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Passions in Poetry

Merry Christmas!!

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Balladeer
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0 posted 12-24-2004 06:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


The annual assault on Christmas comes in many forms. First, there is the barrage of litigation by the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites) (ACLU), which is reliably offended by almost any representation of Christianity in the public square. Small towns, facing the prospect of expensive litigation over religious displays on public property, often cave in simply out of fear. Part of the intimidation is that if the towns lose, they must pay the legal fees of the ACLU.


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.

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, then allowed firefighters to put up a tree on Christmas Eve and Christmas, with the provision that if one person objected, the tree had to come down. The next year, Kensington, Md., banned Santa Claus from a tree-lighting ceremony because of two complaints. So the city's most sensitive person was, in effect, allowed to make policy.

The sensitivity argument -- that any reference to Christmas at all might make someone feel bad -- is responsible for the spread of the anti-Christmas campaign from religious symbols to the purely secular and harmless trappings of the season, including red poinsettias, red-and-green cookies, holiday lights, and Rudolph the reindeer.

Santa Claus, originally based on a Christian saint but no more religious than Kermit the Frog, is considered much too divisive and hurtful to non-Christian students in many schools. 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.

And though Christmas trees are considered secular when they are useful in warding off Nativity scenes, the word "Christmas" is often removed by panicky officials, thus producing multicultural trees, holiday trees, community trees, care trees and giving trees. The White House still has a Christmas tree, but Congress has a Capitol Holiday Tree.

William Donohue, head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, points out that an elementary school in New Hampshire declared that December is a gift-giving month but couldn't explain why or how it got to be a giving time of year, since it refused to use the word "Christmas."

The South Orange/Maplewood, N.J., school district banned religious Christmas songs, even in instrumental versions. In Florida, an elementary school concert included songs about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, but offered not a single note of Christmas music. A recent winter parade in Denver looked very much like a Christmas event, except for one small thing: Every reference to Christmas was banned.
On Dec. 26, ("Kwanzaa Day"), CNN Headline News led all its top stories
from around the world with a report which gave Kwanzaa more coverage
than it did to some Christmas celebrations. Is this part of another
effort to pry away the blacks from Christianity?
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union has reportedly forced
on unconstitutional grounds the City of St. Ann, Missouri, to remove
a nativity scene from in front of its City Hall in future years,
according to a Dec. 24 news report.

© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

The New Jersey school district that banned Christmas music, even by instrumental groups, from its holiday concerts has been hit with a lawsuit claiming officials have demonstrated hostility toward religion.

Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit Friday on behalf of Michael Stratechuk and his two children, who are students in the South Orange/Maplewood School District. According to a statement from Thomas More, the suit claims the district's action is unconstitutional.

This year the district expanded its no-Christmas music policy to include instrumental music. Instead of tunes about Jesus, and even Santa Claus, the 40-member Columbia High School brass ensemble will be limited for the first time to seasonal selections such as "Winter Wonderland" and "Frosty the Snowman." The group's holiday concert is scheduled for tomorrow night.
Last week, Bogota, N.J., Mayor Steve Lonegan, a Republican candidate for governor, has organized what he calls an "illegal" night of caroling tomorrow before the Columbia High School concert to draw attention to the school district's ban. Lonegan has invited his rivals to join him outside the school to sing songs that were deleted from the concert's program.


For all of those to whom it relates, I would like to give a hearty MERRY CHRISTMAS. For all of those who celebrate other holidays instead, I wish you HAPPY HOLIDAYS and for those who are offended that I wish those of my faith Merry Christmas and to those lawyers who, for their own personal gain, try to put the fear of being sued into those wishing to celebrate Christmas openly, I say - bite me.
Sunshine
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1 posted 12-24-2004 07:15 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Merry Christmas, Balladeer...
and ACLU?  Go ahead...
sue me.

Not A Poet
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2 posted 12-24-2004 07:49 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Count me in too. Thanks Mike.
Ron
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3 posted 12-24-2004 07:54 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Merry Christmas to you, too, Mike.

And since these forums aren't funded by government mandated taxes, and don't in any way determine how people can or can't live their lives, we can pretty much get away with saying that. As a private place, we can observe any religious holiday we want, in any civilized manner we want. The people who wrote separation of church and state into our Constitution, of course, didn't always have that luxury. Which I guess, when it comes down to it, is why you and I still do.
Denise
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4 posted 12-24-2004 08:14 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Merry Christmas, Michael!

It's really getting rediculous, isn't it? I mean, when did Santa and a Christmas tree and the colors red and green carry religious significance, and so much so that they can't be tolerated in the public square. They've always been the secular side of the holiday. And I think that if a Menorah and a Crescent can be displayed in the public square, why not a Manger scene?

It seems that the crowd that screams "tolerance" the loudest has none for those with a differing worldview than their own. How ironic. There are none so blind...

And I haven't heard of any Christians calling for the banning of the celebrating of other's religious holidays, have you? I think that speaks volumes.

But I truly thank God that I live in a country where I can at least still go to church and celebrate the religous significance of the holiday.

"O Sing all ye angels, sing in exhaltation, O sing all ye citizens of heaven above.

Come and behold Him, born the King of angels

O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord."

"He came from Heaven to Earth to show the way, from the Earth to the Cross, my debt to pay, from the Cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky, O, I lift His name on high!"

As an aside, my little granddaughter, Abigail (3 years old), was "boogyin' on down" in the aisle of the church tonight during one of the songs...one of those precious moments I'll take with me to my grave! ) I wish everyone in the world that same joy that I experienced tonight just watching her enjoying herself so much!

Merry Christmas to you and yours, my friend! I raise my glass of egg-nog to you!




Balladeer
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5 posted 12-24-2004 08:18 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you, Sunshine, Pete and Ron...

Ron, ain't it a shame that we need to use the phrase "get away with it" with reference to wishing one merry Christmas? Somehow I doubt that those intelligent gentlemen who advocated seperation of church and state would be going along with what the manipulation of their words  and thoughts has become.
Balladeer
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6 posted 12-24-2004 08:22 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Denise...egg nog???? I'll be right there!!!

That's a wonderful memory you have there. I wish you the very best for the holiday season, Denise. Bless you and yours..
Denise
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7 posted 12-24-2004 08:44 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ron
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8 posted 12-25-2004 06:52 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Somehow I doubt that those intelligent gentlemen who advocated seperation of church and state would be going along with what the manipulation of their words  and thoughts has become.

I think they would understand, Mike, that majority rule shouldn't be applied to faith.

You argue from a position of strength, whereas many of them came to the New World because they knew first hand the feeling of being a minority. The government allowed to push Christmas down everyone's throat this year, whether they believe or not, will be the same government pushing Black Mass on The Feast of Valbörg for our children's children. While I'm not so naïve as to think that can't still happen, nor even so optimistic as to think it won't, I don't feel inclined to make it easy.

Government is a thing of power. Faith, I think, should remain a thing of preference.
Huan Yi
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9 posted 12-25-2004 08:25 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Merry Christmas Mike and Everyone,

I have seen as with a long look
the best a man can make
is to create his own goodness

out of a clear image of himself
the satisfaction in simply being alive
the pleasure of his own eyes

Ecclesiastes
V  (3 : 1)

It is good to be.

John
PhaerieChild
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10 posted 12-25-2004 09:08 AM       View Profile for PhaerieChild   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for PhaerieChild

Well all I have to say to any of this is
HEY YA'LL!!! HAVE A REAL MERRY "CHRISTMAS"!!!
Kit McCallum
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11 posted 12-25-2004 09:37 AM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

Merry Christmas Michael!  

I just saw your post and wanted to make sure I got a chance to send a big hug your way!

You have a wonderful day sweet poet!

Big hugs,
/Kit
GG
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12 posted 12-25-2004 11:45 AM       View Profile for GG   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for GG

Merry Christimas!
I have to admit, I do chuckle to myself a little when I hear some people so vehemently speak against using the word 'Christmas' and they use the word 'Holiday' instead. Yes, it really was a holy day. I don't think they realise what they are saying. But then I'm sure I don't realise what I'm saying sometimes, too.
I hope the day is wondeful for you. And now, back to cleaning...

Always, Alyssa

He was a man of sorrows
...I am a girl of tears.

Nan
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13 posted 12-25-2004 01:49 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Another Christmas hug - You're the best... Wishing you and yours the Merriest of Days... and I sure hope that Kit & I can take a bit of the credit for your inspirational rant.  

...Merry Christmas Mike...
Balladeer
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14 posted 12-25-2004 02:15 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The government allowed to push Christmas down everyone's throat this year,

I must say, Ron, I find that a fairly incredible statement unless, of course, you have any examples to back up the throat-shoving. I certainly haven't seen it. I have not heard of Christians protesting the display of other religious symbols nor finding lawyers to file suit for their removal. Placing a religious figure in a public place is not what I consider "shoving". Those to whom it applies will acknowledge it. Those who don't won't. It should be that simple. Does it make people feel so defensive they need to see such symbols obliterated to feel more secure or is the the pack of lawyers convincing them to feel that way for their own personal gain? I've never heard of a Jew being injured by the sight of a cross (unless they were a vampire!) Nor have I seen a Christioan violated by the sight of a menorah. The world is filled with things we agree or disagree with. Such is life. We respond to what is agreeable and disregard the others. Why do holiday names need to be changed, symbols that have existed for centuries be banned, carols that have been sung over the years be blacklisted just because 5% of the population wants it so? No one is MADE to celebrate Christmas. No one is forced at gunpoint to sing Christmas carols. I simply do not understand the throat-shoving comment at all.

What's next? DO we change In God We Trust on our money to "In SOmething We Trust Unless WE Don't Want to Because No One Can Be forced To Trust in Anything"? That would be a quarter that wouldn't fit into any soda machine I know!!!

Anyway, since I have this opportunity to "get away" with such an action due to this being a private site without government funding, let me repeat....Merry Christmas, Ron
serenity blaze
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15 posted 12-25-2004 10:13 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

"Merry Christmas to all, and to all...a good fight?"



(Not me. Not tonight.)



Denise
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16 posted 12-25-2004 10:59 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I think sometimes there is confusion between majority rule and just plain old prevalence of the customs of a society due to who comprises the majority in a society.

If our country were predominantly aetheistic the landscape of our society would be different with respect to the themes of celebrations and holidays. It just so happens that the majority in our country adhere to the Christian traditions/holidays.

Nobody is shoving Christmas down anyone's throat that I can see either. As Michael said, if it doesn't apply to someone they can ignore it. They could also respect their neighbors' celebrations and wish them a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanuka, Happy Kwaanza, or whatever. They could also take from it what they like and incorporate it into an expression of their own ideology or worldview and ignore the rest, which is what I think the earlier Christians did when they lived in a world where the majority were pagan and they imbued the pagan winter festivals with their own Christian spiritual realities so that they could celebrate the festivals in a way where they were honoring their understanding of God and not the pagan belief in gods and goddesses.

If anyone is doing any shoving it seems to me that it is being done by those handful of folks who just can't seem to tolerate any expressions of a worldview that differs from their own. And why should we grant such an intolerant bunch any quarter in how the rest of us wish to celebrate the holidays? Last year it was a big to-do over the manger scene being displayed, this year it is a big to-do over the very word Christmas and Christmas carols, and now even Santa, the elves, the tree, and the colors red and green. Unbelievable. Has anyone considered that these folks who seem to be so easily offended by everything might just need to grow up a little and learn some tolerance for others? They strike me as very desperate and insecure. If one holds a minority view, one holds a minority view. Deal with it for crying out loud. Why force the rest of the populace to celebrate the way that someone with a minority view wants to celebrate, or not celebrate at all because someone with a minority view doesn't want to?

Tyranny by the minority, which is how I would characterize all these lawsuits and threatened lawsuits against our Christmas customs, is no more desirable than is mob rule by the majority when it happens, which public displays and celebrations are not, since no one is being coerced into participating.

Who would have ever thought that a season of "Peace and good will to all" would be a problem with anyone?

Denise
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17 posted 12-25-2004 11:07 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Merry Christmas, Karen!

How is your nephew, Nick, doing? He is still in my thoughts and prayers, as are all the others over there.
serenity blaze
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18 posted 12-26-2004 12:03 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Denise? you would remember...and thank you for that lovie.

We got a small grace of reprieve in that Nick was home for Thanksgiving, and as of now he is scheduled for Iraq in February.

And well, how is he? It's hard to tell.

He's not the dramatic type.

I was told that when he was in Afghanistan, Geraldo Rivera went there, and his platoon was invited to be on TEEVEE.

My nephew thought it a great time to catch up on some sleep. He had foregone his chance for fame and went to bed.

But do keep him in your prayers, as well as all the enlisted guys.

I'm hoping by February, there won't be anything for him to do there.

(hey, I can dream, can't I?)


Denise
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19 posted 12-26-2004 12:08 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

That's a dream that I would love to become a reality too. Until then, he'll be in my thoughts and prayers. (((HUGS)))
Krawdad
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20 posted 12-26-2004 01:58 AM       View Profile for Krawdad   Email Krawdad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Krawdad

quote:
And I haven't heard of any Christians calling for the banning of the celebrating of other's religious holidays, have you? I think that speaks volumes.


Well, Denise, I have.  It's called Christmas.
Why do you suppose it was concieved as an event to occur at the same time as the older Winter Solstice (dare I say "Pagan") celebration?  I think you may have had something else in mind with this statement, but I think you are also conveniently forgetting a bit of the history of religious practice.  
Religions have been trying to bury each other for centuries.  Notice that there is a fair amount of Winter Solstice ritual still practiced today, by Christians, among others, whether they know it or not.
And so it goes . . .

e
serenity blaze
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21 posted 12-26-2004 02:06 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Well yeah.



Somebody should mention Constantine, a brilliant political strategist, who managed to unite pagans and Christians by means of some convenient datical engineering.

(And hey? It's after midnight. Truce is done now?)



sheesh.

(but a White Christmas in New Orleans was really nice.)



Denise
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22 posted 12-26-2004 12:30 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Well, I did mention the earlier Christians taking what they liked from the festivals of their majority Pagan neighbors and instilling their own spiritual realities into those celebrations. So everyone celebrated at the same time, each in their own way, each honoring their own understanding of God or gods/goddesses. Seems harmonious enough to me, quite multi-cultural. So what am I "conveniently forgetting"?

And if Constantine united Pagan and Christian, to some extent, by his datical engineering, I see that as a good thing, but if he shoved the Christian aspect down the Pagans' throats, then he was wrong for doing so, plain and simple.
serenity blaze
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23 posted 12-26-2004 02:55 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

You forgot to wish me a Merry Christmas, Denise.

Semantics, shemantics--I ended the argument in my home by celebrating them all.

Every day's a holiday. *giggle*
Denise
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24 posted 12-26-2004 07:56 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

But I did, Karen, up there in post #17! But I've no problem doing it more than once!

Merry Christmas, Karen!

And if every day's a holiday, can we get off work with pay?!
 
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