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Apollo 8

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threadbear
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25 posted 01-05-2009 03:05 AM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

A Passionate Play  by Jeff Feezle

He bought a flower from her, thanked her then asked her what her name is.
MARY:    Mary Christmas
SOCAS:  Mine is Socas.  Would you walk with me a while, Mary?
They walked thru a crunchy snow, and stopped at the park when they heard the singing.
In a crŤche, joyous song was given out for the season.

MARY:  Lovely, isnít it?  So soothing.  Makes a person forget the cold night.
SOCAS: Yes, but excuse me, I have to make a quick phone call.
          Hi, John.  Itís me.  You better file an injunction in the morning.
          Weíve got a nativity scene in the public federal park.  Shouldnít be there.
          Right!  Just let me know if I can be of further help.  Bye.
MARY:    Did you just turn in those people, like they were criminals?
SOCAS:  But they ARE, Mary.  Theyíre breaking the law.
MARY:    What law?
SOCAS:  The Separation Of Church And State laws, of course.
              These are more important than the holiday itself.
MARY:   But, Socas, everyone here is enjoying them.  
SOCAS:  Itís for the greater good, Mary.
In silence they walked until they met some of SOCASí friends.
SOCAS:  Hey, Mary, some of my friends are approaching.  They arenít religious.
       Iím going to rename you Mary Holidays so we donít offend them.
MARY:   But it offends ME, Socas!  And it bothers everyone who knows me well.
        My last name has Godís own approval for it.  I donít understand why...
SOCAS:  That is fairly selfish of you, Mary, to insist upon thrusting your offensive name upon non-believers.  It makes them feel excluded.
MARY:   I think, Socas, that itís better if we didnít see each other again.
SOCAS:  But, Mary, we would make a great couple!
MARY:   You donít even respect me enough to call me by my real name.
       How can we come together when you insist on demeaning me simply for who I am?
SOCAS:  These are modern times, Mary.  The silent isnít silent anymore.  
MARY:   ...and the majority is no longer the majority, either.
        Goodbye,  Socas: take good care,            
                 and,  Mary Christmas.

[This message has been edited by threadbear (01-05-2009 12:14 PM).]

serenity blaze
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26 posted 01-05-2009 03:35 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

and to all...a good knight!

My computer's buzzing.

(prolly a good thing)

what am I gonna do now?


nuthin'

probably

I honestly wish that there were miracles, and crazy nice stuff happened on that date--but the truth is that it never did, and more than likely it never will.

"A nice man in a big fat suit"...

and I will never understand how nails through hands, etcetera?

Well. I'll never understand.

I suppose I'm going to Hell.

But I ask you, how could you leave Hell with the people you love, so steadfastly behind?

serenity blaze
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27 posted 01-05-2009 04:01 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

It was Heaven all along.

JenniferMaxwell
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28 posted 01-05-2009 05:58 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

The Wikipedia article on Christmas is really very interesting. From reading it, I learned a lot of things, for instance:

December 25 is not thought to be Jesus' actual date of birth, and the date may have been chosen to correspond with either a Roman festival,[6] or with the winter solstice.[7]

According to popular tradition, the birth took place in a stable, surrounded by farm animals, though neither the stable nor the animals are mentioned in the Biblical accounts.

Nativity scenes traditionally include the Three Wise Men, Balthazar, Melchior, and Caspar, and who are said to have followed a star, known as the Star of Bethlehem, and arrive at his birth. [38] However, this conflicts with Biblical accounts in that their names and number are never mentioned nor is their arrival at his birth. (Matt. 2:7Ė8, 16).

In Colonial America, the Puritans of New England disapproved of Christmas. Celebration was outlawed in Boston from 1659 to 1681.

Charles Dickens's book A Christmas Carol, published in 1843, played a major role in reinventing Christmas as a holiday emphasizing family, goodwill, and compassion as opposed to communal celebration and hedonistic excess.[31]

In America, interest in Christmas was revived in the 1820s by several short stories by Washington Irving which appear in his The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon and "Old Christmas", and by Clement Clarke Moore's 1822 poem A Visit From St. Nicholas (popularly known by its first line: Twas the Night Before Christmas).[32] Irving's stories depicted harmonious warm-hearted holiday traditions he claimed to have observed in England. Although some argue that Irving invented the traditions he describes, they were widely imitated by his American readers. The poem A Visit from Saint Nicholas popularized the tradition of exchanging gifts and seasonal Christmas shopping began to assume economic importance.[33]
............................................
Follow the links in blue for even more fascinating and enlightening reading.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas
serenity blaze
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29 posted 01-05-2009 06:20 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Thank you Jenn.

Holidays are...difficult.

My brother was removed from his post as an Elder in the Baptist Church, because he kinda figgered out that "our" December 25 was not the actual birth of the man called Jesus...according to historical Josephus...so..yeah.

He was deposed. (My brother--he was deposed. Christ maintained his birthday.)

I honestly don't know what to say to these annual "depositions". Sometimes I feel like it's like..."I Dream of Jeannie" where they just make up a date, so she won't feel so bad for not having a b'day.

Nod.

I can relate to that. But Jesus?

I have total respect for the man. I once dreamt he washed my feet, but that story gets me in trouble, so consider this, kinda sorta hoping for some more score...

Trouble, I mean.

It's a good story though.

I like him.

Jesus, I mean. He parties.

Like it's 2999.

JenniferMaxwell
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30 posted 01-05-2009 06:42 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

"Holidays are...difficult."

Yep, Karen, for sure they are for many of us. For me, Christmas brings back memories of some of the worst days in my life. It takes about all the strength I have just to deal with those memories and get through the season, as it does for many others. So for those who also suffer from "seasonal" depression, I wish them all Happy Days, It's Over!

serenity blaze
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31 posted 01-05-2009 06:46 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Now I just have to get through Mardi Gras.

*chuckle*

funnels and such, yanno?



lawsy

drop me a line about the Jesus stuff. I wish my brother were still alive, so he could correct Wikipedia.

And he would.

(Mardi Gras is early this year, let me know if yer in town.)

I'll be the one hobbling.
Balladeer
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32 posted 01-05-2009 08:35 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It would be strange that your brother would be removed for that reason, serenity gal. The fact that Jesus was not born on December 25th is no revelation at all. It has been accepted for many years. In a documentary on the History channel it showed how that date had been selected because it was the date that Romans had celebrated one of their own gods and it gave a detailed account of how and why Christians decided on that date to celebrate the birth of Christ. There is no big expose here.

Jeff, I told ya.......
serenity blaze
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33 posted 01-05-2009 08:54 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

*laughing*

but not at you

before there was wikipedia? My brother was correcting the "History Channel".

Apparently he had opportunity to study some Hebrew, and discovered (and oh I wish he were here) and according to his calculations, Jesus was born sometime in March.  And EVERYBODY knows about Constantine, and his merging of Winter Solstice with the "newfound" Christian holiday of the 'birthday' of Christ. And let's not even argue what can't be proven--even if my dead brother thought he had proof.

Anyhow, I thought you knew all this stuff?

Hmmm...aren't you agnostic? *scratching my head*

*shrug*

It doesn't matter to me, but I find it curious that you bring this point up every year....

and baffled

Now SOLSTICE matters to me because that happens to be the date the days commence to growing longer, celebrating return of the light? (See? I like it when it's neat.)

And that's neat.

But Merry Christmas? Merry Monday.

It don't matter to me.
JenniferMaxwell
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34 posted 01-05-2009 10:58 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Actually, Balladeer, what you told Jeff hasn't happened, not even remotely. But if you want to pretend it has then - whatever, and, Have a nice day.

I think if one is a Christian, one should observe Christmas as Holy Day, not a holiday tarnished by pagan traditions, commercialism, gastronomic excesses, greed, and offerings of peace and goodwill that seem to last only until the tree is tossed out for rubbish collection.

I love the winter solstice, too, Karen. Just to know the 4:00 darkness will soon turn to light makes it a real holiday for me.

threadbear
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35 posted 01-05-2009 12:32 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Everyone is entitled to a personal belief.  On that grounds, I tend to object when other people, who don't participate in the belief, offer their instructions, or hire the aCLU to alter someone else's idea of religion.  It is ALWAYS the outsiders who think they they know best.  It would be like me walking into a Jewish wedding ceremony and saying it was bogus because they jumped over an object and smashed a goblet.   Or someone who doesn't golf, saying simplistically:  it's all about chasing a little white ball over a field.    

A person has to be inside the circle to 'feel' the importance of the holiday.  I think in some individuals and groups, there is a resentment among nonbelievers for various reasons.  For one, I think (at least initially) they are jealous or envious that the personal touch of Jesus hasn't happened to them, and they wonder why.  That wonder is quickly replaced by skepticism.  Jesus is about free choice:  if you don't ask Him into your life, he won't appear in your soul.  It really is that simple.  For others, the religion in which they were raised in becomes the primo facto belief system, and they may never become believers.    In general, I find that true Christians are happier than most people.  They seem fulfilled and not at odds with success, or lack of it.  Their ease with life comes from something stronger than themselves, and they live in that moment of comfort.  Non-believers call it believing in magic because they've NEVER had the feeling of natural well-being stemming from the Presence of the Lord.  

So difficult to describe a 'feeling of well being', but I will try briefly, Karen, to tell you what it feels like:
imagine that a person's whole life is spent under the protective umbrella of their benevalent father.  No matter what, that person will always have a house, someone to love them, protect them, and take them back if they fail.  That assured feeling is what most Christians feel believing in Christ.   'No Matter What'....He is there.  

  I see firsthand, what young people go through when they don't have a Father to fall back on as they get older and struggle thru life-phases.  Perhaps you understand now why Christians want to SHARE this happiness with others.  It doesn't mean they wish to cram their beliefs down someone's throat.  They only wish to share the Goodness.  ...and of course, Christmas is a great vehicle in which to do that.
JenniferMaxwell
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36 posted 01-05-2009 01:03 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Cough, cough, water...feels like somethingís being crammed down my throat. Agh...

My favorite holiday manger scene is one on a neighborís lawn from Black Friday until just before Easter. They do it every year so I know the drill. Anyway, not only do they have plastic, life size Mary, Joseph, Wise Men and assorted farm animals, they also have Mr. and Mrs. Santa, Elves and a few reindeer standing around the crib containing a plastic Baby Jesus lit by red and green flashing lights - first a red faced Baby Jesus, then a green faced Baby Jesus...and so on and so on.

Iíd really like to thank them for sharing their faith, except I canít quite figure out what it is. Is there some peculiar Christian sect that includes the Santas, fairy tale creatures, and north country wildlife in the retelling of the story of the birth of the Christ Child?

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37 posted 01-05-2009 01:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Hmmm...aren't you agnostic? *scratching my head*

hehe....that's the point, Serenity gal. If I were a Bible-pounder or devout Christian, it would be different. I would be out there trying to influence people and drive the point for my guy home. But I'm just a guy in the middle, not knowing what name the Divine Power goes by or whether or not he actually had children. That being so, you can take my words to support ANYONE'S right to their beliefs and celebrations without one, or five, out of a hundred complaining that their rights are being violated or others holding up the constitution and screaming foul.

If someone were to wish me a happy Kwanzaa (which I don't believe in) if I felt it was done with sincerity, I would thank him, not scream that he is trying to force his beliefs on me and go complain to the mayor.

Does that help the head scratch?  


Jenn, there doesn't have to be a particular Christian sect at all. That's the way they choose to display it and they have that right. It obviously makes them happy to do it that way so what's the problem? No one has any obligation to endorse it, nor do they have the right to condemn it with sarcasm...at least no moral right.
serenity blaze
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38 posted 01-05-2009 02:14 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Actually, I enjoy the manger scenes and stuff. Jesus is fine with me.

I think he's actually pretty cool.

I suspect he's so cool, that he might say something like "render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's."

I guess he found it hard to get all worked up about that stuff too.



(The head scratching is more of a shrug, now.)

But I do maintain that seperation of church and state means just that. Private property, do what ya feel.

Ron
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39 posted 01-05-2009 03:19 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
It would be like me walking into a Jewish wedding ceremony and saying it was bogus because they jumped over an object and smashed a goblet.

No, Jeff, actually it would be like you walking into your living room and unexpectedly finding a Jewish wedding ceremony in progress. It wouldn't matter if it was bogus or what they jumped over so much as whether it was an appropriate place for a private activity.

You might even decide to just laugh, slap the groom on the back, and kiss the bride. But wouldn't you want that to be your choice?

I can't imagine anyone disagreeing that private living quarters should be protected from intrusion by outsiders. It's one of those things that just about everyone accepts as a given. The problem only seems to arise when we start sharing our living quarters with others.

If Chandler shares an apartment with Joey, each of them expects the other to use the kitchen. That doesn't, however, mean that either of them can do anything they want in their shared kitchen. There have to be boundaries. There are typically different boundaries between roommates, between family, and between spouses, but when people share their lives with others there are ALWAYS boundaries. It's how we avoid killing each other.

That public park? That Federal building? That space capsule circling the Earth? Those are shared quarters. I paid for them just as much as you did, and of course that means we need to establish our boundaries.

If you really feel the need to run around naked, please do it in your private quarters, not in the ones you share with me. I promise I'll do the same. And if, somewhere down the road, we should decide to share what appears to be a common interest in nude cavorting, I'm sure we can find a private place to do it rather than force it on everyone wandering through communal quarters.

Your place or mine?


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40 posted 01-05-2009 09:03 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

That public park? That Federal building? That space capsule circling the Earth? Those are shared quarters. I paid for them just as much as you did, and of course that means we need to establish our boundaries.

Having now stated that you considered it out of line, were you bothered by it back in '68, Ron? Do you recall any controversy over it then? I don't...did it give you feelings about seperation of church and state then?

Just curious......
Essorant
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41 posted 01-05-2009 11:15 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I didn't find many people trying to shun the word "Christmas" this time.  
Ron
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42 posted 01-05-2009 11:43 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Honestly, Mike, I don't remember Apollo 8 too well or, for that matter, much else of 1968. My world was much smaller that year, my concerns more focused, courtesy of Uncle Sam and Marine Corps boot camp. I was busy.

Your point, nonetheless, is well taken.

I'll admit there wasn't a lot of concern about separation of church and state in those days. We were too busy burying RFK and MLK in 1968, I suspect, too nervous about the Tet Offensive in Vietnam and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, too frantic with widespread race riots and forestalled school bussing, and maybe just plain too tired to worry overly much about a couple of guys reading the Bible on our government's dime.

I'd like to think we've come a ways in the forty years since. Can you imagine Obama being elected in 1968? I sure can't. Yea, things have changed in four decades, attitudes have shifted, and that's not always a bad thing. Those were simpler times, to be sure, but simpler isn't always better. Increased concern over separation of state, increased awareness of the importance of both civil rights and human rights, even the trend towards political correctness that everyone and his brother decries, these are signposts, I think, along a social journey still in the making. We're learning, perhaps, that when you immerse other people in crap the result never smells much like a rose garden, and there's way too much crap to go around to think we won't have to take our own turn in its depths. It's still limited to our own backyard, sadly, but I think concern over how we treat people is a good thing. It's progress.

Someday, I suspect Respect and Tolerance might actually work. Fancy that.
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43 posted 01-06-2009 12:01 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Interesting, Ron. 1968...you were headed in and I was headed out. Didn't realize you were such a youngster
serenity blaze
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44 posted 01-06-2009 08:38 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

smart little puppy, ain't he?

threadbear
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45 posted 01-07-2009 05:14 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Ron, in delayed answer to your post about using someone's private quarters (that STILL sounds 'randy'!), uh, I am in partial agreement with you.  Parks are for public use.  They are frequently used for gatherings.  They are also sometimes used for Christmas decorations.  Here are religious items all over public land and yet the said religious group can't use it with permission?    "Sounds like: we threw a party in your honor, but...you can't come."

  As far as your other naked comment: can't help you there.  I'm ALREADY banned in 27 states!
 
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