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  1.    #1  
    From my blog - http://wiseguyandbeyond.blogspot.com

    Recently a story ran about a non-religious group who took offense of a banner that ran across a street in Pitman, NJ. The offending banner stated simply, 'Keep Christ in Christmas'.

    Four simple words about a holiday that is celebrated by more than a billion people worldwide caused a group based in Madison, Wisconsin to send a letter demanding the mayor of the city to take the sign down.

    “Our purpose is to protect the fundamental constitutional principle of separation of state and church. The government cannot in any way promote, advance, or otherwise endorse religion. The Christ banner unmistakably endorses the Christian faith.”

    Time could be spent explaining to this group that 'separation of church and state' is not a constitutional principle, but a quote from Thomas Jefferson that has been used to back up religious discrimination like this, but it is doubtful that this group would be receptive. In fact, their response was to continue to discriminate, harass, and defame Christians specifically and God fearing people in general by creating their own banner -

    “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell ... Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

    The above is considered civil and intelligent, while reminding believers to keep Christ in Christmas is hateful and State promotion of religion.

    It is truly amazing to see the change that is wrought in our society by an overly sensitive culture. Where once their was civility and respect, there is now enmity and outright hatred exhibited by our fellow men. People with opposing views on religion will no longer willingly seek out common ground.

    The neutering of Christmas has been going on for a very long time, and it continues today. Corporations large and small no longer have Christmas parties, simply Winter/Holiday parties. This happens despite the fact that you are having a party in December around Christmas and likely have for a long time simply because Christmas is in December.

    Perhaps if those who do not believe in Jesus Christ used some of His teachings in their lives, we might come to a place of mutual respect at last. Until then, offense will be taken when no offense is intended, and we will further distance ourselves from the reason for the season... Hope, Peace, and Good Will Toward Men.
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  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by pogeypre View Post
    Perhaps if those who do not believe in Jesus Christ used some of His teachings in their lives, we might come to a place of mutual respect at last.
    Why don't the people who believe in (your) God start. It's not like they've set an overwhelmingly positive example the last 2000 years.

    Btw, most people believe in Jesus. He did exist and I think everyone agrees he was a very likeable fellow. Bit of an "Occupist' though...
  3.    #3  
    I am sorry you missed the point of this. The majority of God fearing people of any religion are not the ones that have problems with a simple sign hung across the road. The group in question has chosen to not believe in a God, but has also chosen to take offense to those who do believe. In no way can what I wrote imply anything but respect for those of differing opinions, but the constitution to which they say they adhere was built to protect those who wish to believe in God as well as those who don't.

    It is not compulsory for atheists who see a Christmas sign or cross to convert, but it seems that it is compulsory for God fearing people to put away their religion. Feel free to be outwardly atheist. Feel free to outwardly doubt. All mankind should have the ability to believe in what they want.

    No offense was intended by putting up the sign. It would be foolish, therefore, to be offended.

    As to making an atonement for the sins of Christianity, evil and designing men will use anything at their disposal to commit evil, including religion. I do not excuse those who commited those crimes, but I feel pure Christianity is something those people never really practiced.
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  4. groovy's Avatar
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    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by GuyFromNam View Post
    Why don't the people who believe in (your) God start. It's not like they've set an overwhelmingly positive example the last 2000 years.
    Seriously?
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by GuyFromNam View Post
    Why don't the people who believe in (your) God start. It's not like they've set an overwhelmingly positive example the last 2000 years.
    I think that's a very unfair statement. While you are correct that adherents of Christian religions have shown terrible intolerance in the past, at this stage in history that sort of thing is mostly limited to minority fringe sects.

    If we were to follow that kind of thinking where we judge and forever condemn groups by what they believed and did in the past then we would have to be mortal enemies with the Japanese, Germans, Vietnamese, British, Mexicans - the list would go on and on!
  6. groovy's Avatar
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by marcedhk View Post
    I think that's a very unfair statement. While you are correct that adherents of Christian religions have shown terrible intolerance in the past, at this stage in history that sort of thing is mostly limited to minority fringe sects.

    If we were to follow that kind of thinking where we judge and forever condemn groups by what they believed and did in the past then we would have to be mortal enemies with the Japanese, Germans, Vietnamese, British, Mexicans - the list would go on and on!
    It's also pretty unfair to focus on incidents of intolerance or cruelty by some while ignoring the thousands and thousands of hospitals, hospices, schools, universities, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, etc., etc., that were the direct effects of Christian doctrine on people's lives.
  7. tirk's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by pogeypre View Post
    ....The group in question has chosen to not believe in a God, but has also chosen to take offense to those who do believe.
    I never "chose" not to believe in god, and I've not "chosen" to be offended (or not, though the banner as described doesn't offend me). ANYONE who "choses" to be offended by anything is an *****. I would have thought the rational (and though I'm not qualified to say so, also the Christian) response to being offended by anything would be to take a moment to consider if you are being reasonable...

    OTOH, considering Christians certainly stole the (rough) date and much of the popular form of celebration of christmas from earlier pagan festivals, the unintended irony of the slogan is quite funny.
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  8. tirk's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    It's also pretty unfair to focus on incidents of intolerance or cruelty by some while ignoring the thousands and thousands of hospitals, hospices, schools, universities, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, etc., etc., that were the direct effects of Christian doctrine on people's lives.
    Some of these "incidents" (one from today for example) are pretty signinficant though!
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  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by pogeypre View Post
    From my blog - The Wise Guy Blog
    The Christ banner unmistakably endorses the Christian faith.”.
    I love a good Nativity scene, I love hearing Christmas carols that tell the story of the gospel, its actually a special part of the season for me and brings back fond memories. But enjoying those things is quite different from putting up signs telling other people what they should believe. "Keep Christ in Christmas" is not an endorsement, its a command - telling people how to act and what they should believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by pogeypre View Post
    The neutering of Christmas has been going on for a very long time, and it continues today. Corporations large and small no longer have Christmas parties, simply Winter/Holiday parties. This happens despite the fact that you are having a party in December around Christmas and likely have for a long time simply because Christmas is in December. .
    If someone wants to throw a party or act in a good will towards others, its good thing, whether they overtly do it with religious overtones or not. But in my opinion, throwing secular parties is the least of what corporations do to destroy the meaning of Christmas.

    What is far worse is the way that they have commercialized the holiday, this forced consumerism, this thinking of me, what will I get, or what will I buy.

    That is what is going wrong with Christmas nowadays, and this manger scene/banner discussion just distracts us from that realization.

    Quote Originally Posted by GuyFromNam View Post
    Why don't the people who believe in (your) God start. It's not like they've set an overwhelmingly positive example the last 2000 years.
    True, but then again, couldn't you give us Christians a chance to try to do better?


    Quote Originally Posted by pogeypre View Post
    Perhaps if those who do not believe in Jesus Christ used some of His teachings in their lives,
    You may not have realized it Pogey, but thats really a strongly provoking remark. Its not surprising Guy from Nam reacted to it the way he did.

    Quote Originally Posted by pogeypre View Post
    we might come to a place of mutual respect at last. Until then, offense will be taken when no offense is intended, and we will further distance ourselves from the reason for the season... Hope, Peace, and Good Will Toward Men.
    One of these days, I wish that zealous Christians or Atheists alike would not use Christmas or this holiday season as a platform to create flame wars, and just allow people to enjoy whatever kind of holiday they celebrate in peace without bickering about it.

    I have been confrontational at times on this forum, which I regret, and perhaps you might think I'm trying to be confrontational here, but I'm not, I just am trying to promote some reconciliation and good will. Pogey and Guy From Nam, Tirk and groovy please take it as such, and happy holidays/Merry Christmas to you all!

  10. groovy's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by tirk View Post
    Some of these "incidents" (one from today for example) are pretty signinficant though!
    Yes, truly despicable.
  11.    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by tirk View Post
    I never "chose" not to believe in god, and I've not "chosen" to be offended (or not, though the banner as described doesn't offend me). ANYONE who "choses" to be offended by anything is an *****. I would have thought the rational (and though I'm not qualified to say so, also the Christian) response to being offended by anything would be to take a moment to consider if you are being reasonable...

    OTOH, considering Christians certainly stole the (rough) date and much of the popular form of celebration of christmas from earlier pagan festivals, the unintended irony of the slogan is quite funny.
    It is a choice to believe or not believe. That, in essence, is what defines belief or faith. One cannot believe without choosing to do so, and the same can be said of disbelief.

    Quote Originally Posted by cellmatrix View Post
    I love a good Nativity scene, I love hearing Christmas carols that tell the story of the gospel, its actually a special part of the season for me and brings back fond memories. But enjoying those things is quite different from putting up signs telling other people what they should believe. "Keep Christ in Christmas" is not an endorsement, its a command - telling people how to act and what they should believe.
    That would be a good point unless you don't believe in Christmas. The 'command' is not pointed at non-Christians. For Christians, keeping Christ in Christmas is good advice. If I don't meat lovers to keep the bacon in their BLT, would that be offensive to vegitarians? I would hope not. I take no heed to advice that isn't pointed at me.

    Another example would be a parent telling their kid to shutup. Is it offensive to passers by? Do they think they are being told to shutup?


    If someone wants to throw a party or act in a good will towards others, its good thing, whether they overtly do it with religious overtones or not. But in my opinion, throwing secular parties is the least of what corporations do to destroy the meaning of Christmas.

    What is far worse is the way that they have commercialized the holiday, this forced consumerism, this thinking of me, what will I get, or what will I buy.

    That is what is going wrong with Christmas nowadays, and this manger scene/banner discussion just distracts us from that realization.
    We agree here.

    You may not have realized it Pogey, but thats really a strongly provoking remark. Its not surprising Guy from Nam reacted to it the way he did.
    Just because some Christians are Christians in name only doesn't negate the advice to love one another as ourselves, does it? Society flourishes when certain "religious" tenants are kept. Those things taught by Jesus are good council regardless your religion, or lack there of.

    One of these days, I wish that zealous Christians or Atheists alike would not use Christmas or this holiday season as a platform to create flame wars, and just allow people to enjoy whatever kind of holiday they celebrate in peace without bickering about it.
    If pagans wish to celebrate Festivus, or Atheists wish to celebrate Monday, that's no skin off my back. It is, however, skin off theirs sometimes.

    I have been confrontational at times on this forum, which I regret, and perhaps you might think I'm trying to be confrontational here, but I'm not, I just am trying to promote some reconciliation and good will. Pogey and Guy From Nam, Tirk and groovy please take it as such, and happy holidays/Merry Christmas to you all!

    Happy Holidays/Happy Friday/Merry Christmas/etc.
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  12. #12  
    Pogey, thanks for taking the time to respond and I agree with a lot you said. But one thing I don't understand is if you are trying to convince me that "Keep Christ in Christmas" is directed only at Christians, then why do insist that office parties, which obviously contain a mixture of Christians and non-Christians, also comply with what the banner says? Why, according to you, must they always be called "Christmas parties"?

    If you think its unfair and selfish for non-Christians to force Christians to call these types of mixed december gatherings holiday parties, dont you think its just as unfair and selfish for Christians to force non-Christians to call them Christmas parties.

    In reality, these gatherings are sometimes called Christmas parties, sometimes not, which seems fair to me, given their mixed attendance by both religious and non religious people.

    So I really don't see a war on Christmas. I think the idea of a 'war on Christmas' is being staged for political (rather than religious) purposes by people like O'Reilly and Hannity in order to mobilize a base of 'angry conservative voters'.

    In reality, despite isolated instances of someone complaining about a sign being taken down or something equally trivial, the majority of religious and non-religious people enjoy a peaceful coexistence in our society.

    In fact, especially around Christmas, I see the most of the secular in our society working together with Christians in trying to promote a common message of good will towards men and peace on earth. Compared to other countries with serious religious conflicts, we are truly blessed here in the US.

    Last edited by cellmatrix; 12/19/2011 at 02:18 PM. Reason: added a couple points to clarify my position
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by pogeypre View Post
    “There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell ... Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

    The above is considered civil and intelligent, while reminding believers to keep Christ in Christmas is hateful and State promotion of religion.
    It says nothing about hatefulness. If a government entity is posting it, though, it is in fact a state endorsement of a religion which under the precept of incorporation is a violation of the constitution.
    It is truly amazing to see the change that is wrought in our society by an overly sensitive culture.
    It is. Ironically so, even.
    The neutering of Christmas has been going on for a very long time, and it continues today.
    Most of what many people consider "Christmas" have nothing to do with Jesus anyway. AAMOF, various movements to ban certain aspects of Christmas have been initiated by Christians: Christmas controversy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Corporations large and small no longer have Christmas parties, simply Winter/Holiday parties. This happens despite the fact that you are having a party in December around Christmas and likely have for a long time simply because Christmas is in December.

    Perhaps if those who do not believe in Jesus Christ used some of His teachings in their lives, we might come to a place of mutual respect at last. Until then, offense will be taken when no offense is intended, and we will further distance ourselves from the reason for the season... Hope, Peace, and Good Will Toward Men.
    The reason for the season is Saturnalia, the Winter Solstice, and various other pagan celebrations. I think if more people followed the teachings of Jesus and not the various things many Churches push in his name, the world might finally find peace.
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  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    It's also pretty unfair to focus on incidents of intolerance or cruelty by some while ignoring the thousands and thousands of hospitals, hospices, schools, universities, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, etc., etc., that were the direct effects of Christian doctrine on people's lives.
    That seems to my eyes to highlight the difference quite well of when the state gets into the endorsement game compared to organizations that follow the teachings of Jesus.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  15. #15  
    If you want to keep the Christ in Christmas don't celebrate it. It's not in the Bible and it was invented long after his death.
  16. #16  
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  17. #17  
    Wishing everyone a Joyeux Noel!
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...

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