Ramona's picture

    The Terrible Horrible No Good War on Happy Holidays


    I’ve been sending out Christmas cards since I was around 16 years old, when my mom told me I was old enough to start sending out my own cards.  The cards I chose over the course of many,many, many years depended on a lot of things, but it never occurred to me—ever–to wonder if my choice of card would offend anyone.
     

    happyholidaysvintagecard

    My choices could be anywhere from Currier and Ives winter scenes to merry Santas to red nosed reindeer to Christmas trees to peace doves to celebrations around the world to the Christ child in the manger.  Over the years I’ve received many more cards than I’ve ever sent and I’m happy to say I’ve enjoyed them, each and every one.
     

    Nativity-Scene


    Sometimes I would choose my card based on the inside greeting.  It might say “Merry Christmas to you and yours” or “Happy Holidays!” or “Great Joy and Glad Tidings” or “Peace on Earth”.  Something along those lines.  (“Season’s Greetings” went to people I didn’t know very well but felt obliged to send a card.  You know how it is.)

    I’ve wished people I barely know a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays without giving a thought to how they might take either salutation.  I love Christmas.  I love the entire happy holiday season from beginning to end.  It’s a wonderful time of the year and once I get my damn shopping done and cook whatever the hell I’ve promised to cook, my heart is full of great joy and glad tidings.

    I, a non-religious now, still love the Christian part of Christmas.  The story of the nativity is breathtaking and beautiful.  The Christmas concerts in our local churches are uplifting and glorious.  Christmas carols sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir never fail to cause my heart to swell and my eyes to tear up.

    During the Christmas holidays our collective hearts swell so much it’s a known fact that charity toward others grows exponentially as the days of December wane.

    There is no question that Christmas is the holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ. The joy of that event has long translated into Joy to the World.  December 25 is a date Christians chose to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  It corresponds to early pagan solstice celebrations, the sharing of which, for decades, was no big deal.  Those of us who are religious celebrate it in one way and those of us who aren’t choose another.  It is and always has been the joy of Christmas that bound us together.  We honestly thought it was enough.

    Now we are engaged in a great religious war.  A baffling religious war.  A religious war that, if I weren’t so immersed in the aforementioned joy of Christmas, I might even call the worst bad joke in centuries.  As jokes go, award-winning bad.  An insult to anyone who has ever celebrated Christmas.

    The escalation of this phony war on Christmas came out of the head of one super showman. Oh, there might have been some grumblings over the years about the commercializing of Christmas—a righteous reason to grumble, in fact.  But it was one Bill O’Reilly who turned the War on Christmas into an annual event, assigning two words—Happy Holidays—as the opening salvo to Christmas, and thus Christian, Armageddon.  (Note lack of O’Reilly links.  I don’t want them here.  You can find them for yourself if you choose.  They’re all over the place.)

    Along the way O’Reilly has recruited some surprising foot soldiers.  People I know well are now talking about this supposed War on Christmas, as if it were real and not just somebody’s clever but hateful idea of a ratings guarantee.

    I would ask these people:  Where is the battleground?  Where are the bodies?  Who has been injured?  What army has forced them to stop celebrating a Christian Christmas?

    Have the churches been shuttered?  Has the singing of Carols been outlawed?  Has any single Christian been inconvenienced at all by the non-religious celebrations of the Christmas Holidays?

    I saw a sweat shirt the other day with this banner:  “I’m Not Afraid to Say Merry Christmas.”

    Huh?  Who is?  Who in America is afraid to say “Merry Christmas”?

    News Flash:  Nobody is afraid.  That would be stupid.  But just in case, since I was going to do this sometime anyway, let’s give it a whirl and see what happens:  (If I’m wrong and I end up dead or something, let me just say right now. . .Really??)

     

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!
    Topics: 

    Comments

    Bill O'Reilly is nothing but a high school drama queen with the same immaturity.  I have been saying 'happy holidays," "happy Christmas," and "merry Christmas" all my life. 

    I have been watching Tudor Monastery Farms that is being showed right now on BBC in Europe.  In the European history, Christmas was not a solemn Christian affair.  It was a time of debauchery and revelry.  It was the Puritans that hated it and didn't even celebrate Christmas when they came to this country. It was a mixture of pagan and Christian   symbolism also myths with magic.  It was a magical time during the winter solaces. The 12 days of Christmas also included the Lord of Misrule who was in charge of "merry disports."  There was plenty of costumes and partying.  

    Every one drank barley ale including, kids because the water was contaminated in all the wells. They made 2 batches from the same fermented barley.  The first batch was for the adults and the second batch was for the kids.  Christmas was an adult holidays and it was not until 19th century that Christmas became a holiday for kids and moral people. 

    Me, I would like to see a little more fun and debauchery brought back.  Any ways that is where the "merry" came from in "merry Christmas." 


    Lol, Momoe, each to his own at Yuletide, eh?  Better watch it or the generals will come after you.  They don't want to be reminded that they usurped the date and not the other way around!

    I was looking for a Christmas card illustration that showed that "Merry" part, with buxom ladies spilling out of their holiday frocks and tipsy gents holding their mead mugs on high.  I remember them, but couldn't find one.  So, yes, for some there is nothing sacred about Christmas.  That grinds the new "Christians", but Christmas has always been the kind of joyous holiday everybody celebrates in their own way. 

    The thing is, nobody has ever stopped Christians from celebrating Christmas.  They now want to stop us from celebrating unless we're willing to do it their way.  That's not going to happen as long as we have our own traditions.  Nobody owns the spirit of Christmas.


       A number of people have been refusing to call Christmas "Christmas".  They insist on calling it "the holiday".

      http://www.wpri.com/news/local/providence/governor-chafee-deems-2013-tre...

      It bugs me.


    I wouldn't call that a "number of people".  A handful, perhaps, but it's just silly semantics.  Or somebody's dumb idea of political correctness.  If they put up a tree and decorate it for Christmas it's a Christmas tree.


    I ran across that on Daily Kos.  I did a Christmas craft/quilt blogathon in November and was criticized for calling it Christmas instead of Holliday. So we changed it to keep the young very lefties happy.  


    It bugs you.  

    Why should it matter what strangers call any day of any month of the year?  Would it bug you if a majority of people didn't wish you a Happy Birthday even if they knew it was "your day?'

    Religion, and the spiritual feelings it generates seem to me to be among the most personal of any thoughts we humans have.  For me the problem comes when those very personal and heartfelt feelings become mis-appropriated;  in other words, personal beliefs become suddenly an expected norm for those who don't share that personal belief.

    I am nearly 66 years old, and for some reason I recall a Christmas play from elementary school where a Jewish boy was playing a Wise Man in the Nativity.  I remember this because I lived in a Jewish Neighborhood even though my family was Southern Baptist, but for some reason I have a very clear memory of the teacher telling all the rest of us that "Randy" had guts.   --  I remember very clearly ---  the reason she said this was because he had  to wear tights, and I wondered why it didn't require guts because he was Jewish.

    Funny that I remember that event after all these years, but I do.  I guess I was always a bit of a rebel.  I also remember at the age of 12 when my Baptist congregation was trying to decide if the African minister that we were sponsoring should be allowed to come physically into our church.  I stood up and said that if our church didn't want him to come then it was a "Very low church."  

    The rest is history.  


    I love you, CVille.


    Best.response.ever.


      I'm a purist. It matters because it is Christmas, not the "holiday". It is part of the Western cultural heritage and changing the name is a denial of our heritage.  Also, I don't see anyone telling Moslems to stop calling it "Ramadan" or telling Jews to stop calling it "Yom Kippur".


    But if you really care mostly about it being part of western cultural tradition, I'd argue that it would be more appropriate to say "Happy Holidays" than "Merry Christmas." Because if you really study the cultural history of what we celebrate as Christmas today, it is more accurately, as Beetlejuice says upthread: a smorgasbord of pagan rites and rituals re-dressed to "appear" to be holy and chrisitan. I would add that what's special/unique about is that it's roots are in Northern/Central Europe with reach into Central Asia and Russia, anywhere there is the cold winter with snow and ice and it's a holiday meant to address hope and love warmth and reflection in the bleakest darkest days of the year. And I would add that it is not just pagan, but incorporating more than a few different  and sundry Christian rituals. (Roman Catholic powers-that-be cleverly inserted birth of savior child here where there was no childbirth before.) Victorian era English and Americans further expanded and popularized and solidified certain rituals and myths, some of them Germanic, others not.

    Let me tell you the story about how my child-of-Polish-immigrants Roman Catholic mother and many other Catholic mothers in the Milwaukee neighborhood that I grew up in approached the problem of St. Nick vs. Santa Claus in a heavily German Lutheran city. As children, we hung up stockings on Dec. 5 and awoke to those stockings on Dec. 6 filled with candy or coal by St. Nick, a real saint of The Church. We learned Saint Nick was a saint kinda like St. Valentine. but one dedicated to looking out for whether children were naughty or nice!  On the evening of Dec. 24, another guy named Santa Claus (a more pagan kinda guy who we visited at the department store and to whom we addressed gift wish lists) came and put toys and other gifts for us under the Christmas tree. We had a little nativity scene we put under Santa's pagan tree to remind us that it was also Jesus's birthday and therefore a holy day of obligation, unlike Dec. 6 when we didn't have to go to church.

    I have no idea how all this particular cultural practice happened, I don't know if my Mom's illiterate Polish mother (raised Eastern Rite Catholic with a Polish husband raised Roman Catholic) and her mother in her [pick one: Ruthenian/Ukrainian/Russian/German/Austro-Hungarian Empire] area of Poland also did it or it was a plot created by Milwaukee moms.

    Now, place my story into the context of rmrd0000 and Peracles' debate on this thread about the ethnic origins of the real St. Nicholas! While their debate is interesting, it really really does strike one now how little the real St. Nicholas, whatever ethnic origin he might have, has to do with Christmas as we know it. And to debate it as if one person can be right and another wrong just looks absurd the longer they go at it. Heck, St. Nick, he has very little to do with Santa as we know him, who is an 1823 American creation of Clement Clarke Moore, as Emma Zahn has pointed out on another thread. And Moore's Santa Claus has very little to do with Northern European Christmas practices of the time, but a lot to do with the holiday's early origins.

    To give you another example of how much of a cold northern multi-culti pick-and-choose smorgasbord of a holiday this whole thing is, look at the history of the "Christmas" carol Good King Wenceslas. It really is a mish mosh!  Where the English take an Eastern Orthodox Saint Stephen's Day of giving alms and turn it into Boxing Day and make it an extension of Christmas. So the whole gift giving thing really doesn't have anything to do with baby Jesus, nor is it just pagan, but with an Eastern Orthodox saint. And then a Victorian guy takes a 13th-century spring/Easter tune and makes it into a "Christmas carol."

    Now go back and take a look at Wenceslas, the famous celebrant of Christmas giving St. Stephen's Day:

    Wenceslas was considered a martyr and a saint immediately after his death in the 10th century, when a cult of Wenceslas grew up in Bohemia and in England.[3] Within a few decades of Wenceslas's death, four biographies of him were in circulation.[4][5] These hagiographies had a powerful influence on the High Middle Ages conceptualization of the rex justus, or "righteous king"—that is, a monarch whose power stems mainly from his great piety, as well as from his princely vigor.[6]

    What does that have to do with Christ's birth? Nothing! Is it important ancient western cultural tradition? Yes!

    Why in the U.S. was the gift-giving tradition of Boxing Day/St. Stephen's Day rolled into Christmas day, why don't we celebrate it separately like the mother country does? Could it just maybe have something to do with that whole righteous king/noblesse oblige thingie?

    Is any of all this stuff indigenous to Africa? No it's not! So yes, you are right, it is something particular to western culture. But not any one Christian church, and very much incorporating many northern pagan yule and solstice traditions.  Happy Holidays is quite appropriate, because Christmas as a western holiday is a real mish mosh of many many solstice period holidays!


    I really don't understand this. You're bugged by people not invoking Christmas, but you don't seem to understand why people would be similarly bugged by invoking Christmas.

    Personally, I'm not bugged by either invoking or not invoking Christmas, but I can definitely sympathize more with the minority of people who feel like they are ostracized for not sharing the Christian faith. (This is a feeling I have definitely had on more than one occasion, but for me personally it's not caused by someone wishing me a Merry Christmas.)


      I do understand why people object to the name "Christmas". I just have zero sympathy for it.  The existence of Christmas--which unlike Ramadan and Yom Kippur now has a  secular aspect--isn't ostracizing anyone. Again, I don't go around telling Jews and Moslems that they have to change the names of their holidays to suit me. If you don't like the Christian origins of Christmas, you don't have to celebrate it, but the name of the holiday is "Christmas".


    I suppose there are some who object to the name Christmas. It seems to me more people are making a issue over the use of Happy Holidays. It is the holidays, you know. Like in that song, We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Decades if not centuries before Faux "news" announced the war on Christmas people were sometimes saying Happy Holidays and sending cards that gleefully wished  a Happy Holiday. When did that suddenly become not ok?


      Yeah, but people were saying both " Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays". Nobody was refusing to call it "Christmas". The PC crowd wants us to discontinue calling it Christmas.


    I just don't see that.  What I see is Faux "news" claiming that if someone says Happy Holidays its a war on Christmas. I feel like I can go anywhere and say Merry Christmas, and I do, without a problem but at any moment I could offend someone for saying Happy Holidays. When did saying Happy Holidays become not ok?


      But people ARE refusing to call it Christmas. I provided a link, and I can provide others if need be. You can say Merry Christmas, but there are people who object to it.


    People can say whatever they want, or at least they should be able to. But I don't see those who think using holiday is more inclusive trying to stop people from saying Christmas. You provided a link of rabid Christians attempting to force everyone to say Christmas. I don't see any group of rabid atheists trying to force anyone to say holiday. There were organized protests against saying holiday in RI. No mention in your link or any other articles I've read on the subject, of counter demonstrations against saying Christmas. People have been attacked for saying Happy Holidays, most recently a salvation army worker about 2 weeks ago. I haven't seen any reports of anyone being attacked for saying Merry Christmas.

    It'd be an interesting experiment to send people out saying Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. I doubt that anyone would have any issue with anyone saying Merry Christmas. But I'd bet that some people would would get angry and offended that they said Happy Holidays.

    I don't see anyone trying to stop people from saying Merry Christmas. But I see a concerted effort led by Faux "news" to stop people from saying Happy Holidays. When did it become not ok to say Happy Holidays?


    I get Aaron's point, and I can imagine the chagrin of Hannukah and Purim or Eid becoming some generic "happy holiday". Even though Jesus was likely born in the spring, not at the pagan end-of-solstice. There's been pushback against the commercialization/generification of Christmas for 150 years - our time is not that exceptional.

    Even the Wikipedia article on St. Nick/Clement Moore that AA pointed out indiciates the tug and pull between Protestant & Catholic thoughts on how Christmas should or shouldn't be celebrated. Oddly enough, it was Protestants back then who wanted Christmas more or less ignored as a public holiday.


    The early Christians likely decided to anchor on to holidays that were already being celebrated in order to make marking the birth of the Christchild easier to fit into normal activities. The celebration of Kwanzaa, for example, was easier to popularize by anchoring it to the Christmas-New Year' celebrations. The early Christians knew exactly what they were doing.

    Bacchanalia, Saturnalia, Solstice, etc could easily be transformed into Christian holidays. Creating a new celebration in the Spring would have been a heavier lift.The Apostle Paul was a major factor in laying the groundwork for celebrating the birth of Christ.


    It's true that many Protestant sects didn't like the celebration of Christmas because of the pagan relationship but I would argue that Christmas is really not that big a deal in serious Roman Catholic theology or liturgy either.

    If you are a serious practitioner; the holy days of Easter week are those that qualify to be compared with those of other religions the way Aaron is doing. I know serious Catholics that make it a point to stay away from Christmas Eve midnight mass because it's full of people who don't know much about the religion, many with too much alcohol on their breath. In parochial school religion classes I remember leaving Christmas behind after first communion, it's for the little kids, very much along the lines of what Chanukkah is like for many Jews. Lent and Easter are the big deal, that's Catholics' Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

    I think the Roman Catholic church treated it like other holidays they appropriated to pander to local popular culture, like the Church plays up All Saints Day in some Latin American cultures to coincide with "day of the dead." That wasn't/isn't done in the northern European climes or the U.S., Christmas is instead, because "Christmas" is deep in the popular culture there. The hierarchy pandered to Christmas celebration in Northern European climes and that's what the Protestants reacted against.

    That's why I was agreeing with Aaron saying it's a hallmark holiday of western culture but disagreeing that it's a wholly holy Christian day.


    P.S. I would like to add that saying "Merry Christmas" never seemed very Catholic to me, though certainly not formally verboten.  It has a secular tinge to it; the word merry just doesn't fit well with Catholicism in general. It's not dourness that I am getting at, because the words happy and joyful do seem to fit, just not merry. For me the word merry conjures up things like sacrilegious monks drinking too much mead and frolicking in the hay with wimmin, and big fat Henry VIII laughing and dissing the pope....


    Well, being out of the US, I see enough Christianity in Christmas even for Catholics - much more serious ritual, etc.

    I also think the message of hope and giving and selflessness at Christmas is a bit more what draws most people to Christianity than the death & cleansing/salvation of Easter - including Dickens' Christmas Carol Yes, Christmas occupies roughly 4 weeks for some cultures - and not just shopping, but tied to Advent and related events, along with religious hymns (some dour and monkish, others more lilting or jovial).

    As an atheist, I don't really see any good taking the Christ out of Christmas - the idea of turning the other cheek, giving to the poor, thinking of "non-earthly" things in a rushed consumerist world, et al - are all nice moral ethical messages that come straight from the New Testament. Think of the Vatican as the Supreme Court - they're paid to be overserious - that doesn't mean all Americans are dour just because Scalia and Alito are, or that we should celebrate the 4th of July as "day of firecrackers and cookouts" rather than some connection to independence and democracy.

    I remember people being upset when Washington & Lincoln birthdays got merged to the generic "President's Day" - part of it undoubtedly racist sentiment as it allowed MLK day, but part of it well-founded: diluting a birthday into a generic "celebration" of presidents just made it meaningless. (do I spend that Monday contemplating the greatness of Calvin Coolidge and Benjamin Harrison? I got my kids a book on the presidents, and I'd be hard-pressed to find anything more boring - why not focus on 2 characters who stand out for specific reasons?)


    Why shouldn't TRUE Christians be offended, when they see imposter Christians, putting such emphasis on a story/lie, that offends the very one; all faithful Christians want the approval of?

    So called Christians, who repeat the same old lie, to generations, obscuring the TRUTH.

    Instead of honoring, the Christ they claim to serve; they willfully honor the one who tried to have the young Jesus murdered by King Herod, who implored the astrologers to follow a death star (that is now venerated),   to report back to the murderous Herod, in order to prevent the establishment of Christ's promised kingdom.

    Instead of being  jubilant about the ransom sacrifice, these false shepherds of the apostate Christian churches, want to diminish'weaken  the whole hearted love for the Christ; something the opposer/s  of Jesus delights in. Teaching humankind that it is okay, to ignore the Truth, as long as it appears their is no harm in listening and observing traditions of men, rather than obedience to God and of the one whom he sent forth   

    Why should we be merry? Knowing thousands have offended the True god, and those who want to impose the tradition of Christmas upon the rest of the Nations; have tried to corrupt our whole hearted devotion to spirit and TRUTH. 

    Mark 7:6-9

    And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you xhypocrites, as it is written,

    y“‘This people honors me with their lips,

    but their heart is far from me;

    in vain do they worship me,

    teaching as zdoctrines the commandments of men.’

    You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

    And he said to them, “You have a fine way of arejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!


    Death star? Where and when did that interpretation come from? Sounds like someone has been conflating mythoses: gospels with star wars.

     


    All of you that claim to be Christians, should know the TRUE account of Jesus' birth.

    How many, so called wise men (astrologers) were their? Astrologers have always been despised and hated by the God of the Jewish Nation. These men, were only wise in the ways of other teachings and other Gods.  God appeared in a dream to these men warning them to not return to Herod? (I don't call it honorable actions, but they were wise enough to heed the warning) 

    How did God really tell the shepherds in the field that a king had been born?

    Besides; why would shepherds have been out in the fields; grazing sheep in cold December?  Historians know why December was chosen;  DO YOU? Or have you allowed other peoples worship of their Gods to blind you? Why would any True Christian allow their pure worship to be adulterated by pagan beliefs? Why would God find your worship acceptable, as you serve other Gods and their beliefs? 

    The Bible account says, the astrologers found Jesus as a small child in a house and not in the churches money making, fabricated nativity scenes.

    Yet these very Churches try to convince others, that they teach the TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH ? How dare they;

    They put on the cloak of piousness, so as to deceive those, who truly search for the Truth, so they are not those destroyed by the small child who became a king. riding a Whitehorse, with a sword to be brought against these so called Christian churches who relied upon pagan stories and lies, to tickle the ears of those, who did not hold fast to the TRUTH and will not benefit themselves for having listened to the pagan teachings.

    Tell the great Judge; "Hey, we celebrated your Birthday" and he says "you observed a pagan ritual; something I despised".  What will you say then. "These religious leaders, claimed they were of your flock" and he'll say "you could have read the accurate account yourself, but you loved and supported the lies, these men perpetrated" "You will receive the same judgment, as they will". 


    Besides; why would shepherds have been out in the fields; grazing sheep in cold December?

    http://www.inisrael.com/tour/weather/index.html


     

    18 "Pray that it may not happen in winter."

    Mark 13:18

    Winter around Jerusalem during the tribulation? 


    Nowhere in the Bible does it say Jesus was born in December. The dates don't appear historically until 170 years or so A.D., and then the eastern church celebrated Jan 6. Jesus' year of birth is regarded to be somewhere between 7 to 2 B.C., trying to reconcile references to the great census and the reign of Herod.

    [consider the accuracy if the American Revolution were just getting codified 170 years later in the 1950's, lined up with white reaction to the civil rights movement, the Cold War and the McCarthy trials, the early space program & arms race - in short, a good degree of error and bias comes in with popular interpretations and governmental use of events as propaganda]

    I'd imagine you know enough about pagan Yule and Persian "Sol Invictus" to know how some of the trappings of Christian ornamentation got started. 


    Amazing how little; "so called Christians" actually know. 

    Unaware, that the God they say they serve, is actually displeased by their conduct and worship; HE describes it as "in vain"

    "For aa thousand years in your sight

    are but as byesterday when it is past,

    or as ca watch in the night."

    ESV — Psalm 90:4

    In the stream of time, it wasn't that long ago, (apparently less than week)  a new nation, freed from Egyptian bondage; incited God to anger, with it's Golden Calf and now a new generation has forgotten what idolatry is. 


    I know I'm going to regret this but, who are the false Christians celebrating Herod's attempt to murder Jesus? The wisemen did not report their finding back to Herod. Did not the wisemen act honorably?

    Didn't Paul set the groundwork for celebrating the birth of Jesus? The early Christians observed that it would be easier to mark to birth by connecting it to holidays already being celebrated: Solstice, Bacchanalia, Saturnalia, etc.


    I know I'm going to regret this but,

    hah!...it's like: "warning! warning! highly creative and bizarre scripture interpretation coming!"


    The link you provided is useless and misleading. Even our puritan forefathers understood Christianity and the Bible, better than this fraudulent essay. 


    Regarding the manger birth

    KJV LUKE 2: 7-8

    7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
     
    8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
     

    I know that folks at Creation Museum and Glenn Beck's the Blaze have Jesus birth views that seem to coincide with yours. You stirred my memory.


    Coincide? I suggest you read the accurate account for yourself. It  appears Beck and many others can read and may have an advantage over many, who delight in false worship; choosing instead, to be mislead and taught, that lies are acceptable to the GOD of TRUTH. 


    How about providing links to your sources? Scripture?


    I never questioned the manger birth. 

    I hate the lies added to the account, to make room for pagan teachings. The Nation of Israel was warned, as a safeguard, to prevent Gods anger, leading to their disapproval and removal. They were delivered and freed from the bondage of serving foreign Gods. Warned not to allow the teachings and practices of the surrounding nations, to corrupt the accurate direction, in how to please their God.

    How dare, Fox news and it's supporters, tell true Christians, what constitutes proper worship and service to the most High.  Those who celebrate and support this false worship have something in common with GODs opposer. The death of human kind.

    Fox news: "Hallelujah ... Santa and Christmas will save us"  Not Jesus or God, but Santa the bearer of good gifts;  

    Satan: "Praise the false gods erected, to misdirect the people from serving God with faithfulness and loyalty?   


    Please provide support for the Jesus birth  occurring in a house. Links or Scripture. 


    What? Where did I ever say Jesus was born in a house?

    According to Matthew 2:9-11

    "After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, rthey offered him gifts,sgold and tfrankincense and umyrrh."

    The star went before them, for the sole purpose to reveal his whereabouts, so that the magi could report back to Herod; who wanted the promised King destroyed. God did not put the star before them; instead he used angels, to tell the shepherds in the field 


    Here is how the birth is described in Luke

    So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

    And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

    13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

    14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
        and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

    15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

    16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

    Luke describes the birth in a manger. Herod ordered the killing of male children under the age of two. When the wise men arrived Jesus was older and in the family's house.

    Let me be clear, to me you talk in riddles. Can you provide a clear timeline for the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. Just a timeline without the side commentary.

     


    The narrative of the Massacre of the Innocents, the Kings and the star, and the Flight Into Egypt are all exclusively from Matthew (not in the others) and there has never been any historical verification. But it sure did have legs and get a lot of attention and embellishment (i.e., apocrypha) by many later cultures and many who liked to play concordance games between Old and New Testament. The wikipedia on it is good:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_the_Innocents

    as it is on the Kings:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi#Country_of_origin_and_journey

    Then of course, in modern times, we have incongruously mashed it all together in one nativity scene with much of Luke's story as well.


    The Gospels were written decades after the death of Jesus. The gospels individually were targeted a varied audiences. Some were aimed at converting Jews. Others were directed at Gentiles. 

    The winter celebration of the birth was a mechanism for early Christians to tie common practices at the time to the new religion. Some of the early celebrations got out of hand. There was even a "Christian" Feast of Fools. The Puritans were among the groups that objected to the boisterous celebration of the birth.


    Astronomy was in its early phase when the wise men were guided by the star. There are biblical reasons to say that the magi were guided by and orient to God. 

    http://baptistbulletin.org/?p=87


    Another attempt to justify the lies?

    2 Now hafter Jesus was born in iBethlehem of Judea jin the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men1 from kthe east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born lking of the Jews? For we saw mhis star when it rose2 and have come to nworship him.” 

    Matthew 2:1-2

    The words are clear enough, to those with understanding; this was not astronomy, but astrology; a tool used by demons; a practice hated by God.  

    http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/astrology.html

    (Speaking about astrology and horoscopes) 

    "Christians need to reject such spurious "science, " and commit their way consistently to the continual guidance of the Holy Spirit."

    The demons, who forsook their heavenly positions, in defiance of Gods Universal Sovereignty, would have loved to have destroyed Gods seed at infancy. Using every trick they could conjure; a guiding light was produced. Leading the enemies of God and of the one whom he sent forth;  Satan and his associates, sent the astrologers straight to Herod first; another tool to be used, in murdering the infant who would grow up to strike the Original serpent in the head, killing him. Restoring the fathers original intent for our home Earth.

    The Maji again proved they were not of Gods appointed messengers.    

    Jesus never sought any worship of himself, as he always directed the rightful worship  to his Father. For it is written "You must have no other Gods before me"  As Jesus stated You must love your God, "with your whole soul and your whole heart"  making it clear, the father deserves all we have and worshipping Jesus or the Star the magi saw, was improper and had it's origins from pagan practices.  


    OIC. From now on I will never be able to look at a nativity scene without thinking of your idea that Beelzebub is lurking there in those three figures. Like I said, one can always rely on you for a bizarre and creative reading of scripture.


    Funny you'd say that; For many years, every time I see a Nativity seen in front of a church, I know Beelzebub has already blinded the eyes of these parishioners. Hearing them cry out "Lord, Lord, didn't we do many powerful works in your name and him replying GET AWAY from me you workers of lawlessness, I don't even know you." 

    Have a great day, everyday. AA  May the gift of peace be upon you.


    See below


    If the story of the Magi is "lies," then why does it appear in Matthew as a positive episode in the life of Jesus?

    Put another way, the text in question doesn't seem to look on this event with the sort of opprobrium one would expect it to if you were right here.

    Are the Magi called idolators? Does Matthew anywhere say the Magi were doing something "improper" or "pagan"? Are they even called astrologists?

    I tend to agree that Jesus (mostly) didn't invite others to worship him--though there is a fair amount of ambiguity in this if one searches the NT for statements about what he thought he was--but it's hard to read the NT and not come to the conclusion that he was a "very special" person.

    If all he did was point people toward God, then he was "merely" a prophet, like Mohammad, and all of the apostles were equally mistaken in thinking of him as "the savior." As was Paul.


    I do understand why people object to the name "Christmas". I just have zero sympathy for it.

    I have little sympathy for it myself. But you know what I have even less sympathy for? People who object to it being called the "holiday". Those are the people who I really don't understand.


    The only war that has been on Christmas has been the commercialization of the holiday by retailers to push them into the black for the end of the year.  We know so much of that money go to imports and the investor class.  People are making a point to find gifts were the money will stay in the economy and have been doing more shopping local or buying hand crafts.  

    My big kids have been making Pokemon Honedge Scarfs and selling them on Esty.  Honedege is a character that is a sword that has a lanyard that gives it power.  The scarf is like the lanyard.  Here is the image of the character.

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=honedge&id=C4A957DAC1E8BD1846379FB166D51120DE20DBFD&FORM=IQFRBA#view=detail&id=6AF60200FBE64148A117AE09CA3EC917E3BB319A&selectedIndex=3

    We are very surprised at the response to it.  This is going to help with their tuition next semester.  They also have gotten a table at the Metro Con in July to sell more because this has been so encouraging for them.  In order to get the table they had to get on the computer midnight Dec 1 and the tables sold out in 10 minutes.  All the computers were fired up to grab one. These comic conventions are very popular money makers.  Here is the link to their Esty ad. 

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/169179574/pokemon-honedge-scarf?ref=sr_gallery_2&ga_search_query=pokemon+scarf&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_ref=auto1&ga_search_type=all

    I have been teasing them about the way they staged their picture but it has been working. Just thought I would throw this in to show a trend that has been growing with computer sales among young people. They are finding ways to create their own economy. 

     

     


    The scarves are beautiful!  They could stand on their own without the Pokemon connection.  Good luck to them.  Etsy is a great place to sell this kind of thing. 

    Hope they do well at MetroCon, too.


    Me too.  The sequester cuts in pell grants makes it hard .... So far so good.  It looks like the sequester is going to stay.  July is at a good time for school tuition.  The war on Christmas is just a diversion from the real war on the middle class.  It gives Fox News something to misinform their viewers and keep the focused away from reality. 


    Commercial on the War on Christmas.  I can't believe this stupid crap. This is a church in New Jersey.  

     

     

     


    I got that on my FB too, Momoe.  I can't decide if it's a joke put on by the Left or an idiotic fail by the Right.  Either way, it's so bizarre it'll never be anything more that a YouTube sideshow.


    There are 3 videos on You Tube by this person/group starting 5 months ago.  All three of them are very obnoxious.  I think it is coming out of a radical far right religious group.  These are not home movies but done professionally.  


    I grew up with the sending Christmas cards tradition, too. When I moved to NYC as an adult, I was surprised to find out it wasn't a nationwide thing. After a couple of years here, I had, of course added new East Coast friends, acquaintances and business contacts to the list. And to my surprise I started to get actual phone calls or long notes in return profusely thanking me for the card as if I did something very special! And I thought--how strange--they don't do this as a regular practice here!  I would then discuss this with other transplants from the Midwest and I learned other things. I was warned that sending Christmas cards to some Jewish people is sometimes not a good thing to do! That they are offended that you have not taken the time to know their heritage but do not tell you but do tell other people how clueless you are. That one should try to send such people a New Year's card or similar.  Doh.

    Sometimes, especially when your intent is to spread good will and good cheer, some political correctness is not a bad thing. It used to be called etiquette. A sensitivity to others' feelings or culture on something is not a bad thing, it could even be labeled Christian tolerance.


    To be clear about the point I am trying to make about what I learned from my experiences. In the case of sending Christmas cards, it is absurd to do it unless you keep the recipients' culture in mind. One has to remind oneself why one is doing it: to please the person you are sending it to. Not to confront them with your own cultural practices and expecting them to like it. But to go out of your way to give them a moment of pleasure at this time of the year. Yes, that means if you know they are Bill O'Reilly fans, you send them a card that says "Merry Christmas."And if they are fundamentalist Christians, and you really want to do this in the spirit that the practice is meant, you send them a nativity scene and not your favorite hipster card. And if they are conservative rosary-praying Catholics, you send them a Madonna card. Otherwise why is one doing it at all? If one's intent is to irk them, well that can be done nowadays blogging your own cultural beliefs, no need to spend money on a card and stamp.


    Merry Xmas!

    Surely that would irritate any current Brooklyn hipster. cheeky

    Somewhere or other I read a liberal rant about being sick of hearing Santa Baby, the crass materialism of the song being a sickening example of what the season has become,  and the oligarchy's plans for us as consumers in debt trying to buy love, etc....


    Personally, I prefer this version:


     

     


    Thank you.  I haven't heard that in years.  It brought back memories of listening to AM radio and driving in the winter. 


    You might be right, it's more a Midwest thing.  But I've lived in California and Hawaii and found it was done in both those states, though maybe not as much. 

    My mother saved every card she ever got--she felt if she threw them out it would be a slap in the face to the people who took the time to send them--and when she died I found handbags full of them.  I saved many of the older ones, some from the 1940s on up, but gave hundreds of them to a group that used them for craft projects in nursing homes.

      When I lived in and near Detroit my friends and acquaintances came from everywhere.  By that time I was sending out either Unicef, local charity, or peace cards.  Nothing offensive about any of them, but I did think about who would get which ones.  I never liked sending out the same cards to everyone.  Same with pre-printed signatures. .I always felt the sender saw it as a chore, and I wondered why they even did it.  (Eventually most of them stopped and I wasn't surprised.)

    I don't send many out now, but I do love getting them.


    I wish my children a Merry Christmas.

    Maybe that is what Doc is talking about!

    I wish you Ramona a Merry Christmas.

    Around here I wish people a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    In all my life, I cannot recall anyone saying:

    I am Jewish, screw you!

    If they had, without the screw you, I am sure I said:

    Well then Happy Holidays!

    This is all silliness.

    I wrote years ago about how come I decided to take my kids to church; an Anglican church where the Minister was married and had kids and...

    Seany hated church and Erin decided not to continue.

    I gave them a choice.

    O'Reilly just discovered that he could make money on all of this; even though as your commenters have underlined; Merry Christmas in America has to do with Sears and Macy's and Gimble and Marshalls and Target and....

    All of the Season's Greetings from the media have nothing to do with nothing except for the sale of goods!

    If I have a reindeer in front of my yard does that mean I love the Christ?

    Oh well, that is enough on that rant.


    Merry Christmas to you too, Richard.  I know I jumped the gun with this but after I saw that silly video with the little girl and then the sweatshirt, I guess I'd had enough.

    But we'll all enjoy our holidays in spite of the silliness.  Except O'Reilly.  He won't enjoy it.  That's not what he gets paid for.

    Yes, there is that commercial aspect, but it's always been with us.  It doesn't bother me.  I want people to be happy.  (I want poor people to be happy, too.  I especially want their kids to be happy.  The one thing you can say most positive about Christmas is that more hearts are open to poor kids than any other time of year.  That's a good thing.)


    The guy's really into people killing other people.

    It's become pathological with him, I fear--beyond just going for the buck.


    Well, using "Merry Christmas" as a club to beat people with, and making everything about tribal division, is clearly what Jesus wanted. With O'Reilly, it's really a question of WWJD? "Who Would Jesus Detest?"

     


    Good one, Doc.  lol


    Ramona, think about the event called "Christmas" ... as you said, the early Christian's cherry-picked what they thought would attract more followers to the new religion from the older pagan rites and rituals of the winter solstice ... burning trees on the solstice to represent the Sun at it's lowest apex in the sky, holly and decorating, gift giving and the lord feasting with servants and slaves from the Romans and so forth.

    In reality, Christmas is a smorgasbord of pagan rites and rituals re-dressed to "appear" to be holy and chrisitan.

    But the importance of the "season" is reflection ... it's you're last chance to do right for all your wrongs and failings ... and we all have they both large and small.

    Besides, I get a kick out of  "reminding" snobby christians, Jesus was a Jew. And his message was meant for Jews ... non-Jews entered the picture after the Apostles failed to have Jesus's teachings accepted by the Jewish faith ... they actually had to remove the "jewishness" from the religion to make it acceptable to the non-Jewish parishioners.

    So enjoy Christmas ... it's what you make it to be, not what someone else says it should be.


    Well said, Beetlejuice.  It is whatever it means to us personally, and it's the season for reflection, inclusion and good cheer.  

    Christians have always taken time out of the busy holiday to celebrate the birth of Christ in their churches or in their homes, but what's different now is their insistence that the rest of us have to give up our own traditions because we're not giving due deference to their Reason for the Season.

    That's not their call to make.  


    The War on Christmas was started by those idiot conservatives who insist we begin to think about and shop for Christmas at fucking Halloween. I'm looking at you Walmart, Macy's, Sears, et al you fucks.

    Thanksgiving is the far superior holiday, because retailers have not yet taken it over, bastardized it and made it all about consumption and overspending, and talking heads have not yet found a way to milk money from the weak minded worshipers by claiming LIBRULS ARE KILLING THE MEANING OF THE PILGRIMS, or whatever... So far Thanksgiving continues to be the best holiday.

    Since I already mentioned it, let me explain why conservative talking heads are also to blame;  because at Halloween they began to drone on and on about the War on Christmas, because Jesus. Anyway how would they sell their next great book, Killing Santa, Killing Jesus, killing everything. They all sabotaged Christmas, and they all did it for the same reason. M-O-N-E-Y, because that is the one thing they actually care about.


    I remember in the 1980's some of the schools had to stop letting the kids dress up for Halloween and have Halloween Fairs and parties because it was devil worship.  There was a big push in North Florida by churches. Teachers had to be careful about what kinds of projects they did in the fall because of evangelists sitting on the school board.

    I think that they would go after Thanksgiving if it had not been the Puritans that came over on the Mayflower.  The south didn't officially celebrate Thanksgiving until WWII. They saw it as a Yankee holiday and FDR saw it as a way to stimulate the economy.

    The stores in my area are still full of merchandise and toys.  The weather has been beautiful here so that is not keeping people from shopping.   


      There are attacks on Thanksgiving, but they come from the far Left. You know, the holiday celebrates the destruction of the Indians and all the other terrible things that white people have done.



    I took one look at that beautiful script and immediately and sadly thought of this. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer....


    Interesting but not a downer. I doubt writing in cursive will disappear as long as scrapbookers and other crafters have any say in the matter. It is also a handy skill to have come the 'pocalypse.

    What is sad in the article is witness who could not read cursive at all. But I would guess she would have trouble reading print as well. People who are privileged with better education will still be taught it but it may well become just another divide in the social hierarchy.

    Glad you liked the card. I would have replied sooner but my keyboard started getting glitchy Christmas Day. After putzing around trying to fix it for a couple of days I finally gave up and bought a new one. Anyone know how to get broken pins out of a PS/2 port?

    Happy New Year!


    so a handy skill to have come the 'pocalypse.

    Hee.

    Anyone know how to get broken pins out of a PS/2 port?

    No but this person who used to be afraid to fiddle with stuff like that learned how to replace the fan and the keyboard on my laptop on YouTube. Maybe someone's got some advice for you there. (It's pretty empowering what stuff girlchiks can learn to do there; I also learned to do Bondo repair--like for car bodywork--for an old rusted metal door; looks like new.)

     


    The best sermon I ever witnessed was on a Christmas Eve, maybe twenty five years ago. I was passing through a certain town and never returned. The memory is hard to convey and maybe this is the wrong time to bring it up but I will give it a try:

    'The verses relating the Last Supper concern how life with the teacher would soon end and how the survivors said they would deal with that. So the meal those people consumed was not only about the events that happened afterwards but denotes a boundary between those who lived with this person and those who never would. At least not in the flesh.

    The (various) nativity scenes do not erase the boundaries or even make them any easier to understand. We are born where and when we are, for better and worse. The message that you and I are capable of nurturing a new life is clearly stated in the words we have been given. Follow those words. That is what the celebration of this birth is asking from us'.

    /sermon


    A good name is better than precious ointment,

    and i the day of death than the day of birth.  Ecclesiastes 7:1 


    I don't recognize my comment in your reply.

    What I appreciated from the sermon i heard was the focus on a life we cannot share in its own time. What ever creed one confesses to or not, there is the desire many have to get closer to this life. The preacher was calling a truce amongst his congregation (and ragged visitors who might be listening) to say this moment was the time to let that desire be the thing that brought us together. In that sense, he was militating against the words you quoted in Ecclesiastes. He was saying: 'Let us not separate ourselves by what we would put upon our epitaphs.'

    The whole "TRUTH" thing, that there is one and only one version of what happened and what it meant is not something I will offer a last word upon. My mind is tiny. But I am certain of the following: That kind of certainty has absolved many hands that murder and oppress.

    Be careful how you swing that thing around in a crowded room.

     


    Be careful how you swing that thing around in a crowded room.

    I could imagine Samson, was told something similar when he brought the roof down against the false worshippers of his day.

    One of the final statements in your quoted work, is absolutely wrong 

    In the end, it will be great violence and tribulation, brought on by a Great War, against the wicked spirit forces and their deeply entrenched armies, who wont give up control of the Earth, so that mankind can finally live forever in peace.

    The quote in Ecclesiastes would have been aptly applied to Jesus. Those who think his birth is the most important; they forget, he could have been tempted in the wilderness, and in that event what good would his birth have been then? It's the death of Jesus, that frees mankind from sin and death, not his birth  


    Maybe you are right. There will be this great war and all the things you expect will come to be as you describe.

    Maybe you are wrong. We will all just get along the best we can and strive to find a way to talk about being human beings that doesn't require us to wipe each other out.

    When two things are proposed, at least a third thing stands waiting to be heard. A messy process that does not indulge ideological fervor or respect the cleansing of populations as some kind of necessary thing. Your position presents the "cleansing" element as something that is beyond human responsibility. I reject that view with my whole heart.

    You clean your hands with piety but the result is the result. You embrace the violence that shocks you. From where I stand, you are part of the problem.

    PS. Your point about contrasting the birth with the death is well taken. Interesting, in fact.


    Gary Wills' "Under God" explains a lot of this and makes for very good reading.


    Response to AA responding to Resistance above.

    It is interesting that some have a need to see bad in everything.. The wise men just had to be evil.Full Stop.

    The basic message of love others as you love yourself is lost behind the need to spew hatred and venom. A person who chooses to lock themselves in a room with the lights turned out cannot appreciate the daylight.

    During the Christmas season, churches dedicate themselves to caring for the poor. Food is distributed. Clothing is handed out. Toys are given to children. The charitable actions continue during the year. There is beauty to be seen

    When all that you have is condemnation and lowering every action to an act of the Devil. You have nothing. Christianity is not being represented. What is left is the same type of religion practiced by the Westboro Baptist Church who enjoys harassing grieving families.

    Christians have to stand up to bigots and those spreading fear and hatred. That message is as Un-Christian as the message coming from prosperity pimps like Joel Osteen.


    Also cartoon evil is always easier to get one's head around.

    And actually, what is this thread all about but cartoon narrative vs. cartoon narrative? It's a season of good will that has gained huge popularity the more its definition widened, yet some want to keep it "pure" and relegated to a few on this side or that side of this interpretation or that interpretation.

    To me, the beauty is in the complex weave and nuance of human created myths and narratives of a positive, hopeful nature (perhaps some Joseph Campbell needed here?)


    I'm going to take as a given that he does not agree that Magi were baptized by Saint Thomas (Doubting Thomas) and converted to Christianity.


    You serve whoever you choose, just as the magi did. It's your free will; but don't expect THE  Living God to hear your prayers, when your actions are not in harmony with his Holy Spirit. Especially when he warns his people to beware of Idolatry and that any who resort to it's practices, will not be rewarded by him. 

    I'm pretty sure pharaoh was good to his friends and many others too; all the while mistreating the Hebrew slaves. Yet the Living God proved to the world and showed the Egyptians their gods were powerless and placing gifts and treasure at the feet of these idols and serving them, was in vain. 

    So goodness is not enough; only those doing the will of the Most High, inherit the contractual promise he gives. 

    So go around and parade in front of others, tooting your own horn, just as the wicked pharisee class and clergy do today, attacking those who would share insight into the scriptures, about the activities that please or displease the LIVING GOD.

    Especially Idolatry. 

    Jesus foretold the Destruction of the Jewish system in his day, just as Jeremiah in his day warned the people and today the warning goes out to "So Called Christians".

    Celebrating Christmas isn't what really saves the soul. As the apple in Eves eyes looked desirous, but it led to her death,, many think of Christmas in such a way; but the LIVING GOD  IS  really offended, by it's pagan roots; whether you want to accept that truth or not,

    He doesn't change for us; We change our lives and ways to conform to his will.

    There are many other ways to serve our neighbors and provide for the needy, without offending the LIVING GOD    

    If you want to serve other gods  I am not stopping you. My intent is to prevent others from following you in your the error, that leads to death.

    Idolatry and pagan teachings incites the Living GOD to anger.

    Fox News displays it's lack of love for the truth, when it wages war and persecutes those, who do not want to offend the Living God.

    It appears you support Fox News in it's efforts?


    You are flesh and blood

    You are not a prophet

    You spread no message of love

    You spread venom and hatred

    You are a sad human being

    I serve a God who loves, the poor and the foreigner

    I serve of God who is able to forgive sin

    I feel pity for a person with a dark soul


    Your message is believe what I believe or God will kill you.

    You claim the right to judge individuals because you and you alone know God's mind

    Begone


    I see fear in Resistance's writings more than venom and hatred. Classic fire and brimstone preacher stuff; have fear and instill fear; get inside fear and revel in it. He often speaks what I consider Old Testament & Book of Revelation juju of the fearful, wrathful god, skipping over the new law of love of the Gospels as if the messages in them, and this one in particular, repeated often, weren't the main messages of Christianity.  Where The Gospels are altered, shimmied and squeezed to fit into the Old Testament and Revelation messages rather than the other way around.

    Makes me glad the way I was raised in Vatican II Catholicism not to pay very much attention to any of the Bible but the Gospels until I was mature enough and educated enough in other things first. I believe some forms of teaching OT "bible stories" to kids-- as if they have much to do with Christianity, yet--probably really scare them and screw them up to boot. (In Judaism, Torah study is for grown men for a good reason.)

    And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. - Luke 2:10

    (Likewise, Resistance's commentary on firearms has shown a great deal of fear, there of other humans who in Christianity are supposed to be your brothers and sisters.)


    There is more to consider about the love of the Christ and the joy it brings, but this discussion,  was specifically about the war on Christians and the introduction of pagan beliefs, into the Christian Congregation, intended to adulterate Pure Worship.

    You don't care if these things offend god, so you don't fear his indignation. How stupid. and how foolish you'll feel, to learn;  WHY should your sins be blotted out when you didn't care for the Sacred things of God or put faith in his words condemning idolatry.   

    So you attack the messenger; nothing new in the lives of servants of God. Just as the people attacked Jeremiahs pronouncement, of impending doom upon the Nation of Israel by Babylon   Or the people in Jesus’ day who wouldn’t accept the idea that the temple would be destroyed by the Romans. By the time people realize your hatefulness and false accusations against me, were meant to harm the messenger and deprive people, of the accurate knowledge that leads to everlasting life, the damage, you have caused will be done. Many will not escape the judgment, because of your lies.

    ESV — 2 Corinthians 4

    4 Therefore, having xthis ministry yby the mercy of God,1 we do not lose heart. But we have renounced zdisgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice2 cunning or ato tamper with God's word, butbby the open statement of the truth cwe would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even dif our gospel is veiled, 

    eit is veiled to fthose who are perishing.

    4 In their case gthe god of this world dhas blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing hthe light of ithe gospel of the glory of Christ, jwho is the image of God. 5 For what kwe proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with lourselves as your servants3 for Jesus' sake.

    2) You think your lack of fear, of God, has saved you?

    To me, fear is the safeguard,  lest I be too arrogant and proud and not realize, I am not saved.

    1 Corinthians 10:11-12

    Now these things happened to them as an example, but tthey were written down for our instruction, uon whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore vlet anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

    In this time period, it would be foolish to disregard the Book of Revelations. As we look forward to 

    Revelation 21:1-4

    The New Heaven and the New Earth

    21 …. “Behold,fthe dwelling place1 of God is with man. He will gdwell with them, and they will be his people,2 and God himself will be with them as their God.3 4 hHe will wipe away every tear from their eyes, andideath shall be no more, jneither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.


    As I said you are not a prophet, you are a sad, fearful human. 

    Yes, I am a sinner saved by the grace of a God.

    I try to recognize my shortcomings and deal with them

    I try to aid others 

    Recognizing God as my savior makes me a Christian

    I remain a sinner, but I try to improve

    I wake up to God's glorious love.

    You are trapped in venom.

    St Thomas baptized the Magi

    The Magi converted to Christianity and spread the Gospel

    You are trapped in ignorance


    Recognizing and putting faith in GODS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, JESUS, as my savior, is the first step in becoming a Christian. 

    Although a sinner, I feed on accurate knowledge, in order to transform my life to bring it into harmony/accord with his will, and in order to be acceptable, I learn to be obedient just as Jesus was perfected by obedience, then am I pleasing to God who grants me everlasting life   

    In discussions like this thread, it is hard to tell of the GOOD NEWS of the Kingdom; when first you have to shed light on false pagan doctrines.

    You will not find me slacking off, in my zeal;  to protect the Christian Congregations from apostate teachings. 


    Enjoy your delusion


    Joel Osteen at least stresses a message of joy and fulfillment, the goodness of God and the power of love. It's still basically a Christian based message. I'd still classify him as strongly Christian despite some of the contrary things he teaches. I'd argue that that's not what we're dealing with here. Resistance is always yelling about how God is going to punish and/or destroy a whole lot of people, destroy a lot of stuff, and in doing so, vanquish the evil one. To be afraid, be very afraid. And at times his words seem to revel in envisioning it all happening. I cannot help but sometimes think of my little brother sitting on his bed exploding soldiers and buildings and trains in his head with glee.


    I agree that Resistance is afraid. I intensely dislike his feeling that his twisted interpretation represents the truth. He oversteps when he casts others as spiritually inferior and has to be called out when he does.


    As the Good shepherd says  "My sheep hear my voice" It is apparent you and I are not of the same flock.  


    That makes me thankful


    Reminds me of the false prophets, who ridiculed and put Jeremiah in stocks and spit upon him, for preaching a message of doom, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  These false prophets saying " God as not going to bring destruction upon Jerusalem"  How many Jewish families, woman and children were led into captivity, as slaves to Babylon, because these false prophets and rulers ignored Gods warnings.

    The reason our politicians and rulers abuse us; they have no fear of God or the people.  They will not bring forth justice, but GOD will. 


    Nearly everything you quote from the Bible and nearly everything you say about it makes it sound as if you are not a believer that Jesus was the messiah come to earth. It's like you are still waiting for the real messiah predicted in the OT to come and change things in the end times, another Jesus, a different one.  For you, it's like Jesus was just another prophet in a string of prophets starting in the OT (here for example, you're going on about Jeremiah like he's no different from Jesus,) not the savior of mankind. It seems like for you salvation will only come at the rapture and the world is the same as it's always been, that there is no such thing as the years"Anno Domini "and the years "Before Christ." No recognition that things changed after he came, taught new ways, was crucified and resurrected, and washed original sin away. You constantly quote from the OT as if for believers Christ never arrived and didn't change things about man's relationship with God. Christians believe like the bumper sticker says, "Jesus saves." Saves, not will save in the endtimes. That when you are baptized and accept Christ, all that old stuff is washed away!

    My only point really is that you don't espouse Christianity in a form recognizable to most Christians. Nor Judaism, since neither do they believe a lot of things you say. Maybe your beliefs fit some strange ancient "people of the book" cult that I don't know too well, but it sure doesn't sound like Christianity. You're certainly entitled to believe your own odd cult of the Bible, just don't delude yourself that it's going to be considered Christian by nearly anyone else who knows anything about Christianity.

    I'm no longer a believer, but at least I know why. You don't even realize you're not one.


    Resistance may be fearful but he wants true harm to come to people who disagree with his position. He rejects positive messages like forgiveness of sins and the ability to repent for pure destruction. It is the Westboro Baptist Church manifesto. It is also John Hagee telling atheists to take a plane out of the country.

     


    No one ever said being a True Christian would be easy. 

    "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

    You wrote 

    My only point really is that you don't espouse Christianity in a form recognizable to most Christians

    Why would it sound like Christianity, to the people who "like their ears tickled" by the lies, brought into the Church, by the "wicked one who sowed weeds"? 

    No; I am glad I am not a member of the mainstream Christianity In Name Only club.

    You might be surprised to learn; The book of Revelations was given to Christians also 

    Revelations 6   The messiah comes back as promised.

     

    PS

    You purposely, misrepresented my viewpoint on the life saving blood of the lamb. 

    John 17:3

    tAnd this is eternal life, uthat they know you vthe only wtrue God, and xJesus Christ whom you have sent.

    To truly know him, is to be obedient to him.  A Christians obedience,  is what saves them.

    READ THE CONTRACT 

    The Only True God  of the OT didn't change and his Son our redeemer; teaches us and showed us the way, on how to to be obedient, to the TRUE GODS will. 

    And should we stumble because of our imperfections  we have the High Priest Jesus to offer up his sacrificial blood, in our behalf,

    Not to be used as an excuse for intentionally, disregarding the law. It behooves all Christians, to learn the accurate knowledge, so we don't break the law. Ignorance is no excuse.


    True Christian

    Hmm, capitalized. Sounds like Seventh-day-Adventist-type talk to me, maybe UCG. Come to think of it, so do a lot of other things you've posted on this site. You talk a lot like the dear leader Herbert W. Armstrong.


    Poking the hornets nest AA, hah, I love it.  I agree with you, he also states further up thread that he knows God is angry with us. How in the???  But then I read what you've written, and you're right, I think he is and end days believer, and he probably is in some weird religious cult. 

    My husbands sister was in a cult in the 70's, and you know what, this is exactly what they sounded like. Good call, I don't know why it didn't hit me before!!!


    Can't disagree personally with much of what you say here.

    However...

    It's important to see that Resistance and his views form an important strain in America's founding and development, religiously, intellectually, and politically.

    You are very close with the Seventh Day Adventism. Also Darby. Also R.B. Thieme. 


    The point has never been to disparage but to identify for others that might not know that his views are far from mainstream Christianity. Especially since he quotes scripture all the time as if he's an authority.

    And that's the spirit in which Christian believers end up challenging him, because they don't want people to takeaway the idea that some of the things he says are what most Christians think. Take a look the discussion with him here on Maiello's old thread about the pope

    I'd like to be there and see your face, when your bowels let loose, when confronted by the events that will cause you to fear and I hope you'll remember how you mocked the warning. 


    And I'd like to add to be clear that I am not disagreeing with you. Actually far from it, as I think the the cultural history of North America as one major refuge for religious sects is very important, leading to promotion of the idea of nations with the separation of church and state. It's an important part and parcel of what we call "western culture," and the differences between "new world" and "old world."


    My gastrointestinal tract remains intact smiley


    .

     


    I understand that impulse.

    Here are two questions or thoughts to further this a bit: 1) Do you think anyone reading here would mistake his views for "mainstream Christianity" in America today?

    2) It is important to recognize that a LOT of people who live between the coasts and even on them think as he does, at least in part. You're from the center of the country, so maybe his thinking isn't as foreign to your experience as it is to mine.

    Here's a personal story, FWIW: When the whole fuss about creationism and teaching evolution in the school erupted in recent years, my first thought was: "Wow, I thought this was all settled in the public's mind back in the day of Mr. Scopes."

    Then I realized (with a shock): "Not at all. A certain group of us, a relatively small group at that, thought this was settled, but millions of people did not. They continued to believe as before from before that time until now. It simply vanished from the radar screen until the last 20 years or so."

    And in fact, the Scopes Trial and its upshot, I read, has been massively and factually misrepresented, largely by people who think as I do (and as you do, I presume). For one thing, the promulgators of the TN law always thought it would be honored in the breach AND, even at that time, TN textbooks were teaching evolution.

    It was largely after the Scopes Trial that evolution started disappearing from the nation's science books. The media circus, apparently, scared off timid educators around the country, and they started playing it safe until around the time of Sputnik when America freaked out that we were falling behind the Russians.

    We then had a massive push to put evolution back into the curriculum and this, in turn, freaked out many folks like Resistance just at a point when evangelicals were gaining their political voice and emerging from their self-imposed isolation from politics. This is Gary Wills's interpretation, as I read it.


    Thank you Emma

    Luke 2:14

    14 i“Glory to God jin the highest,

    jand on earth kpeace lamong those

    with whom he is pleased!”


    Especially since he quotes scripture all the time

    as if he's an authority.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17

    I quote scriptures because THAT IS THE AUTHORITY;

    all Christians; (including mainstream ones) should listen to

    or else why call yourself one.


    Yes, and Scripture requires interpreting.

    Otherwise, why do them Christians, including you and Paul and Dr. Thieme and John Calvin and Increase Mather, spend all that time interpreting what Scripture says?


    On this blog, we discuss many issues. I am looking to finding solutions, as are many other honest hearted people do; so I look to apply Gods recommendations, whenever I can.  Everyone else has an opinion

    I am not perfect. I make mistakes, my scriptural application / interpretation could be wrong.

    Sometimes it feels like some contributors on this site, want to censor others with a differing viewpoint, especially from someone I’d like to be able to have contribute. Although he hasn’t a user name, I include his writings on his behalf, because I believe he has much to say on many matters of concern, because of his experience.

    That is why I have stated on many occasions, if my scriptural applications or interpretation is wrong. Test it as mature adults, with all viewpoints considered and weighed.

    I take as a lesson, how the first century Christians had to deal with issues within the congregations. The older men, (elders) would prayerfully consider and ponder over all the scriptures.

    Always looking to Gods view on matters, since it was his words they were trying to apply in their lives. The more experienced and knowledgeable elders, were of great benefit, because with help, they could recall; Jesus’ many words and lessons from all the known scriptures to be considered.

    John 14:25-26

    25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.26 But the aHelper, the Holy Spirit, bwhom the Father will send in my name, che will teach you all things and dbring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 

    Does that answer why? 


    Yes, but a few things...

    1) You don't always seem to evince the humility you claim for yourself here. I'm not sure examples help in a discussion like this, but here's one easy to hand:

    "I'd like to be there and see your face, when your bowels let loose, when confronted by the events that will cause you to fear and I hope you'll remember how you mocked the warning."

    If you are a "good-hearted person looking for solutions" in conversations with your equals and fellow Christians, you don't show much evidence of it here or elsewhere.

    2) Then there's this...

    "...if my scriptural applications or interpretation is wrong. Test it as mature adults, with all viewpoints considered and weighed."

    How would we do this? You and I? I don't believe in Jesus in any way shape or form. He's not my savior. He's not my messiah. He died as do all humans, but I don't believe he rose on the third day or any day.

    Since your principal approach to social problems appears to be Scripture-based and based on a particular reading of Scripture which doesn't accord even with that of other people here who say they are Christians...how are you and I going to come to a meeting of the minds? How are you and they going to reason together?

    Though MLK's views were based on Scripture and his faith, one didn't need to share those things to agree on his proposals, e.g., strikes, boycotts, sit-ins, marches, ending the war, better jobs. He and I were propelled by different fuels, but we were going in the same direction, at least in large part.

    Moreover, MLK constantly held out olive branches to his enemies; you constantly hold out a biting serpent and predictions of hell and damnation for others, not to mention a distasteful "loosing of bowels."

    That's a discussion between "mature adults"? I may not know much about Christianity, but I am an expert in how to hold a discussion among "mature adults," and THAT ain't it.

    I have no desire to censor you or change your outlook, but I have to tell you, mature adult to mature adult, that I tend not to read you, especially when it entails long biblical quotes which, as I noted elsewhere, don't even seem to support the point you say you're making. Hey, you may not read me, and I can go on and on, too.

    But if you are, as you claim, interested in a mature exchange of ideas, a testing of ideas, then there needs to be a common ground--a common proving or testing ground --where the merits of those ideas can be assessed and measured and the results more or less accepted by all. At least the possibility of acceptance needs to be there.

    If you simply and only quote a Scripture I don't accept...and a view of Scripture  others don't accept...and view other Christians as fake Christians ...or not Christians at all...then I don't see how we ever find that common proving ground where we can engage in a testing of ideas as mature adults... a goal you seem to hold.

    Best, Peter

     


    I thought the reason, why so many loved Martin Luther King, was because they deep down inside knew, he was a good man, BECAUSE of his spirituality, He was a man who looked to his God for answers and strength. Many of his writings were based upon his interpretations and vision. "That all men were created equal and endowed by their CREATOR"   (Wow! Where'd that thought come from)

    They liked him, as long as he knew his place in regards to his enlisting scriptural references?


    • He had a kind of spirituality and depth that shone through even to those who were not particularly spiritual themselves. How the heck do you think believers lead non-believers to God or help them get there? By telling them they will lose their bowels in fear if they don't listen up?

    • You make a good point about the strong spiritual dimension in the founding of this country and in its progress. A long, complex discussion, IMO. However, I don't recall anything about sinners losing their bowels in the Declaration.

    • I don't recall reading anything about him pulling his punches spiritually. I don't his ever insisting that everyone become Christian, nor accept his approach to Christianity or the Bible. Maybe he did. But why speak Russian to people who only speak French? Doesn't it make more sense to speak to them in French?

    (Or, as The Most Interesting Man in the World is said to be able to do: Speak Russian in French.)


    Point #1 

    By telling them they will lose their bowels in fear if they don't listen up?

    You and others have misrepresented and taken out of context the reason for my comment.

    The message intended was "a Great and fear inspiring event IS  going to occur, one that has never happened before nor will ever again, and many of the ridiculers and many more wont be laughing, instead it will be as I suspect  It'll scare the crap out of folks  ( Is scaring the crap out of someone, an acceptable term)  

    Throughout my attempting to present the viewpoint I was discussing, I was taunted, as is usually done by some; particularly this individual.

    The taunter reminded me of the false prophets, who ridiculed Jeremiah, who was only trying to save lives, by focusing peoples attention on what was really going to happen if changes weren't made  and to warn the people not to listen to false prophets. who would try to discourage others from seeking a better life. Instead Jeremiah's words were mocked and ridiculed, so that others would wag their heads.

    Like days of old, the court jester may not care, about the impending doom about to befall the kingdom , for failure to heed the warnings. Let the ridiculers recall and not escape  the judgment about to befall the entire inhabited Earth.  

    Help Me, O Lord My God

    Psalm 109 “With his deceitful mouth and lying tongue, attacking me without cause” 

    If some are offended by this prayer, let me remind you, the Hearer of Prayers, doesn’t care what you think. As proven by his dealings with Pharaoh; GOD delights in showing the mockers and ridiculers “who say, who is this GOD, that we should listen to him” He'll show them who he is and you don't mess around with him or his friends.  

    If you don’t like that notion and you think this makes him look like a cruel God, go find your own planet Earth. This one is his  

    Matthew 10:34

    Not Peace, but a Sword

    34 r“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. sI have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

    To those who understand, the separating works is being done now. 

    It’s no different when dealing with our troubled financial system. What is the punishment for economists who mock and ridicule those, who really do have the right course of action; but instead are ridiculed and ignored, wrong policies are enacted and the people suffer as a result. Not nearly as bad as not heeding the warnings and death occurs.  but none the less, causing great harm. (IMO could have been prevented had Bible principles been applied) but the ridiculers prevent sound solutions in that arena too. .   

    In conclusion

    Please stop with the overly whining, were so offended, about the use of the term bowels, outrage. I didn't call him any names, only telling of what has already happened to other human beings so scared, they've shamed themselves.  

    Would I have fit in better, with this generation’s verbiage, if I had said “I’d love to see your face when you realize, despite reading and hearing warnings, from other travelers, you ignored the warnings and  then find yourself up shite creek without a boat or paddle, and would it not have been someone’s bowels were involved?  Maybe a group from “Jackasses” would post your picture on YOUTUBE for all to see and with this generation, it would probably get the most hits.


    You are flesh and blood and admit that your views could be mistaken. When someone offers a different viewpoint you immediately reject the opposing view and respond with venom because your word is not taken as the truth.

    I don't think that you represent the Christian position. I see Christian instruction as leading to caring for the poor. I see that message in Jesus,Paul and the Gospels. I have seen you suggest that a true Christian and his family would not be poor. Even the Puritans realized that it was the duty of Christians to care for the poor. I do not see the instruction to aid the poor in your form of worship.

    Similarly I have seen you say some very unkind things about foreigners another group that a Christians are supposed to care for.  I am not taunting you. I am rejecting your interpretation of Christianity.


    I have seen you suggest that a true Christian and his family would not be poor.

    I've never stated that.

    I did include, but evidently you missed my scriptural reference from King David, on how God does provide for the righteous. David had never seen a righteous man or his family go hungry.

    "Take a lesson from the lilly and the sparrow our father cares for them and he knows what we need"   

    God only promised sustenance and covering, he didn't promise he would enrich us materially    

    Even the Puritans realized that it was the duty of Christians to care for the poor.

    Poor Puritans,

    As was their Christian obligation to their God. Helping the poor within the Puritan Congregation, is likened to lending money, to God himself. Caring for his sheep.

    No Christian is obligated to care for another s sheep/ flock because their shepherd has failed to protect them, Such is the pain that comes from following the wrong shepherd? 

    Similarly I have seen you say some very unkind things about foreigners

    NO YOU HAVEN'T , that is a continual lie you always dredge up.

    TO BE CLEAR 

    Any foreigner LEGALLY in this country, deserves to be protected by the law. they deserve every courtesy and love to be extended as a guest..  

    Romans 13:1-7

    Submission to the Authorities

    13 Let every person pbe subject to the governing authorities. Forqthere is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you rwill receive his approval, for she is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, tan avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also ufor the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. vPay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

    I will not ignore Caesars laws (Governmental authorities) turning a blind eye to those who enter illegally. If once they have met the approval of the governmental authorities and they seek/apply for legal residency status and it is granted. I welcome them. 

    Caesars laws laws are for our protection.


    What was the message of gaining eternal life and who is considered a neighbor in the tale of the Good Samaritan Luke 10: 25-37?


    If I should ever see an injured man on the side of the road; as was the story of the good Samaritan;, my first inclination, is not to check and see if he has a green card; I will bind him up and care for him, till he is healed.

    Or would you suggest I violate Caesars laws?


    I take the tale as a message telling Christians that they have a responsibility to their neighbors . The responsibility extends beyond fellow Christians to involve those of similar faith to others faiths, to atheists and to those of other ethnicities. When you call me a liar when I object to your reply as to the meaning of the Good Samaritan, I reject the label and point to your own words as verification of my statement about your feelings about foreigners. We have different opinions on the message of Christianity. I did not misrepresent you.

    BTW MLK's Christianity led him to reject Caesar's power to make an ethnic group second class citizens.


    .


    Okay, I see your point.

    You're just the messenger, not the one making up the message.

    However, here is how you were quoted...

    "I'd like to be there and see your face, when your bowels let loose..."

    Here, you're going beyond prediction and taking great pleasure, prospective pleasure, in what you think (hope?) will be someone else's pain.

    I understand you feel mocked, and any human only so much tolerance for it. You're not Jesus after all.

    But that's sort of the point: You're not Jesus. You're not a prophet. And your emotional response, your Schadenfreude really shouldn't enter into this.

    To put it bluntly, God doesn't need your help. When he goes to punish so-and-so, He doesn't need you (or anyone) standing on the sidelines cheering on their misery.

    Other than that, good luck with your ministry.


    When Moses told the Hebrews on the other side of the Red Sea, they were told to look back  upon the destruction of Pharaohs army, even writing a song about the occurrence. Probably jumping up and down in jubilation, "see we told you God is with us" 


    Yes, but that was more in the way of God understanding a human failing.

    If you want to give in to that failing voluntarily and without regret even with a certain amount of glee, His judgment might be different toward you. Just thinking...

    And he forbade the angels from doing it--as you know.


    Upon further reflection, I realize now how it came across too others.  I apologize

    You are so correct, no one should pray for the end, only pray that we will be saved. God will handle the taunters. 


    Point # 2 

    The Declaration was just the beginning and our forefathers knew what was going to occur next. I suspect they knew many a bowel, was going to be loosened when the war occurred, probably when the first cannons went off.  But then I suspect they would have had a hard time finding recruits among those they wanted fellowship with if they had told them the realities of war.

    Unlike warning the British enemies, reminding them fully what would happen to them if they fought against US. Our swords would loosen their bowels from their bodies; such is the nature of wars.

    Even the movie "Braveheart"  showed a similar scene   

    Maybe some of the British were reminded about the Philistines who ended up with PILES for offending God, by grabbing the Ark of the Covenant? 


    Can you speak Russian in French? From some of your well thought writings (some) I believe you could.  

    He never insisted, because he was a member of a Church, who watered down the message so that his parishioners ears would be tickled. Of course no one wants to hear warnings from God.  Parishioners who don't want to do the work, but they sure want his blessings.

    I view it from a Christian Viewpoint  "While the master was away, the wicked slaves hid the talents and when the master returned he found they didn't do what they were supposed to do

    Like Jonah who refused (maybe out of fear) to warn the people. As long as MLKings message was easy on the supposed slaves of Christ and even the non believers; he got along with the everyone, even the pagans.

    Otherwise he too might have been hung on a stake as the one who preceded him had been.. As it was, he was murdered, not because he dared to give Gods denunciation, but because of a political reasons. 


    That language thing was a little joke...hard to get if you haven't seen those Dos Equis ads. Anyway...thanks for your kind words.

    As to the rest about MLK, I have nothing to add. Except that, perhaps, he risked more for his watered down faith than you have for your true Christian faith?

    Think that's possible? I don't know; maybe not.


    I very much like the commercial.

    You are an interesting and knowledgeable writer 

    I wish I had your writing ability. 

    Peace and I look forward to hearing from you again.  

    I would like for you to address something over at DC's Dragon thread this evening when I find the time.  I have a question and don't know where to find the answer.

    Thank you again  


    I would like for you to address something over at DC's Dragon thread this evening when I find the time.  I have a question and don't know where to find the answer.

    Any time.

    And you're more than welcome, Resistance.


    I see the similarities to the Armstrong legacy but the particularly lurid focus on the awfulness of the "days of tribulation" reminds me more of Martel Trevor

    The WCG and their offspring do say the same sort of thing about celebrating Christmas.


    Christians believe like the bumper sticker says, "Jesus saves." Saves, not will save in the endtimes.

    The thing to understand here is that the "end times" are not a point in chronological time as we think of it and live it day to day.

    The "end times" parallel "these times" metaphysically as if the two were parallel train tracks running "this close" to each other in metaphysical space.

    The "end times" are always present, and available, and more real than what we take to be "present time" (such as the moment in which I'm typing to you).

    (Just as a side point, many Christians of Resistance's ilk are HIGHLY critical of other Christians to the point where they don't consider them Christians at all. You may disagree with them (as do I) but their views go all the way back to the earliest English settlements when the majority held an eschatological view of the meaning of the settlement of this new world. See also "the New Revival" prior to the founding and just after in the early 1800s.)

    There is a long (and honorable?) tradition in America and Protestantism in which Jesus's death and resurrection was not meant to focus the believer's attention on Jesus, but was "simply" a divine act that forged a new relationship between the faithful and God and is accessible only through divine grace.

    In this view, all manner of organized religion and churches--especially Christian ones--and activities done in their name--are blasphemous and divert the faithful away from the true meaning of Jesus's arrival.

    (In fact, many would argue that the Jewish prophets had "access" to the reality of Jesus's arrival before Jesus arrived in non-sacred time.)

    And since this meaning is intensely personal and unmediated--a direct relationship between the individual believer and God via the Bible--any attempt at mediation through good works, mitzvot, or a priesthood (see all forms of Catholicism) is sinful. Not sinful in a moral, good v bad, sense, but sinful in a God v the devil sense. More ontological than ethical in nature.

    I think Resistance would argue that most "modern" Christians have simply lopped off the eschatological nature of Christianity--something earlier generations didn't do. In so lopping, they've fundamentally distorted the true message of the Bible. There is no point in arguing with him from a modernist perspective.


    Funny you'd say that; For many years, every time I see a Nativity seen in front of a church, I know Beelzebub has already blinded the eyes of these parishioners. Hearing them cry out "Lord, Lord, didn't we do many powerful works in your name and him replying GET AWAY from me you workers of lawlessness, I don't even know you."

    This is a good example of what I'm talking about.

    It's easy to see, or write off, Resistance as a buffoonish brimestoner bellowing without intellectual content.

    But this quote is actually a theological position, though he wouldn't use the term "theological." It is based on "his" understanding of the meaning of Jesus's arrival as portrayed in the Bible, OT and NT.


    Westboro Baptist Church has a theological basis for their torture of grieving families. The "theologic" position is open to challenge. No one expects a Westboro Baptist Church member or Resistance to alter positions based on intellectual arguments. All you expect is cut and paste Scripture verses that don't even have to apply to the topic under discussion.


    True, but I think it's important to make distinctions.

    And it is important to note--or interesting to note--that Resistance comes from a position that has been central to our American identity.

    A position that's been responsible for some very good things: William J Bryan was VERY progressive on many important issues "even though" he was a literalist (somewhat) on biblical matters.

    I say "even though" because I think that, if we're honest, we will probably see that WJB's fundamentalism was the wellspring of his progressivism.

    You can see the connections between his anti-gold stance (gold being a way the elite enslaved the masses by hoarding the country's wealth for themselves) and his anti-clericalism (the Catholic Church being a mechanism for hoarding mankind's relationship to God, keeping it in the hands of an elite priesthood and keeping the masses spiritually enslaved).

    One of the VERY interesting points that Gary Wills makes is that evangelicals feared evolution mostly because of its apparent connection to Social Darwinism.

    That is, their objection was less about science contradicting the Bible and more about the way this theory might lead to people to mistreat each other in Social Darwinian ways by inculcating elitist, ubermenschen views which people like Mencken and Darrow seemed to hold. As do I-:)

    One can see the way evangelical thinking connects slavery, Darwinism, and the abortion issue. As well as the "anti-elitist" meme you see so much on the right.

    I highly recommend Wills' Under God. Don't know how accurate it is, but it is a fascinating read. Of course, Wills is a Catholic, so Resistance probably wouldn't approve.


    Yes, hatred, venom and fear hidden under the guise of religion has been an American tradition. I may be wrong but I think you are over-analyzing Resistance's position. Your assessment works well as a college paper, but go back and read what Resistance has posted over several blogs, then make your summary.


    Maybe so.


    Well said. He is speaking from a well established theological tradition.


    Fun and interesting: Pew Poll of what our fellow 'mericans do to celebrate Christmas now as opposed to what they used to do when they were kidz:

    http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/18/celebrating-christmas-and-the-holiday...

    Nine in ten celebrate somehow....

    (Note 65% still send cards, Ramona, tho that has dropped substantially from the 81% of their childhood.)


    It is also interesting that charitable giving is higher among the religious. One thing that stands out at Christmas is the number of churches distributing food, clothing and toys. The charitable works continue throughout the year.


    Once upon a time I thought all the fuss about a war on Christmas was just another way for the Moral Majority to stir things up. That changed somewhat in the mid-90s the first Christmas after I signed up for AOL. 

    I thought it would be easier to look up a recipe for Christmas cookies online than dragging out all my recipe books and searching their indices and it was. My online search pointed me to either Pillsbury or Kraft, I don't remember which, where I found a link  to Holiday cookies which then led me to three sub-links: Holiday, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah. To my surprise, I was annoyed. Not exactly a war but a definite slight that I attributed to either an over politically-correct marketing MBA or website designer.

    My consciousness having been raised on the issue, I began to notice the same thing at other sites online and off. Stores would have big signs pointing to Holiday merchandise and once there smaller signs pointing to Kwanzaa and Hanukkah and Holiday things. Television programs would include short scenes of people who said Christmas interrupted by another and prompted to say holiday.

    Even though I have not attended church regularly in half a century, culturally I am Christian and I find myself more and more annoyed when the tolerance that is THE hallmark of Christmas -- THE Christian holiday - is used to diminish it whether intentionally or not.

    I deliberately waited until after Christmas to reply so as not to spoil my own celebrations with the slow seethe that remembering all this brings.

    Peace on Earth

    Good Will to All

    Merry Christmas  

    Happy Holidays

     


    Interesting point. I haven't noticed this. I can see why you seethe.

    But I would add this...

    There is a difference between majority culture and minority cultures.

    There's an important asymmetry at work that we can't forget.

    The ONLY reason you see Hanukah cards is because, otherwise, the holiday and its celebrants would be submerged in a flood of Christmas celebrations.

    The ONLY reason anyone has adopted "holiday" as a euphemism is because, otherwise, EVERYONE would be addressed as if he or she were (or should be) celebrating Christmas.

    This was the status quo ante.

    And this status quo was set against the background of a religion, Christianity, which professes that everyone should be a Christian and for most of its existence set out to make sure that was the case.

    This isn't the fault of Christians who, after all, simply want to celebrate their religious holiday. But I don't think we can forget who the majority is and who the minority is and how that relationship works.

    All that said, if you're specifying a bunch of different holidays in your card choices, you might as well include Christmas, too. Not doing so strikes me as a step too far. The point is not that Christmas doesn't exist; it's that it's not the only holiday being celebrated by Americans at that time.


    As I said above, I blame political correctness run amok for causing this whole controversy along with evangelical atheists who used the opportunity that was created by it to aggravate theists but by far the greatest share of blame goes to the media folks who stir it up and keep it going year after year. There is a simple solution to the whole thing which I will get to later but first I would like to address some of the points you made:

    There is a difference between majority culture and minority cultures.

    There's an important asymmetry at work that we can't forget.

    There is a presumption implied here that all Christian religious sects share the same culture. Not so, as this thread itself demonstrates. Some do not even observe Christmas. They are a minority, too. Further, there are secular Christians who celebrate the non-religious Christmas popularized by Macy's, Gimbels, Hollywood and Radio. It features Santa, Rudolf, Frosty, etc. and encourages us to spend beyond our means buying gifts for others. That's the majority even if it includes some who combine it with their religious celebrations.

    The ONLY reason you see Hanukah cards is because, otherwise, the holiday and its celebrants would be submerged in a flood of Christmas celebrations.

    The ONLY reason we see Hanukah (and Kwanzaa) cards at all is so you too can have your cultural holidays used as marketing ploys just like Christmas celebrants. 

    The ONLY reason anyone has adopted "holiday" as a euphemism is because, otherwise, EVERYONE would be addressed as if he or she were (or should be) celebrating Christmas.

    Now this explanation always puzzles me. If someone wished me Happy Hanukah, I would accept it in the spirit it was intended. Why take offense when someone offers well wishes whatever their form? I can kind of see how the really devout might not like it but is Hanukah really a major holiday for them anyway?

    Now for the simple solution to holiday labeling:  

    Begin with a subsection labeled simply Holiday with strictly non-denominational somewhat somber designs like Currier and Ives winter scenes

    Label the next subsection Christmas for religious motif cards but leave enough space between the Holiday and Christmas sections to accommodate secular Christmas cards -- the Santa one -- just don't label it separately, that would create a whole new controversy.

    Next subsections for Hanakuh and Kwanzaa.

    I imagine it a circle and think it would please almost everyone.

     


    I like your solution.

    That said, as I say, I had no trouble finding Christmas cards, even when I typed in "holiday cards." First up was The 12 Days of Cookies with that clever common "C" between the two words. But I have no problem with vendors creating any number of categories to suit all manner of needs.

    "There is a presumption implied here that all Christian religious sects share the same culture. Not so, as this thread itself demonstrates."

    I don't really get this, but I'm not fussed either way.

    I thought your complaint was your difficulty in finding "Christmas" cards labeled as such, regardless of whether they were religiously Christmas or secularly Christmas.

    That is, you found tabs for Hanukah cards and Kwanzaa cards, but Christmas cards of any kind were euphemized as "holiday" cards. But maybe I misunderstood.

    For the record, I have NO problem with people wishing me a merry anything. So I'm very much like you in that.

    I'll only add that some people who form part of a minority are often more sensitive about things like this than people who are, broadly, part of the majority.

    But I'd wager Resistance sees himself very much as part of a small minority, a true Christian one. Part of your point, I think. Not all Christians feel themselves to be part of a majority, but feel very much like a persecuted minority. And that's a point worth exploring.

    (A lot of splintering of Christian groups occurred in America. The Founders thought the splintering was a good thing because it would prevent any one of them from gaining too much power and becoming an established religion. So, we're right on track, perhaps.)

    I suspect that at some point a bunch of merchants and educators realized it might not be a good way to make friends and influence people to wish folks a merry holiday (assume they celebrated it because, doesn't everyone?) when they might not be.

    Might be akin to someone calling you Anna instead of Emma. Nothing wrong with Anna, but some people get irked when you can't get their name straight.

    Edit to add: Most of the people using these euphemisms are mostly concerned that no one get pissed off and everyone buy as much of their product as possible. In the public sphere, they want to minimize the number of pissed off parents and constituents threatening this or that. "Holiday" seemed an easy, happy way to cover all bases. A good compromise. That's my guess. But as Joe. E. Lewis once said, "No one's perfect!"

     


    I agree with most of what you've posted in this thread. Just a couple of disagreements.

    the ONLY reason anyone has adopted "holiday" as a euphemism is because, otherwise, EVERYONE would be addressed as if he or she were (or should be) celebrating Christmas.

    As long as I can remember, even as a child 40 years ago people have said Happy Holidays as well as merry Christmas. I remember seeing cards on top of the piano that said both. I've been getting Christmas cards with a Christmas check from my parents, who are Christian, for decades. Sometimes the cards say Merry Christmas, sometimes Happy Holidays. It used to be ok to say Happy Holiday or send Holiday greetings.

    Most of the people using these euphemisms are mostly concerned that no one get pissed off and everyone buy as much of their product as possible.

    Imo stores weren't worried about people getting pissed. They just want to sell as much as possible to everyone and they knew that there were Jewish people shopping there, and perhaps other non Christians. So in an effort to be welcoming to all they said, Happy Holidays. Then Faux "news" riled up the outrage machine and the rabid Christians got pissed. They insisted everyone must say Merry Christmas.


    https://www.google.com/search?q=Holiday+cookies&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    Here's what I got when I typed in "holiday cookies."

    12 Days Of Cookies?

    Sounds sort of like Holiday = Christmas, no?

    Even though Ron Ben-Israel is one of the featured cookie cooks.

    Can ginger and cinnamon cookies be Jewish?

    Where's Bruce when we really need him!


    Wow. How could two people's experience be so diametrically opposed. I just put Christmas cookies in several different search engines. I got a long list of links for.....Christmas cookies. Was there a time when search engines didn't give links to Christmas cookies, how could I know since I've only checked recently? But it seems bizarre that they wouldn't back then and they all do now.  Taking Peter's lead, I also put holiday cookies in several different search engines. All the results contained some links to Christmas cookies. I just don't know what to say about your personal experience having trouble finding links to Christmas cookies.

    I shop like most people and I've seen posters and banners saying "Merry Christmas" much more often than happy holidays at stores. I just went shopping yesterday and checked the local stores. Many signs saying Merry Christmas and advertising Christmas stuff. Same as every year I can remember.  I have actually never seen a sign advertising Holiday trees. Always its been Christmas trees or sometimes, Xmas trees. I know some christians object to that but I think its used more for brevity than a desire to eliminate Christ from Christmas.

    I haven't owned a tv for years, but I visit my retired parents several times a year. There's not much to do there but watch tv, and whether I want it or not the tv is on constantly.  I actually enjoy it. A two week veg out tv marathon. I've never seen a comedy program like  Cheers or Friends where they said, "Don't say Christmas, say holiday." Yes on Seinfeld they have their festivus joke but many people are saying Merry Christmas without challenge even on that show. Every Christmas there are Christmas specials with the latest pop stars that are called "Christmas" shows. Virtually every show on tv around Christmas has a little blurp at the end of the show, "From all of us to all of you, Merry Christmas" I'm not saying there's never been a joke about christmas vs holiday. But if its as ubiquitous as you think it seems I'd have seen it some.

    I see Christmas everywhere, Hanukka occasionally, Kwanzaa almost never, and Holiday some but not nearly as often as Christmas. I'm not complaining about that. I'm not fighting a war to get people to say Happy Holiday. Just noting the differences in our experiences. And I have no way to reconcile such totally different experiences.

     


    You are reading both more and less into what I said than I said.  

    I was describing an experience looking for Christmas cookies 20 years ago which the search engine provided. It was at the site I selected (Pillsbury?) that omitted Christmas from its link list. And don't bother going there now and coming back to tell me they have Christmas cookies. Not my point which I guess is that just because someone is part of the majority does not mean they are insensible to slights and insults whether intentional are not. Levels of tolerance of them will vary from brushing them off to the equivalent of road rage. I fall somewhere between. It is simply etiquette to alert someone when you feel offended before you reach the road rage stage. Safer,too.

    BTW, what are you trying to do? Invalidate my fweelings?

     

     

     


    I don't have any idea what you're talking about. I think my post was pretty clear.

    You described your personal experiences with the internet, stores, and tv regarding the use of Christmas and Holiday. I described my personal experiences with the internet, stores, and tv regarding the same issue. Our experiences were decidedly different as are our opinions on this subject. That's not at all uncommon here.

    Are you implying that once you've described your experiences that no one else can describe their experiences if they differ from your's?


    Current website logo header of The Daily Star of Lebanon:


    Latest Comments