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mds45
16-12-2011, 12:13
Why do other religions get to keep the names of their religious celebrations and christianity, especially in America is encourged to change the word christmas to holidays? creating the nonsensicle term "Happy Holidays"

Gypsy
16-12-2011, 12:36
It is just reclaiming of the traditional midwinter festival, which featured feasts and presents, thousands of years before the christian church appropriated the festival round about the year 300.

FatAndy
16-12-2011, 12:50
Is it Holidays time or Christmas? - it is Novogodnie prazdniki. ;) Damned communists have killed five hundreds millions of Christians and who survived (200 millions) were sent to Kolyma golden mines...

mds45
16-12-2011, 13:07
I thought political correctness was to blame.

robertmf
16-12-2011, 17:22
I thought political correctness was to blame.

Yes, atleast in the States.

Benedikt
16-12-2011, 18:23
Why do other religions get to keep the names of their religious celebrations and christianity, especially in America is encourged to change the word christmas to holidays? creating the nonsensicle term "Happy Holidays"

if it makes them happy. the next they will do away with Santa Claus, he is not real anyway so why need him. and cause trauma when the kids find out alter there is none indeed. who needs the Easter bunny,A PLAYBOY BUNNY FOR ALL, BIG AND SMALL BOYS and the girls get a playmate...
long live political correctness, but the also away with mothers day,birthdays, it is a -give presents only - anyway!!!!

rusmeister
16-12-2011, 22:48
It is just reclaiming of the traditional midwinter festival, which featured feasts and presents, thousands of years before the christian church appropriated the festival round about the year 300.

This is almost true, actually. The modern inane "happy holidays" really IS championed by the enemies of Christian faith.

If a good thing was actually ruined, though, within a generation or two there would have been a successful rebellion. That there was not suggests that what was replaced was not all that good, all the more because the Christian habit was to retain things that WERE good and true. Christians never claimed to have invented truth or morality - only to have a better grasp of them.


I am very glad that our fashionable fiction seems to be full of a return to paganism, for it may possibly be the first step of a return to Christianity. Neo-pagans have sometimes forgotten, when they set out to do everything the old pagans did, that the final thing the old pagans did was to get christened. 3/20/1926

martpark
16-12-2011, 23:03
This is almost true, actually. The modern inane "happy holidays" really IS championed by the enemies of Christian faith.

If a good thing was actually ruined, though, within a generation or two there would have been a successful rebellion. That there was not suggests that what was replaced was not all that good, all the more because the Christian habit was to retain things that WERE good and true. Christians never claimed to have invented truth or morality - only to have a better grasp of them.

. 3/20/1926

Your pollyanna view of Christianity is amusing.

rusmeister
17-12-2011, 05:46
Your pollyanna view of Christianity is amusing.
You seem to think of Polyanna derogatorily. You probably don't get that there really IS something good and true in that story - and the best evidence of that is that you know the name of the story, and rely on us to know it, too. That could only be the case if it were a classic - which it is - which means that generation after generation of people have found value in it - even if you haven't.
And so you don't see that the history you hold of Christianity cannot possibly be as black as it was painted for you. It should be obvious that a thing of pure evil could not possibly be sold to people as good for two millennia. The common man is not such a ***** and it is foolish arrogance to think that he is.
Therefore, there must be good, and a lot of it. I submit that the fact that most people have only four or five facts about Christianity in history - and nothing good - to be evidence of indoctrination, rather than a real knowledge of history that would include the good that MUST be there.

robertmf
17-12-2011, 07:45
You seem to think of Polyanna derogatorily. You probably don't get that there really IS something good and true in that story - and the best evidence of that is that you know the name of the story, and rely on us to know it, too.

The title character is named Pollyanna Whittier, a young orphan who goes to live in Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern Aunt Polly. Pollyanna's philosophy of life centers on what she calls "The Glad Game", an optimistic attitude she learned from her father.

The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation.

It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna's father taught her to look at the good side of things—in this case, to be glad about the crutches because "we didn't need to use them!"

:bookworm: Pollyanna - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

rusmeister
17-12-2011, 08:14
The title character is named Pollyanna Whittier, a young orphan who goes to live in Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern Aunt Polly. Pollyanna's philosophy of life centers on what she calls "The Glad Game", an optimistic attitude she learned from her father.

The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation.

It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna's father taught her to look at the good side of things—in this case, to be glad about the crutches because "we didn't need to use them!"

:bookworm: Pollyanna - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollyanna)

Thanks, Robert. That is precisely my point.

There is clearly good in this - the lesson of gratitude, which is still a virtue, last time I checked, and something we want other people to display towards us, even if we forget to reciprocate. The flip side of gratitude is taking things for granted. The one sees a good thing (in this case, healthy legs) and is grateful, the other is blind, and doesn't think about it being a good thing at all, and is only upset if the good is taken away.

andymackem
17-12-2011, 13:05
And so you don't see that the history you hold of Christianity cannot possibly be as black as it was painted for you. It should be obvious that a thing of pure evil could not possibly be sold to people as good for two millennia. The common man is not such a ***** and it is foolish arrogance to think that he is.
Therefore, there must be good, and a lot of it. I submit that the fact that most people have only four or five facts about Christianity in history - and nothing good - to be evidence of indoctrination, rather than a real knowledge of history that would include the good that MUST be there.

So, extending that logic, we have war. This far pre-dates Christianity and remains a popular global activity today, despite a significant group of people who are profoundly opposed to the idea. Therefore, by your argument, it MUST include some good, even though I've really only heard bad things about it. Please explain what war is good for, with specific reference to the precept 'thou shalt not kill'.

When you've done that, let's repeat the exercise for homosexuality (pre-dates Christianity, still happens today, many people opposed, your own postings suggest you see no good in it even though the argument you put forward above suggests that actually there MUST be something good there).

Then, oh, maybe racism. Something else which seems to have endured for millennia (despite growing opposition) and therefore must contain some good, by your logic.

Once you've shown me the good side of these things I'll look around for some more long-standing human habits so I can better share in this wisdom.

As for the original question - for those who wish to celebrate Christmas, Happy Christmas. For those celebrating New Year, Hannukah, Up Helly-ar, the winter solstice, Diwali or Sunderland's win over Blackburn last week - all the best to you. Good night, and may your god go with you.

rusmeister
17-12-2011, 15:22
So, extending that logic, we have war. This far pre-dates Christianity and remains a popular global activity today, despite a significant group of people who are profoundly opposed to the idea. Therefore, by your argument, it MUST include some good, even though I've really only heard bad things about it. Please explain what war is good for, with specific reference to the precept 'thou shalt not kill'.

When you've done that, let's repeat the exercise for homosexuality (pre-dates Christianity, still happens today, many people opposed, your own postings suggest you see no good in it even though the argument you put forward above suggests that actually there MUST be something good there).

Then, oh, maybe racism. Something else which seems to have endured for millennia (despite growing opposition) and therefore must contain some good, by your logic.

Once you've shown me the good side of these things I'll look around for some more long-standing human habits so I can better share in this wisdom.

As for the original question - for those who wish to celebrate Christmas, Happy Christmas. For those celebrating New Year, Hannukah, Up Helly-ar, the winter solstice, Diwali or Sunderland's win over Blackburn last week - all the best to you. Good night, and may your god go with you.

Hi Andy!
If your question is serious - if you are open to a serious answer, and don't just think that you already know anything I might say...

You have started by interpreting my argument wrongly. It appears that you read it as "anything which has survived for millennia must be good". I did not say that. I said, "sold as good" (and will add "accepted as good", and moreover accepted as a general guide for life, a philosophy, a worldview). Thus your examples fail the criteria.

Some war - defensive war - can certainly be justified. Pacifism in the face of an external enemy bent on imposing an evil regime is the national equivalent of watching your mother get raped and doing nothing when one has gone mad on pacifism. War was very good for putting Hitler down and cutting short his "Final Solution" and freeing the prisoners; it was just as good for putting down the Kaiser in the first world war, which we tend to forget in the shadow of the second. (Edit add) On referencing "Thou shalt not kill" - it's pretty clear to anyone who studies Judaic history, or simply other languages, that the word broadly translated as "kill" is actually used in the sense of "murder" (I need only take the verb still used in Church Slavonic "не убий".) This is one vital point - that physical death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person within the worldview that states that. Thus soldiers have a legitimate job. Jesus did not tell the Roman soldiers to abandon their duties because they might involve killing. So it's really a modern interpretation of "kill" without reference to the Tradition in which that precept was passed down. We have both saints that refused to fight and saints that fought - both St Maximillian and St George are honored in Christian Tradition. I guess the main thing I would try to say to you is that there are answers to common objections, if only people would ask. My own answer is greatly simplified - one can get much more sophisticated ones. But if one thinks they already know those sophisticated answers (when in fact they don't), what one has is simple prejudice, for it has judged without inquiry.

It is useless and even self-contradictory to wish for "one's gods to go with anyone" if you do not believe in those gods. It says that it does not matter what one believes, and to say that is to hope that it really does NOT matter.
I respect the well-wishes of the Muslim who wishes me the protection of Allah much more than the one who simply wishes me whatever I happen to believe - for the Muslim wishes me what he believes to be true, and I will bow in thanks to that Muslim. Even the atheistic "Good luck!" is preferable.

martpark
17-12-2011, 15:50
You seem to think of Polyanna derogatorily. You probably don't get that there really IS something good and true in that story - and the best evidence of that is that you know the name of the story, and rely on us to know it, too. That could only be the case if it were a classic - which it is - which means that generation after generation of people have found value in it - even if you haven't.
And so you don't see that the history you hold of Christianity cannot possibly be as black as it was painted for you. It should be obvious that a thing of pure evil could not possibly be sold to people as good for two millennia. The common man is not such a ***** and it is foolish arrogance to think that he is.
Therefore, there must be good, and a lot of it. I submit that the fact that most people have only four or five facts about Christianity in history - and nothing good - to be evidence of indoctrination, rather than a real knowledge of history that would include the good that MUST be there.

Pollyanna is a retread. Dr. Pangloss had this worldview years before. He believed we all lived in the best of all possible worlds that God could create.

Candide, a follower, was a big fan of chivalry and gallantry:

Never was anything so gallant, so well accoutred, so brilliant, and so finely disposed as the two armies. The trumpets, fifes, hautboys, drums, and cannon made such harmony as never was heard in Hell itself. The entertainment began by a discharge of cannon, which, in the twinkling of an eye, laid flat about 6,000 men on each side. The musket bullets swept away, out of the best of all possible worlds, nine or ten thousand scoundrels that infested its surface. The bayonet was next the sufficient reason of the deaths of several thousands. The whole might amount to thirty thousand souls. Candide trembled like a philosopher, and concealed himself as well as he could during this heroic butchery.

http://www.esp.org/books/voltaire/candide.pdf

You put everything in black and white but life is in color.

Gypsy
17-12-2011, 16:13
And so you don't see that the history you hold of Christianity cannot possibly be as black as it was painted for you. It should be obvious that a thing of pure evil could not possibly be sold to people as good for two millennia. That depends. Your argument is dishonest trying to portray ordinary men of the 1st 1300 years of Christianity as capable of overthrowing the tyranny. They were not educated people, they were dominated by the church who told people what to believe on pain of arrest, torture and death if they dared to even question the party line. The list of scientists who put forward alternative views and were tortured and killed is long. The decline of christianity has come along with education, with the church arguing against and trying to ban every single new thought - which has since been proven true - whether from the earth circling the sun to banning slavery - which I remind you is not just supported in The Commandments but encouraged. The christian church has opposed every single step towards freedom for men; and done it brutally.
The common man is not such a ***** and it is foolish arrogance to think that he is.

No and since being exposed to education and science has taken control of his life and banished christianity to the margins in all civilised countries except the USA.

By the logic of your argument, if Hitler had won WW2 and the 3rd Reich lasted a thousand years than that would be evidence of its goodness.

robertmf
17-12-2011, 16:35
... The decline of christianity has come along with education, with the church arguing against and trying to ban every single new thought - which has since been proven true - whether from the earth circling the sun to banning slavery - which I remind you is not just supported in The Commandments but encouraged. The christian church has opposed every single step towards freedom for men; and done it brutally ...



Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man—state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

Opium of the people - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

rusmeister
17-12-2011, 18:25
Pollyanna is a retread. Dr. Pangloss had this worldview years before. He believed we all lived in the best of all possible worlds that God could create.

Candide, a follower, was a big fan of chivalry and gallantry:

Never was anything so gallant, so well accoutred, so brilliant, and so finely disposed as the two armies. The trumpets, fifes, hautboys, drums, and cannon made such harmony as never was heard in Hell itself. The entertainment began by a discharge of cannon, which, in the twinkling of an eye, laid flat about 6,000 men on each side. The musket bullets swept away, out of the best of all possible worlds, nine or ten thousand scoundrels that infested its surface. The bayonet was next the sufficient reason of the deaths of several thousands. The whole might amount to thirty thousand souls. Candide trembled like a philosopher, and concealed himself as well as he could during this heroic butchery.

http://www.esp.org/books/voltaire/candide.pdf

You put everything in black and white but life is in color.

A general problem I see is that people with firm opinions are unlikely to change them, no matter what evidence is offered. The stronger arguer in debate addresses and does not evade his opponent's points - he may place different priorities on them but he doesn't ignore them. Any argument that ignores the opponent's ideas and doesn't try to understand them in their BEST lights (even while disagreeing) must be considered unreasonable and prejudiced.

Everything is a retread. There is nothing new under the sun. This is affirmed 3,000 years ago in the book of Ecclesiastes.

You and I obviously mean different thing by three syllables that happen to sound the same. It's no use talking about chivalry if I would disagree with you on what is meant by the word at every turn. I mean really. I speak of the Titanic and you go off on Candide. I do not agree that both express chivalry as it came to be accepted by the end of the Middle Ages and through the modern era. Your text expresses waste which might have included personal bravery or chivalry, but it is impossible to see, so we are left only with the waste. That is NOT chivalry, and I am certainly not talking about that.

The relevant description from wikipedia that I CAN agree with:

When examining medieval literature, chivalry can be classified into three basic but overlapping areas:

Duties to countrymen and fellow Christians: this contains virtues such as mercy, courage, valor, fairness, protection of the weak and the poor, and in the servant-hood of the knight to his lord. This also brings with it the idea of being willing to give one’s life for another’s; whether he would be giving his life for a poor man or his lord.
Duties to God: this would contain being faithful to God, protecting the innocent, being faithful to the church, being the champion of good against evil, being generous and obeying God above the feudal lord.
Duties to women: this is probably the most familiar aspect of chivalry. This would contain what is often called courtly love, the idea that the knight is to serve a lady, and after her all other ladies. Most especially in this category is a general gentleness and graciousness to all women.

These three areas obviously overlap quite frequently in chivalry, and are often indistinguishable.

It is clear that while behavior on the Titanic ranged from the cowardly to the truly heroic, the attitude of chivalry, as described, dominated and is well-known and documented. Only a completely ignorant person would not know that "women and children first!" was the operating cry of the night, and was not widely disregarded as medieval nonsense.

Your battle description has nothing to do with it whatsoever.

Now your reference to color seems to me to be exactly reversed. It is the romantic person who sees chivalry in all its color, and the modern cynic that sees only black-and-white.

rusmeister
17-12-2011, 19:33
That depends. Your argument is dishonest trying to portray ordinary men of the 1st 1300 years of Christianity as capable of overthrowing the tyranny. They were not educated people, they were dominated by the church who told people what to believe on pain of arrest, torture and death if they dared to even question the party line. The list of scientists who put forward alternative views and were tortured and killed is long. The decline of christianity has come along with education, with the church arguing against and trying to ban every single new thought - which has since been proven true - whether from the earth circling the sun to banning slavery - which I remind you is not just supported in The Commandments but encouraged. The christian church has opposed every single step towards freedom for men; and done it brutally.
No and since being exposed to education and science has taken control of his life and banished christianity to the margins in all civilised countries except the USA.

By the logic of your argument, if Hitler had won WW2 and the 3rd Reich lasted a thousand years than that would be evidence of its goodness.

The first observation I would make is the same as I made to Mart above. No amount of argument is liable to change opinions strongly held. Minds do close, rightly or wrongly, on opinions.

The only purpose that such discussions can have is for people sitting on the fence, who really have open minds that haven't closed yet, and are not yet sure where the truth is and who is closer to it. All that is left to us is the power of persuasion, and that can be guided either by preference - hearing what we want to hear - or by weighted consideration of facts, including those that appear to contradict the view we hold.

Saying my argument is dishonest implies an attempt to deceive on my part. "Untrue" would be the more accurate word to express your thought.

The first thing that I find in your historical view is that it makes men out to be helpless idiots until (presumably) the "Enlightenment" came along to correct them. You do say as much when describing them as "incapable", "not educated", describing them as dupes that merely believe what they are told to believe, as if they had no will to think for themselves. As soon as I turn to historical record I find the exact opposite. All evidence of written records shows people as intelligent as we are, that is, MORE intelligent, even if they didn't have the Hubble telescope or the internet. Any writer I open up, from Augustine and the venerable Bede to John Chrysostom to Thomas Aquinas, Geoffrey Chaucer, etc etc, disproves that idea completely. There is no basis except for a dogmatic idea that religion is ridiculous for making such a claim. And any claim that 'they didn't know enough' can be turned right back at you - who on earth determines what "enough" is? They accepted the science of their day, and believed their scientists when the latter told them the sun goes around the earth, as we believe ours when they tell us that the earth goes around the sun, and are not ready for the quantum shock that nothing actually goes around anything. They did not, in general, dispute science. They saw the practical effects - the physicist, chemist and mathematician in architecture and technology of war and production of beer and so on.

The next thing I find in your historical view that is easily disproved is the idea that the Church was opposed to learning. From the well-known preservation and propagation of learning in monasteries in the West, to the broad intellectual life of the east, we find learning. Who invented Greek fire? Even today we don't know how they did it. There was a great number of learned men in the Christian world, and they generally always accepted the science of their time. Slavery? It was something that was a bane of the pagan world. It was the Christian world where it became unthinkable, bit by bit, without revolution or bloodshed. Serfdom? That took longer, especially in England, but it was still squeezed out. And it was already an advance over slavery. But few think of that point. The Ten Commandments supporting slavery? Not at all. (Although that is a problem of Judaism, which we see as dealing with an outside world where it was perfectly normal, and the effect on the Jews - to whom it was also normal at first - was that they were to treat people humanely. The Christians advanced further - converts who owned slaves freed them as a rule.

My solid impression is that you take a few intensely trumpeted cases - most notably Galileo's - and paint the entire history with that one brush. I see Galileo - in the Roman Church which I think had gone wrong anyway - and I also see Chrysostom and Palamas, who you don't see at all.

But I don't think any of that will convince you. Opinions are more powerful than evidence as a rule, and only a person prepared to consider where he might be wrong and change his opinions accordingly will do so. But it might convince someone who is less sure than you of your interpretations of the limited array of facts you work from. (None of us has an unlimited supply of facts, but if we already know about the bad - where it really IS bad, but also know about the good, we will blow away anyone who only knows about the bad - which is the effect of the public education (and some private education) on the public mind).

The public mind, usually educated in the public school, knows the following facts:
1) Christians and lions
2) the Crusades
3) Indulgences
4) The Inquisition
5) Galileo
(and a general sum up of "Boy, that Catholic Church was sure corrupt in the Middle Ages!")

With that impressive array of facts (and universally negative interpretations without further consideration), it's not hard to think that religion was a horrible influence on history.

Only that view leaves out most of the facts, a number of which I have referred to. And it starts from the final assumption as a prejudice, and returns to it as bigotry - a bigotry against belief and against our ancestors that offers them no fair consideration at all in that regard.

On your last, since my view is that the 3rd Reich could not have possibly lasted even fifty years, let alone a thousand, it would never have gotten that consideration. But of course, the logic would follow, if it actually COULD have lasted a thousand years, which it couldn't. So that really more supports my logic rather than disproving it.