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Contributor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

I drove by a school today , lots of people going in and the reader board said Winter Program. Can't say Christmas

Program! We know it is! So sad!

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Senior Contributor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Either is fine with me as long as it's sincere.  I understand what the fuss is over saying Merry Christmas.  Too much PC in this case.  But, I do not understand why saying Happy Holidays gets people all fussed up.  Are people supposed to be able to look at you and tell if you're Jewish, Christian, atheist, or Muslim - and then give you the proper greeting?  

Veteran Advisor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

I have to jump in here with a few thoughts and observations.

For die hard believers in Jesus you will know that there is no evidence of what day he was born on. In the history of your belief his birthday has been celebrated on various dates AND there was a time when it was considered inapproriate to celebrate the birthday of a god. Only evil beings celebrated birthdays.

So you may all feel 'your' holiday is being taken over by others but christainity has taken over many things from others through the years.

There is a widely held understanding that the date of Dec 25 was selected to coincide with the existing celebrations of the shortest day of the year.

How many of the symbols of christmas come from christainity?

Greenery was used to decorate homes long before christianity began.

Christmas trees are a recent symbol piked up from pagan celebrations in northern areas of Europe commonly referred to as Germany now.

 

Now if you still say Christmas is a christian holiday only, consider

1) our children could not have a "Christmas Concert" at their public school because a sect of christianity that also attended the school did not believe in gift giving and all the other celebrations many participate in. The result they had a "Winter Festival" not because of non believers.

2) many millions of non christians celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday. Check out countries like Japan or other countries where there is a very small % of christians in the population

3) even some christians do not recognize Dec 25 as the 'birth date'

 

So I suggest there is nothing wrong with Happy Holidays or my favourite Seasons Greetings. These cover all with out segregating some. 

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Speaking as a "fallen" Catholic, and a convert at that.  I always felt what we did for church was very separate from the craziness of Christmas.

 

A much different feeling observing Advent, going to Midnight Mass on Xmas eve and the reverence for celebrating the birth of the Christ child, and the wonderful promise of salvation given to us by our Lord.

 

Christmas day with the kids and family and all the craziness, and jollity did not feel related to that at all.  So I think maybe Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings invites and includes everybody in the jovial atmosphere of this time of year. 

 

Same way with Easter.  Going to the Stations of the Cross, Holy Thursday and Good Friday were real and serious, and beautiful, and cleansing.  Then the best was always the sunrise service on Easter Sunday.  But I think that is more from the days when I was a practicing Lutheran. 

 

Easter with the bunny and the candy and egg hunts was just a fun time with the family.

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Advisor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Now that you mention it, there are several good accounts in recent films I've watched - "Religulous" and "Zeitgeist" - of how Christ's life is a virtual copy of many, earlier accounts of worshipped beings.  Horus is one, and I cannot recall the rest, but the details of virgin birth, baptism, crucifixion, resurrection, etc., carry right through the entire string of them, along with dates right down to December 25th as their nativity. 

It is believed by many that the Christian faith is based upon much older stories.  Some point to the lack of historical accounts that should have been written in the time when Christ is said to have lived, in a way of saying no one noticed him. 

I am not writing this to offend anyone, and I do not know whether or not it really matters what his name really was, or when he really was born, if you believe in him.  Accepting something on faith is one thing, and accepting it intellectually another. 

I am sure that all of us have had to reconcile fact and faith at many points in our lifetimes.  We spent many class sessions learning about diversity this semester, and were taught to accept everyone at face value, and accommodate their needs as much as possible in the healthcare setting; but, when I spoke in class one day near the end of the semester about a spiritual experience I had just had, I was regarded by many of my classmates as a nut.  The teacher validated my experience, as did most of the older students. 

I did not phrase it as a religious belief, but as a spiritual experience.  There are a lot of non sequiters in virtually every religion...thus, the need for faith.  It bothers me that people want a label for each person's faith, which for me is a very individual and personal thing...it is not an "organized" religion, so perhaps it's a disorganized one...but it is my belief system. 

Maybe what we need to do is try to let everyone else have it theri way, and insist that they honor the Golden Rule, and let us have ours our way.  Vritually every faith has some form of that tenet in its creed. 

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Advisor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Would you agree with this point? 

When we were young, the majority more or less ruled.  If there was a majority of Christian families in a given community, the schools celebrated Christian holidays, presented Christian programs, etc. 

What seems to me to have happened in the course of my lifetime is that now, the minority - even a minority of one - can dictate that no celebration contrary to its beliefs can be tolerated.  It is a lot the product of the ACLU and other groups that has promoted a Cult of the Individual's Rights, and elevated each one of us above the rest of us. 

I was taught that I could sit and listen and be respectful of virtually anyone's customs and traditions.  In fact, it was deemed an opportunity to learn about others and the world at large.  I did not have to SAY anyone else's prayer, but I never thoght it diminished my own beliefs to HEAR it.  I tried to impart the same tolerance and curiosity in my own children as they grew up. 

Now, it is as though each child is just too important to give anyone else's beliefs and ceremonies the time of day, much less polite attention.  We studied Christmas traditions of many nations, and celebrations of other faiths.  To me that is true tolerance.

In short, I believe that we have only replaced tolerance with ignorance.  Does that seem better to you?

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Advisor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

My friends of other faiths do not seem to mind it at all when I wish them "Merry Christmas."  I think it has become such a secular greeting in its own way today. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Wars are more likely started by ignorance than by tolerance. I also have seen many refugees from several war-torn countries in our state in the last decade or so. Shouldn't today's Christians be better than they were when they were trying to convert non-Christians. Certainly don't want another Inquisition for heretics.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?


@Kay/NC wrote:

Now that you mention it, there are several good accounts in recent films I've watched - "Religulous" and "Zeitgeist" - of how Christ's life is a virtual copy of many, earlier accounts of worshipped beings.  Horus is one, and I cannot recall the rest, but the details of virgin

 

 

 

Kay, not sure but think your message was in reply to me.

It is not just in films, historians indicate that there were 'roots' for judiasm and eventually christianity too.

If you are interested look up Zoroastrianism. It predates many religions and is considered the origins of not only Christianity but also Judaism and of course the Muslim religion.

It is consdered the first monotheistic religion. Belief in a single god and also a virgin birth as well as a number of common beliefs of these religions.

I think it is the first recorded mention of 'one god' Who knows if other beliefs predated even this and are not recorded.

 

Even Judiasm and Christainity allow for other gods. Does the Ten Commandments not proclaim that 'There shall be no other gods above me' so other gods are there, just not 'better' or 'greater'.

 

I think you are correct when you talk of an 'individual belief'

I think if everyone is honest with themselves everyones 'god' is different from everyone else's. 'God' really exists in each individuals mind each having a little different idea or interpretation of what thier god is.

I just can not bring myself to 'believe' there is any god. Every thing I read or study brings me to the understanding that there is no evidence of any supernatural being.

 

That said I will not stop anyone else from 'believing' as that is a necessary part of keeping some sane.

It really is a lot harder to know there is nothing beyond "me" and "now" for my consious self and leaves me with no excuse when things go wrong because I have no 'god' to blame.

 

To all I wish Seasons Greetings too.

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Advisor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Sometimes, I probably just do drop a post after the last one I've read...I often accumulate thougths as i read several.  I am too loopy this morning to say....

Forgot to start a turkey roasting last night for a luncheon today.  Had to choose around ten-thirty to either stay up for four more hours, and then have  a hot turkey to deal with at three in the morning; or, to get up much earlier than I had wanted to on my first real day "off."   I elected to prepare it for the oven and stash it in the refrigerator, then get up and get it going early enough to be ready and sliced for lunch at noon.  . 

I am not much for wrestling with naked, raw poultry on an empty stomach while walking in my sleep, but here we are.  At least the house is starting to smell good, and I will probably nod back off in this chair after I get over rising to the level of consciousness it takes to start the oven, set the temperature right, and set the turkey inside.

My thinking on spirituality is not at all typical of my upbringing or any formal system of "religion" anymore.  It is probably bits and pieces of many "faiths," any one of which could be monotheistic or not.  I've been on a jag of watching some History Channel shows lately that bring a lot of the conventional wisdom of how we regard our path on Earth into question. 

There are complex cities submerged off of the shores on many continents and islands.  Geology tells us pretty reliably when these areas would have been dry land, during great ice ages.  The problematic part of that realization is that social evolution at that point in time was not supposed to support such complex  and sophisticated organization of societies. 

Who knows how far the rest of our intellectual and philosophical development as a species had evolved, too?  Did we know things and then forget them, only to rediscover them in later ages?  Most cultures do not leave their knowledge behind if they have to migrate...so the questions really stump me.  Stories like that of the Great Flood have to come to mind.  Most cultures have some parallel to the Noah accounts in the Bible, too. 

Maybe the luxury of old age is that you get to sit and figure out exactly what you think and how you feel, what you believe. I was shocked a few months ago to see a panel discussion on TV, with several respected medical figures making a solid case FOR the afterlife. 

I think that if science could define empirically what's next - so it ceases to be the Great Unknown and thus the most feared aspect of life - we would have a revelation to rival all of the religions in that one bit of knowledge.    Might be the apple in our Garden, though!?!

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