Friday, November 16, 2007

IS THERE A WAR ON CHRISTMAS?

First of all people are offended far too easily in this country. If atheists or non-Christians are offended by the sight of Christmas paraphernalia then they have issues. In the Lowe's catalog they had green pine trees that were called "Family Trees". Now schools are out for "Winter Break". Store clerks are instructed NOT to say "Merry Christmas". " Happy Holidays" is more inclusive and accepting..........yuck. What if you don't believe in a "Holy Day"? There is always a big FREAK OUT somewhere in the country about some county court house that "OH MY HE**" has a nasty annoying Christmas tree or HEAVEN FORBID a nativity scene. Maybe it isn't as big a deal as Bill O' Reilly makes it every year, but isn't it a bit silly? I believe in the separation of Church and state, I really do. I do not want the government interfering in my Church. But is this an ESTABLISHMENT of religion to decorate a court house?? Is there a soldier forcing Christianity down the throats of all who happen to see this display of celebration? And what kind of psychological issues does a person have if this display is interpreted as a personal VIOLATION? Is there not bigger fish to fry in this nation than to police who says GOD or worships GOD on government property? This is one of my main issues with liberalism. I believe it is a VICTIMIZATION mentality. Society as a whole is required to tip toe around minority groups or be labeled a bigot or even nastier the "religious right". I spent 6 months in Jerusalem with BYU and not one time did I feel offended by the 5 prayer calls a day by Muslims. I found it quite nostalgic and peaceful. Perhaps the anti-Christmas crowd is small, but it seems they are very LOUD. If someone said Happy Hanukkah to me I would say "Thank you". Belly-aching atheists get on my nerves. Poor babies have to say hear "God" during the Pledge of allegiance and see stupid Christmas crap all over the place. I mean it is flat out oppressive. It is a domino that will soon turn into saying a prayer with the guy at the DMV before you get you drivers license. I mean this could get ugly. Next thing you know they'll be passing out wafers before traffic court! If you are a purist when it comes to the separation doctrine FINE! Fixate on this turmoil. Cringe when you see Christmas decorations at City Hall and file a petition, call the ACLU and feel personally raped at the sight of such HATE and exclusionary decor. And then take a Prozac and 10 deep breaths and realize that you can be tolerant of us and perhaps not embrace Christianity, but partake of the giving spirit of the season. If someone says "Merry Christmas" and you are not a Christian say "thank you"! CHOOSE NOT TO BE OFFENDED!!! And when the storm troopers come knocking on your door and force you to go to Church, be concerned, but until then, relax and eat some figgy pudding, just for the HELL OF IT!!!!

15 comments:

DB said...

Since when do Christians need to worry this issue? Does the fact that stores, appealing to all their customers not just their Christian ones, make Christians uncomfortable in their beliefs? Do you really feel that saying "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance makes you more American, or Christian? Does a Court House really have to have a Nativity scene on the lawn to validate your beliefs?

People "defend" Christmas as a religious holiday but turn around and put secular images of Christmas up for the neighborhood to see, such as Santa, reindeer, lights and Christmas Trees.

When did Santa replace Jesus? Better yet, when did Christians deem this ok?

Nikki said...

Hey DB, Thanks for checking out my blog and posting a comment...I am going to put a link to your blog on my page as well. I checked it out and I like the format a lot!!......
I do think you are splitting hairs. Santa is not a secular image, he is a Saint. Nicholas to be exact. Symbols represent tradition and celebration. In Jerusalem they celebrate Purim the liberation of the Jews by Esther......They dress up in costumes, run around and spray each other with silly string and have a great time.......is their Jewish religion threatened because of the silly string? No but it is fun. And did I feel threatened in my Christian beliefs to celebrate a Jewish Holiday? NO. Quite frankly I learned a lot about a different culture and embraced the commonality in celebrating a Holiday. I don't feel validated by a show of Christendom, I just don't understand the offensiveness it exudes to some? Can't you just say WOW pretty lights, gorgeous poinsettias, Lovely tree, great food! It would seem that tolerance does not extend to Christians. Don't worry about what we Christians do with our Holiday to make your point. And when stores are making a pretty penny because of a religious holiday then Yes!! send me some LOVE in the form of a Merry Freaking Christmas!! And as far as Santa replacing Christ........whatever. That is quite judemental for and open-minded liberal who is so accepting of all different lifestyles. I fail to see how that proves your point to nit pick the symbols displayed by Christians.
I also don't feel more patriotic nor more christian by using GOD in the pledge......but why are you offended? don't say it. remember the argument of free expression, if you don't like what you see on TV "turn it off"!! there you go.
I think it would be great if there was some sort of atheist holiday we could all share in the HOOPLA.........I am all about a party!
CHAO!

DB said...

Thanks for posting our site on your blog, we will do the same. BTW, I love Christmas lol. Hell, we are probably the only house in the neighborhood decorated and ready to go! My wife pointed out the secular symbols point you made. I just feel that the religiousness of the symbol has since been lost (but not by you of course!).

Just stirring the pot a little bit!

Ciao

Nikki said...

Hey DB I like that you are stirring the pot!! That is my objective!! I wish more people would get into it!!! I will venture out to your blog tomorrow and do some reading and some posting!!! And I see that I spelled ciao wrong!! oops......thanks for reading

icanseeclearlynow said...

hey nikki. merry christmas! happy hanukka! happy kwanzaa! shalom! WOOO-HOOOO!! i love CHRISTMAS! it's the only time of the year where everyone appears to be in the same good mood!

later gator.

:)

Anthony Palmer said...

Maybe it isn't as big a deal as Bill O' Reilly makes it every year, but isn't it a bit silly?

These are your own words.

My question is, if this whole issue is "a bit silly," then why are you apparently so worked up over it now? I don't understand why people get so upset when others try to be inclusive during the "holiday season." I don't view it as political correctness run amok. I view it as an expression of good intentions and the realization that there are many people who simply don't celebrate Christmas. And I do believe Christmas is included in "holidays" when someone says "Happy Holidays." So it's not like Christmas is being ignored. And should you really need someone at a department store or a disc jockey on a radio station to say "Merry Christmas" in order to make you feel festive during the holiday season?

I'm personally not offended by "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays." I really don't care which greeting I'm exposed to because I'm secure enough in my own religious beliefs to not feel threatened by either greeting. And does it not seem a bit unChristian to vilify the "Happy Holidays" crowd so fervently every year during Christmastime? Doesn't this anger go against what Christmas is all about?

I ask you these questions sincerely, not condescendingly. I just want to know how you can reconcile all this anger.

Nikki said...

Hey Maria thanks for the Merry's and the Happy's and the Shalom's...great to talk with you today and tomorrow is another Manic Monday.....have a great weeka and I will see you in the threads.

Nikki said...

Anthony thanks for stopping by my blog!! I appreciate it. I recognize that my blog may be a different style than yours and am grateful that you are giving some attention to my opinions, I am honored, truly I am. I apologize if my post sounded angry, I am passionate and I do tend to show emphasis with an exclamation point and I am not necessarily feeling angry because it is there. Also your point is well taken. I understand that the argument on both sides IS the argument on both sides, if you get my meaning. Offended vs. validated vs. inclusive reaches both sides of the argument at one point or another. However, my point is not to feel validated by the showing of Christmas greetings by everyone I come in contact with, I am trying to understand why Lowe's and some other businesses would find it necessary to call what is undoubtedly a symbol of Christmas, a pine tree with lights, a "family" tree. I don't think non-Chritians will be looking to purchase one. So call it what it is. A Christmas tree. Perhaps this is nit picking Lowe's but let's not lie about why our kids are out of school for 2 weeks in December. It isn't because it is Winter. Someone is clearly complaining about such Christmas verbage. This is what I find troublesome. The slippery slope argument could be argued here. One persons freedom is another persons offense. This is all I am trying to say. Say Happy Kwanza to me and I will smile and take it for what it is....a greeting of cheer! I am not saying that a decree demanding tha acknowledement of my religious celebration be showered upon me by all non-believers, but don't freak out at the celebatory symbols that are on display in our communities. I believe in balance and tolerance and sensitivity is part of the answer. I don't ask for agreement, only understanding and clarity. I hope I am being clear.
It is silly for a store clerk to feel nervous of possisbly offending someone by saying "Merry Christmas". The majority should not be stifled merely by being a majority in fear of offending the minority. Is this a slippery slope? I don't think it is a major threat to my religious practice but it is a provocative topic!!! Thanks for posting and for the challenge!
Nikki

Anonymous said...

Wow, Nikki did you stir the pot or what? Good for you to give our brains a work out during this holiday season. We went and watched Fred Clause the movie, and I couldnt help but think how shocking it would be to see in this movie a nativity sitting out or some mention of the birth of Christ. How shocking but refreshing would that be? There was a scene at the end where they show different families around the world having Christmas together with an intense version of Holy Night being played in the back ground that was actually quite spiritual! (You should actually look up that version of that song, it was really good!) Doesnt Christmas stand for the birth of Christ? Are they gonna change the name of Christmas? What do people think we are celebrating? I dont think half of America even knows. I guess that is why I love Charlie Brown Christmas, when Linus actually reads from the bible about the birth of Christ. Wow, we as a nation have changed over the last 40 years and its pretty sad. It is frightening to think where it is headed.
By the way we are loving your choice, Christmas tunes. Merry Christmas and oh yeah, Happy Thanksgiving!
Hope to see you soon!
Susan

Nikki said...

Anthony, I want to add one more thing..........To be honest I also think that the increasing decline of religious or christian believers does cause anxiety in those who adhere to a judeo-christian tradition. And the so called "attack on Christmas" would validate the panic in most christians minds that society is increasingly denying God. According to Biblical tradition, a society is doomed if God's laws are not followed. This may seem hoaky or even ill-founded but in the minds of many religious people sociey is already going to "hell in a handbasket" and this would be another symptom of a Godless society. Right or wrong this thought may be, but a real concern for many religious observers. Just a follow-up thought.Nikki


Susan,
Was the show any good? I like Vince Vaughn...see you on Friday.
Nik

Mike said...

Hey, Nikki.

I'm Atheist, but I celebrate Christmas. I appreciate it for what it is - a time to gather with family and friends and partake in the traditions handed down from the ancient pagan celebration of the winter solstice, you know, the tree with lights and ornaments, exchanging gifts, the yule log, etc.
You ask, "Is there not bigger fish to fry in this nation than to police who says GOD or worships GOD on government property?" Actually, no, there isn't. Protecting our Constitutionally guaranteed rights is (I would say) the most important thing that we should be doing. But that's just me.
Since you are so open and accepting of other people's beliefs, I would propose the following: Any place where it says "in God we trust" in governemnt buildings, we replace that with "there is no God." On our money, we replace "in God we trust" with "Allah akbar." "Under God" can remain in the pledge.
What do you think? That would make us a much more inclusive society.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Nikki said...

Hi Mike thanks for stopping by my blog......I checked out your blog and will add you to my link list. Your point is well taken and I wish I could say that my tolerance and acceptance of other beliefs reached a level of changing the slogans on money and government buildings. It of course does not. I do not seek to include the excluded only to point out like you have said to accept it for what it is and enjoy it. And of course I do not feel that any constitutional rights have been violated because of a display of deity or Christmas. On that point I am sure we will have to agree to disagree. This is a debate that is on-going in the courts and in the world of the opinionated.
Can we really be an all-inclusive society? Won't someone always be left out? Trying may be noble but someone will always feel left out, pushed out and of course trampled upon by the majority and even the minority. And of course the majority will feel threatened and the cycle continues. This doesn't mean I think you should quit your cause. Undoubtedly you shouldn't. But like I put in a post to Anthony, you will never convince Christians. Clarity is far more important than agreement. Understand that for a Christian our belief is that our very existence depends on an adherence to natural law or judeo-christian beliefs, the 10 commandments etc. You may find this repulsive and ridiculous and perhaps not all christians feel threatened by taking God out of the pledge etc. However there is a persona of an attack on a persons beliefs when it is argued that we need to rid a society of what they deem as the very essence of their existence, God. Please no posts of how this does not validate nor take away from my religion to have God taken off of money......I get that point. My point is to say that it is percieved as a threat and a slippery slope of complete intolerance of christian ideals.
I do think your point is well taken of putting "in no God we trust" on money. But of course I will not agree. It is against my Religion!!!haha
thanks for the challenge and Happy Thanksgiving to you!!
nikki




Nikki

icanseeclearlynow said...

whoa! what's going on here?!

*giggle*

Mike said...

Nikki,

Thanks for the response. One thing you said that struck me was this: "However there is a persona of an attack on a persons beliefs when it is argued that we need to rid a society of what they deem as the very essence of their existence"

I can see your point, but I ask that you look at it from my perspective. Atheism is my belief. It is at least a part of the very essence of my existence. I don't feel personally attacked by Christmas decorations, but to see the government validate one religion, even if it is that of the majority (especially since it is that of the majority), worries me. I'll post sometime about why keeping religion out of our government is so important. Thanks again, though, for your candor and sincerity.

Nikki said...

Mike, I understand your point perfectly and I also appreciate your candor. I am anxious to hear your post about the government and religion, I actually think it should be seperate and want my religion free from governmental interference, on that I think we will agree. Have a Great Thanksgiving and pop in anytime for some stimulating conversation!! I welcome it!!!
Nikki