Dispatches from the Creation Wars

I swear, by the time Christmas gets here I’m gonna be on a clock tower with a high powered rifle if this crap keeps up. The Worldnutdaily has this report on Sam’s Club and their horribly offensive “holiday” advertising. The American Family Association threw a hissy fit because Sam’s Club’s in-house magazine had an ad that used the word “holidays” instead of Christmas. They launched a huge campaign against it:

The company’s August/September issue included one page of Christmas items, but they were listed as “holiday” items instead, according to the AFA’s Randy Sharp, who told WorldNetDaily the campaign produced 218,000 e-mails to the company and uncounted telephone calls.

“We’re going to continue to monitor companies,” Sharp said. “We’re making our list and checking it twice, and we’re going to let folks know who’s naughty or nice.”

But they also included a picture of the ad in the article, the one that caused such offense. I’m going to show you the ad below the fold:

i-4441affc5b9a3f141db9585adafe0f63-samsclubmag.jpg

218,000 hyper-sensitive morons (why mince words?) sent emails to complain about that ad. Never mind that there is more than one holiday celebrated at the same time, and that at least one of the items on the page, the ribbons, would also be used to wrap Hannukah or Kwanzaa gifts as well, thus making “holidays” the proper and accurate word to use. This childish and idiotic demand from some Christians (and I note “some”; most of my Christian friends are as appalled by this lunacy as I am) that retailers address them and only them is like some primal scream of insanity. Get the fuck over yourselves, folks. You aren’t the only people occupying this planet. Jesus, there really should be a tax on stupidity.

Comments

  1. #1 tubi
    August 29, 2006

    I’ll bring the bullets and a light snack.

  2. #2 stogoe
    August 29, 2006

    Didn’t we just decide a few posts back that the Lottery was a tax on stupidity? Just rename it “Jesus Christ’s Magic Spin-the-Wheel Rapture Prize”, and we won’t have room to store all the money we make.

  3. #3 David Heddle
    August 29, 2006

    Well I’m certainly offended. How could they use Jeff Gordon in their ad? Kevin Harvick is a much better driver.

  4. #4 decrepitoldfool
    August 29, 2006

    What’s really hilarious is their use of Santa Claus catchphrase, “naughty or nice”. Despite a pretty thorough familiarity with the Bible and Church history, I can’t seem to recall how that is part of the Biblical Christmas story.

    Idiots.

  5. #5 elisabeth
    August 29, 2006

    The obvious defence against this idiocy is for non-theists and people of other religious beliefs to email and call Sam’s Club THANKING them for being sensitive to the fact that there are other non-Christmas winter holidays.

  6. #6 dogscratcher
    August 29, 2006

    ” Jesus, there really should be a tax on stupidity.”

    I believe there is: Lotto.

  7. #7 dcbob
    August 29, 2006

    Well, I’m offended by the fact they’re called holidays. It discriminates against all those other perfectly decent, law-abiding days that aren’t considered holy by one group or another. Death to Anti-Non-Holyism!

  8. #8 llDayo
    August 29, 2006

    I wonder how many of those emailers celebrate Christmas with brightly decorated trees?

  9. #9 Robert
    August 29, 2006

    I don’t think “Happy Holidays” is even inclusive of other religions. In my tiny, hyper-Christian hometown, everyone used Happy Holidays, to include Christmas and New Year’s. I’m sure they were not making nice for other Religions.

    I’d love to cross reference this list, with the Janet Jackson superbowl complaint list, and the Bill O Reily “premium member” database. I’d wager at least 75% identity.

  10. #10 Rob Knop
    August 29, 2006

    there really should be a tax on stupidity

    That would solve deficit problems, but would also SERIOUSLY disrupt the economy.

    If in addition to the tax on stupidity, there were tax rebates for government stupidity, most governments would immediately become utterly destitute.

    -Rob

  11. #11 Flatlander100
    August 29, 2006

    There will never be a true tax on stupidity. Too many members of Congress would have to pay it. So it will never pass.

  12. #12 Jim Lippard
    August 29, 2006

    It’s still August. We haven’t even reached Labor Day, let alone Halloween or Thanksgiving. It’s way too early for this nonsense.

    Are retailers are starting the December holiday items early because of fear of a bad sales season due to recession?

  13. #13 DragonScholar
    August 29, 2006

    Translation: If everything isn’t a reference to Christianity, it’s discirmination.

    You know, it now takes a little more effort for me to enjoy the holidays with the Wingnutosphere going on about the War on Christmas.

  14. #14 Ick of the East
    August 29, 2006

    …..I’d love to cross reference this list, with the Janet Jackson superbowl complaint list, and the Bill O Reily “premium member” database.

    Can’t we all just get along and celebrate Happy Premium Nipple Day ?
    .

  15. #15 Julie Stahlhut
    August 29, 2006

    Can’t we all just get along and celebrate Happy Premium Nipple Day ?

    Now with felafel!

  16. #16 Skip Evans
    August 29, 2006

    New slogan for groups like AFA’s legal arm, Center for Law and Policy, and Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice:

    “Who Would Jesus Sue?”

    Let’s start getting those bracelets on folks. It’s going to be a long Holiday season.

  17. #17 Kenneth Fair
    August 29, 2006

    I’ve always thought of “the holidays” as being roughly the entire period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. “Christmas,” on the other hand, is December 25th.

    So while I might wish someone “Merry Christmas” on December 24th or 25th, I wouldn’t do that on December 16th or 28th. I’d wish them “Happy Holidays” instead. I don’t think that means any less respect for Christmas; in fact, I think it means more because I reserve the term for that day in particular.

    I really hate people who’ve confused Christianity with shopping.

  18. #18 Patrick (gryph)
    August 29, 2006

    Advertising space costs money. I bet the decision went something like this:

    Spend lots of extra money for ad space putting in “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Hannukah”, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, etc.

    Or just use the word “Holidays”. Go figure.

    I must admit, that while I know most Christians are disgusted with these kind of antics, every time I see some of them doing this victimization song & dance, I think to myself, “Where are all the lions when you need them”?

  19. #19 Matthew
    August 29, 2006

    I think what they actually want is Christmas to be addressed in 16 point font, the rest in 8 point font.

  20. #20 tacitus
    August 29, 2006

    The AFA should go over to the UK instead. There, it’s all Christmas, all the time. Harrods of London opened it’s first Christmas display, called “Christmas World”, on August 8th this year (ugh!).

    Of course, being a mostly secular nation, Christmas isn’t much of a religious holiday for most Brits any more. But if it’s the use of the word Christmas that’s the most important thing, then the British Isles is the place to be. You can’t get away from it anywhere!

  21. #21 Joshua
    August 29, 2006

    *checks the calendar*

    Is it just me, or is the War on Christmas starting earlier every year?

  22. #22 Max Kaehn
    August 29, 2006

    I marked my calendar for the beginning of October to try to start a trend of calling the period between the winter solstice and the new year “Saturnalia”. Maybe I should start earlier…

  23. #23 r4d20
    August 29, 2006

    The irony is that Christmas is the most Heathen of all the Christian Holidays.

    1) The date (Dec 25) comes from the Celebration of Sol Invictus, (who is just a combination of Apollo and Mithras)

    2) The Tree comes from the Germanic Pagan celebration of Yule, which was held at a nearby “Sacred” tree that symbolised the “World Tree” that connected HEaven and Earth.

    3) As for Santa Claus: Prior to the Germanic peoples’ conversion to Christianity, Germanic folklore contained stories about the god Odin (Wodan), who would each year, at Yule, have a great hunting party accompanied by his fellow gods and the fallen warriors residing in his realm. Children would place their boots, filled with carrots, straw or sugar, near the chimney for Odin’s flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin would then reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir’s food with gifts or candy [Siefker, chap. 9, esp. 171-173]. This practice survived in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands after the adoption of Christianity and became associated with Saint Nicholas.

    These may be just historical tidbits to some, but I think that drawing public attention to these things will be, frankly, embarassing for the uber-Christians It shouldn’t be, but why not use their own stupid prejudice against them?

  24. #24 kemibe
    August 29, 2006

    Along the lines of r4d20’s comment, I think that in the week leading up to Christmas, I’ll do an ongoing series about the well-known pagan roots of not only Christmas but Christianity in general, going into exhaustive detail about how every allegedly beseiged element these frigtards claim as their own was actually borrowed from pre-existing mythology revolving around savior-cult gods bearing a suspicious resemblance to the Almighty.

    Amazing how easy it is for the 15% of America that claims *not* to be Christian to “marginalize” and “persecute” the 75-80% that claims to be Christian. At least to hear them tell it. If there’s one thing that turns me off more than anything else about that particular faith it’s the inherent whining and victimhood. Wah, wah, wah, whyncha tell Jeebus to suck on this fer me sins.

  25. #25 David Heddle
    August 29, 2006

    r4d20,

    The irony is that Christmas is the most Heathen of all the Christian Holidays.

    Actually Christmas is not a Christian holiday at all. Scripture teaches us to celebrate Christ’s death. It never instructs us to celebrate his birth.

    kemibe,

    I await you brilliant and laser-sharp expose with fear and trembling. Not.

    I find it amusing when people bring up the pagan roots of things like Christmas as if it’s startling new information. It’s been known, well, ever since it happened, that Christmas was co-opted. Should it likewise shock, say, Viet Nam War Veterans being honored on Veteran’s Day that, *gasp*, their holiday was originally Armistice Day and was only intended for WWI vets?

  26. #26 Ick of the East
    August 29, 2006

    …..Actually Christmas is not a Christian holiday at all. Scripture teaches us to celebrate Christ’s death. It never instructs us to celebrate his birth.

    It is now a Christian holiday because most Christians celebrate it as such.
    It may not be Biblical, but neither are crucifixes or rosaries or hymm books. Cannot these things be labeled with the word Christian?

    …..I find it amusing when people bring up the pagan roots of things like Christmas as if it’s startling new information.

    You must have a wildly optiomistic view of Americans if you think that very many of them know about Sol Invictus or the origin of the Christmas stocking.
    .

  27. #27 JimC
    August 29, 2006

    Actually Christmas is not a Christian holiday at all. Scripture teaches us to celebrate Christ’s death. It never instructs us to celebrate his birth.

    Oh man, how vapid a response is that, trust Heddle to argue black is white.

  28. #28 George Cauldron
    August 29, 2006

    Perhaps we should just cave in and start giving people War on Christmas cards and taking War on Christmas vacations?

  29. #29 Elf M. Sternberg
    August 29, 2006

    A reputation for overreaction has worked rather well for Islam. Christians can’t… yet… get away with overreaction to such an extreme degree, but I wouldn’t put it past them should capitulation embolden them.

  30. #30 Genevieve Williams
    August 30, 2006

    Perhaps we should just cave in and start giving people War on Christmas cards and taking War on Christmas vacations?

    Oh man, I like this idea far too much.

    Whatever happened to the people complaining that Christmas had gotten too commercial, that all of the advertising and spending lots of money on gifts was taking away from the real meaning of the holiday? I’d actually have a bit more sympathy for their position if they decided to complain about THAT.

  31. #31 Theron
    August 30, 2006

    The absence of a pro-Christian bias is evidence of an anti-Christian bias, just as the absence of a right-wing bias is evidence of a left-wing bias.

    So basically, we can’t win with these folks.

  32. #32 ebohlman
    August 30, 2006

    Genevieve is exactly right: one of the main reasons that retailers have toned down their use of “Christmas” was that many Christians had complained, IMHO reasonably, that Christmas was being over-commercialized and that Christianity shouldn’t be used as a tool for selling stuff. Now the wingnuts are whining that Christmas isn’t commercialized enough; they’re demanding that Christian imagery be used to sell stuff to them (and to others as well).

  33. #33 MikeN
    August 30, 2006

    I think the best way to nip this in the bud is a full-throat (loud as possible) accusation of anti-Semitism:

    “You know that Christ means Messiah, right? And that it’s blasphemy for a Jew to call Jesus the Messiah? So you’re demanding that a Jewish store clerk commit blasphemy or you’ll boycott the store? You want the manager to fire all the Jews working there? You want to shut down all Jewish businesses? What are you planning next, make them all wear yellow stars?
    Why don’t you and your buddy Ahmadenijad set up your own little anti-Semites club etc.”

    The hard-core Christianists are actually anti-Semites, so those ideas won’t bother them- it’s to make everybody else stop and think.

  34. #34 David Heddle
    August 30, 2006

    JimC,

    Oh man, how vapid a response is that, trust Heddle to argue black is white.

    I see. Argue that Christmas is a holy Christian holiday and I lose, because so many geniuses are poised to point out that it is actually a pagan holiday. Agree (as I do) that they are right, it’s not a Christian holiday, and you win, because I’m arguing black is white. Nice little gig you’ve set up for yourself.

  35. #35 wintermute
    August 30, 2006

    Actually Christmas is not a Christian holiday at all. Scripture teaches us to celebrate Christ’s death. It never instructs us to celebrate his birth.

    You do know that Easter is nothing more than a Pagan celebration of the renewal of spring, right? I mean, even the names comes from a Celtic nature goddess, Eostre. If it was all about celebrating his death (somewhat morbid; shouldn’t you be mourning his death and celebrating his return to life?), then what’s the significance of the bunnies and eggs?

    In other words, are there any genuinely Christian celebrations?

  36. #36 Raging Bee
    August 30, 2006

    Some Christians in America, and more so in Europe (Austria and Germany, specifically, that I know of) are campaigning to get rid of Santa altogether and make the holiday EXCLUSIVELY about Jesus. (Although they may be gunning exclusively for the modern generic Coca-Cola Santa, not the many past incarnations thereof.) This is something the original Protestants did — label Santa “pagan” (which is partly true), and portray the “Christ Child” as the giver of gifts instead. That’s why Christmas markets in the German-speaking countries are called “Kristkindlesmarkts” (not sure of the spelling there), and also where the name Kris Kringle (Krist Kinder) comes from.

    Quite frankly, I think the Christians appropriated the Winter Solstice as the time of Christ’s birth for some very good reasons: there’s a lot of overlap between the spirit of Christmas and that of the Pagan holidays around the Winter Solstice. Like the Solstice, the birth of Christ is seen as the first small signs of hope or salvation in a time of maximum darkness; the Romans celebrated Saturnalia by giving gifts to the poor; St. Nicholas became a saint by dropping gold down a chimney to prevent three girls being sold into slavery or prostitution (or so the story goes); and there’s also a story of Odin wandering the earth disguised as a poor beggar, and rewarding those who treated him well. (Also, I thought the evergreen tree was taken as a symbol of eternal life.) I really don’t see how we can strip away all the “non-Christian” elements of Christmasaturakwanzannakayulestice without stripping it of the spirit that Christians have attached to it as well. “Christian vs Pagan” is not always an either-or proposition.

    PS to Heddle: just because Scripture doesn’t tell you to do sometning, does not make it “un-Christian” or “non-Christian” to do it. For whatever reason, Christians tend to celebrate the birth of Christ (not all of them do, there’s some “purists” who refuse to acknowledge it at all, IIRC that sect is called “boring”), whose date they’ve set at 12/25, therefore, pretty much by definition, it’s a Christian holiday. (And where does the Bible tell us to celebrate Christ’s death, anyway?)

  37. #37 Countlurkula
    August 30, 2006

    > And where does the Bible tell us to celebrate Christ’s death, anyway?

    Would it be better to say Christians observe Holy Week, including the crucifixion on Good Friday, and celebrate the Resurrection?

    Anyway, I don’t know of any command to observe a liturgical calendar in the scriptures so the whole argument seems moot (even if I were a traditional sort of Christian, which I’m not).

  38. #38 David Heddle
    August 30, 2006

    Raging Bee:

    nd where does the Bible tell us to celebrate Christ’s death, anyway?

    When Jesus institues the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. For example, e.g., Luke 22:19, 1Cor 11:23- 26, etc.

    Wintermute,

    No it’s not–you are once again confusing co-opting with illegitimacy. To use my previous example, Veterans Day is a legitimate honoring of all veterans, even though it started out as Armistice Day. If Christ’s birth was something that we, as Christians, were instructed to commemorate, then it would be of no significance that we “stole” a celebration of the Winter solstice to fix the date. Likewise for Easter, which is an important Christian holiday (actually the important Christian holiday). Although the better argument is that it co-opted Passoverbut but stole the name “Easter.”

    And, by the way, celebrate doesn’t have the sole meaning of riotous partying. It can also mean somber commemoration. But at any rate, we do celebrate his death, for if he didn’t die, we’d have to. It’s a very selfish celebration. You are right, of course, that we also celebrate his resurrection.

  39. #39 Dave L
    August 30, 2006

    we do celebrate his death, for if he didn’t die, we’d have to.

    What exactly does ‘death’ mean in this context? I’ve always thought that your soul ends up in one of two places, heaven or hell, and that no one really ‘dies’. I also was under the impression that heaven and hell were part of the OT and weren’t exclusively Christian, and that Jesus’s death, in effect, allows more souls to reach heaven. I believe the Bible may also say, ‘the wages of sin is death’. Aren’t the wages of sin actually damnation?

    FWIW, I do appreciate Heddle’s comments. I don’t share his religious beliefs, but his posts are intelligent and informative at least to me.

  40. #40 David Heddle
    August 30, 2006

    Dave L,

    You are correct–death in this context refers to the eternal death, aka damnation.

  41. #41 George Cauldron
    August 30, 2006

    This is something the original Protestants did — label Santa “pagan” (which is partly true), and portray the “Christ Child” as the giver of gifts instead.

    So if they have their way, does this mean that in a few years we’ll be bombarded with media images of the long-haired, white-robe wearing hippie Jesus shimmying down people’s chimneys, depositing dolls, bicycles, and game boys under the tree?

    Just trying it out: “Merry War on Christmas, everybody!”

    Oooh! I like that!

  42. #42 W. Kevin Vicklund
    August 30, 2006

    I’m sorry, Mr. Heddle, but those passages do not in fact establish a Christian holiday celebrating the death/resurrection of Jesus. Rather, it establishes a celebration at every meal (“whensoever you eat this bread and drink this wine, do so in remembrance of me”), not a particular day. In other words, it establishes that Christians should pray at every meal.

    Therefor, unless David can provide a different source establishing a specific celebration (rather than the “pray at meals” he has given us), he must admit that under his definition Easter is not a Christaian holiday, either. I will not categorically dismiss the possibility that such passages exist, but David has yet to provide them.

  43. #43 kemibe
    August 30, 2006

    David,

    No worries. Anyone who would write something this vacuous after running over a deer stands to gain nothing from reading anything I might produce.

  44. #44 David Heddle
    August 30, 2006

    kemibe,

    I recently seen several of your arguments here and there. They all, as far as I can tell, are formulaic:

    “I’m really smart, and you’re so incredibly stupid…”

    Doesn’t arguing that way get boring after a while?

  45. #45 Ted
    August 30, 2006

    Doesn’t arguing that way get boring after a while?

    Not to the really smart, but I’m only guessing on that one… :-)

    David, I enjoy your posts here. They are interesting.

  46. #46 kemibe
    August 30, 2006

    “Doesn’t arguing that way get boring after a while?”

    It might if “that way” were actually my approach. See, I believe in something that is an anathema to your own arguments — presenting facts and evidence rather than “revealed knowledge” and blind ad hominems. Any editorializing I do is secondary, but forms the sole “substance” of your screeds against science and scientists. So it’s never about me or how smart I supposedly think I am — but if you insist, I’ll take the compliment.

    You should really be asking yourself the question you’re asking me, since you have an obvious fondness for substituting superficially glib verbiage and dismissive mischaracterizations for objective support. Having taken a stance that does not admit of any actual evidence and requires a significant amount of conjuring work, I suppose you really have no choice.

  47. #47 kehrsam
    August 30, 2006

    kemibe:

    The piece sounds like a pretty standard response at the shock of having killed something by accident. If this be vacuous, then to be human is to be vacuous. Evolution being what it is, perhaps the rest of us can someday aspire to rise to your level.

    davidheddle:

    Sorry about Bambi. Unfortunately, it happens. And no, I don’t think God can be blamed for allowing our imperfection. I personally wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Mr. Vicklund:

    No, the NT doesn’t really go into any details of the worship of the early church, so in that sense, NO christian holidays exist according to your argument.

    I’m just not sure what this proves. Most holidays throughout history are chances to have a good time rather than get serious and religious; those that are serious, such as Lent or Ramadan, are conveniently placed in the calendar where people are deprived already. So most holidays, relious or not, are pretty much irrelevant to true religion. Which I thought was Ed’s premise at the start of this thread in any case. Peace.

  48. #48 GH
    August 30, 2006

    I believe the Bible may also say, ‘the wages of sin is death’. Aren’t the wages of sin actually damnation?

    This is somewhat selective. It is clear that the writer meant death as in death. Of course one can bend any verse to fit any theology.

  49. #49 Ed Brayton
    August 30, 2006

    It’s not often that I agree with David Heddle, but honesty compels it in this instance. When Kemibe writes:

    See, I believe in something that is an anathema to your own arguments — presenting facts and evidence rather than “revealed knowledge” and blind ad hominems.

    I agree with him on the first part, about the illegitimacy of revelation, but the part about blind ad hominems applies, at least in this instance, to his part in this exchange. He earlier wrote:

    Anyone who would write something this vacuous after running over a deer stands to gain nothing from reading anything I might produce.

    And he linked to something Heddle wrote about hitting a deer, apparently. I didn’t bother to follow the link and read it, precisely because this is, in fact, an ad homimen argument (as opposed to mere insults, which are so often mistakenly labelled as ad hominems). An ad hominem argument is one which dismisses someone’s arguments to the contrary based upon some irrelevant personal characteristic – “Why should I listen to what you say about quantum mechanics, you can’t even dress yourself” would be an example. But the one kemibe offers here is pretty much exactly that. Apparently Heddle didn’t react to hitting a deer (something that happens quite frequently where I live) in the manner one thinks he should have, and he is using that to dismiss Heddle’s arguments in this thread. That’s an ad hominem, like it or not. How he handled hitting a deer has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of invalidity of his arguments in this thread (some of which, frankly, I’ve found rather silly myself, but haven’t bothered to say so because they have little to do with the point of my post). Thus, kemibe has engaged in an ad hominem while accusing Heddle of doing the same (which he may have done himself at some point, but not that I’ve seen in this exchange). I hate to say it, but he’s right on that minor issue.

  50. #50 JimC
    August 30, 2006

    Argue that Christmas is a holy Christian holiday and I lose, because so many geniuses are poised to point out that it is actually a pagan holiday. Agree (as I do) that they are right, it’s not a Christian holiday, and you win, because I’m arguing black is white. Nice little gig you’ve set up for yourself.

    Ah, if we could only be as smart as you David. What game have I set up? You commented on how Christmas wasn’t Christian not that it was so your just arguing with yourself here.

    And no, I don’t think God can be blamed for allowing our imperfection.

    So I guess when you buy a defective product you don’t blame the company who made it then huh? They had nothing to do with it at all? So thats how GM stays around.:-)

  51. #51 David Heddle
    August 30, 2006

    W. Kevin Vicklund,

    Sorry, in all the excitement I missed your post. You wrote:

    I’m sorry, Mr. Heddle, but those passages do not in fact establish a Christian holiday celebrating the death/resurrection of Jesus.

    I never wrote that scripture mandates the Easter holiday (if I did, I retract the claim), I wrote that it instructs us to celebrate Christ’s death (and resurrection), but never does it tell us to celebrate his birth. The evidence of my claim is in the scripture I provided, which if you don’t accept as evidential I cannot help, and also in the circumstantial evidence that all mainstream denominations treat the Lord’s Supper as a sacrament/ordinance, while none that I am aware of have any sacrament/ordinance associated with Christ’s birth. This puts Easter, in my opinion, on solid ground as a bona fide Christian holiday, while Christmas was developed from Christian “common sense” that celebrating Christ’s birth would be a good and worthy thing.

    And in either case, the fact that they have pagan roots (Christams especially) is not important, nor is it new information.

    JimC,

    I honestly cannot parse your most recent comment, and so I don’t know how to respond.

  52. #52 kemibe
    August 30, 2006

    Ed,

    I plead guilty to maligning Mr. Heddle outside the context of this topic. I’d just finished reading his hapless “critique” of PT, his strawman-laden attacks on scientists, and his belief that running over an animal (which he clearly feels distressed about, but take heart; most of us New Hampshirites have run over something large and four-legged) was ordained by God; all of these led me to state simply that he would no more benefit from reading things I write than I do from reading his. And if I wasn’t going to elaborate — which I didn’t want to do given that stuff on Mr. Heddle’s blog is irrelevant here — I shouldn’t have brought his posts up at all.

    But to be fair — albeit in a first-graderish kind of way — I can claim, “he started it!” This he did by responding to something I wrote (not to him) with “I await you brilliant and laser-sharp expose with fear and trembling. Not,” which is hardly focused criticism.

    Side note: On the matter of quantum mechanics, I’d sooner trust someone who clearly can’t dress himself properly than I would a slick talker staright out of the pages of GQ…

  53. #53 Roadtripper
    August 30, 2006

    In the spirit of honoring multiple holidays during the annual “silly season”, I’ve begun campaigning for a multi-cultural event known as Ramahanakwanzamas. So far, it’s gotten exactly zero support. One respondent was kind enough to point out that it was insensitive to people who celebrate the winter solstice. Now I’ll have to figure out how fit that one in there somewhere….

    Rt

  54. #54 Raging Bee
    August 31, 2006

    Roadtripper: Try “Christmasaturnakwanzannakhayulestice” (sorry I misspelled it in my last response).

  55. #55 W. Kevin Vicklund
    August 31, 2006

    Mr. Vicklund:

    No, the NT doesn’t really go into any details of the worship of the early church, so in that sense, NO christian holidays exist according to your argument.

    I’m just not sure what this proves. Most holidays throughout history are chances to have a good time rather than get serious and religious; those that are serious, such as Lent or Ramadan, are conveniently placed in the calendar where people are deprived already. So most holidays, relious or not, are pretty much irrelevant to true religion. Which I thought was Ed’s premise at the start of this thread in any case. Peace.

    Kurt, the argument was David’s, not mine – I was merely pointing out that he had failed to substantiate it in any meaningful way. Scripture (that is, the English translations and the Gaelic->English translations with which I am familiar) records the following: the actual birth of Jesus was celebrated (twice, if you include the 3 wise men), Jesus requested a specific ritual to be done at every meal, and the actual death and rebirth of Jesus was observed in certain manners. It does not record any commandment to celebrate the anniversary of either the death, rebirth, or birth. Your argument that Christmas is not a Christian holiday but Easter is one would stand if the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (or whatever it may be called) was only offered in relation to the anniversary of his death/rebirth. The scripture you have offered does not establish anything other than “Christian ‘common sense’ that celebrating Christ’s [death and re]birth would be a good and worthy thing.” Also to be considered is that scripture commanded that the people rejoice in Jesus’s birth (Luke 2, IIRC), which gives the anniversary celebration of his birth as much scriptural validity as the anniversary celebration of his death/rebirth.

    In fact, the only holiday rituals (as opposed to daily or otherwise routine) that are direct from scripture -that I am aware of- are Jewish. But as I said before, this is not my own argument – I am merely exploring the argument advanced by David.

  56. #56 Chris Beck
    August 31, 2006

    Betcha that was 218,000 emails generated by a webpage that says “Click here to send a nastygram” with no validation of user ID.

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