xmas is a secular holiday

so:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion… or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

and:

Popular aspects of the holiday include decorations, emphasis on family togetherness, and gift giving. Designated a federal holiday by Congress and President Ulysses S. Grant in 1870.

ergo: christmas is a secular holiday. so when people insist on “happy holidays” it is an over-correction, like the plural octopi (octopus comes from greek, not latin, so octopuses is actually more correct, or even octopodes).

now, halloween is definitely a religious holiday. at least, it isn’t a federal holiday.

On one hand, I am sad to see the secularization of Christmas. It is removing God/Jesus from the picture, and many kids these days grow up not knowing what Christmas means. To them, it’s just a day for getting presents, eating treats, and seeing the family. Good that they are giving and spending time with their families, but not the whole picture, and missing the most important part of Christmas.

On the other hand, I am glad to see it become secular. That way the atheists won’t try to end Christmas and make people work on Christmas if it falls on a weekday because it violates “freedom of religion” to “force” people take the day off when they don’t believe in God anyway. Atheists are already removing the Ten Commandments from historic buildings that have had them there for many years (since they were built?), and now they want to change the Pledge of Allegiance, too.

Actually, in Greek, it should have been “octopoi.”:):):slight_smile:

If we got the word through Latin, though, octopi would be perfectly correct.

ICXC NIKA.

I don’t see how Christmas being a federal holiday is equivalent to Congress establishing a state church, which is what the establishment clause obviously and specifically addresses.
However, if one wants to take the position that it is, then in all intellectual honesty, it seems to me, they must also consider that government involvement in the clearly, historically, sacrament/ordinance of marriage violates the establishment clause, as well.

Jon

Huh? You think atheists don’t want a day off too?

…and now they want to change the Pledge of Allegiance, too.

Well, to be more accurate, there are some people (some of whom are probably atheists) who want to change it back.

I don’t think Christmas is being secularised as much as it is being re-paganised. What we now have is a return to pre Christian pagan mid winter excess: a kind of bacchanalia.

Atheism is reductive, ascetic, anti human. Paganism for all its flaws is more real to humanity.

i think you took my point backwards. what i was saying is that up until 1870, christmas was a religious holiday. when the government declared it a federal holiday, then it became secular, because of the establishment clause.

However, if one wants to take the position that it is, then in all intellectual honesty, it seems to me, they must also consider that government involvement in the clearly, historically, sacrament/ordinance of marriage violates the establishment clause, as well.

Jon

sort of. just because marriage started out as a religious obligation doesn’t matter, since it is a federally sanctioned thing now. that’s why denying gays the liberty to marry whomever they want to violates their civil rights. so, individual churches could refuse to marry anybody that they want, like mixed race couples for instance. and that would be under their religious purview. but the judge that actually stamps the marriage license, they have to stamp it for any two adults that aren’t already married.

and if you want to argue with me, you have to explain how it doesn’t violate the 14th amendment to have two separate classes of citizens. you can’t just say that you find gay sex icky, or it that it has always been this way or that way. and don’t lay any of that old testament jive on me; if jesus has anything to say about the gays, i haven’t seen it, yet.

but i think that’s a fair trade off, people can keep saying “merry christmas” to me, and i will enthusiastically “merry christmas” back, and let’s have the gays get married, too.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheists

i take issue with your description of atheism. i myself am not an atheist, so i don’t really feel qualified to speak on its behalf. so here are some thoughts about it from noted sci-fi writer and atheist, isaac asimov:

From “Isaac Asimov on Science and the Bible”, interview with Paul Kurtz, published in Free Inquiry, Spring 1982 (URL: sullivan-county.com/id3/asimov2.htm)::slight_smile:

I believe there’s enough evidence for us to think that a big bang took place. But there is no evidence whatsoever to suppose that a superhuman being said, “Let it be.” However, neither is there any evidence against it; so, if a person feels comfortable believing that, I am willing to have him believe it… as an article of faith. I have articles of faith, too. I have an article of faith that says the universe makes sense. Now there’s no way you can prove that the universe makes sense, but there’s just no fun in living in the universe if it doesn’t make sense… my belief is that no matter how far we go we will always find that the universe makes sense. We will never get to the point where it suddenly stops making sense. But that is just an assumption on my part… I don’t feel that people who believe in God will automatically be noble, but neither do I think they will automatically be wicked. I don’t think those who don’t believe in God will be automatically noble or automatically wicked either. I think this is a choice for every human being, and frankly I think that perhaps if you don’t believe in God this puts a greater strain on you, in the sense that you have to live up to your own feelings of ethics. But, if you do believe in God, you also believe in forgiveness. There is no one to forgive me.

In the same interview, responding to the question, “Isaac, how would you describe your own position? Agnostic, atheist, rationalist, humanist?”, Asimov answered:

I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I’m a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.

this is unrelated, but here asimov likens certain evangelical groups to "Omar, the Muslim calif, who burned the library of Alexandria saying, “If the books (therein) agree with the Koran, they are not necessary and may be burned; if they disagree with the Koran, they are pernicious and must be burned.” Evangelicals “think that all of knowledge will fit into one book called the Bible. and refuse to allow that there is even the conceivability of an error in there.” (The Humanist, Jan./Feb. 1989, p. 5).

=z0wb13;7102072]i think you took my point backwards. what i was saying is that up until 1870, christmas was a religious holiday. when the government declared it a federal holiday, then it became secular, because of the establishment clause.

It still is a religious holiday, because the government recognizing it as a religious holiday does not violate the establishment clause, since such recognition is not an establishment of a state church.

sort of. just because marriage started out as a religious obligation doesn’t matter, since it is a federally sanctioned thing now.

Well, you are consistent. If the government usurps something specifically religious, then it is nolonger religious. My complaint is with those who want to exclude from the public square those things religious which they don’t like, but adopt and change those religious things they perceive are important to enhancing government power. I just want it to be consistent; if it is unconstitutional to have a nativity scene on the courthouse lawn, then government interference in marriage is, too.

that’s why denying gays the liberty to marry whomever they want to violates their civil rights. so, individual churches could refuse to marry anybody that they want, like mixed race couples for instance. and that would be under their religious purview. but the judge that actually stamps the marriage license, they have to stamp it for any two adults that aren’t already married.

Why does the judge have the power to stamp the marriage license, if it is a religious act, which historically it is?

and if you want to argue with me, you have to explain how it doesn’t violate the 14th amendment to have two separate classes of citizens.

It is not a violation of the 14th amendment for a church to choose the basis upon which they marry. The issue is does the government, under the establsihment clause have legitimate authority regarding a religious act - to change it as they see fit.

you can’t just say that you find gay sex icky

I wouldn’t. That’s juvenile.

or it that it has always been this way or that way.

Now this I can say, all the way back to Genesis.

and don’t lay any of that old testament jive on me; if jesus has anything to say about the gays, i haven’t seen it, yet.

More importantly, I haven’t seen anything that Jesus said to change the institution of marriage into something new and different.

but i think that’s a fair trade off, people can keep saying “merry christmas” to me, and i will enthusiastically “merry christmas” back, and let’s have the gays get married, too.

I certainly think in our secular society, gays have every right to have a civil union, and acquire the same secular rights as any other couple, but it isn’t marriage.

But along the lines of your thread, should I, as a public school teacher, be allowed the right to wish my 5th grade students “Merry Christmas”?

Jon

You need to expalin how prohibition of homosexual marriage creates 2 classes of people?

Indeed…I wonder how many people know that the author of the Pledge of Allegiance didn’t put “under God” in it in the first place?

…come to think of it, Bellamy’s version (without the "under God’ part) was around for over half a century before Congress added “under God” to it in 1954.

Personally, I think they should change it back. Not because I object to it WITH 'under God," but c’mon…Bellamy was a Baptist minister, for Pete’s sake. He wrote it. If HE didn’t think that adding ‘under God’ was a good idea, shouldn’t we respect that?

Just call it me, being protective of an author’s right to have his words respected.

Christmas was never a secular holiday.

God bless,
Ed

Actually…no holiday (holy day) is a 'secular holiday," by definition. :wink:

On the other hand, now that we have stuff like Labor Day, and Independence Day, and other stuff, such secular celebrations are more and more common. As for Christmas, well…very few scholars actually think that Christ was born on December 25, year 0; mostly it was the winter solstice celebration ‘baptised’ and revamped into a Christian holiday.

I have always thought that this was one of the better conversion ideas, actually. It takes a very traditional and long respected celebration, and turned it…and the people who celebrated it…to thoughts of the Savior and celebration of His advent.

For those of use who understand that Christ’s birthday was not in December, it gives a chance to celebrate twice–and that’s a very good thing. :wink:

or it that [marriage] has always been this way or that way.
Now this I can say, all the way back to Genesis.

@JonNC: it wasn’t one man and one woman in the old testament, at least not how it is understood nowadays. i mean abraham had at least one child with a woman who wasn’t his wife. but that is also irrelevant; it is an appeal to tradition. argumentum ad antiquitatem (i really like that i found a forum with people that might know some latin;p). but just because it has always been that way (even though it hasn’t) it’s still a weak argument predicated on a logical fallacy.

and i wasn’t accusing anyone of being juvenile. i honestly listed the arguments that i tend to hear against gay marriage, and people really do have a strong negative reaction when they just think about gay sex. i know people that are grossed out by two guys kissing, and they have to look away. just like some people have to look away from surgery, or blood or vomit. but i bet you could make straight sex sound just as gross if you described it in clinical terms. and plus, just because you have a gut reaction to something, it doesn’t mean that you can construct a sound argument on a foundation of emotional sand.

I certainly think in our secular society, gays have every right to have a civil union, and acquire the same secular rights as any other couple, but it isn’t marriage.

as a fellow [aspiring] educator, think about Brown v. Board of Education: separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. just like separate classes of marriage are inherently unequal.

this is really important though:

It is not a violation of the 14th amendment for a church to choose the basis upon which they marry. The issue is does the government, under the establsihment clause have legitimate authority regarding a religious act - to change it as they see fit.

it doesn’t matter what the bible says about marriage. or, at least it is ambiguous regarding state sanctioned marriages.

But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?
Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius,
and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

maybe. it depends on how you want to read this. i think that you could say that you need to tolerate/accommodate the government that you live with. up to a certain point. but now you have to make an argument that somehow gay marriage interferes with your personal salvation. that’s a big stretch.

and the reality is that the gov’t is in the business of marrying people, whether it began as a religious tradition or not.

What calandar are you using?

The same one you do, adrift. Of course, if you want to go to a different one, we can talk about that.

Are you one of those people who believe that Jesus was indeed born on December 25th, year 0?

I mean, that’s fine and all, but you would be in the minority, even (or perhaps especially) among Catholic scholars, I believe. You realize that, yes? The fact is, the exact date of His birth is not important. THAT He was born is.

Xmas is clearly secular while Christmas is clearly Christian! Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings are inane.

“Christmas” occurring in the 25 of December is a “pagan” holiday that the society has secularized into “Xmas”.

Jesus the Messiah wasn’t born on the 25 of December. This date 25 of December was chose so that Christians could worship “God” along with pagans on the winter solstice for the sun god. I don’t know why this haven’t change after all of this years…We are celebrating Jesus on a pagan date, great… Fortunately Our God , Yahweh, is a God of mercy, justice and love. And he will forgive us. Jews committed this same mistake (celebrating God in paganized ways, when He clearly told them how to celebrate Him(Deuteronomy 16:16).)

This happened, thanks to Constantine, we got rid of “Jew” Holidays, which in fact are God’s holidays, He established for us, human beings , to celebrate Him. And so we have inherited pagan traditions.

Jesus was born on early/mid September. This is a fact. So Jesus was born on either Rosh Hashana (Real New Year,according to God’s time, not our “New Year”) or Sukkot (The Feast of the Tabernacles, when Jews celebrate that God inhabited with them and they were living in tents around Him.)

Anyways if we do change our holidays (we must) to the real dates they should be celebrated, is not going to be a big deal, anyways we are not supposed to be like the world. The world didn’t knew God anyways.

I didn’t meant to disrespect but this is the truth.

Yahweh bless.

You presume to much. I don’t that is why I asked.

"Year zero" does not exist in the widely used Gregorian calendar or in its predecessor, the Julian calendar. Under those systems, the year 1 BC is followed by AD 1. However, there is a year zero in astronomical year numbering (where it coincides with the Julian year 1 BC) and in ISO 8601:2004 (where it coincides with the Gregorian year 1 BC) as well as in all Buddhist and Hindu calendars.

Oh boy, here we go again. Christmas is modeled on a pagan holiday.

catholic.com/library/Is_Catholicism_Pagan.asp

Please folks. If you claim something is true, post a link to a reliable source. There have been other statements made over the years that other things Catholics do or have are modeled on pagan things or events.

Regards,
Ed

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