The war on ChristmasThread Started December 27 at 5:28AM
<< Thread Modifed December 27 at 5:38AM >>
It seems rather funny to see Trump in the news congratulating himself over ending a supposed 'war on Christmas' when one realises that the ONLY time Christmas has actually been banned anywhere in America (and, indeed, England) was by Christians. Your puritanical founding fathers to be precise.
The pilgrims themselves apparently didn't celebrate it, and Christmas celebrations in New England were illegal during parts of the 17th century, and were culturally taboo or rare in former Puritan colonies from foundation until the 1850s. The Puritan community found no Scriptural justification for celebrating Christmas, but that wasn't the only reason this festival was banned.
Christmas as we know it, the celebration on the 25th, only became 'Jesus' birthday' because of a sort of PR exercise by Christianity. There were already celebrations in place at that time of year, the Roman Saturnalia, the pagan Solstice. The peasants didn't want to give up these raucous festivals, so to sweeten the pill of converting large numbers of people to Christianity, those in power suggested the celebrations could be kept ... but made into Jesus's birthday, to make them more appropriate.
The trouble was, the way this was celebrated involved lots of drinking, eating and being merry. Most of our more excessive traditions come from this time. The puritans didn't like the drunken revelry, so they preferred to ban the whole thing, since it really had nothing to do with Jesus or Christianity at all.
Arguably, the Christmas that exists today, which is fuelled by excessive consumerism and overindulgence is closer to the 'true' meaning of Christmas than attending church.
So really, if Trump wants to get back to a truly Christian America, he should be actively encouraging banning Christmas. It isn't biblically accurate, and very little of the way it is celebrated, with trees and decorations, Santa Claus, cards, and all that has anything to do with the birth of Christ.
To be honest, when people ask why I, as an atheist, celebrate Christmas, I have to ask why they, as a Christian, uphold a festival which isn't in the bible, on a date which isn't given as Jesus' birth, and which has traditions that do not have their roots in Christianity at all.
This is why some Christian groups like Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate it, and from a biblical point of view, they are absolutely correct. It isn't a Christian festival, it never was, it just had Christianity glued on to it to appease the folk who didn't want to give up all their fun for Christianity.
So what war have you ended, Donald? An imaginary war on a not-really Christian festival your fellow Christians were the only ones to actually ban?
I should also point out that I first found all this out years ago, when I WAS a Christian. A Christian who didn't celebrate Christmas told me!
Reply on December 27, 2017 07:19 AM
Now there you go bursting bubbles again. So many people insisting we don't forget the 'true meaning of Christmas', and you've gone and ruined it.
Next thing you'll be telling us there's nothing especially Christian about Eostre... oops, Easter.
Or that the sabbath isn't really Sunday.
Or that Trump's beliefs and behaviours bear absolutely zero resemblance to those of the 1st century Palestinian they claim to follow. Far, far less resemblance than those of his much hated and maligned predecessor.
Reply on December 27, 2017 07:46 AM
Boo... Boo... Hiss... Hiss.. He's behind you!
Reply on December 27, 2017 08:18 AM
Gman, I know you're lying. If he'd told his Air Force 1 crew where to go so he could stalk me, they'd end up in Austria - or maybe Nambia.
Reply on December 27, 2017 09:59 AM << Modifed December 27 at 11:02AM >>
I don't quite understand what it is your saying...certainly trump's comments, about ending the supposed war on Christmas is clearly political..satisfying his evangelical base...if one would read trump's history of the relationship between his building's management and his tenants...you'd find a very different trump ...He's all about money, power, and praise...and I don't think he gives a kitty kat, about whether we say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays...at ll...
I won't go into the religious aspects of Christmas, as a Jehovah Witness. I've heard the negativity related to why we do not celebrate December 25 as the birthday Of Jesus Christ, many times before...
While there is a lot of "drinking, eating, and being merry" being the case right now...I don't think I can accept that the millions of Christians that do celebrate the birth of Jesus are doing so just for that reason.
As an Atheist you certainly have the right to your ideas, but I find them to be narrow, not considering the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, in its entirety..
No, the date of Christ's birth isn't given in the Bible, but the story of His birth is...and while we do not celebrate the 25th of December as the day Christ was born...Jesus Christ, and His message is without question the basis for believing that he is the only begotten son of Almighty God Jehovah...and so His presence is of course a part of our beliefs, and tenets...
True , through the years, there's been the secular part of this celebration, by way of gift giving, partying, and the like, but I can not question those that, through it all, will be found kneeling in prayer at the church of their choice...on what is considered the eve of Christ's birth.
Some people celebrate this holiday season as just that, a holiday, and that will include those people that do not happen to be Christians...I believe that's as it should be.
The history of Christianity, and the rise of paganism would require more than what can be explained here...it took years to be recognized and would take the belief of what is found in scripture to be accepted...
Just Some Thoughts!
Reply on December 28, 2017 03:02 AM << Modifed December 28 at 3:06AM >>
You are right about Trump. And you are right about the Christians of today not just eating, drinking and being merry, but I'm talking about the origins of a festival now considered by more than just Trump to be under threat, and that, historically it was not Muslims, or Jews, or any other faith that does not celebrate Christmas who placed this festival under threat, it was Christians themselves.
Nobody should be prevented from celebrating Christmas (or not) as they see fit. But the truth is, those whom Trump thinks he's having a dig at, haven't actually tried to prevent the festival. We get all this every year in the UK. Some mythical neighbouring town has banned Christmas lights because of offending other faiths, specifically Muslims. Some mythical workplace doesn't allow people to say merry Christmas for the same reason. It's all rubbish, of course. Turns out there aren't any towns with no lights (apart from those who can't afford them), and there aren't any workplaces with disciplinary action for those daring to say 'merry Christmas'.
There's no war on Christmas. The only time there ever was, it was perpetrated by Christians. That's not an opinion, it's a fact. So, for Trump to use winning an imaginary war on Christmas as some sort of PR exercise to appease his Christian following just, for me, causes some amusement.
Absolutely fair play to you for not celebrating Dec 25th according to your beliefs. That is your right, and you aren't interfering with another's celebrations. If another person chooses to celebrate it as the birth of Christ, that is also up to them.
I don't really question that, unless someone questions MY reasons for celebrating Christmas. Then, this will be my answer. I am celebrating a festival that is older than the religion it has come to represent.
Reply on December 28, 2017 03:07 AM
I never could wrap my head around this. When my older two kids were very young, their pre-school decided one year to abandon visits from Santa Claus (which used to be a yearly event the kids loved, naturally). Why? The reason offered was that not all families are Christian. Go figure.
Reply on December 28, 2017 04:42 AM << Modifed December 28 at 5:22AM >>
Well, Santa Claus is actually a Christian figure. The origin of gift-giving is not related to the three kings bringing gifts to Jesus (as I had always thought), but to St Nicholas. He was a wild defender of the Christian faith, credited with many miracles, and apparently saved three young girls from prostitution, giving their fathers each a bag of gold. Throughout folklore, he became something of a frightening figure, rather than the jolly soul we know from today. The naughty or nice threats were once more seriously intoned. This figure would kidnap and torture you instead of giving you gifts if you weren't good. The long dead saint was the prime gift giver for centuries, and had been mixed up with pagan and norse figures which had magical powers like flying.
His day was celebrated on the 6th December. In the old puritanical days, St Nick fell out of favour, and was only resurrected by the poets and writers of the 1800s, who painted the picture of the jolly fat man who gave presents to the good kids and switches to the bad.
But he IS fundamentally a Christian figure, and as such, is understandably not welcomed into the homes of non-Christians. Why would you invite a saint who was a serious defender of Christianity into, say, a Jewish home?
I guess if you had a lot of children who weren't encouraged to believe in Santa for religious reasons, it might be a bit crap for those kids having to watch the others get presents and all that. At our school we had one lad who missed all the Christmas stuff, and religious assemblies for that reason.
What really puzzles me is the magical nature of Santa Claus, and how those who think Harry Potter is an abomination because it depicts magic could permit their children to believe in a man who flies around the world - by magic.
Reply on December 29, 2017 12:05 AM
In a way I can understand why some feel deprived of their rights, when in school, and also in some public places...It is true that Christianity isn't the only form of divine devotion, and so in public places I do go along with the idea of secular celebrations...Prayer was taken out of schools, and I can agree with that too...Religious services belong in one's home or a place that shares the person's ideals...Yet, Christmas is celebrated by many, simply by the sharing of gifts, and of course the parties, and other ways they choose to enjoy themselves..
It doesn't bother me, because people choose to celebrate differently, and in the schools Prayer was taken out of the classroom because there are other children that are not Christian in classrooms...
The history of Christianity, Christmas, and Easter, and any of the other religious celebration is varied, according to who one asks...I would never interfere with how a person decides to serve, if I did that, then how would I expect anyone to respect my choices...
My sister does celebrate, she doesn't send me holiday greeting cards, doesn't invite me to her Christmas dinners but we are still close...and when the times of the year that JW's celebrate the Memorial...I wouldn't ask her to even though the doors are always open to anyone that wants to come...I think that's the way it should be...
When my father passed away, he had two services...one for the JW's and one for those that attended a Baptist church...it was done because his daughter ( from his 2nd wife...he married again after my mother assed away) was a Witness...
To be honest with you, I only attended one of them..because the ceremonies are different and yet meaningful to each of us.
To me, religious beliefs are personal, and I think everyone should serves as they wish, or don't serve it that's their choice...it would be a much more peaceful way of life, it we did that...
Just Some Thoughts!
Reply on December 29, 2017 01:56 AM
What is the Memorial, if you don't mind my asking?
Reply on December 29, 2017 11:27 AM
Once a year in thousands of locations worldwide, we commemorate the death of Jesus worldwide. We do so because He commanded his followers to do so in the following verse.
"Keep doing this in remembrance of me"...that's found in Luke 22:19...
I will be attending, if able, this service on Sunday March 3, 2018...Although we, as people, are not perfect by any means, this is a very special celebration and most try to be present...all are invited, and many do come, to understand what it is we are celebrating and why...
For those that celebrate Easter, I have no problem with that, and personally do not criticize those celebrations..if you get a chance, read Luke, 22:19...perhaps that chapter may be best to allow you to understand why we do celebrate the "Memorial"...
It is not my desire to interfere with any of your thoughts, we all have that choice, but you asked and I have tried to answer..I shouldn't have mentioned the Memorial service, but it is the most important service the JW's participate in..I hope I've answered your question..
Just Some Thoughts!
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