Is Christmas an insult to Christianity?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Chris2, Aug 24, 2002.

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  1. Humble extra Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 1999
    star 5
    i'm all fore purging the religious elements out of christmas.........lets seperate them out, give us our secular gift holiday that we can spend with our families, and let christians and other related creeds celebrate their religion in their own way......i for one dislike that my holiday is burdened with arcahic religious meaning, just as i am sure some christians dislike the gift giving and other non core activities of the modern christmas
  2. ADMIRALSPUZZUM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2002
    star 4
    Then you will have to change the name for non-religious folk :D
  3. Rebecca191 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 1999
    star 6
    1stAD had a great idea..... Universal Non-Exclusionary Merchandise-Exchange Fun Day..... c'mon, don't you just love it?!
  4. ADMIRALSPUZZUM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2002
    star 4
    UNEMEFD? hmm, too hard to pronounce...
  5. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    (Spuzzam, lol, I'd just written something on that but you posted first. :) )


    I don't mean to be Scrooge or the Grinch, but I'm afraid Christmas + Christianity don't mix....

    I disagree.

    -It's nowhere in the bible-the *story* is(Although quite different from the one we're accustomed to-see "Twisting of the Nativity to below), but there's no statement that it has to be worshipped as a Holiday.

    It's in the Nativity scene. That there is no statement that it has to be worshipped as a Holiday, there is also no prohibitive statement against it's worship either. The statements that the Bible does contain favor Christmas, both as depicted in the nativity and as part of God's 1st Commandment.
    Of course, the Bible itself is filled with Festival Days appointed by God and the Israelites. That of course would indicate the Lord's approval of commemorative dates and celebrations. Yes, God's a partier. :)


    -Pagan influence. Everything from the date(The birthdate of several Pagan dieties) to Christmas trees.

    The pagan's influenced the Nativity?
    In a way you could say they definitely did because the Magi depicted in the Nativity brought gifts and celebrated Christ's birth.

    So, in that sense, pagan elements were always a part of Christmas. God loves everyone, sending His only begotten Son to die on a Cross for the Whole World, not just Israel.

    God made trees first. :p

    Pagan dieties birthdays, eh? Do you know of any date that only a single person in history was ever born on? There are only so many days in a year. However, those deities are forgotten, and my celebration of Christmas has nothing to do with pagan deities.

    God created days. :p

    God created giving birth. :p

    Further, Christianity is nothing except for sinners, and especially of the pagan variety being reborn as Christians, being "assimilated" (in Borg speak), and so why not holidays that directly reflect that change. Pagan into Christian, Saturnalia into Christmas. Same difference. You could even call it a former pagan *giving* his/her holiday to Christ. :)


    -Santa Claus. Come on, the guy has almost nothing to do with Jesus? He was apparentally a Catholic saint to start with, then got warped into a magical, immortal fat guy. Also other Christmas characters like Frosty and Rudolph...

    Jesus gave gifts. Jesus loved children. Jesus inspired St. Nicholas the saint. Jesus was psychologically perfectly adjusted, and Santa laughs a lot. :) Santa's red and white out fit represents purity in white and and sacrifice in red (Actually, Santa's red and white outfit is do to the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide uniforms, through the inventor of Coca Cola. Tide detergent owes it's name to the same collegiate football team.)

    Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty, came along after Christmas, and were sort of rolled into the lexicon of symbols attached to Christmas, but I hardly think they hurt anything. It would seem more fair and realistic to suggest we divorce these symbols from Christmas rather than do away with Christmas. But they don't bother me, nor did they ever interfere with my ability to understand what Christmas is actually about, instead reinforcing "peace on earth, good will towards men."

    For that matter, both Scrooge and The Grinch, serve the same purpose to me. :)



    "-Materialism and Commercialism. While giving *is* a Christian virtue, Christmas is often to used as a scam to sell as much crap to as many people as possible. And people are mainly obsesssed with *receiving*, not *giving*."

    Gift giving.

    -The three wise men gave gifts to the infant Christ.
    -St. Nicholas gave gifts particularly to the needy and hungry.
    -Christ bestowed gifts everywhere He went, in the form of healings, wisdom, and ultimately upon the "tree"/"Cross" to the world.
    -Christ himself is a gift from God to the world.
    -Tithes and offerings and charitable contributions have always been a part of the Church and of Judaism.
    -Christ accepted gifts, such as the expensive bottle of ointment.
    -We are taught to give
  6. gwaernardel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    I'm just a little curious about what makes Christmas a Christian holiday, anyway. If you took the name "Christ" out of the title, what is there that's left that really pertains to Christians? I don't think Christmas is an insult to Christianity so much as calling it a Christian holiday is an insult to the Pagan traditions that spawned Christmas.
  7. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    A spin can be put on anything, eh? ;)




    I'd just be curious to know where all those pagan's went for the last 2,000 years? Long Holiday, I guess. :)

    No, neo-paganism doesn't count.
  8. ADMIRALSPUZZUM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2002
    star 4
    gwaernardel:

    erm, but see, even if you take "Christ" out of the name, its still a holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ...
  9. Adon_Malik Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Okay...but why celebrate the birth of Christ on a day that happens to be a Pagan holiday? Why not celebrate it on, I don't know, the day he was actually born?
  10. Lieutenant Tschel Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 1999
    star 2
    I always thought it was because the exact date of Christ's birth was not recorded and that placing the holiday on the same date as one for the then-dominant pagan religions would ease the transition to Christianity.
  11. Kit' Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 1999
    star 5

    I'd just be curious to know where all those pagan's went for the last 2,000 years? Long Holiday, I guess.


    Wiped out by Christians. [face_plain] It really depends on who you listen to as to where the Pagans went. A lot were wiped out, and many were converted (although how many of those were willing and how many were forced is another matter entirely). Other's simply just disappeared.

    Okay, but back on subject.

    It has become a tradition in my family over the past couple of years to call Christmas Conmass (as it cons the masses/consumerism of the masses).

    However, I still love Christmas. For me, it surpasses the Christian/Pagan message and becomes simply a time for my family to get together and show their appreciation at, well, being a family. :)

    Kithera
  12. gwaernardel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    Yeah, where did all those Pagans go for the last 2000 years? Oh yeah, that's right...they were killed for wanting to practice their religion.

    Don't you see where I'm coming from, though? The whole time right around what we now celebrate as Christmas was rife with Pagan traditions, as Chris2 said. It would be sort of like if Scientology suddenly became the most popular religion in the world and said that what we know as Christmas is really the day that we were all liberated from the planet Reesugock and we must celebrate Kuzzankis's victory. (Not actual Scientology beliefs, I don't think. Though it wouldn't surprise me...) And then years from now the Scientologists were whining about how the holiday is an insult to them.
  13. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    "Yeah, where did all those Pagans go for the last 2000 years? Oh yeah, that's right...they were killed for wanting to practice their religion."


    When they canned that answer they forgot to see if they sealed any content in there.


    Puh-lease. Like scientology has 2,000 years of recorded history behind it.

    Maybe I'm wrong, maybe there is something in that can, like, baloney. :)


    Yes, I recall reading up on all the scraggily undernourished, unarmed Christians storming up out of Rome against the barbarian hordes, armoured only in their toga's, thumping them all wildly over their horned helmets with copies of Bibles. :D

    LOL!

    I believe I read that in The History of Western Civilization by M. Python.

    See what you can do with God on yur side. ;)


    (Where does everyone get this stuff, the Ultra Liberals Unorthodox Handbook of Radically Revisionist History?)
  14. Force-User Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2002
    star 1
    Wiped out by Christians.

    Yeah, where did all those Pagans go for the last 2000 years? Oh yeah, that's right...they were killed for wanting to practice their religion.


    LOL!! :D

    I really would like to see a reference to where Christians wiped out the pagans in some sort of war. I mean, the Christians were too busy getting crucified by the pagans in the early days so when did this "massacre" occur?

    PPOR.
  15. Nahema Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2001
    >>>I really would like to see a reference to where Christians wiped out the pagans in some sort of war.<<<

    I opened 'The conversion of Europe: From Paganism to Christianity 371-1386AD' and opening to a variety of pages find references to wars against pagans in Saxony, felling of Sacred trees by missionaries, having met and dispatched some 'pagans not yet cleansed'...

    I flicked through to a dozen different places and each page I looked at contained some sort of war against the pagans or their equally violent reprisals.

    Looks pretty warlike to me. I suggest you do a little more research before making such bold statements.

    Steve

  16. Master-Jedi-Smith Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2002
    star 4
    No, no, no!

    All of that was done in the name of the lord, so it was alright to do! [face_plain]

    Latre! :D
  17. Java_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 4
    Well... I see this thread has degenerated into a belief bash zone... NIce ... Very NICE!!!!.


    Anyway... IMO ... Christmas has become a blending of many faiths and Belief systems. Granted, christianity had very little to add to the base holiday, but it has become just as important to Christians and to Pagans.

    What I find very interesting is that many Christians and Pagans have no clue on where these traditions came from... they are just excepted as "correct". Almost all the things you see out during the holiday season have both a pagan and a christian meaning. I couldn't care less if a christian wants to light candles on a Yule log and sing "Silent Night". That is thier belief and just as VALID as mine.

    Instead of agruing over where the pagans have been for 2000 years, like look at the things we have in common and honor those. We can't go back and change the past, so why fight about it now. Sounds like a HUGE waste of time to me. I would be much more interested to hear about what everyone's favorite part of the holiday season is.!!
  18. Lieutenant Tschel Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 1999
    star 2
    Yes, the one that most readily comes to mind is Charlemagne's campaigns against the Saxons. I believe he had conquered them and had them all baptized, then as soon as the Frankish army moved on the Saxons promptly rose up and burned all the churches and slaughtered all the priests,monks, and nuns. Charlemagne returned and put massive numbers of them to death in reprisal.


    It was a peculiar custom of those days that the general populace would adopt the religion of their king. So if the king was converted, so were all his subjects, such as was the case with the Franks themselves. Sometimes these conversions were made purely for political reasons, such as in the case of the Goths who converted to Christianity in the hopes of becoming a federate of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, they picked the wrong brand of Christianity (Arianism), which combined with Imperial duplicity made enemies out of potential allies.

    You want to talk about religious tolerance, the pagan Romans were great at it. In fact, prior to battles with enemy nations they would pray to the other side's gods and ask them to join their side! The benefits of polytheism I guess.
  19. Force-User Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2002
    star 1
    Looks pretty warlike to me. I suggest you do a little more research before making such bold statements.

    Conducting a political war and covering it as a Christian effort, doesn't count. What I would like to see is an example of Christians who attacked, conquered, baptised, and then departed. Any examples?
  20. _Darth_Brooks_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 4
    "You want to talk about religious tolerance, the pagan Romans were great at it. In fact, prior to battles with enemy nations they would pray to the other side's gods and ask them to join their side! The benefits of polytheism I guess."


    Right you are, especially Nero and Domitian, off the top of my head.

    If you consider what was done to Carthage as tolerance, or the fact that the Romans were at war with the aforementioned enemies in the above inspecific comments as tolerance.

    I think that's called covering the bases, sort of like the little spindly, evil, character in The Mummy movie who wore about 20 religious symbols hung on gold chains around his neck, praying feverishly to them all as the mummy closed in on him. Which doesn't seem exactly like religious tolerance but more like, say, superstition, maybe?


    Okay, we're way afield of Christmas traditions, but this would maek an interesting thread of it's own.
  21. Ariana Lang Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 1999
    star 5
    Right. Feeding Christians to lions in the arenas was so tolerant. Those Romans always had such a sense of fairness.
  22. Lieutenant Tschel Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 1999
    star 2
    Well that was because the Christians refused to worship Roman deities in addition to their own. So it was regarded as an affront to Imperial authority, seeing as how the Emperor's power was derived from the gods and was himself worshipped in several instances. They let the Jews get by for a while seeing as how their religion had a long history and tradition, until the Jewish rebellion in the first century.

    The polytheists, being polytheists, had no problems with this.

    What do the Punic Wars or any other wars fought by Rome have to do with religion? What I'm saying is that Rome went to war for land, wealth and power, not on Crusades or Jihads or whatever.

    BTW, I myself am Christian, but I don't like it when people try to absolve their own religions/nations/cultures of any examples of wrongdoing any more than when people do everything in their power to demonize and discredit the same.



  23. ADMIRALSPUZZUM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2002
    star 4
    Well, that wasn't very tolerant, no. But, Romans DID turn a blind eye to their territories that practiced other religions so long as they paid their taxes and didnt cause trouble ;)
  24. EvilEmperorJohn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2002
    star 1
    Christmas isn't what it used to be. Just in the last 50 years. Today, it's a commercial event, rife with sales and vacations. Many people don't even celebrate "Christ"mas they celebrate Giftmas! I actually don't think it should even be a national holiday, since we don't give the same honor to the Jewish holidays (which the devout of Judaism practice to the letter of their law). Meanwhile, Christ has been lost in a series of Christmas specials about family and gifts and miracles. Don't people realize that the "Christmas" spirit is actually the "Christian" spirit as it was originally intended?

    Incidentally, the REAL reason that Christmas and Easter were combined with Pagan holidays is because, in an attempt to convert pagans, the Church incorporated elements of the native cultures to get the pagans to convert! It also happened with Paul in the early Church - he appealed to the Romans and other gentiles by making comparisons to their belief structures. Not a new idea.

    I think Santa is the devil (not St. Nicholas - who is not alive, mind you), creating generations of greedy children who always make a list of things they WANT not what they want to GIVE! I applaud any parents who try to teach their kids the true meaning of Christmas by taking them to a shelter on Christmas and have them serve the homeless, just as Jesus did!

    A further note, don't even attempt to separate the church and politics in Europe between 0 AD and 1800 AD, because it was the Christian institution that spurred good Christians to war with others. If you read "The Source" by James Michener, you will see how the Church leaders spurred "faithful Christians" into killing not only Jews and Muslims in Palestine, but also other Christians who happened to be wearing the garb of the desert!

    I suppose, if nothing else, Christmas and Easter stand as a testament to the fact that Christ really did change the world! We wouldn't be here if not for Christ and his Church. And all who acknowledge Christmas acknowledge this fact.
  25. Java_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 4
    Wow... What Christmas spirit abounds in here...lol...

    So has there been a change of Topic to " Let's fight and bash each other over who's holiday it is" or are we still on the base one posted by Chris2?
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