are decorated more or less inside and/or outside. I've never come across someone of a different religion who took offence to that, as Christians don't take offence to special celebrations of Moslems or Jews or whatever other religion.
Often they celebrate together, visiting each others celebrations.

I'm not saying all is well between the religions, there is some racism going on from both sites, mostly in the big cities, but it is unthinkeble overhere not allowing to celebrate ones feast openly.

I have never been to a moskee though, but that's because I don't know moslems who are going to the moskee. But I've celebrated Moslems feasts and Jewish feasts and it was very interesting. I'm totally not religious myself, but that doesn't mean I reject religion for others, even my mother goes to church every sunday.

Religion has a different place in our daily life than it has in the States.

I think Christmas has long gone beyond being solemny a Christian celebration, as has Carnaval.

How on earth do your Government think they can bring people together and respect each others way of living by seperating them, because that's what they are doing in my opinion. What they say is: it's ok to celebrate Christmas, it's ok to celebrate your Jewish feasts and your Moslem feasts, as long as you don't do it in the open and talk about it. How the hell do they expect that people of different religions will integrate and learn about and respect each others way of living if they're not allowed to talk about it in schools or whatever official building.

It's just too weird for words and it's just going beyond my comprehension.

How about celebrating New Years Eve? The Chinese and Jewish people have a different date of the New Year?????


Like scattered leaves...my words will flow

Balladeer
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41 posted 12-29-2004 11:48 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Out of the mouth of Dutchies...

Titia, you make some very excellent points, viewing from eyes of another country. Many things we do here go way beyond comprehension in the minds of other peoples. We are a laughingstock, for example, in many European countries at the amount of lawsuits we generate and what they relate to. We're called the sue-happy Americans - and with good reason. Topics like this, like not allowing Christmas trees in town squares, makes many shake their heads again, just like you do. I don't blame you..

Happy New Year, Dutchie!
Titia Geertman
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42 posted 12-30-2004 08:34 PM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman

Happy New Year to you too Deer.
How about celebrating Christmas next year overhere and we'll put up a big tree outside the guesthouse (hoping that will be ready by then) and I'll show you all the town's decorations in the area

Once I worked in a refugee camp overhere and one guy, Moslem, decorated his room at Christmas with lights and candles and I asked him whatfor, because celebrating Christmas didn't fit in his own religion.
His answer was: "Well, I see all around me that this feast is making you people happy and I want to be happy and besides that, I just like the lights and decorations very much"
And I shook his hand and said: "Thank you so much and I will attend one of your celebrations". And so I did at the end of the Ramadan, we celebrated the sugar feast and he made all kinds of sweets in my kitchen, because they weren't allowed to cook where he lived. And so did all the others and we came together, Dutchies and Moslems and we had a great time.
And that's how it should be! everywhere.

Isn't that a scary way of living if you can be law suited for almost everything? Yes, that fact did amaze me too when I was visiting the States.
But nevertheless: I'm a bit homesick Deer to those beautiful moments I spend with the poets in Tampa. It was quite an experience and I still think about it a lot.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, friend and may people come to their senses again, live and let live with respect is my advice.

Titia

Like scattered leaves...my words will flow

Midnitesun
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43 posted 12-31-2004 12:18 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Titia? hugs to you, for your wonderfully honest and sensible input here. America's holiday fighting must look totally bizarre from your standpoint. I have to shake my head too, as it's all gotten so out of control. I am not Christian, but still enjoy sharing a holiday meal and exchanging gifts with friends and family. Oh, and I happen to favor a little Buddha figurine, or a Sun or Moon Goddess figurine holding out fruit offerings.

I am one who believes that government buildings should not be decorated for any holiday unless ALL the holidays are equally represented. Hey, maybe we should have lights and festivities all year long, with everyone wishing everyone else peace, prosperity, good health every day?
Now there's a novel thought...
namaste
(and I still say Merry Christmas as often as I do Happy Holidays, no matter where I am)
Ron
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44 posted 12-31-2004 07:19 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Once again, ROn, I have to shake my head at your comparisons.

quote:
Fine, then. Empty out the school libraries of all religious books. Let nothing controversial remain. Make it illegal to raise your child believing there is a Santa Claus. That's a form of indoctrination, right? Make it illegal for any person to speak of their religion in a public place. Do not allow any diner to bow his head to say grace in any public restaurant or dining area.

Shaking head ...

... absolutely none of which has ever been even remotely suggested. If you don't understand the issues, Mike, just say so. I'll explain them to you again.
Alicat
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Coastal Texas


45 posted 12-31-2004 09:45 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Titia, your insight is most wonderful and it did get me thinking.  What defines a country, to my simplistic mind, is how much of a family they are.  America is this great big family, filled with squabbles, wars, sharing, games, punishments, and all other manner of things, especially noise.  And we are rather sue-happy (I'll probably be sued by the Lawyer Union for that one).  Howsoever, if someone from down the block comes into the yard and starts making trouble, the splintered family comes together to beat seven kinds of hell out of that interloper.  That is family, that is America.

May your New Year be blessed with fat sheep, scant predators, and lots of wool.
JoshG
Member
since 11-16-2004
Posts 127
TX, USA


46 posted 12-31-2004 01:06 PM       View Profile for JoshG   Email JoshG   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JoshG

How do you eradicate christianity from a system that was built by christians?

Christmas - A Christian feast commemorating the birth of Jesus. December 25, the day on which this feast is celebrated. Cristmastide.

Easter - A Christian feast commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus.  The day on which this feast is observed, the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or next after the vernal equinox.  Eastertide.

Thanksgiving - An act of giving thanks; an expression of gratitude, especially to God: a hymn of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Day!

all definition were taken from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
____________________________________________

Fine seperate church and state, but do not misconstrue the seperation of church to mean the eradication of religion on public property.  The interpretation I have come to understand is that in places of government that religion should not be discussed specifically to avoid disputes that could seperate our country.  Yet, put a room of christians together and you will get moral law based on christian principles.  We are living in a system built on some christian doctrine.  So lets talk about the things we need to get rid of to seperate church and state.  

1.  Our Date system - since it measure time based on B.C and A.D until now we will have to re evaluate how we date.

2.  Our currency - all of it it says in God we trust, now does that necessarily refer to a christian God, no.  Yet, it does refer to spiritual and religious beliefs so that must go.  A renovation of our currency is next.

3.  Pledge of Allegance -
"I pledge allegiance
to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic
for which it stands,
one nation,
under God,
indivisible,
with liberty
and justice for all." - that just wont do... lets change it.

4.  The all seeing eye - appears not only on our currency but on many monuments and offical documents of the US.  Yet, the all seeing eye refers to a higher deity that is watching over us.  Must be removed.

5.  The Flag - "The design of the flag was evidently taken from the coat of arms of the Washington family. As to the origin of this there is some doubt. Some authorities trace its ancestry back to the blue, scarlet, and white cloth on the table of shewbread before the ark of the covenant." - Church and State in the United States, by Anson Phelps Stokes, D.D, LL.D. Volume I, Harper & Brothers Publishers, N.Y. (1950) pp 469-470.  Hmmm, just a theory, but if proven would mean a total renovation of the flag.

6.  The Great Seal - ah and again "E Pluribus Unum"... hmm guess Christians get that to.

7.  VA headstones - the VA will provide a headstone to those that served the country in military service.  There is a list of items that will put on the headstone... "Photographs of some standard government headstones and markers, in the form of an upright marble or granite headstone, bronze niche marker, flat bronze marker, and granite or marble marker are shown on the VA web site. 1 The four examples shown there all include include religious symbols: two are Christian, one Jewish and one appears to be Buddhist." - http://www.religioustolerance.org/grav_mark.htm

A mans moral beliefs affect the way he makes decisions.  Thus if he is a government representative he is then bringing church into the state, right?  

Christians are still the majority of religious preference in the US.  I would love to see the impact to our great nation given the complete removal of church from state.  The fact is that church is a part of state and as much as religion has its agenda so does anti-religion.  There is no middle ground, only hypocracy that some choose to justify through weak constitutions internally.
Titia Geertman
Member Ascendant
since 05-07-2001
Posts 5297
Netherlands


47 posted 12-31-2004 01:35 PM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman

I know, I know, it's much easier talking from this single small country, because every other religion than Christian is a visitor here. We're decorating our own home so to speak when the big Christmas trees are standing on each town's square.

I hope you all are still allowed to put the lights on all the houses, because that's what stayed with me from when I lived there, some 35 years ago.

Do they still teach religion in schools? Or is that forbidden too and do children just have to depend on what the parents will tell them about other religions. Bad, bad in my opinion. One has to know first in order to be able to make up ones mind. Not knowing creates hathred and fear.
There are crazy, fanatic people in every religion, but that's not the religion's fault, it's always the fault of people who can't control power.

Let's celebrate New Years Eve with dignity and respect  for our fellow men and say thanks for all those who survived that dreadfull Tsunami. I don't pray, I'm not religious at all, but I've lit a lot of candles for those who died. My daughter could well have been with them, when she had planned her holiday to Thaiwan only 2 weeks earlier. I'm a selfish Mom, I was glad she stayed here for Christmas.

Today the Dutch people spend about 50 million euro's on fireworks, gone in a minute later on. How many lifes safed would that be? That's what I shake my head over too.

A Happy New Year friends and let's hope it will be a good one this time.

Titia

Like scattered leaves...my words will flow

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


48 posted 12-31-2004 01:40 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Alicat,

“And we are rather sue-happy (I'll probably be sued by the Lawyer Union for that one).”

Someone once said: “If it wasn’t for lawyers we wouldn’t need them.”

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


49 posted 12-31-2004 02:25 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

My apologies;
I’m reposting the below quote, because at times I get the
impression that Christianity is some sort of crouching
evil that must be kept at bay:


“    This is largely a world of brutal, heartless men—and of cunning,
of wickedness, of murder, of treachery, and deceit, of laughter at the
misfortune of others, of mockery and contempt.  It is also a world
of savage humour, of deft wit, of clever wordplay, of one-upmanship,
of ‘I told you so!’  So stark is the world of Aesop that it calls to mind
two reflections: first, women were relegated to such obscurity and
powerlessness that they were unable to influence the actions of men
or ameliorate them, and were essentially slaves.  (We know from an
analysis of surviving legal speeches that in classical Athens a woman
who was an heiress could be seized from her husband and children,
forcibly divorced and married to a distant male relative whom she
didn’t even know simply because she was a legal conduit through
which property flowed within her father’s family, and a family
property owner must be male.)  Second, there seems to have been
no general public consensus that compassion towards one’s fellow
human beings had anything particularly to recommend it.

     The latter observation is an important one, for we probably tend
to underestimate the ethical transformation of Western culture
which came about as a result of Christianity.  In the West today there
is also much brutality, violence and corruption, but among all of
that there is also widespread public consensus that it is a good thing
to be kind to children, to care about the unfortunate, to help one’s
neighbor, to assist the elderly across busy streets and to come to
the assistance of someone in distress who may be drowning or being
murdered in the street.  But these attitudes seem to have been absent
in ancient Greece except in the case of occasional individuals.  The
underlying ethos of the world of Aesop is ‘you’re on your own, and
if you meet people who are unfortunate, kick them while they are
down’.  The law of the jungle seemed to prevail in the world of men
as well as animals for Aesop.  Perhaps that is why animal stories
were so appropriate.”


Robert Temple,
from his 1997 introduction to:
“Aesop The Complete Fables”

I also recall an article that spoke of the Christian adoration of  Mary
and its beneficial impact on attitudes towards women, (referred to as the “Cult of Mary”
though I think cult the wrong word; someone else can probably find a
site that goes into detail about it).

 
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