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Frequent Contributor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Thank you Kay, thank you for approaching a subject which I imagine is the view of many people, People  who would like to express a view on forums like this but fear the wrath of  devout  Christians, and other believers .      I myself  do not believe in a Spiritual God,  (or any other god in whatever form, including material things)     I do love Christmas and have no problem  calling it a Merry Christmas, simply because I respect the views of others, and the fact that I may well be wrong about religion.

Have to say, that is my take on things and does not infer that anyone else on here agrees or has the same view,  but there probably are others who do. Jim.

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old and rusty
Veteran Contributor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?


I think Ben Stine has it right:


From Ben:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?

I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too.

But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this Happen?" (regarding Katrina)

Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.

And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school . the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards .. honestly and respectfully, Ben Stein

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

@Kay/NC wrote:

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 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!?!

So Kay you have actually thought about it. Too often people seem to just spout what some priest, minister, teacher or rabbi said and do not really delve into what they believe themselves.

I like to think I have 'good morals', indeed sometimes I am convinced my morals are a lot better than some 'believers'.

That said I can find no evidence of any 'supreme being' or an afterlife. Would have enjoyed listening to the panel discussion you mention and what they figure was this solid case for an afterlife. 

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Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

Two of the talking heads that show were Andrew Weill, M.D., who has publkished several sort of spiritually aware medical books, and Sanjay Gupta,.M.D., who was rumored for a while to be under serious consideration for Surgeon General under Obama.  I found myself in awe of hearing two respected medical men, both of national repute, sitting and basically saying that there is something there. 

The crux of what they were saying is that the line which deteemines the end of life and the beginning of death is a lot blurrier than we might think...that there is some continuum along which we give up on the body, but it is sort of an arbitrary choice.  I suspect the point of declaration of death depends a lot upon technology available and such factors. 

I recalled this discussion this past couple of weeks in nursing class, as we dealt with the topics of death and dying, grief and loss.  My favorite instructor taught these topics, and she made it clear that one of the most solemn duties of an RN is declaring someone dead.  At 65, with a long career in hospital practice behind her, she's done it many, many times; still, she said, "I always pray that I am right." 

I will recommend an author to you - Mary Roach - whose several books are among the best I have ever read.  Specifically on this topic, try Spook:Science Tackles the Afterlife.  It is recent enough to still be pretty current, and her writing is entertaining enough to make science approachable. 

Once you get into her work, you may enjoy other of her titles.   I have them all, and just recently finished Packing for Mars, which is about the history and practical, human side of space exploration. 

There is some thought and belief that "God' is in each of us, and is a construct of our own mind.  I have come to regard whatever each person says  their beliefs are as valid to them, every bit as much as mine are to me. 

I envy in a way the enlightenment of the mystics, but I am probably way to practical to enjoy it myself.  No one's been able to put me at ease enough to even marginally meditate. 

Yes, I've thought about these things a lot...perhaps too much.  Then again, you know what is said about an unexamined life....

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

I've not read through the entire posts, but I despise HH.....on top of decreasing the Christianity it is just plain boring!  HH..what fun is that.yuk.!!  So, Merry Christmas! 

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