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Not saying "Christmas" (Dear non-US Frihosters...)





quex
Sometimes I think America is doing alright. We have a high percentage of perfectly rational, sane people who practice various religious and respect one another.

Then we have large groups of otherwise rational people who organize and begin to register complaints or call for national boycotts because they are offended. This often makes sense, if it is in regards to a company doing something offensive. Like, say, having Hitler introduce a line of German leather boots on your commercial, or dressing a man in blackface for a fried-chicken ad. But then, come the end of the year, there is always a relatively small but noisy group that is furiously offended not by what a company or store is doing, but by what it isn't doing.

Specifically, not using the word "Christmas" in advertising.

Please tell me: is this JUST America? Are there arguments in the UK, Russia, China, Australia, Canada, etc. about this sort of thing? Have you ever heard the phrase "war or Christmas" in your local media, or has your local police force been publicly reprimanded by a national group because they wish citizens "happy holidays" rather than "merry Christmas?"

I am becoming more and more concerned by this trend as I see it... persons who feel it is morally right to demand that others be more exclusive of different religions, viewpoints, customs, et al, rather than the long-running worldwide shift, no matter how slow it may be, of becoming more open to one another. It manifests in the USA in small degrees all year round, but is never so very obvious as the argument of "Christmas" > "holidays".

I would very much like to learn if this specific instance is universal.
Bikerman
Sort of, in a fairly weak manner.
Europe is much less theistic than the US so you would expect us to be further down the road, if indeed there is a road.
To be sure there are the occasional news stories about some local council banning a nativity play or instructing employees to say 'seasons greetings' instead of the more 'loaded' Happy Christmas. But there are always such stories. I remember reading an outraged editorial in a serious broadsheet newspaper wailing that the world had gone mad because Robinsons had decided that a GollyWog was perhaps not a good brand mascot....political correctness gone mad....It doesn't seem that way now to most people I would guess Smile

In reality nothing much has changed in my lifetime. In many ways it is completely different. The value of the presents is much higher, the level of commercialism is higher, the adverts start earlier...and so on. But essentially families tend to meet up and wish each other happy Christmas, exchange presents and sit down to a meal of Roast Turkey.
Indi
Oh we have similar cretins in Canada. (Actually, there is a strong right-wing Christian contingent in power right now... nothing near as extreme as even the moderates in the US, but, by our standards, right-wing fascist bible-thumping coots.)

There are many ways you can respond to this kind of ignorance. My personal favourite - and the one i used to use in university - was that when i decorated my door, i deliberately and consciously put up greetings for every religious holiday i could think of even remotely lose to Christmas... ... ... but not Christmas. ^_^ "Eid Mubarak", "Gmar chatimah tovah", "Happy holidays", "Season's greetings", you name it (and in several languages, too).... but not Christmas.

(Naturally, every year, several times during the holidays, someone would write in "Merry Christmas", but i always erased it. i'm a teacher at heart, and that seemed a potent way to teach about what it really means to be inclusive... and excluded.)

You can do this on a smaller scale by picking obscure holidays (obscure where you live) to offer greetings for rather than Christmas. Like "Happy Sol Invictus day" (bonus points for saying it in the original Latin), or my favourite, "Feliĉan Zamenhof-an tagon".

Or the Anna blitzkrieg always makes me smile. My friend Anna can be very charming and sweet when she wants to be... before revealing her true self... and likes to provoke a conversation of this form:
Her: Season's greetings!
Them: *annoyance* It's Merry Christmas.
Her: *excited and interested with eyes wide, almost breathless with fascination* Oh, you're Christian?
Them: *proudly* Why yes, yes I am.
(and before they can get into the lecture about how the "proper" greeting is "Merry Christmas"...)
Her: Oh! *almost bursting with cheerfulness* Well, in that case, "go ****** yourself, hosebag" *said with a bright smile and a cheeky wave*

Or her other response is that when someone demands that she say "Merry Christmas", she just laughs, waves her hand and says, "Oh, i only celebrate the day the finally killed the bastard."
catscratches
Here in Sweden, we don't really have that issue (as far as I'm aware of). This is probably since we don't even have the word 'Christmas' in our language. Instead, we talk about Yule ('Jul'). But I guess it's essentially the same thing in practice since people don't know about the origins of Yule and simply assume it means the same as Christmas. There might still be a difference though, since Yule can also be used to refer to other holidays of the season, sometimes even just the season in general, even though most people use it to refer to the Christian holiday.
Bikerman
I think an IPU Holy day scheme is the best way to go.
Clearly any reference to 42 is holy - being the words of the Prophet Adams. This gives a surprising latitude in allocating Holy Days and the only real problem is the naming convention used Smile

For example today it is 19/11/10. This is a HolyDay, but what to call it?
(How many 1's in the date? 4. How many digits does that leave? 2)
ocalhoun
Indi wrote:
and that seemed a potent way to teach about what it really means to be inclusive... and excluded.)

[...]

Her: *excited and interested with eyes wide, almost breathless with fascination* Oh, you're Christian?
Them: *proudly* Why yes, yes I am.
(and before they can get into the lecture about how the "proper" greeting is "Merry Christmas"...)
Her: Oh! *almost bursting with cheerfulness* Well, in that case, "go ****** yourself, hosebag" *said with a bright smile and a cheeky wave*

[...]

"Oh, i only celebrate the day the finally killed the bastard."

^.^
I think this is relevant to this thread: Aggressive atheism
Bluedoll
I do see changes and here in my home Canada I see diverse groups of people. There is a trend occurring to identify will all groups in public places however Christmas by heritage has always been an established holiday like the USA.

I suppose it depends how you were brought up and what you relate to when you hear the word Christmas. In recent years with commercialism and stresses in living the attitude to it as certainly changed to remove a lot of what was really good about it. The whole traditional observance is really under pressure from all sides.

What has changed more recently is best demonstrated by reading this thread actually. The bottom line is of course what is the general condition of this time of year? In my region, it is the darkest, coldest and can be the most depressing time of the year. Therefore it is always nice regardless of the greeting to hear some kind of joy, hope or goodness emulating from someoneís mouth. I mean specifically, just about the jest of a greeting, whatever it may be. Is it a genuine goodwill salutation to another human being or some sly remark from a prick?
pentangeli
Cultural appropriation, cultural reappropriation, cultural rereappropriation, cultural rerereappropriation, just seemingly ends up with a lot of re-re's. You can't say "re-re" anymore. Why? Because acceptable terms like "fire retardant" cannot be applied to people. Which before the umpteenth derivative, still came up short. Or "vertically challenged", depending on how tall you're not. Once you remove an asset of any group, that group, no matter how big, suddenly becomes a minority due to aggrieved hardship. And then intelligent folk from all walks of life suddenly become apologetics, wondering if they should apologize for their orientation or apologize to those who expect an apology. Every hospital in UK has lost it's St. Saint's title. Every government building in France has lost the right of it's inhabitants to wear religious artifacts. Then the backlash of religious people will insist on some capitulation. For example, I could tuck my cross and wearing it optional, but a chadar, for example is a whole different can of worms. So they are going to complain. Enter: Why are they complaining? Enter: Why are they not complaining. And round and round the merry-go-round we go until somebody decides that it's costing somebody money. And then the gods of advertising, commercialism and capitalism all sit down and enjoy a nice peaceful holiday remembering the true meaning.

Quote:
Naturally, every year, several times during the holidays, someone would write in "Merry Christmas", but i always erased it. i'm a teacher at heart


A teacher who isn't dogmatic is just a failed teacher, failing to teach.
deanhills
I'm not particularly partial to all the jingle bells and Christmas tunes, that in its own right can make me depressed, without the dark days and bitterly cold weather in Canada. But each to its own. Some people enjoy celebrating Christmas, others think it is phony, and others feel that it takes up too much space. Whatever lights any person's candle is really not a biggie, including wanting to erase a Christmas greeting from a long list of festive season greetings. Personally it does not really teach anything when a greeting is omitted. Just the opposite in fact. It is more of a personal statement for me where the person wishes a section of the population that happens to celebrate Christmas be excluded completely.
pentangeli
deanhills wrote:
It is more of a personal statement for me where the person wishes a section of the population that happens to celebrate Christmas be excluded completely.


I couldn't agree more. I think those persons may have some questions to ask of themselves about whether their reasoning for this is not also the root cause of it. I'd be open to suggestions from these people that religious orientated people can enjoy their holiday and those who don't believe it can disregard it completely and can continue working. It would probably help the economy too. I don't think that's unfair. If you do, and would still like an atheistic holiday for Christmas, then I'm having the whole month off for Ramadan. And any other religious event that I don't adhere to that I can think of. I like this deal. It's a win/win.

You may hear all kinds of complaints and concerns, some holding more merit than others. One I consider to be of merit from my camp (and perhaps more in line with the original poster's concerns) was the section of Christians who are weary of people who simply just "do Christmas". I admit I do understand these concerns, in accordance with what I've just said above. There seems to be a section of critics of Christianity who'd like it both ways. But this isn't anything new to me. A particularly crap concern I heard recently was a member of the Christian faith recently in the Newspaper informing me that as a Catholic, mindful of the historical relevance of celebrating the execution of a Catholic, I should be ashamed of myself and consider myself a traitor for celebrating Guy Fawkes' night. I didn't have the heart to tell it's also my birthday, but still... This was a particularly useless assertion echoed by the fact that she herself was wearing a crucifix.

Some have merit and most don't. Just get in your own head and do your thing.
deanhills
pentangeli wrote:
If you do, and would still like an atheistic holiday for Christmas, then I'm having the whole month off for Ramadan. And any other religious event that I don't adhere to that I can think of. I like this deal. It's a win/win.
I'm doing very well with all the Ramadan and Eid holidays in the Middle East. I've just had a whole week off for Eid Al Adha. We don't get Christmas and Boxing days, but there are many more Ramadan and Eid holidays than Xmas holidays Smile In essence, I find the Ramadan and Eid holidays exactly the same as the Christmas holidays. People shop until they drop. Usually by the end of Ramadan most of the "fasters" are pretty exhausted and almost broke from all the spending and entertaining of guests. At the heart of it however there are plenty of family gatherings to which friends are invited in a charitable and hospitable way. Not unlike Christmas. This to me is the good part of the celebrations. Families getting an opportunity to spend some time together.
PGe-tips
Hilarious ! boycotting a company, just because they don't use the word Christmas somewhere in an advertisement !!! In Europe people wouldn't even think about looking for it on any media. Nice to learn that there is again a point difference between our communities.
ocalhoun
PGe-tips wrote:
Hilarious ! boycotting a company, just because they don't use the word Christmas somewhere in an advertisement !!! In Europe people wouldn't even think about looking for it on any media. Nice to learn that there is again a point difference between our communities.

Well, for the people who are used to it being a religiously-based holiday, and wanting it to stay that way, it's depressing to see it more and more secularized and commercialized.

Sort of serves them right though, because they weren't the inventors of the holiday anyway; if they can steal the holiday from pagans converting it to a christian holiday, then they have no room to complain of commercialism and political correctness stealing it from them in turn.

The same thing is happening again, much like it happened before. Give it a few hundred years, and people will only remember that Christmas (they'll call it something else) was a Christian holiday when examining the trivia of where the holiday originated.
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
Indi wrote:
and that seemed a potent way to teach about what it really means to be inclusive... and excluded.)

[...]

Her: *excited and interested with eyes wide, almost breathless with fascination* Oh, you're Christian?
Them: *proudly* Why yes, yes I am.
(and before they can get into the lecture about how the "proper" greeting is "Merry Christmas"...)
Her: Oh! *almost bursting with cheerfulness* Well, in that case, "go ****** yourself, hosebag" *said with a bright smile and a cheeky wave*

[...]

"Oh, i only celebrate the day the finally killed the bastard."

^.^
I think this is relevant to this thread: Aggressive atheism

Actually, i wouldn't call that atheistic or aggressive. It's more hyper-reactive antitheism (specifically anti-Christianity).

First of all, it's not aggressive because she's not being the aggressor. She wants to enjoy the holiday season, too, whether you want to call it winter solstice, yule or whatever, and her greeting is just a broad greeting inclusive of all different faiths... that gets thrown right back at her by someone who insists on laying claim to the holidays for their own religion (holidays that the religion stole in the first place). It's the ****** saying "your holidays don't count, we own this season" who is being the aggressor. Anna is just retaliating.

Secondly, her responses aren't so much atheistic as a direct assault on Christianity. Granted, in her case, she has good reason for it, but that's beside the point. My own refusal to include "Merry Christmas" among the greetings on my door was also not particularly atheistic, but was again a direct response to the jerks who insist on demanding ownership of a holiday season that they stole in the first place. If any private citizen or organization wants to say Merry Christmas or put up specifically Christian displays, then i won't lift a finger to stop them, and will, in fact, speak out against anyone who does try to stop them. But when any person or group claims that their - and only their - religion owns the holidays, and tries to force other people and organizations to conform to their particular celebrations, that's when we have problems.

This isn't hypothetical either. She doesn't retaliate when people wish her Merry Christmas, she only retaliates when they insist that the holidays are "Christian" holidays, and that she should conform to their religious beliefs. Similarly, i wouldn't hesitate to put Merry Christmas on my collection of season's greetings, were it not for the fact that people are being so ignorant about it - and i used to do it!... until someone lectured me about the "true" meaning of the holidays (after which my response was, and has continued to be, the deliberate exclusion of Christianity from my collection of holiday greetings).

So this isn't really a "war on Christmas" as the Americans like to call it, nor is it really anything to do with Christianity specifically or atheism at all. It's really just a war on ****** - on bigotry and intolerance - and i'm quite happy to fight it.
Bluedoll
@Indi
Because someone lectured you (which may have been an improper thing to do, I do not know I was not there)
Quote:
i'm quite happy to fight
that is unfortunate
Quote:
being so ignorant about it - and i used to do it
however just because this
Quote:
******
happened to you
Quote:
a direct response to the jerks who insist
perhaps the time is coming for you to forget that and move on. Instead
Quote:
Oh, i only celebrate the day the finally killed the bastard.
try to see that some people regardless of any belief want peace. Although, I can agree taking ownership away from someone else is not right perhaps instead of the lecture you got that message should have been God does not like what is going on in this regard either.
Quote:
So this isn't really a "war on Christmas" as the Americans like to call it, nor is it really anything to do with Christianity
and the message is simply a call for peace and good will to all. And that
Quote:
It's more hyper-reactive antitheism (specifically anti-Christianity).
is nothing but warfare for those following it.
pentangeli
Indi wrote:
It's really just a war on ****** - on bigotry and intolerance - and i'm quite happy to fight it.


So was Mussolini.
deanhills
@Bluedoll! An excellent posting and I agree with the hyper-reactive anti-theism description as non-peaceful at the very least, aggressive would fit very well here. I thought this definition of anti-theism was right on?
Quote:
Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, states "while atheism is the lack of belief in any god, anti-theism means actively seeking out the worst aspects of faith in god and portraying them as representative of all religion. Anti-theism seeks to shame and embarrass people away from religion, browbeating them about the stupidity of belief in a bellicose god."

Antitheism has been adopted as a label by those who take the view that theism is dangerous or destructive. One example of this view is demonstrated in Letters to a Young Contrarian (2001), in which Christopher Hitchens writes: "I'm not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful."
So now I have a greater understanding for the difference between an atheist, and an anti-theist and I never realized how many different isms there are. I particularly liked an article that I discovered in a footnote - Less Anti-theism, More Humanism by a Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein:
Quote:
Now let me be perfectly clear about myself. I have zero belief in god, gods, goddesses, or any other manner of supernatural spirits. I affirm that there is one and only one world: this natural world. As far as any human being will ever know we get only one life, from womb to tomb.
My conviction that this life is all I have, however, is precisely why I donít want to spend my days focused on the worst in religion. I prefer seeking the best in each of us. I am not an antitheist, and not simply an atheist, but a Humanist.
Probably we need to start a new thread on this?
catscratches
There's a difference between
Quote:
hyper-active
and
Quote:
hyper-reactive
.
deanhills
catscratches wrote:
There's a difference between
Quote:
hyper-active
and
Quote:
hyper-reactive
.
Thanks for the correction catscratches. I've fixed it in my posting.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
@Bluedoll! An excellent posting and I agree with the hyper-reactive anti-theism description as non-peaceful at the very least, aggressive would fit very well here. I thought this definition of anti-theism was right on?
Quote:
Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, states "while atheism is the lack of belief in any god, anti-theism means actively seeking out the worst aspects of faith in god and portraying them as representative of all religion. Anti-theism seeks to shame and embarrass people away from religion, browbeating them about the stupidity of belief in a bellicose god."
Aside from the fact that he is factually wrong he is also either lazy or disingenuous.
Anti-theism is simply what it says - against belief in God(s). It doesn't mean 'shaming and embarrassing people away from religion' any more than theism means shaming people into religion or browbeating them until they sign-up. Some anti-theists might shame/browbeat people just as some theists certainly do. I don't think most theists would be happy if I generalised it, so why does Epstein think he is justified in doing so?
Muppet!

He also completely fails to see the irony. The most rabid anti-theists are theists - particularly Christians. Not only are they against belief in any God (except their own), they condemn any such believer to eternal torment (and have, through history, frequently tried to hasten that by killing large numbers of them).,

Epstein goes on to say
Quote:
In this quote, Sally and Jon identify a classic example of the way in which Christopher Hitchensís approach to religion goes far beyond atheism and is really better understood as anti-theism.
Why doesn't he just actually READ what Hitchens says. Hitchens openly defines himself as an anti-theist, there is no need to 'understand' or interpret him. He also defines WHY he is an anti-theist and what he means by it.

Epstein is also wrong to say that anti-theists (by which he means Hitchens) portray the worst aspects of faith as representative of all religions. Hitchens is quite articulate and quite precise with his criticisms of religion and he doesn't go in for the sort of lazy generalisation that Epstein seems to think he does (and that Epstein himself is so guilty of in this article).

He goes on:
Quote:
So why hasnít anti-theism ever gained any real political or social power?
Simply because it is new. Atheism has been around for a while, but anti-theism has only become possible recently. Anti-theism is still pretty dangerous in parts of the US, but until recently it would have been pretty lethal in most countries.

Finally, it seems to me to be a rather pathetic attack on a dying man...
(and not by Epstein - he wrote the article before Hitchens developed cancer).
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
Anti-theism is simply what it says - against belief in God(s). It doesn't mean 'shaming and embarrassing people away from religion' any more than theism means shaming people into religion or browbeating them until they sign-up. Some anti-theists might shame/browbeat people just as some theists certainly do.

I've seen plenty of shaming and browbeating by atheists on this Board. So can't agree with you.

Bikerman wrote:
The most rabid anti-theists are theists - particularly Christians. Not only are they against belief in any God (except their own), they condemn any such believer to eternal torment (and have, through history, frequently tried to hasten that by killing large numbers of them).

Now that is definitely farfetched Bikerman! An oversimplified stereotyping that is not very scientific?
Bikerman wrote:
Hitchens openly defines himself as an anti-theist, there is no need to 'understand' or interpret him. He also defines WHY he is an anti-theist and what he means by it.

An honest anti-theist. Agreed. He obviously is in touch with who he is and what he stands for. I respect him for that.

Bikerman wrote:
Epstein is also wrong to say that anti-theists (by which he means Hitchens) portray the worst aspects of faith as representative of all religions.

You are misquoting Epstein Bikerman, he said:
Quote:
anti-theism means actively seeking out the worst aspects of faith in god and portraying them as representative of all religion

Refer the text I quoted in my previous posting.
Bikerman wrote:
Hitchens is quite articulate and quite precise with his criticisms of religion and he doesn't go in for the sort of lazy generalisation that Epstein seems to think he does (and that Epstein himself is so guilty of in this article).

Agreed that Hitchens is precise, but disagree with your point of view about Epstein. I do think he has given a very good description of anti-theists.
Bikerman
***************bikerman edit*******************************
My broadband keeps flaking out in very inconvenient places, hence I trashed your post by accident. I think I have it restored to how it was. I'll deal with replying to it in a moment.
I clicked reply, nothing happened, so I clicked again, the connection clicked into life and I must have selected edit instead of quote as the screen moved. Damn nuisance. Please let me know if anything is changed in your posting.
Bikerman
With regards to the content of it:
a) No matter how much shaming and browbeating you see by atheists here it would be extremely foolish to extrapolate from 2 or even a dozen atheists here to a good fraction of a billion atheists generally. That would be as stupid as me assuming all theists were like you.

b) There is nothing at all far-fetched, or even slightly inaccurate in what I said about theists. Christians DO believe that non-Christians go to hell and Christians HAVE been responsible for the slaughter of millions of people over history. I can give you figures if you doubt it, starting with the end of the Roman Empire and the 'Jesus wars', through the Crusades, passing along the religious wars of the reformation and counter-reformation, taking in a bit of witch burning, a few side-wars with Muslims and Hindus, and a good helping of inter-Christian conflicts like Northern Ireland.

c) I did not misquote Epstein for the simple reason that I didn't quote him. You can tell by looking for the quote marks or tags and totally failing to find them. What I did was a summary - a shortened version which kept the original meaning in-tact whilst using less words. My summary in no way changes the meaning or distorts the original.
Bluedoll
Bikerman wrote:
Christians DO believe that non-Christians go to hell and Christians HAVE been responsible for the slaughter of millions of people over history.
That is so not be true! Not all religious groups believe in Ďgo to hellí nor do all individuals believe this though they might say it!
Razz
As for the various wars that have taken place over the centuryís - has it ever occurred to you that religion was and still is being used as the excuse? The real reasons are selfish. Most worldly religions at the very least proclaim peace. It is the work of the brutal, evil men who use religion for their own purposes.
As for Ireland maybe it was more about the whiskey.
Laughing
Bikerman
Bluedoll wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Christians DO believe that non-Christians go to hell and Christians HAVE been responsible for the slaughter of millions of people over history.
That is so not be true! Not all religious groups believe in Ďgo to hellí nor do all individuals believe this though they might say it!
OK, so name one Christian church that does not teach it. The simple fact is that most Christians belong to one of the 6 main groups - Catholic (by far the majority), Methodist, Protestant (Lutheran), Anglican, Anabaptist or Eastern Orthodox. They all teach that the doctrine of Hell and damnation.
Quote:
As for the various wars that have taken place over the centuryís - has it ever occurred to you that religion was and still is being used as the excuse? The real reasons are selfish. Most worldly religions at the very least proclaim peace. It is the work of the brutal, evil men who use religion for their own purposes.

You can use the same argument about any belief system. The fact is that the Churches and their leaders are directly responsible for millions of deaths. You cannot absolve Christianity from blame simply by saying that they were not 'real' Christians - that is an example of the 'no true Scotsman' fallacy.
Quote:
As for Ireland maybe it was more about the whiskey.
Laughing

That is not at all funny and if you had direct experience of the situation you wouldn't make silly jokes about it.
Indi
Bluedoll wrote:
@Indi
Because someone lectured you (which may have been an improper thing to do, I do not know I was not there)
Quote:
i'm quite happy to fight
that is unfortunate
Quote:
being so ignorant about it - and i used to do it
however just because this
Quote:
******
happened to you
Quote:
a direct response to the jerks who insist
perhaps the time is coming for you to forget that and move on. Instead
Quote:
Oh, i only celebrate the day the finally killed the bastard.
try to see that some people regardless of any belief want peace. Although, I can agree taking ownership away from someone else is not right perhaps instead of the lecture you got that message should have been God does not like what is going on in this regard either.
Quote:
So this isn't really a "war on Christmas" as the Americans like to call it, nor is it really anything to do with Christianity
and the message is simply a call for peace and good will to all. And that
Quote:
It's more hyper-reactive antitheism (specifically anti-Christianity).
is nothing but warfare for those following it.

"An appeaser is someone who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat them last."

(Churchill, i think.)

Making peace is a noble goal, but only a fool makes peace while the enemy is still actively making war. Those people who are trying to deny the holidays to everyone but members of their own religious sect have not gone away, they have not stopped, and they have no interest in compromise or peace. They want to lay claim to the holiday season, and to hell with everyone else's beliefs. They are still at it, now, today, without any signs of abatement.

You go be the peaceful little lamb lying in front of the wolves - while they eat you up at least i'll get a temporary reprieve from the ongoing battle.

Meanwhile someone has to stand up for equality and freedom from discrimination... and since it's not going to be you, then it falls to me. i will defend Hanukkah, i will defend Eid, i will defend Yule, i will defend the solstice celebration - i will defend all of these holidays and more, and the beliefs they represent and the people who hold to them, against the tyrannical Christian leadership trying to deny them their fair share of the holidays.

If you don't care about anyone else but yourself and your silly, selfish notions of "peace" (silly and selfish because you won't fight the tyrants discriminating against other religions, but you will fight against me when i do something that you think discriminates against yours), fine. Those of us who don't believe that being peaceful means surrendering to anyone who wants to pick a fight will be busy standing up for equality.

If you don't want to help, you can just go sit in the corner and pray that it all works out alright. Those of us who take actual, adult responsibility for making the world a better place will be busy actually doing something to make it so.

Or you can side with the other guys - the worms who are trying to discriminate against every religion but their own. If you don't want to be an adult standing up for what's right, then be a lamb or be a worm - you'll deserve the same amount of respect with either of those two options - but one way or another you will either make a choice or a choice will be made for you.

Bluedoll wrote:
Although, I can agree taking ownership away from someone else is not right perhaps instead of the lecture you got that message should have been God does not like what is going on in this regard either.

So you know what the worms are doing is wrong, but you're sitting on your ass waiting for God to step in and fix things, hm?

Well, Indi's taught at Sunday School too (indeed i have ^_^) so here's a lesson for you:

There was once a man who was very devout - believed in God with all his heart - and lived a good life in the service of the Lord.

One day, floods came, and his house was swamped. The man was forced to scramble up to his rooftop as the waters rose up to the windows. While he was up there a boat came by, and the driver of the boat shouted to the man to jump in. "No, thank you," the man said, "i am waiting to be rescued by God!" The driver of the boat shrugged, and moved on to find other survivors.

Later the floods rose up to eaves, and local police boat came by, and the officer in the boat shouted to the man to jump in. "No, thank you," the man said, "i am waiting to be rescued by God!" The police officer shrugged, and moved on to find other survivors.

Later the floods rose over the roof, and the man was forced to stand on his chimney, and a Coast Guard helicopter came by, and the pilot shouted at the man to jump in. "No, thank you," the man said, "i am waiting to be rescued by God!" The helicopter pilot shrugged, and moved on to find other survivors.

Later the flood waters rose even further, and the man drowned.

In heaven the man stood before God, and asked, "My Lord, i always believed that you would save me in times of great hardship. i waited for you, never doubting you would come. Yet you never came and i drowned! Why did you forsake me?"

To which God replied, "i sent two boats and a helicopter, dipshit."


The moral of the story: the helping hand of God does not always take an obvious form.

So consider this: you know what these tyrannical fascist Christians are doing is wrong... you believe that God will do something to put a stop to it... yet here i am, doing something to put a stop to it, and you want me to stop. Have you considered the possibility that maybe God is acting through me... and that by trying to thwart me you are swatting away the helping hand of God the same way as the man who refused help in the flood?

Maybe i, Indi, am the finger of God, doing his work. ^_^ It just so happens, in this case, to be his middle finger.

God moves in mysterious ways! ^_^;
Bluedoll
Indi wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
@Indi
Because someone lectured you (which may have been an improper thing to do, I do not know I was not there)
Quote:
i'm quite happy to fight
that is unfortunate
Quote:
being so ignorant about it - and i used to do it
however just because this
Quote:
******
happened to you
Quote:
a direct response to the jerks who insist
perhaps the time is coming for you to forget that and move on. Instead
Quote:
Oh, i only celebrate the day the finally killed the bastard.
try to see that some people regardless of any belief want peace. Although, I can agree taking ownership away from someone else is not right perhaps instead of the lecture you got that message should have been God does not like what is going on in this regard either.
Quote:
So this isn't really a "war on Christmas" as the Americans like to call it, nor is it really anything to do with Christianity
and the message is simply a call for peace and good will to all. And that
Quote:
It's more hyper-reactive antitheism (specifically anti-Christianity).
is nothing but warfare for those following it.

"An appeaser is someone who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat them last."

(Churchill, i think.)

Making peace is a noble goal, but only a fool makes peace while the enemy is still actively making war. Those people who are trying to deny the holidays to everyone but members of their own religious sect have not gone away, they have not stopped, and they have no interest in compromise or peace. They want to lay claim to the holiday season, and to hell with everyone else's beliefs. They are still at it, now, today, without any signs of abatement.

You go be the peaceful little lamb lying in front of the wolves - while they eat you up at least i'll get a temporary reprieve from the ongoing battle.

Meanwhile someone has to stand up for equality and freedom from discrimination... and since it's not going to be you, then it falls to me. i will defend Hanukkah, i will defend Eid, i will defend Yule, i will defend the solstice celebration - i will defend all of these holidays and more, and the beliefs they represent and the people who hold to them, against the tyrannical Christian leadership trying to deny them their fair share of the holidays.

If you don't care about anyone else but yourself and your silly, selfish notions of "peace" (silly and selfish because you won't fight the tyrants discriminating against other religions, but you will fight against me when i do something that you think discriminates against yours), fine. Those of us who don't believe that being peaceful means surrendering to anyone who wants to pick a fight will be busy standing up for equality.

If you don't want to help, you can just go sit in the corner and pray that it all works out alright. Those of us who take actual, adult responsibility for making the world a better place will be busy actually doing something to make it so.

Or you can side with the other guys - the worms who are trying to discriminate against every religion but their own. If you don't want to be an adult standing up for what's right, then be a lamb or be a worm - you'll deserve the same amount of respect with either of those two options - but one way or another you will either make a choice or a choice will be made for you.

Bluedoll wrote:
Although, I can agree taking ownership away from someone else is not right perhaps instead of the lecture you got that message should have been God does not like what is going on in this regard either.

So you know what the worms are doing is wrong, but you're sitting on your ass waiting for God to step in and fix things, hm?

Well, Indi's taught at Sunday School too (indeed i have ^_^) so here's a lesson for you:

There was once a man who was very devout - believed in God with all his heart - and lived a good life in the service of the Lord.

One day, floods came, and his house was swamped. The man was forced to scramble up to his rooftop as the waters rose up to the windows. While he was up there a boat came by, and the driver of the boat shouted to the man to jump in. "No, thank you," the man said, "i am waiting to be rescued by God!" The driver of the boat shrugged, and moved on to find other survivors.

Later the floods rose up to eaves, and local police boat came by, and the officer in the boat shouted to the man to jump in. "No, thank you," the man said, "i am waiting to be rescued by God!" The police officer shrugged, and moved on to find other survivors.

Later the floods rose over the roof, and the man was forced to stand on his chimney, and a Coast Guard helicopter came by, and the pilot shouted at the man to jump in. "No, thank you," the man said, "i am waiting to be rescued by God!" The helicopter pilot shrugged, and moved on to find other survivors.

Later the flood waters rose even further, and the man drowned.

In heaven the man stood before God, and asked, "My Lord, i always believed that you would save me in times of great hardship. i waited for you, never doubting you would come. Yet you never came and i drowned! Why did you forsake me?"

To which God replied, "i sent two boats and a helicopter, dipshit."


The moral of the story: the helping hand of God does not always take an obvious form.

So consider this: you know what these tyrannical fascist Christians are doing is wrong... you believe that God will do something to put a stop to it... yet here i am, doing something to put a stop to it, and you want me to stop. Have you considered the possibility that maybe God is acting through me... and that by trying to thwart me you are swatting away the helping hand of God the same way as the man who refused help in the flood?

Maybe i, Indi, am the finger of God, doing his work. ^_^ It just so happens, in this case, to be his middle finger.

God moves in mysterious ways! ^_^;
Well I found the story funny. And I got the message which is donít sit around praying for help but do something and if help does come accept it.

I believe in this too, all things work for a purpose. Then, so does the devil have a purpose. I am not so sure, I can agree on the holiday season as being such a terrible thing, though I think it has changed through the years. Now, I see it as a commercial enterprise and the thief is the almighty dollar that takes presence over the entire purpose of it. Maybe the word should be changed to stressfulness time? In any case, life is what you make it and I think for me I will try to receive and send out a good spirit for the benefit of all.

I was referring to your fight with the Sunday scholars Indi, nothing more. I find it sad that someone can learn something about Jesus Christ then loose their power. Yes, I see where you have come from and do find this source of contention questionable.
I can accept some things, except for things like the last word in the story and your little finger. Let me tell you a story too. There was a rude little boy that had a dirty little mouth so his mother stuck a soap bar in it. Well, that was a short story.
Indi
Bluedoll wrote:
Well I found the story funny. And I got the message which is donít sit around praying for help but do something and if help does come accept it.

Quite correct. It always infuriates me when people in some group use the group to do something blatantly evil, and then, rather than decry the evil being done in their group's name, the other members of the group rally around their evildoing partners rather than see the group criticized.

For example, Islam and extremism. Modern Islam has a very serious problem with extremists in their midst, who have far more power and influence than they should have. You would think that any intelligent and moral Muslim would not hesitate to speak out to condemn the evil that the extremists are doing... but they don't. They should, but they don't. So, since they won't stand up for what's right, it falls to me to do it. That's annoying that i have to clean up the mess in their house, but so far there's no problem, because i don't mind fighting evil, if they're too lazy or cowardly to do it. The problem is that when i take that stand against the evil being done by the extremists, the moderates do not stay silent... but instead side with the extremists! All of a sudden, they fight ME while i'm trying to fight the evil in their midst that they won't fight!

The same thing happened with Catholicism for decades: everyone (who cared) knew that the Catholic Church was covering up child abuse and protecting abusers and - worse! - allowing them to continue their abuse by moving them around. The scandal is new, but everyone knew this going back as far as church history records (i actually recall a joke in a very old - Renaissance-era - poem or play i had to learn once, where a character jokes about priests "laying" on young boys... wish i could remember the play or poem). And for years people tried to speak out about this... but where you'd think that intelligent and moral Catholics would be happy to join in the condemnation of such despicable behaviour... or at the least, if they didn't have the courage to speak out themselves, then to shut the hell up while others spoke up about it... instead they condemned the people trying to protect the children!!! That's right, they rallied around the Catholic Church, who they knew was doing wrong, rather than joining the outcry against their evil deeds (or, at the very least, shutting the hell up and staying out of it). Only now, after centuries of calling for justice, are we beginning to see a large movement of Catholics doing the right thing... and still they're being very wishy-washy about it.

It's not just religion either, people do the same for political ideologies and even nations. The US violated international laws and its own rhetoric and engaged in torture. No one has been brought to justice, and it seems like an effort is underway to sweep it under the rug. All through the time the torture was being done, people were calling for justice; even after it was over (we hope), people were calling for justice. But no justice has been done, and the legal loopholes that were used to get away with torture have not been addressed or sealed, so there's no remorse, and no indication that any steps are being taken to prevent it from happening again. Yet people are still crying out for justice, and, when you think the average American should be happy to step forward and join in the condemnation... instead they are defending the decision, and letting the criminals get away with it.

And then there's you. You, who were apparently fully aware that the people trying to pressure governments and businesses (and even private citizens!) to celebrate only their religious holiday is wrong... yet who, i'm sure, have never lifted a finger to do anything to put a stop to this evil, and, instead, took the time to criticize my efforts. If people like you - Christians - would have the moral decency to stand up to the bigots in your midst, then i wouldn't have to. If good Christians would have the backbone and the moral and intellectual honesty to speak out against the Christian fascists who want everyone to celebrate only their holiday, then the rest of us could step back and let you get your own house in order.

Bluedoll wrote:
I am not so sure, I can agree on the holiday season as being such a terrible thing, though I think it has changed through the years. Now, I see it as a commercial enterprise and the thief is the almighty dollar that takes presence over the entire purpose of it. Maybe the word should be changed to stressfulness time?

You don't like the commercialism? Whatever. No one's forcing you to deal with it. No one's trying to force your churches to conduct Black Friday sales. No one's protesting the nativity scenes your churches (or even private citizens!) put up, and telling you to put up Santa Claus displays instead. If you want to just turn your back on all the shopping and consumerism of the holidays, and spend them in quiet, religious celebration with your family, then go for it. That's your right. And if anyone tries to stop you from doing it, call me, and i'll deal with them if you don't want to.

But some people do like the commercialism - and even among those that don't some people want to celebrate other things around the holiday time that have nothing to do with either Christmas or shopping. They have as much right to be included in the holiday celebrations as you do. Saying "happy holidays" or "season's greetings" is a universal wishing of happiness and peace to everyone... both you with your non-commercial, religious holidays, and others who want the commercialism, or who celebrate other religious holidays... and the thugs who are trying to stamp that out in favour of the selfish, exclusive, Christian-only greetings are abusing their privilege to oppress minorities. That's why i'm forced to deal with them.

Bluedoll wrote:
I was referring to your fight with the Sunday scholars Indi, nothing more.

What fight with Sunday scholars? i taught a Sunday school once. Technically, it was on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so it wasn't "Sunday" school, but it was all about a Protestant version of Christianity, and i had to teach the Bible stories and various other Christian lessons. i even had felt cutouts of religious characters and scenery to use as visual aids, and various other tools and supplies. My favourite was a little book that was completely blank, but each set of pages was a different colour, and i told the salvation myth with the colours as metaphors. i think it went black (you are in sin), red (blood of Christ washes away the sin), white (now you're pure of sin), gold (Kingdom of Heaven)... but i'm pretty sure i'm forgetting a few colours, because i could swear there was a green. Anyway, the missionary was either sick or had to leave the country (i can't remember which), so they needed a teacher. The kids were upset at the classes ending, and i was promised free food, so i did it. No fight was involved.

Bluedoll wrote:
I find it sad that someone can learn something about Jesus Christ then loose their power.

On the contrary, i would say i've gained power by learning more, and moving beyond Bible lessons. At first, i didn't know enough to properly question what is in the Bible. Over time, i've learned more, and can now properly approach the Bible from a knowledgeable and critical angle - from many angles, in fact. i don't think i've lost anything important by gaining a better understanding, but then i don't think it's possible to lose anything that really matters by learning more.

Bluedoll wrote:
I can accept some things, except for things like the last word in the story and your little finger. Let me tell you a story too. There was a rude little boy that had a dirty little mouth so his mother stuck a soap bar in it. Well, that was a short story.

What a sad story. And the mother in story got away with abusing the child, and with scaring the child out of speaking out. i'm glad those kinds of parenting techniques went out of style in the 70s.
Bluedoll
Quote:
i would say i've gained power by learning more, and moving beyond Bible lessons. At first, i didn't know enough to properly question what is in the Bible. Over time, i've learned more, and can now properly approach the Bible from a knowledgeable and critical angle - from many angles, in fact. i don't think i've lost anything important by gaining a better understanding, but then i don't think it's possible to lose anything that really matters by learning more - Indi
This is how I am reading your post. You are on a mission of some kind. You are out to stand up to people that take holidays. You think Christmas is wrong so you want to stop it? In your life you will make it your business to approach people and tell them how wrong they are to keep this peace to the world hymn singing practice up. Secretly you are plotting to murder Santa Claus. You think I should join your group of the elite nay saying humbugglers?

Seriously, now and not being sarcastic from this point on. I really am trying to understand regarding your knowledge of the bible. You have a better understanding now of the bible, you are saying but I am just trying to get a better handle of your beliefs now that Iíve seen more of your posts?

Do you actually believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the bible?

Quote:
Maybe i, Indi, am the finger of God, doing his work. ^_^ It just so happens, in this case, to be his middle finger.
Are you saying God is using you or that you are doing Godís work?
I really do not completely understand what you are saying in this part.
Indi
Bluedoll wrote:
You think Christmas is wrong so you want to stop it? In your life you will make it your business to approach people and tell them how wrong they are to keep this peace to the world hymn singing practice up. Secretly you are plotting to murder Santa Claus. You think I should join your group of the elite nay saying humbugglers?

Naturally you would think i said that, because it's only the opposite of what i actually said.[/sarcasm]

i explicitly said that if there was any discrimination against your version of the holidays - a religious celebration of Christmas - that i would defend your holiday against the discrimination. Same as i would for anyone else (and, same as i'm currently doing for the minorities in North America currently being discriminated against by the Christian majority).

Look right here: "If you want to just turn your back on all the shopping and consumerism of the holidays, and spend them in quiet, religious celebration with your family, then go for it. That's your right. And if anyone tries to stop you from doing it, call me, and i'll deal with them if you don't want to."

i say in plain English that i support your version of the holidays - and would even defend it! - and you somehow read that i am trying to destroy it. Do you think, maybe, the problem isn't me? Maybe the problem is you? Maybe you're just putting your visions of hate and persecution into everything i write, even when it's not there, because that's what you think i mean - because you think i'm some kind of Christian (or theist) hating jerk? Maybe you don't understand me or my beliefs even in the remotest, and have been making offensive assumptions about who i am just because i don't seem to be the same religion as you? You know, just because someone is not Christian doesn't mean they hate Christians, or want to destroy Christianity.

Seriously, how should i react to being accused of being a bigot after i explicitly offered to defend you against bigotry? What should i say? What should i do next time someone discriminates against you or your beliefs? If all i'm going to get for my efforts is insulted, why should i bother?

Bluedoll wrote:
Do you actually believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the bible?

Quote:
Maybe i, Indi, am the finger of God, doing his work. ^_^ It just so happens, in this case, to be his middle finger.
Are you saying God is using you or that you are doing Godís work?
I really do not completely understand what you are saying in this part.

See, why does any of that even matter? Why can't i be a good person just trying to make sure everyone gets their fair share of the holidays, without being a Christian (or any of those other religious groups who have holidays in that period)?

To me, it's quite simple. Different people have different celebrations, and they just want the freedom to celebrate them along with everyone else. Greetings like "happy holidays" and "season's greetings" are deliberately designed to be inclusive of everyone, to share the holidays with everyone and make them all feel welcome. And then there are people who want to take that away, and use their numbers, money and political power to exclude everyone who doesn't celebrate the same holiday that they do. There is only one right thing to do: stand up against those people who are trying to exclude everyone else. And, naturally, that's what i'm doing.

Obviously, because i'm part of a minority, i can't fight them by using numbers, or boycotts, or political leverage, so i have to fight them using the means i have available: i have to show them what it feels like to be excluded and discriminated against. It feels pretty lousy (how did you feel when you heard that i made a mural with every holiday greeting in tons of languages... but deliberately excluded Christianity?). Hopefully, when they feel how bad it feels to be marginalized, they will stop marginalizing others. There's no other practical way for me (or Anna) as individuals in the minority to fight back.

If you're in the Christian majority, and you're a good person, you shouldn't be fighting me (or her), you should be fighting them... you should be fighting the people in your group who are trying to discriminate and exclude, unless you agree with discriminating and excluding. i shouldn't even have to take any action... all of this should be taken care of within Christianity - Christians themselves should be telling the extremists and bigots in their midst that "season's greetings" and "happy holidays" are not attempts to marginalize Christianity but rather attempts to share the holidays with everyone.

But they're not, because they think it's not their problem. That's why i do what i do... i make them feel what it's like for it to be their problem.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
Obviously, because i'm part of a minority, i can't fight them by using numbers, or boycotts, or political leverage, so i have to fight them using the means i have available: i have to show them what it feels like to be excluded and discriminated against. It feels pretty lousy (how did you feel when you heard that i made a mural with every holiday greeting in tons of languages... but deliberately excluded Christianity?). Hopefully, when they feel how bad it feels to be marginalized, they will stop marginalizing others. There's no other practical way for me (or Anna) as individuals in the minority to fight back.
Perhaps if you fought less, the people whose views you would like to "amend" may be more open and amenable to what you have to say. It is obvious if you tackle them that you will alienate them instead and get the exact opposite what you are aiming for. I thought Dawkins is a good example of an atheist who always puts his message over assertively as opposed to aggressively and destructively with very constructive results. As a Christian, I'm OK with his writings. I went out to buy his books and have read two out of the four I bought. I found after a while that they were a bit long-winding, but I was completely open minded to read what he had to say. If you can do the same I'm almost certain you will be bowled over with the change in the results.
Bluedoll
@Indi
Look Indi your posts are long and angry. You could attempt to stick to possibly one point? Then move on to the next. Up to you!
I asked a couple of questions only because I was curious. If you donít want to answer them that is up to you.
I can see in general there are misunderstanding all around.
Let me clear something up. I do not want anything from you. Nothing
liljp617
Bluedoll wrote:
@Indi
Look Indi your posts are long and angry. You could attempt to stick to possibly one point? Then move on to the next. Up to you!
I asked a couple of questions only because I was curious. If you donít want to answer them that is up to you.
I can see in general there are misunderstanding all around.
Let me clear something up. I do not want anything from you. Nothing


Everything that opposes your world view is angry, that much has been made obvious by your taking offense to anything that contradicts what you say or believe.
Bluedoll
liljp617 wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
@Indi
Look Indi your posts are long and angry. You could attempt to stick to possibly one point? Then move on to the next. Up to you!
I asked a couple of questions only because I was curious. If you donít want to answer them that is up to you.
I can see in general there are misunderstanding all around.
Let me clear something up. I do not want anything from you. Nothing


Everything that opposes your world view is angry, that much has been made obvious by your taking offense to anything that contradicts what you say or believe.
That is not true. Not everything. I do know when I read angry posts however.
Klaw 2
Bluedoll wrote:
liljp617 wrote:
Bluedoll wrote:
@Indi
Look Indi your posts are long and angry. You could attempt to stick to possibly one point? Then move on to the next. Up to you!
I asked a couple of questions only because I was curious. If you donít want to answer them that is up to you.
I can see in general there are misunderstanding all around.
Let me clear something up. I do not want anything from you. Nothing


Everything that opposes your world view is angry, that much has been made obvious by your taking offense to anything that contradicts what you say or believe.
That is not true. Not everything. I do know when I read angry posts however.

Yes and every post you think sounds angry just HAPPENS to disagree with you, now coinsidence or not? Don't think so it's so obvious to everyone perhaps it is time to stop deluding yourself? Might be worth it...
deanhills
Klaw 2 wrote:
Yes and every post you think sounds angry just HAPPENS to disagree with you, now coinsidence or not? Don't think so it's so obvious to everyone perhaps it is time to stop deluding yourself? Might be worth it...
Not everyone Klaw .... Smile Could it be a case of disillusionment the other way round too? I've seen a few posts from atheists who refer to their tough experiences of having been marginalized and ridiculed because of being a minority and how painful it has been. Perhaps this is a flip side of the same experience? You read "ridicule" in the marginalization, and perhaps those who "ridiculed" saw it as trying to make you see reason and thinking that you were deluding yourselves? Same difference?
Klaw 2
deanhills wrote:
Klaw 2 wrote:
Yes and every post you think sounds angry just HAPPENS to disagree with you, now coinsidence or not? Don't think so it's so obvious to everyone perhaps it is time to stop deluding yourself? Might be worth it...
Not everyone Klaw .... Smile Could it be a case of disillusionment the other way round too? I've seen a few posts from atheists who refer to their tough experiences of having been marginalized and ridiculed because of being a minority and how painful it has been. Perhaps this is a flip side of the same experience? You read "ridicule" in the marginalization, and perhaps those who "ridiculed" saw it as trying to make you see reason and thinking that you were deluding yourselves? Same difference?


Well if I'm deluding myself you are welcome to point out where when and how, but I haven't posted a lot lately, just look at my points Crying or Very sad ... so finding something recent might be hard... anyway...
But back to my post; over the past weeks I have seen on more than one occassion "someone" played "your attacking me" card while I could not read how that was possible take Indi's last post, bluedoll claimed that indi was being hatefull there but I can't read anything remotely hatefull. Furthermore Bluedoll has as far as I know NEVER responded to some post that was remotely satisfying, just quoting a whole text and saying you don't agree isn't enough, if you want to be taken seriously that is. (This goes of course for some questions to him/her on religion related topics)
My guess is that when things get to complicated bluedoll plays the "your attacking me card" just not to answer hard questions.
Ill stop now I don't want to start this as a whole discussion on it's own, not worth the effort nor the time.
And maybe it doesn't happen everytime but shure does an awfull lot.......
watersoul
quex wrote:
Please tell me: is this JUST America? Are there arguments in the UK, Russia, China, Australia, Canada, etc. about this sort of thing? Have you ever heard the phrase "war or Christmas" in your local media, or has your local police force been publicly reprimanded by a national group because they wish citizens "happy holidays" rather than "merry Christmas?"


There are extremists in all religious groups. It's not so bad here regarding the Christmas thing, but most people don't care what the holiday is supposed to represent and are more concerned about the time off work and school.
I personally think it's all a bit silly when there are so many religions in the world and so many 'holy' days. I've even said at a Christmas day party before "I hope we're all thinking about the birth of baby Jesus today" in a tongue in cheek tone which resulted in (politically incorrect) laughter at the realisation that hardly anyone does care anymore, it's about commercialisation and new year sales these days. Many years ago on this island (Britain) it was about the solstice and the return of longer days, now it's about time off work for most people.
Maybe it will get more passionate in future and we'll all start saying "Happy Holidays" in the UK, I personally won't care if we do though, a couple of weeks off work in the darkest time of the year is the best celebration for me...whatever it's called! Smile
Indi
deanhills wrote:
Perhaps if you fought less, the people whose views you would like to "amend" may be more open and amenable to what you have to say. It is obvious if you tackle them that you will alienate them instead and get the exact opposite what you are aiming for. I thought Dawkins is a good example of an atheist who always puts his message over assertively as opposed to aggressively and destructively with very constructive results. As a Christian, I'm OK with his writings. I went out to buy his books and have read two out of the four I bought. I found after a while that they were a bit long-winding, but I was completely open minded to read what he had to say. If you can do the same I'm almost certain you will be bowled over with the change in the results.

That makes no sense at all, because the whole reason that i'm fighting (as i clearly explained) is because they are NOT being open to other views. If they were even remotely likely to be open-minded, i wouldn't have to fight them, but they're not - that's why i'm fighting them.

They are trying to force their religious customs on everyone who just wants to enjoy a holiday - that's why i'm fighting them.

You accuse me of "alienating" them... excuse me? THEY are attempting to alienate everyone who is not part of their religion - that's why i'm fighting them.

Seriously, think for a second. Use your head and think. If these people are trying to assert their religion over everyone else without a care about them or their beliefs, what do you think will happen if everyone did absolutely nothing? Just think about that for a second. With your brain. Then, try this one: what do you think a good person should do when they see people aggressively trying to assert their religion over everyone else?

It's nice that you actually decided to give Dawkins a try before casting judgement on him from hearsay or the fact that he sells T-shirts on his website, but i don't understand why you think i would care about your opinion of Dawkins - or me, for that matter. Dawkins is not Jesus or Muhammad; he's not held up as an example of perfection for atheists to follow. He's just a guy - a brilliant, guy, sure, but so what? Why would you think that i - or anyone - would care that we're not doing things the way Dawkins does them? (But, for the record, i think you'd better ask Dawkins what his response to someone telling people not to say "happy holidays" or "season's greetings" would be, rather than assuming his response will be what you apparently think it would. ^_^; i have a strong hunch that if anyone ever tried to force Dawkins to say "merry Christmas" and not something more inclusive, his response would not be the conciliatory kowtowing you seem to think it will.)

watersoul wrote:
There are extremists in all religious groups. It's not so bad here regarding the Christmas thing, but most people don't care what the holiday is supposed to represent and are more concerned about the time off work and school.
I personally think it's all a bit silly when there are so many religions in the world and so many 'holy' days. I've even said at a Christmas day party before "I hope we're all thinking about the birth of baby Jesus today" in a tongue in cheek tone which resulted in (politically incorrect) laughter at the realisation that hardly anyone does care anymore, it's about commercialisation and new year sales these days. Many years ago on this island (Britain) it was about the solstice and the return of longer days, now it's about time off work for most people.
Maybe it will get more passionate in future and we'll all start saying "Happy Holidays" in the UK, I personally won't care if we do though, a couple of weeks off work in the darkest time of the year is the best celebration for me...whatever it's called! Smile

In all honesty, i personally don't care whether the culture is getting more or less secular regarding the holidays. i don't really care if most people aren't going to mass or celebrating Jesus, and rather going shopping and getting wasted. i wouldn't even care if they did all start going to mass and no longer put Santa Claus decorations up.

What i care about is a group of people using their plurality, political power, and economic leverage to force everyone else to follow their religious rituals. And they are doing it - this is not hypothetical.

i believe that most people - Christian or otherwise - are basically good people, but i also believe that they will not do the right thing unless the been made aware of an injustice... and have been denied the comfortable escape of being able to just ignore it. So while i may not have the numbers, political power, or money of the bullying thugs, i have a way to fight back against them: all i have to do is force people to be aware of the problem, and understand why it's a problem. And it may be a losing battle against insurmountable odds right now, but this is how revolutions for the better begin: baby steps.
ocalhoun
watersoul wrote:

There are extremists in all religious groups. It's not so bad here regarding the Christmas thing, but most people don't care what the holiday is supposed to represent and are more concerned about the time off work and school.

Yay! Back on topic! ^.^
deanhills
Indi wrote:
That makes no sense at all, because the whole reason that i'm fighting (as i clearly explained) is because they are NOT being open to other views. If they were even remotely likely to be open-minded, i wouldn't have to fight them, but they're not - that's why i'm fighting them.
You did not get my point Indi. Dawkins is also fighting. But he is doing this with finesse. He obviously has a good grasp of human nature, and that if you treat them in a certain way, that they would be more amenable to what you have to say.

Your style gets the people whose thinking you want to change defensive rather than open to a change of mind. It is almost as aggressive as the Jehova's Witnesses. Also, if someone treats me like I am an idiot, it is very difficult for me to focus on the message that has been designed for an idiot.
Indi wrote:
It's nice that you actually decided to give Dawkins a try before casting judgement on him from hearsay or the fact that he sells T-shirts on his website, but i don't understand why you think i would care about your opinion of Dawkins
I was using Dawkins as an example of someone who is successful in getting others to listen to him. Since he is an atheist I thought that would be a good example. Your opinion about me reading Dawkins does not impress me either.
Bikerman
LOL..Dawkins is probably the most hated man on earth amongst creationists and other fundamental Christians. He is widely despised and condemned, even amongst 'liberal' Christians - even by some atheists. I think your argument is based largely on ignorance. Indi generally uses rationalist argument, just like Dawkins does. Dawkins can be every bit as acerbic and cutting as Indi is accused of being - and I would say more so.
Quote:
Religion is the root of all evil

Quote:
You cannot be both sane and well educated and disbelieve in evolution. The evidence is so strong that any sane, educated person has got to believe in evolution.

Quote:
It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).

Quote:
The list of things about which we strictly have to be agnostic doesn't stop at tooth fairies and celestial teapots. It is infinite. If you want to believe in a particular one of them -- teapots, unicorns, or tooth fairies, Thor or Yahweh -- the onus is on you to say why you believe in it. The onus is not on the rest of us to say why we do not. We who are atheists are also a-fairyists, a-teapotists, and a-unicornists, but we don't have to bother saying so.


Dawkins can be much more 'blunt' than Indi has ever been on these forums:

WARNING - THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CONTAINS A 4 LETTER WORD BEING UTTERED BY DAWKINS.
http://bikerman.co.uk/media/video/dawkins.wmv

You have probably read a book, maybe two....read more.

PS - I'm not disagreeing with Dawkins, btw - I think he is pretty much spot on in all the above.
tingkagol
Indi wrote:
What i care about is a group of people using their plurality, political power, and economic leverage to force everyone else to follow their religious rituals. And they are doing it - this is not hypothetical.

Here's another one - http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=635724&publicationSubCategoryId=68

The bishop blames Santa Claus for the supposed veering away from the true essence of Christmas. Smile
Bikerman
And,,,
http://www.americaneedsfatima.org/Christmas-Campaign/christmas-campaign-central.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1334554/Former-Archbishop-Lord-Carey-Were-ashamed-Christmas.html
http://www.kofc.org/un/en/service/church/christmas/action_steps.html
http://action.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147490026

You can find many more. I don't particularly blame them - from their POV they are right. The problem is that their POV is deliberately blinkered and ignores the actual facts, which are that Christmas was never a particularly significant day to early Christians - it was hijacked from Mithraism by Constantine.
Now, that's all well and good, but it is a bit rich for these hijackers to then turn round and have a go at others for doing exactly what the Church did - attaching different significance to an existing festival....
Afaceinthematrix
Bikerman wrote:

WARNING - THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CONTAINS A 4 LETTER WORD BEING UTTERED BY DAWKINS.
http://bikerman.co.uk/media/video/dawkins.wmv

You have probably read a book, maybe two....read more.

PS - I'm not disagreeing with Dawkins, btw - I think he is pretty much spot on in all the above.


This is one of my all time favorite videos. I remember first seeing it two years ago. I watched it on YouTube at least a dozen times in a row when I first saw it. I couldn't help but laughing. I then showed it to my friends and they cracked up. I love it not only because it's funny, but because it's so concise, simple, and to the point.

Indi: That link you provided to showed something backed by the AFA so what do you really expect? That's a piss-stain of an organization that in my opinion is just terrible.

My take on it is that I get annoyed when Christians get butt-hurt for not acknowledging their holiday! It's their holiday so they need to celebrate it and not force everyone else to celebrate it. To me, it seems like me forcing everyone else to celebrate my birthday instead of just my friends and I going to get some beers to celebrate ourselves. What makes them so special that we (even people who don't celebrate it) need to give them special treatment? I also get mad at their "It's not happy holidays; It's merry Christmas!" They hijacked the holiday in the first place. This seems to be the general consensus here.

However, if I was a business owner in the United States then I, and my employees, would endorse Christmas. The reasoning is that I have extensive experience in the retail industry (most of high school and college I worked in retail; so that adds up to many years) and I am quite good at it and so I specifically know how to sell. Christmas sells. Not only does Christmas sell, but Christmas does not lose customers. If you have "Merry Christmas" crap all over your store, people who do not celebrate the holiday will just be decent people and ignore it. I don't celebrate the holiday and so last night when I was at the hardware store, I simply ignored their Christmas crap and bought my tool so that I could go home and fix my car. However, Christians have the unique position in that they're whiny and if you don't endorse Christmas, many will (and I know from experience) boycott your store until you start to endorse their stupid holiday.

http://action.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147486887
Indi
deanhills wrote:
You did not get my point Indi. Dawkins is also fighting. But he is doing this with finesse. He obviously has a good grasp of human nature, and that if you treat them in a certain way, that they would be more amenable to what you have to say.

Your style gets the people whose thinking you want to change defensive rather than open to a change of mind.

Oh, i got your point. ^_^; You didn't get mine. Granted, i put it subtly instead of just shoving it right in your face so you couldn't miss it - didn't want to seem aggressive, after all. So, this time i'll spell it out as plainly as possible:

There is currently a massive debate in both atheist and secular humanist about how best to approach debate - the two sides are called "accommodationalist" and "confrontationalist". The accommodationalists believe what you do: that we should try not ruffle feathers, that we should try to be "nice", and so on. The confrontationalists... well, i'm a confrontationalist.

Wanna guess which group your "good example" Dawkins is included in? Here's a hint... it's not what you think it is. ^_^; See for yourself.

Ah, but there's more. ^_^

See, Dawkins has had to respond to criticisms like yours many, many times, so what i can do is respond to your criticisms with his exact words: You are confusing my articulate clarity, and the fact that i go straight to the point, with shrillness. In other words, you don't really have any objections with what i'm saying, you just recoil from the fact that i'm phrasing it so clearly and terse. If i were to say something like, "The people who are saying that only Christmas should be celebrated this time of year are being very unfair. There are other people who have holidays at that time. It would be nice if everyone would just share the holidays and not try to take them away from anyone else.", you probably wouldn't have a problem with it. But because i don't mince words, and because i don't put things in wishy-washy ways like the previous example, and instead say things like, "The people who are trying to coopt the holidays for their own religious festival are WRONG. They are being discriminatory thugs by using their majority privilege to overpower and explicitly exclude minority groups.", you react badly. It's the same content, just put more clearly, and explicitly naming the culprits rather than avoiding that.

Why don't you try responding to my points, instead of constantly lecturing me on my tone and what you think it should be? You stated your opinion about my "form", and i said i don't care. We're done. There's nothing more to discuss, so there's no reason for you to keep cluttering up different threads with it. If you still have a problem with my "form" take it to the moderators with the report button.

deanhills wrote:
It is almost as aggressive as the Jehova's Witnesses.

Why do you always try to insult me by comparing me to religious people or groups. ^_^; Doesn't that actually denigrate them? ^_^;

Anyway, what i'm doing is nothing like what the Witnesses are doing. They are approaching people unsolicited. i am responding to an attack made at me. They are invading. i am retaliating in defence. Very different. As different as a homeowner retaliating in defence to protect his home from a home invasion (me)... versus the people doing the home invasion (the Witnesses).

deanhills wrote:
Also, if someone treats me like I am an idiot, it is very difficult for me to focus on the message that has been designed for an idiot.

Try reading it more slowly. ^_^;

deanhills wrote:
Indi wrote:
It's nice that you actually decided to give Dawkins a try before casting judgement on him from hearsay or the fact that he sells T-shirts on his website, but i don't understand why you think i would care about your opinion of Dawkins
I was using Dawkins as an example of someone who is successful in getting others to listen to him. Since he is an atheist I thought that would be a good example. Your opinion about me reading Dawkins does not impress me either.

Funny enough, Dawkins has responded on this issue, and his response is the same is mine, with only one major difference. He said it wasn't a battle he was interested in fighting because it wasn't that big a deal in the UK. Naturally, because i don't live in the UK and it is a big deal here, it is a battle that i can't walk away from. Other than that, there's nothing on the subject that we disagree on... including tone.

Incidentally, what opinion about you reading Dawkins? That you cast judgement on him from hearsay and the fact that he sells T-shirts on his website? That wasn't an opinion. ^_^; That's what you did. Don't you remember? You dismissed him as "hype", and said he was just someone "intellectuals" like to quote for creds. i can quote you if you've forgotten.

Bikerman wrote:
Dawkins can be every bit as acerbic and cutting as Indi is accused of being - and I would say more so.

i would say Dawkins is much more successfully acerbic. ^_^ But i might have him beat on volume of acerbicity. ^_^;

tingkagol wrote:
Indi wrote:
What i care about is a group of people using their plurality, political power, and economic leverage to force everyone else to follow their religious rituals. And they are doing it - this is not hypothetical.

Here's another one - http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=635724&publicationSubCategoryId=68

The bishop blames Santa Claus for the supposed veering away from the true essence of Christmas. Smile

Actually, this doesn't bother me. (There's a big "put the Christ back in Christmas" banner at the church i drive by every day, actually.) It's one thing for a Christian cleric to call for Christians to keep the Christ in Christmas. (Really, it's something the should be doing anyway, if they want to consider themselves legitimately Christian.) A Christian cleric is supposed to ask for more people to be celebrating Christian holidays. There's nothing wrong with that, and i have no more objection to that than i would to a Muslim cleric saying that more people should take fasting seriously for Ramadan.

No, what bugs me is when a Christian cleric tells non-Christians to keep the Christ in Christmas - or, worse, tries to wipe away the existence of any other holidays besides Christmas that happen to occur at roughly the same time. That's crossing the line.

And there is also a difference between saying "i want everyone to celebrate Christmas", versus actually going out and trying to stamp out any non-Christmas holiday celebrations, by insisting that anything that happens this time of year be labelled "Christmas". If you just say that you want people to take the Christian holiday seriously, i'll just respond with a shrug, say "that's interesting" and then move on with my life - they can state their opinion all they want, it doesn't effect me. But if you TELL me to take the Christian holiday seriously - if you think you have the right to determine how i spend the holiday season, and what i celebrate - then it's on.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Indi: That link you provided to showed something backed by the AFA so what do you really expect? That's a piss-stain of an organization that in my opinion is just terrible.

i can't disagree, but i don't have much experience with them directly because they're American.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
However, if I was a business owner in the United States then I, and my employees, would endorse Christmas. The reasoning is that I have extensive experience in the retail industry (most of high school and college I worked in retail; so that adds up to many years) and I am quite good at it and so I specifically know how to sell. Christmas sells. Not only does Christmas sell, but Christmas does not lose customers. If you have "Merry Christmas" crap all over your store, people who do not celebrate the holiday will just be decent people and ignore it. I don't celebrate the holiday and so last night when I was at the hardware store, I simply ignored their Christmas crap and bought my tool so that I could go home and fix my car. However, Christians have the unique position in that they're whiny and if you don't endorse Christmas, many will (and I know from experience) boycott your store until you start to endorse their stupid holiday.

http://action.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147486887

This reminds me of the British Airways cross thing, and my answer to this is the same as to that: there is a difference between what is what is right, and what is profitable, and if you choose what is profitable, you may fatten your bottom line in the short term, but lose the moral war in the long term. Let's suppose you did choose to bow to pressure today and make everything "Merry Christmas" rather than "Happy holidays"... would you make a little more money this holiday season? Sure. A lot more? Doubtful. What percentage of Christians are really going to take a boycott on those grounds seriously - especially if you justify your decision on the grounds of inclusiveness? Probably not a lot. Now fast-forward 50 years: religion has become more and more marginalized until now it is a fringe thing. It still exists, but no longer has massive numbers and political power. Now it's the holiday season, and you start putting up the "Happy holidays" decorations... and somebody (probably at the urging of your competitor) points out that you once sold out to the extremist Christian whackjobs for a quick buck.

There are concrete examples, of course, like IBM, who collaborated with the Nazis because, at the time, it was more profitable to do so. They made some nice coin at the time, but their brand is forever stained with their immoral decisions.

On the other hand, if you make the moral decision and do what's right, you may have a smaller bottom line than your competitors who sold out... but you have the moral high ground, now and forever, to use when and as you please. (Which, if you're clever, you can always use in a way to give you a much bigger bottom line later.)

Right now, there is a flap about a holiday parade in some city, probably in Oklahoma, where a senator has called a boycott on the parade because it's not called a "Christmas" parade (even though it's on the bloody 8th or something like that - it would be better called a damn Hanukkah parade, but, whatever). Let's assume the parade bows to pressure. Would it have a better turnout? Maybe. But the parade sponsors will always have to bear the shame of caving into to thuggery. Now, analogous to the case above, i'm going to assume that if it were you advising the parade organizers what to do to get the best returns for the advertisers, you would advise them to bow to the pressure. What to know what i'd suggest?

What the parade organizers should do, in my opinion, is to rename the parade the "Eid/Hanukkah/Diwali/(etc. everything except Christmas) 'We're Americans, Too, Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe' Parade", and deliberately make the parade a celebration of the holidays of a myriad of different cultures, inviting floats from all across the country. Tell me that wouldn't be more successful than bowing to the whims of the thugs. Ah, but there's more! i would make a point of only accepting corporate sponsors who have not caved in to theocratic pressure... and publicize that fact. "This parade is sponsored by _____ - all companies that have taken a stand for inclusiveness in the holiday season. Help support them in their support for you and equality." And then i would, through back channels, let it leak out who had tried to sponsor the event but been refused, along with the descriptions of the incidents when they bowed to the pressure. i might even do something sneaky like secretly provoking people to publicly shame the guilty corporations, and then publicly say something like, "Now, now, don't be too hard on them. They have chosen their bottom lines over the rights of the minorities in this country. While we may not agree with that, let's not dwell on it, and instead make this parade a celebration of the people and companies who do believe that America includes all Americans, not just the ones in powerful voting blocs." i would even do something like making the parade theme: "We don't hate Christmas, we just hate being forgotten", just to really stick it to the thugs. And, just to really dig it in there, i would make a rival senatorial candidate to Inhofe a special guest of the parade.

You see, you're only thinking in the short term, and you're assuming that everyone else will take the coward's route, too. But all it takes is one strong, principled organization to REALLY put their foot down and make a stand. And if they really slam that foot down and make a point out of being principled - in other words, if we ever saw some actual corporate backbone instead of the usual cowardice - they will clean up, now and in the long term (just imagine if the parade i mentioned became the "<your company name here> Annual Holiday Tolerance and Togetherness Parade"... inevitably shortened to just the "<your company name> Parade", but permanently linked to the ideas of tolerance and togetherness).

See? Intolerance, and caving in to it, can have a substantial cost... all you need is just one major player to make a stand, and you're screwed.

The right thing is not always the easy, or profitable, thing to do, in the short term, but it remains the right thing to do. And, if you always make a point of doing the right thing, there are long-term benefits.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
Oh, i got your point. ^_^;
No you didn't Indi. If you had given me the choice of what I thought Dawkins was (accommodationalist or confrontationalist), instead of deciding for me what I would think it would be, then I would not have used accommodationalist with him at all. If he were, he would never have have been able to have a point of view of his own. People pay attention when he speaks, and they pay attention to what he writes. There are so many distracting sentences in your postings, I have to use ten times the effort to read your stuff in comparison with Dawkins.

And please don't misinterpret my using Dawkins as an example. I admire and respect him for being an effective communicator which is why I used him as an example in this context, that does not mean that I agree with his philosophies. The only philosophy I found interesting was the one about memes, and then his book on it turned out to be an enormous disappointment.
Indi wrote:
In other words, you don't really have any objections with what i'm saying, you just recoil from the fact that i'm phrasing it so clearly and terse.
You are making it personal again Indi, which it never was. As I said, you did not really get my point.
Afaceinthematrix
Indi wrote:

This reminds me of the British Airways cross thing, and my answer to this is the same as to that: there is a difference between what is what is right, and what is profitable, and if you choose what is profitable, you may fatten your bottom line in the short term, but lose the moral war in the long term. Let's suppose you did choose to bow to pressure today and make everything "Merry Christmas" rather than "Happy holidays"... would you make a little more money this holiday season? Sure. A lot more? Doubtful. What percentage of Christians are really going to take a boycott on those grounds seriously - especially if you justify your decision on the grounds of inclusiveness? Probably not a lot. Now fast-forward 50 years: religion has become more and more marginalized until now it is a fringe thing. It still exists, but no longer has massive numbers and political power. Now it's the holiday season, and you start putting up the "Happy holidays" decorations... and somebody (probably at the urging of your competitor) points out that you once sold out to the extremist Christian whackjobs for a quick buck.

There are concrete examples, of course, like IBM, who collaborated with the Nazis because, at the time, it was more profitable to do so. They made some nice coin at the time, but their brand is forever stained with their immoral decisions.


Indi: I think that you're just wrong here. That is as simple as I can put it. First things first: I do not believe that you can rightfully make the analogy that you made because the Nazis were wrong and they were immoral scumbags. There's nothing actually wrong about Christmas. I don't really see anything immoral about it. My only complaint about Christmas is that it promotes materialism, but so do many other things. Besides, if you're in the retail business (which is what I am discussing) then you'll of course promote materialism. So you really want to relate the Nazis to Christmas?

And this also reminded me of the BA thing but I didn't bring it up because there is a big difference. I argued, from experience, that businesses should avoid doing things that piss off customers. So if you want to let your employees where a cross or a Star of David, then do it. Christians tend to be whiny so not allowing it will be clear "discrimination" (even though no one else can wear their religious symbols).

This is different, however, this isn't as much about pissing off customers (although partially is which is why I mentioned the boycotts) because if you avoid Christmas then very few people will actually boycott for that. The big thing here, which I mentioned, is that Christmas sells! I set up Christmas displays for years and I would always strategically set the big lights, fake trees, stockings, etc. up in very elaborate ways and put them right next to high mark-up impulse buy objects and then just watch people who were just walking through the store be attracted to the Christmas stuff and then end up buying one of the impulse buy objects. Christmas sells like nothing else that I know of. If you put a Santa next to something people will buy it.

And then you said there is a difference between doing what is right and doing what is profitable. Well given that I don't see anything immoral about setting up Christmas merchandise in your own store where you can sell whatever you want then I really fail to see what your point about this being immoral is. My only complaint about "Merry Christmas," which I mentioned, is that I get annoyed when I say "Happy Holidays" and then people get mad at me for not saying Merry Christmas and they expect me to endorse their holiday when I shouldn't have to. But if I want to sell Christmas merchandise then I'm doing nothing wrong and I'm hurting nobody. I'm just selling what is most profitable (insanely profitable).

Next: I don't buy into your argument about fifty years later. First off, I highly doubt Christmas will be dead in fifty years. Second, even if it is, then so what? Retail is about making money today - not in fifty years because if you don't sell today then you don't pay rent and your store is closed next month. So you cannot worry about retail in fifty years. Furthermore, people aren't going to associate you with whackos because almost everybody in the US celebrates Christmas and so how are you any different? And besides, that's not something that people are going to care about today. I already mentioned that non-Christmas celebrators today do not care when stores endorse Christmas so why would they in fifty years? A store just sold merchandise that was for a holiday that was almost universally celebrated at the time. People will not remember and even if they do, they will not care. People only remember that dirt on IBM because they are related to freakin' Nazis!

Quote:
On the other hand, if you make the moral decision and do what's right, you may have a smaller bottom line than your competitors who sold out... but you have the moral high ground, now and forever, to use when and as you please. (Which, if you're clever, you can always use in a way to give you a much bigger bottom line later.)

Right now, there is a flap about a holiday parade in some city, probably in Oklahoma, where a senator has called a boycott on the parade because it's not called a "Christmas" parade (even though it's on the bloody 8th or something like that - it would be better called a damn Hanukkah parade, but, whatever). Let's assume the parade bows to pressure. Would it have a better turnout? Maybe. But the parade sponsors will always have to bear the shame of caving into to thuggery. Now, analogous to the case above, i'm going to assume that if it were you advising the parade organizers what to do to get the best returns for the advertisers, you would advise them to bow to the pressure. What to know what i'd suggest?

What the parade organizers should do, in my opinion, is to rename the parade the "Eid/Hanukkah/Diwali/(etc. everything except Christmas) 'We're Americans, Too, Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe' Parade", and deliberately make the parade a celebration of the holidays of a myriad of different cultures, inviting floats from all across the country. Tell me that wouldn't be more successful than bowing to the whims of the thugs. Ah, but there's more! i would make a point of only accepting corporate sponsors who have not caved in to theocratic pressure... and publicize that fact. "This parade is sponsored by _____ - all companies that have taken a stand for inclusiveness in the holiday season. Help support them in their support for you and equality." And then i would, through back channels, let it leak out who had tried to sponsor the event but been refused, along with the descriptions of the incidents when they bowed to the pressure. i might even do something sneaky like secretly provoking people to publicly shame the guilty corporations, and then publicly say something like, "Now, now, don't be too hard on them. They have chosen their bottom lines over the rights of the minorities in this country. While we may not agree with that, let's not dwell on it, and instead make this parade a celebration of the people and companies who do believe that America includes all Americans, not just the ones in powerful voting blocs." i would even do something like making the parade theme: "We don't hate Christmas, we just hate being forgotten", just to really stick it to the thugs. And, just to really dig it in there, i would make a rival senatorial candidate to Inhofe a special guest of the parade.

You see, you're only thinking in the short term, and you're assuming that everyone else will take the coward's route, too. But all it takes is one strong, principled organization to REALLY put their foot down and make a stand. And if they really slam that foot down and make a point out of being principled - in other words, if we ever saw some actual corporate backbone instead of the usual cowardice - they will clean up, now and in the long term (just imagine if the parade i mentioned became the "<your company name here> Annual Holiday Tolerance and Togetherness Parade"... inevitably shortened to just the "<your company name> Parade", but permanently linked to the ideas of tolerance and togetherness).

See? Intolerance, and caving in to it, can have a substantial cost... all you need is just one major player to make a stand, and you're screwed.

The right thing is not always the easy, or profitable, thing to do, in the short term, but it remains the right thing to do. And, if you always make a point of doing the right thing, there are long-term benefits.


I think I already covered this in my previous section. I don't see you as caving into intolerance. You have to do what is profitable today. People will never care that you endorsed a holiday. And I don't see it as wrong anyways. Most people celebrate Christmas which implies that most shop owners celebrate Christmas and so how is it wrong for them to sell merchandise for something they like?
chiragpatnaik
[quote="Afaceinthematrix]I think I already covered this in my previous section. I don't see you as caving into intolerance. You have to do what is profitable today. People will never care that you endorsed a holiday. And I don't see it as wrong anyways. Most people celebrate Christmas which implies that most shop owners celebrate Christmas and so how is it wrong for them to sell merchandise for something they like?[/quote]

I think we are being overly politically correct. It's a great holiday. Just enjoy it. Here in India, Diwali is a the nearest equivalent and when I wish someone Happy Diwali, no one turnrs around and says anything. This is the case if someone says happy holidays (lotsof people take off around then). Actually most people say Happy Diwali, no matter their religion. Diwali is a festival that is almost secular.
Afaceinthematrix
chiragpatnaik wrote:
This is the case if someone says happy holidays (lotsof people take off around then).


That's the entire point that I am trying to make here. My point is that I should be able to say happy holidays without Christians being all bothered and saying, "It's 'Merry Christmas'!" The fact of the matter is that these Christians that are getting bothered are ****** because they feel that just because they celebrate a holiday, that everyone else needs to follow and endorse that same holiday.

I think Indi's method is the best counter. Say Happy Everything-but-Christmas and see how they like being excluded for once - considering they're pretty damn good at excluding everyone else.
deanhills
I wonder whether when people say "Merry Xmas" to one another that it is always used in a Christian context? I had family who were atheists, but still sent Xmas cards and Xmas gifts with the Merry Xmas in those cards, more along the lines of wishing others well during the festive season. Half of my family is Christian and the other half atheist, so on Xmas even some of the atheists would join up to go to church. It never was a big deal. I sometimes wonder whether they are more atheist than those that seem to be fighting religion so much. If an atheist can go to a Christian gathering without having a problem with it, then maybe that atheist does not need to define itself in an anti capacity.
Afaceinthematrix
The term XMas comes fro the Greek letter Chi (pronounced Ki, as in what rhymes with Hi), which is the first few Latin letters of the word Christ. And the letter Chi looks like a Latin X so that's where the abbreviation comes from.

Oh, and sort of off topic, but I contributed to part of that wikipedia page. This was written by me:

In Algebraic Topology, Chi is used to represent the Euler Characteristic of a surface.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
The term XMas comes fro the Greek letter Chi (pronounced Ki, as in what rhymes with Hi), which is the first few Latin letters of the word Christ. And the letter Chi looks like a Latin X so that's where the abbreviation comes from.

Oh, and sort of off topic, but I contributed to part of that wikipedia page. This was written by me:

In Algebraic Topology, Chi is used to represent the Euler Characteristic of a surface.
I did not know that. Thanks for the info! The word Xmas was initially foreign to me, as I grew up with using Christmas. Think most of the family uses Christmas, and I like Xmas, as that helps to speed along the messages when I write Xmas tags. I think at some or other time some people said that the X is evil! If I should come across one of them (doubt that I will, but when I do) I can now tell them exactly where it comes from. Smile
Indi
deanhills wrote:
No you didn't Indi. If you had given me the choice of what I thought Dawkins was (accommodationalist or confrontationalist), instead of deciding for me what I would think it would be, then I would not have used accommodationalist with him at all. If he were, he would never have have been able to have a point of view of his own. People pay attention when he speaks, and they pay attention to what he writes. There are so many distracting sentences in your postings, I have to use ten times the effort to read your stuff in comparison with Dawkins.

And please don't misinterpret my using Dawkins as an example. I admire and respect him for being an effective communicator which is why I used him as an example in this context, that does not mean that I agree with his philosophies. The only philosophy I found interesting was the one about memes, and then his book on it turned out to be an enormous disappointment.

Yeah, well, i don't care what you think Dawkins should be labelled as (and i'll explain why in a minute). i look at what the universal consensus of what both Dawkins's peers and his opponents say... they all say he's confrontationalist. i look at what Dawkins himself says about himself, and he disagrees with you, too.

i also look at your reasons for calling me confrontationalist while saying Dawkins is not, and i see cracks forming. For example, you say there are "distracting sentences" in my posts. Like this one?:
Quote:
Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense.
Or this one?:
Quote:
Just because science so far has failed to explain something, such as consciousness, to say it follows that the facile, pathetic explanations which religion has produced somehow by default must win the argument is really quite ridiculous.
Or this?:
Quote:
If you look at the historical struggle for women's suffrage, for example...women who militantly campaigned for the right to vote were written off as strident extremists, and people accused them of alienating the very people whose support they should have been courting. But today, the idea of women not being allowed to vote is preposterous. Would you be moderate? Would you be respectful? You wouldn't.
Or this?:
Quote:
Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence.
Or this?:
Quote:
Religion is the most inflammatory enemy-labeling device in history.
Or this?:
Quote:
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
Or this?:
Quote:
There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point.
Or this?:
Quote:
We should be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brain falls out.
Or this?:
Quote:
Religious people split into three main groups when faced with science. I shall label them the "know-nothings", the "know-alls", and the "no-contests".
Or this?:
Quote:
Religions do make claims about the universe - the same kinds of claims that scientists make, except they're usually false.
Or this?:
Quote:
Who will say with confidence that sexual abuse is more permanently damaging to children than threatening them with the eternal and unquenchable fires of hell?
Or this?:
Quote:
I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
Or this?:
Quote:
We should devote as much time to studying serious theology as we devote to studying serious fairies and serious unicorns.
Now try and guess which of those is Dawkins, and which is me (and not necessarily here, i write for other places, too).

i'm not as effective a writer as Dawkins, but, frankly, neither are you. So what? i'm not criticizing your writing style every damn post, i'm answering your points (insofar as i can figure them out in your word spaghetti). What i've asked you to do several times is the same thing: stop whining about my style and start answering my points. If you don't like my style, ignore it or report me.

deanhills wrote:
As I said, you did not really get my point.

Well, it would seem that for once you're right. i did miss your point. i had assumed your mention of Dawkins had some relation to the topic, and that it wasn't just yet another swipe at me with no other relevance to the discussion. i guess i've learned my lesson against assuming that what you're saying has any relevance.

Eh, well, my answer hasn't changed. If you find my sentences "distracting" and that my posts take "ten times the effort to read", the solution is obvious. Don't read my posts. Please. Just don't. Yes, i'm asking you not to read them, for your own sake. i don't want you distracted or spending so much effort on my posts. And i really don't want to hear you griping about it afterwards anymore. For your sake, stop reading my posts. Problem solved!

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Indi: I think that you're just wrong here. That is as simple as I can put it. First things first: I do not believe that you can rightfully make the analogy that you made because the Nazis were wrong and they were immoral scumbags. There's nothing actually wrong about Christmas. I don't really see anything immoral about it. My only complaint about Christmas is that it promotes materialism, but so do many other things. Besides, if you're in the retail business (which is what I am discussing) then you'll of course promote materialism. So you really want to relate the Nazis to Christmas?

Er, i don't think you're talking about the same thing i am. i am talking about immoral scumbags. i am NOT talking about Christmas.

i am not talking about people who want to include Christmas in their business's holiday advertising. i am talking about people who want to exclude other holidays besides Christmas from ALL holiday advertising.

If you own a business, and you decide you want to advertise Christmas exclusively, of course you have that right (which i've already said, and i can't understand how you missed that). It should follow, then, that you should also have the right to advertise other holidays besides Christmas, if you want... or even advertise for all holidays by using holiday-neutral language. Right?

So if someone starts a campaign to get you to exclude other holidays from your advertising and only focus on Christmas, are they are not acting immorally?

That's what the thread is about: people who are trying to use political, economic or social pressure to force people to only celebrate their holiday and exclude all others. Please read the topic of the thread, and my own position, more carefully.

i am not "relating Nazis to Christmas" (how does that even make sense?), nor am i even criticizing Christmas in any way - by calling it overly materialistic or over religious or anything. i can't even imagine how you got that idea. (In fact, between the two of us, only one of us has criticized Christmas: you. Not me. i didn't call it overly materialistic, you did.) i am talking about thugs trying to pressure people and companies to exclude other groups. i've been quite clear about that.

If you own a store, and you want to focus only on Christmas in your advertising, go nuts. If you want to make inclusive advertising that includes the holidays of many different groups, go nuts. But if you try to force that second store to stop including other groups and only mention Christmas, you are wrong. And if you own that second store, and you bow to that pressure for economic reasons, then you are now complicit in their discrimination. It's that simple.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I think I already covered this in my previous section. I don't see you as caving into intolerance. You have to do what is profitable today. People will never care that you endorsed a holiday. And I don't see it as wrong anyways. Most people celebrate Christmas which implies that most shop owners celebrate Christmas and so how is it wrong for them to sell merchandise for something they like?

Well, first of all, no you didn't cover it the previous section, because whatever you were replying to in the previous section, it was not what i wrote.

Second, i hate saying "i told you so", but....

(Well, actually, i do like saying "i told you so". i also like saying that i hate saying "i told you so".)

Turns out i was right. Remember that parade i mentioned in Oklahoma that the senator raised a stink about and tried to boycott? Guess what happened.

Well, once the story got big, the support for the senator's campaign... never happened. Yup. That big boycott he threatened? Maybe a couple people boycotted. ^_^;

Ah, but it gets better.

You see, as the story spread about the senator's boycott, groups from all over America chimed in and asked - at the last minute! - if they could also put floats in the parade. Yup. You read that right. The Christian outrage about the parade being renamed the "holiday" parade... made the parade bigger. Just like i said it would.

Furthermore, there were no major groups that actually backed out... NOT EVEN CHURCHES. Why? Because churches, generally, aren't ****** crazy; or as i tried to explain to you, there are only a very, very small minority of nutters... they just have a really, disproportionately loud voice... and by and large, even though Christians are a huge group, most Christians aren't batshit crazy, and won't take boycotts based on this kind of nonsense seriously.

And it still gets better. ^_^;

The people that raised the outrage over the incident are now being pilloried in the media as idiots. This is the parade organizer Larry Fox's comment about the senator (Inhofe) who started the controversy to begin with:
Quote:
Just one of a dedicated core of volunteers who put on the annual parade, he expressed dismay over the controversy Inhofe triggered with his announcement that he would no longer participate until "Christmas" was put back in the event's title.

"We have wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and huge budget deficits and unemployment. This is what our senator is choosing to spend his time on," Fox said.

"I would just think he has better things to worry about, and, hey, I am a Republican."
And it's not just the senator himself getting shamed. When Larry Fox got interviewed on Fox News... well... Google "jon stewart gretchen carlson tulsa" to see the result. ^_^;

Basically, it all happened exactly as i said it would, with only one minor detail. i had assumed that because the senator's outrage came so late, support would not come in time for this year's parade - i had assumed that this year's parade might suffer a small drop in business, only to have it picked up double-time next year. Turns out i underestimated the good people of the US. They jumped on the situation and got last-minute entries in.

And, the parade has that moral high ground that it can use from now on and forever... forever making a point of being the parade that welcomes all beliefs, and not just Christianity. (And Larry Fox has already dropped hints that he's clued in to this. ^_^)

That's the bottom line. If you really want to only make a point of celebrating one particular religion's holiday, sure, Christianity's is the most profitable option in the US. But!... if you make a point of opening your doors to everyone, they will come... and boycotts and threats by fascist senators like Inhofe may hurt you in the short-term, but you will always win in the long-term. And, as the parade case shows, sometimes the long-term is a lot closer than you think.

So, doing what is most profitable today is not always the best idea, especially when you have to bow to immorality and unethical thuggery to be profitable. (But i would have thought that would be patently obvious. "You have to do what is profitable today" is an incredibly stupid philosophy, and if the financial meltdown of your whole economy hasn't taught you that, i don't know what will. By that logic, theft is a good idea, because even though you will probably be eventually caught, it's profitable today. As the sayings go, "build forward" and "you have to spend money to make money", which, basically, mean that you have to think long-term, not short-term, and acting immorally in the short-term will burn you in the long-term.)
Afaceinthematrix
Indi, Now I am just confused...

Indi wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

However, if I was a business owner in the United States then I, and my employees, would endorse Christmas. The reasoning is that I have extensive experience in the retail industry (most of high school and college I worked in retail; so that adds up to many years) and I am quite good at it and so I specifically know how to sell. Christmas sells. Not only does Christmas sell, but Christmas does not lose customers. If you have "Merry Christmas" crap all over your store, people who do not celebrate the holiday will just be decent people and ignore it. I don't celebrate the holiday and so last night when I was at the hardware store, I simply ignored their Christmas crap and bought my tool so that I could go home and fix my car. However, Christians have the unique position in that they're whiny and if you don't endorse Christmas, many will (and I know from experience) boycott your store until you start to endorse their stupid holiday.

http://action.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147486887


This reminds me of the British Airways cross thing, and my answer to this is the same as to that: there is a difference between what is what is right, and what is profitable, and if you choose what is profitable, you may fatten your bottom line in the short term, but lose the moral war in the long term. Let's suppose you did choose to bow to pressure today and make everything "Merry Christmas" rather than "Happy holidays"... would you make a little more money this holiday season? Sure. A lot more? Doubtful. What percentage of Christians are really going to take a boycott on those grounds seriously - especially if you justify your decision on the grounds of inclusiveness? Probably not a lot. Now fast-forward 50 years: religion has become more and more marginalized until now it is a fringe thing. It still exists, but no longer has massive numbers and political power. Now it's the holiday season, and you start putting up the "Happy holidays" decorations... and somebody (probably at the urging of your competitor) points out that you once sold out to the extremist Christian whackjobs for a quick buck.



Indi wrote:
Er, i don't think you're talking about the same thing i am. i am talking about immoral scumbags. i am NOT talking about Christmas.

i am not talking about people who want to include Christmas in their business's holiday advertising. i am talking about people who want to exclude other holidays besides Christmas from ALL holiday advertising.

If you own a business, and you decide you want to advertise Christmas exclusively, of course you have that right (which i've already said, and i can't understand how you missed that). It should follow, then, that you should also have the right to advertise other holidays besides Christmas, if you want... or even advertise for all holidays by using holiday-neutral language. Right?


I specifically said that if I was a retailer then I would use Christmas because Christmas sells like crazy. That's exactly what I said and that is what you quoted and so therefore, I assume that you're responding to that statement.

You then respond with, "there is a difference between what is what is right, and what is profitable, and if you choose what is profitable, you may fatten your bottom line in the short term, but lose the moral war in the long term." Now you're confused about how I came to the conclusion that you feel that it's immoral to use Christmas as a selling point? I specifically said that I would and then you talk about how it's wrong by directly quoting my original point... Reread exactly what you said from the perspective of someone else and see how you take it as...

Quote:
So if someone starts a campaign to get you to exclude other holidays from your advertising and only focus on Christmas, are they are not acting immorally?


Of course! I've said that many times. I even said:
Myself wrote:
My take on it is that I get annoyed when Christians get butt-hurt for not acknowledging their holiday! It's their holiday so they need to celebrate it and not force everyone else to celebrate it. To me, it seems like me forcing everyone else to celebrate my birthday instead of just my friends and I going to get some beers to celebrate ourselves. What makes them so special that we (even people who don't celebrate it) need to give them special treatment? I also get mad at their "It's not happy holidays; It's merry Christmas!" They hijacked the holiday in the first place. This seems to be the general consensus here.


Furthermore, I never implied that I don't agree with that statement and if I did, please quote it.

Quote:
That's what the thread is about: people who are trying to use political, economic or social pressure to force people to only celebrate their holiday and exclude all others. Please read the topic of the thread, and my own position, more carefully.


I did read it carefully. I already explained above why you weren't clear about your position.

Quote:
i am not "relating Nazis to Christmas" (how does that even make sense?)


I specifically said that I would endorse Christmas just because I would make more money. You responded with:

Quote:
would you make a little more money this holiday season? Sure. A lot more? Doubtful. What percentage of Christians are really going to take a boycott on those grounds seriously - especially if you justify your decision on the grounds of inclusiveness? Probably not a lot. Now fast-forward 50 years: religion has become more and more marginalized until now it is a fringe thing. It still exists, but no longer has massive numbers and political power. Now it's the holiday season, and you start putting up the "Happy holidays" decorations... and somebody (probably at the urging of your competitor) points out that you once sold out to the extremist Christian whackjobs for a quick buck.

There are concrete examples, of course, like IBM, who collaborated with the Nazis because, at the time, it was more profitable to do so. They made some nice coin at the time, but their brand is forever stained with their immoral decisions.


I then responded with (I'll paraphrase this), "No one will care if you once celebrated Christmas. Furthermore, it's hard to relate this to IBM's situation because people will not forgive them for their association with something as terrible as Nazi's; Christmas isn't even near the same level."

Now I'll quote my exact wording:

Quote:
Furthermore, people aren't going to associate you with whackos because almost everybody in the US celebrates Christmas and so how are you any different? And besides, that's not something that people are going to care about today***. I already mentioned that non-Christmas celebrators today do not care when stores endorse Christmas so why would they in fifty years? A store just sold merchandise that was for a holiday that was almost universally celebrated at the time. People will not remember and even if they do, they will not care. People only remember that dirt on IBM because they are related to freakin' Nazis!


*** I meant in fifty years

So I barely even mentioned Nazism; you brought it up. I had one sentence on it which only said that I don't feel that your analogy works.


Quote:
nor am i even criticizing Christmas in any way - by calling it overly materialistic or over religious or anything. i can't even imagine how you got that idea. (In fact, between the two of us, only one of us has criticized Christmas: you. Not me. i didn't call it overly materialistic, you did.) i am talking about thugs trying to pressure people and companies to exclude other groups. i've been quite clear about that.


I didn't get that idea. To save you the effort of having to reread my entire post (although maybe you should, because you are really messing this one up), I'll quote the important part:

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Indi: I think that you're just wrong here. That is as simple as I can put it. First things first: I do not believe that you can rightfully make the analogy that you made because the Nazis were wrong and they were immoral scumbags. There's nothing actually wrong about Christmas. I don't really see anything immoral about it. My only complaint about Christmas is that it promotes materialism, but so do many other things. Besides, if you're in the retail business (which is what I am discussing) then you'll of course promote materialism. So you really want to relate the Nazis to Christmas?


I start off a sentence with, "My only complaint..." and then you come to the conclusion that I'm saying that you said it? So this isn't really "between the two of us" because I posted my criticism of Christmas plainly, and then quoted it later using large font so that it's hard to miss.

Quote:
If you own a store, and you want to focus only on Christmas in your advertising, go nuts. If you want to make inclusive advertising that includes the holidays of many different groups, go nuts. But if you try to force that second store to stop including other groups and only mention Christmas, you are wrong. And if you own that second store, and you bow to that pressure for economic reasons, then you are now complicit in their discrimination. It's that simple.


Indi: Please read, Man! I already quoted my original post. My original post said, that I would personally endorse Christmas in my own retail store if I was a retailer. That's all I ever said in my original post that you responded to! All I implied is that I would endorse Christmas in my own store (furthermore, why would I want other retailers to endorse Christmas as well? That just means that I have competitors when it comes to selling lights, stockings, etc.) You then responded by telling me that there's a difference between what is right and what is profitable - and that pretty much implied that you think that endorses just Christmas is immoral. Therefore, I responded to that!

Indi wrote:

Well, first of all, no you didn't cover it the previous section, because whatever you were replying to in the previous section, it was not what i wrote.


Are you sure? I showed you logically how, given what you responded to what I actually wrote, I came to my conclusions. Perhaps it was you who didn't actually respond to what I wrote? I think that my arguments came pretty logically from your statements. But now, after reading this post, I'm confused about what the hell you're actually talking about.

Quote:
Second, i hate saying "i told you so", but....


Then don't.

Quote:
(Well, actually, i do like saying "i told you so". i also like saying that i hate saying "i told you so".)


Then I'm happy to amuse you... Let's see where this heads...

Quote:
Turns out i was right. Remember that parade i mentioned in Oklahoma that the senator raised a stink about and tried to boycott? Guess what happened.

Well, once the story got big, the support for the senator's campaign... never happened. Yup. That big boycott he threatened? Maybe a couple people boycotted. ^_^;


And??? What in the Hell does this have to do with me selling Christmas merchandise in my own store so that I could make money? This is just out there. You originally brought this up because you wanted to show me the dangers of associating myself with Christmas when in fifty years, there's the extremely small chance of Christmas being something of the past and an even smaller chance of people actually holding that against my company (if we're even still in business... and if we are, I'll take this chance so that I can make enough money this month to pay my rent).

Quote:
Ah, but it gets better.

You see, as the story spread about the senator's boycott, groups from all over America chimed in and asked - at the last minute! - if they could also put floats in the parade. Yup. You read that right. The Christian outrage about the parade being renamed the "holiday" parade... made the parade bigger. Just like i said it would.


Okay. So what? My point is still the same: I can sell Christmas stockings easily. I cannot sell "Holiday Stockings" as easy... I can sell a Santa Clause statue. I cannot sell merchandise for other holidays that very few people celebrate.

Quote:
Furthermore, there were no major groups that actually backed out... NOT EVEN CHURCHES. Why? Because churches, generally, aren't ****** crazy; or as i tried to explain to you, there are only a very, very small minority of nutters... they just have a really, disproportionately loud voice... and by and large, even though Christians are a huge group, most Christians aren't batshit crazy, and won't take boycotts based on this kind of nonsense seriously.


Of course. But did you even read what the Hell I said?

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Not only does Christmas sell, but Christmas does not lose customers. If you have "Merry Christmas" crap all over your store, people who do not celebrate the holiday will just be decent people and ignore it. I don't celebrate the holiday and so last night when I was at the hardware store, I simply ignored their Christmas crap and bought my tool so that I could go home and fix my car. However, Christians have the unique position in that they're whiny and if you don't endorse Christmas, many will (and I know from experience) boycott your store until you start to endorse their stupid holiday.


Christmas sells is the whole point! The fact that Christmas doesn't lose customers (whereas Hanukkah merchandise would lose customers because far more people come in for Christmas merchandise and if Hanukkah merchandise is taking up shelf space, then people are less likely to find what they want).

Quote:
And it still gets better. ^_^;


Yay because I'm getting bored.

Quote:
The people that raised the outrage over the incident are now being pilloried in the media as idiots. This is the parade organizer Larry Fox's comment about the senator (Inhofe) who started the controversy to begin with:
Quote:
Just one of a dedicated core of volunteers who put on the annual parade, he expressed dismay over the controversy Inhofe triggered with his announcement that he would no longer participate until "Christmas" was put back in the event's title.

"We have wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and huge budget deficits and unemployment. This is what our senator is choosing to spend his time on," Fox said.

"I would just think he has better things to worry about, and, hey, I am a Republican."
And it's not just the senator himself getting shamed. When Larry Fox got interviewed on Fox News... well... Google "jon stewart gretchen carlson tulsa" to see the result. ^_^;

Basically, it all happened exactly as i said it would, with only one minor detail. i had assumed that because the senator's outrage came so late, support would not come in time for this year's parade - i had assumed that this year's parade might suffer a small drop in business, only to have it picked up double-time next year. Turns out i underestimated the good people of the US. They jumped on the situation and got last-minute entries in.

And, the parade has that moral high ground that it can use from now on and forever... forever making a point of being the parade that welcomes all beliefs, and not just Christianity. (And Larry Fox has already dropped hints that he's clued in to this. ^_^)


And this relates to my point, how?

Quote:
That's the bottom line. If you really want to only make a point of celebrating one particular religion's holiday, sure, Christianity's is the most profitable option in the US. But!... if you make a point of opening your doors to everyone, they will come... and boycotts and threats by fascist senators like Inhofe may hurt you in the short-term, but you will always win in the long-term. And, as the parade case shows, sometimes the long-term is a lot closer than you think.


Sure they will come in. But how many people come in to buy Hanukkah merchandise versus Christmas merchandise? This is about making money! That's why retailers are in business!

Quote:
So, doing what is most profitable today is not always the best idea, especially when you have to bow to immorality and unethical thuggery to be profitable.


So now you're back on to saying that it is immoral if I want to sell Christmas merchandise to make a little extra money? Furthermore, as I keep saying, you will not lose money by selling Christmas merchandise! If Christmas ever goes away, then you stop stocking the merchandise! No one will hold it against you for once selling merchandise that almost everyone wanted and that isn't immoral! I wasn't selling swastikas in the 40's (remember, that is your analogy).


Quote:
(But i would have thought that would be patently obvious. "You have to do what is profitable today" is an incredibly stupid philosophy, and if the financial meltdown of your whole economy hasn't taught you that, i don't know what will.


You have obviously never worked in retail. You have to make money today so that you can pay rent and employees and be here next month - especially these days! You can't worry about fifty years because your business will probably be done by then! Besides, as I keep pointing out, you said that you might be hurt in fifty years for once selling merchandise for a celebration that almost everyone celebrated at the time! That is incredibly stupid and naive. That's what my whole point was (as should have been obvious by the context because I actually quoted the statement that I was responding to).

Quote:
By that logic, theft is a good idea, because even though you will probably be eventually caught, it's profitable today.


No, No, No!

You really love throwing in these crazy analogies that have no basis on the situation. Stealing is immoral. I was endorsing doing something completely amoral (of course last posting you said it was immoral, but then you backtracked this post and said it was moral but then later said it was immoral so I really don't know what the hell you mean) and now you're related it to theft (as you related Christmas to Nazism - which you deny although I quoted it).

If you actually read my post, you would see that I said:

Myself wrote:
Retail is about making money today - not in fifty years because if you don't sell today then you don't pay rent and your store is closed next month. So you cannot worry about retail in fifty years.


Let me try that again, but this time, with emphasis:

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Retail is about making money today - not in fifty years because if you don't sell today then you don't pay rent and your store is closed next month. So you cannot worry about retail in fifty years.


Edit: I decided that I should elaborate on my last quotation. I never said a general statement about only making money today (which could, by that logic, lead to your accusation about theft). I made a very specific statement (I was careful when I did this), about the amoral (not immoral) action of owning a legitimate retail business.
deanhills
Matrix is right. I live in a Muslim country. And today visited Dubai mall. Most of the shops are sponsored by Muslims, however there were Xmas trees EVERYWHERE. And there are no objections by anyone. To the contrary. It is adding an air of festivity, people are enjoying it, and doing their "Xmas" shopping, and shops are making money.
watersoul
A local store near me is owned and run by Tamil speaking Muslims from Sri Lanka. The place is alive with decorations and happy Christmas signs, even though they don't believe in it.
It's an example of good business sense in my opinion, they would look odd at the very least if there were no decorations. It could even help them avoid some of the more racially motivated attacks that we see in this country - why give racist white trash another excuse to cause conflict, just bite the bullet and put some sparkly tinsel up?

For sure if I owned a store in any culture, I'd be celebrating whatever festival happened to be going on...even if I thought it was based on nothing I believed in, who wants to be the odd store out?!
truespeed
Growing up in the UK the word Christmas was never really about Jesus or Christianity,it was about Father Christmas,a fat man with a white beard in a red suit,who if your naive and believe,will come down your chimney once a year and reward you with presents. (Not so far removed from Christanity afterall.) You may not get eternal life,but at least you will get that scalectrix you wanted.
Afaceinthematrix
watersoul wrote:
A local store near me is owned and run by Tamil speaking Muslims from Sri Lanka. The place is alive with decorations and happy Christmas signs, even though they don't believe in it.
It's an example of good business sense in my opinion, they would look odd at the very least if there were no decorations. It could even help them avoid some of the more racially motivated attacks that we see in this country - why give racist white trash another excuse to cause conflict, just bite the bullet and put some sparkly tinsel up?

For sure if I owned a store in any culture, I'd be celebrating whatever festival happened to be going on...even if I thought it was based on nothing I believed in, who wants to be the odd store out?!


I would never endorse following the crowd so that you're not a victim of racism. That just shows that you're too chicken to stand up for what is morally right. If you're going to sell Christmas decorations just to avoid people calling you names (because actual acts of violence in the U.K. is relatively rare, I would assume) then you're just making the problem worse versus standing up for yourself and trying to rectify the situation.

However, people who own shops own them with the intention of making a living and so you're right - it is good business to sell merchandise for whatever festivals many people celebrate. Of course you shouldn't be forced to sell it. That's why my original post was about how I'd personally sell it because if I'm in the business to make money, then I'll sell what's popular (unless I have a certain image that I want the store to portray or market to - such as a goth image which wouldn't go with Christmas). But I definitely wouldn't sell Christmas merchandise because I was afraid of people calling me names.
Bluedoll
Quote:
why give racist white trash another excuse to cause conflict - watersoul


I came into this post to make one point only then leave it. You people can go on to discuss anything you want. My point is not every person that takes delight in wishing someone a Merry Christmas, buys or sells decorations or makes a comment to a store owner is racist white trash. I am certain there are people like that but there also does exist people who sincerely wish all they meet peace without any pre justice. Even if the person being addressed has other beliefs, some people just greet only for good will.

This is more of personal reflection in regard to many of the members that visit and post regularly on this board. It is not directed at any one person and I am sorry it had to be your post, I am quoted watersoul, for I do enjoy reading your posts more than others who now I want to avoid like the plague. Perhaps, you were directing your comment to just certain individuals.

In general, in these boards though I do see a lot of good here, I have had to stand back recently and make a judgement. I find too many disagreements, too much aggression, too much anger, and this really is unfortunately trash! I expect to be attracted in return for writing this but I wanted to at least make this point for the sake of showing there is always another side to any viewpoint.

Just remember when we point our finger at someone there will be three pointing back our direction. (and this includes me as well.)
watersoul
Folks, the racist white trash line was certainly not directed at anyone who celebrates Christmas or anyone on these forums for that matter.
That label was attributed to the many small-minded people in my 99% white region of the UK who have incredibly bigotted opinions about anyone who's a shade darker than snow.

@Matrix, there actually is a very dark undercurrent of racist sentiment here and it does dip into violence or criminal damage to stores etc sometimes. I know what you're saying about compounding a problem by being unwilling to stand up for yourself, but in the reality of life it is certainly easier to 'go with the flow' and pretend to celebrate a festival if 99% of the customers are celebrating it.
I agree absolutely that we should all be confident enough to be who we are, but I also completely understand when people choose not to be more public about their own traditions - especially when the traditions are effectively alien to the environment they live in.

I frequently find myself defending other ethnic groups in conversations with others here, racism is shockingly common and I for one will challenge it every time it crosses my path.
So yes, if the non-Christian store owner pretends to celebrate a festival to make his life easier I totally understand. Anything that will help soften the cultural differences which the uneducated bigots oppose is completely understandable to me.

...and if it helps bring a few more customers in to spend their ££'s, even better.
Indi
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I specifically said that if I was a retailer then I would use Christmas because Christmas sells like crazy. That's exactly what I said and that is what you quoted and so therefore, I assume that you're responding to that statement.

i was responding to that. But i was doing so in the context of the thread (and the rest of my post). You said: "However, Christians have the unique position in that they're whiny and if you don't endorse Christmas, many will (and I know from experience) boycott your store until you start to endorse their stupid holiday." (And then linked to the AFA.) My response was that doing was immoral, and acting immoral for the sake of a buck may work in the short term, but will not work in the long term, etc. (Along with other points, such as they don't really have as much power as you think they have.)

i say it again: that was the topic of the thread, and the topic i followed through my entire post. Why would i suddenly change the topic to reply to just the first part of your post, instead of the bit at the end which is actually on topic? Especially when my comments - about immorality and explicitly about companies being pressured by boycotts - make no damn sense when applied to just the first part of your post, and only make sense when applied to the last part and the overall topic?

As for the rest: i really don't care about your opinions on how retail works or how you think you can make more money, and most everything else you're replying to isn't what i was talking about. The topic of this thread is the "war on Christmas" - it is about companies who want to include other holidays, but are being harassed by people who want to force them to exclude all other holidays except Christmas. i am, was, and plan to continue to stay on topic. Feel free to join me on topic any time.

And, i will continue to read your posts - and everyone's posts - under the assumption that they are on topic, unless there is strong reason to believe otherwise. If you want to veer off-topic, fine, but don't blame me if you don't make that clear and i continue to assume you're still on topic.

watersoul wrote:
Folks, the racist white trash line was certainly not directed at anyone who celebrates Christmas or anyone on these forums for that matter.
That label was attributed to the many small-minded people in my 99% white region of the UK who have incredibly bigotted opinions about anyone who's a shade darker than snow.

@Matrix, there actually is a very dark undercurrent of racist sentiment here and it does dip into violence or criminal damage to stores etc sometimes. I know what you're saying about compounding a problem by being unwilling to stand up for yourself, but in the reality of life it is certainly easier to 'go with the flow' and pretend to celebrate a festival if 99% of the customers are celebrating it.
I agree absolutely that we should all be confident enough to be who we are, but I also completely understand when people choose not to be more public about their own traditions - especially when the traditions are effectively alien to the environment they live in.

I frequently find myself defending other ethnic groups in conversations with others here, racism is shockingly common and I for one will challenge it every time it crosses my path.
So yes, if the non-Christian store owner pretends to celebrate a festival to make his life easier I totally understand. Anything that will help soften the cultural differences which the uneducated bigots oppose is completely understandable to me.

...and if it helps bring a few more customers in to spend their ££'s, even better.

There it is again: people being bullied by racist thugs should bend over and "play white" to avoid trouble.

Excuse me?!? That is beyond disgusting. No, minorities should not cower against the culture thugs, and you should certainly not encourage them to do so. You should be calling the racist thugs out for what they are, encouraging people of other ethnicities or cultures to be proud of who they are, and bloody well standing up for them when they're being victimized. You should be helping them to be themselves despite the thuggery of the bigots, and shaming anyone who cowers to the side and lets the racism happen.

Good grief, telling a victim of that kind of bigotry that they should just shut up and roll with it is... i don't even have a word for that that will get through Frihost's filter. It's disgusting... reprehensible, and the worst kind of cowardly.

What next? Do we tell women not to stand up for equality in the workplace because if they do it will create a less comfortable work environment? Do we tell homosexuals to go back to hiding in the closet because that will make the homophobes less angry, and so the homosexuals can have more comfortable lives? Do we tell victims of spousal abuse not to champion the cause of battered spouses because it undermines the sanctity of the family concept?

This goes far beyond a minority making the choice to hide their cultural uniqueness (out of fear, of course), because you should have the courage and the responsibility to protect those who need it it. Even if they are cowed into hiding, you should not shrug and say it's okay. You have the privilege - you can fight far more effectively and safely than they can, and fight you should! Justice does not happen by magic, people. Good people have to stand up and make it happen. When you see someone being pressured into hiding their cultural identity, you should NOT silently sit by and let it happen... you should help them!!! And when you see people using their cultural, economic and political superiority to browbeat others into hiding who that are... i can't even fathom how you can think it's just okay to sit back and let that happen. Don't "understand" people who are cowed into hiding who they are, freaking help them!!!
watersoul
Wow Indi, you should re-read my post.
Indi wrote:
Good grief, telling a victim of that kind of bigotry that they should just shut up and roll with it is... i don't even have a word for that that will get through Frihost's filter. It's disgusting... reprehensible, and the worst kind of cowardly.


That hasn't been my advice ever, more a statement of my understanding why some people actually choose that option, I also don't know where you think I ever suggested anyone should 'shut up' and 'roll with it'?
watersoul wrote:
...but in the reality of life it is certainly easier to 'go with the flow'

Nowhere have I said a particular option is right or wrong, I was simply making an observation on life options that may, or may not be easier for the people making the choices. For that reason I also wonder which bit of the above quoted statement could be factually incorrect?
watersoul wrote:
I agree absolutely that we should all be confident enough to be who we are, but I also completely understand when people choose not to be more public about their own traditions - especially when the traditions are effectively alien to the environment they live in.


Indi wrote:
you should not shrug and say it's okay

I never ever have.

Indi wrote:
You should be helping them to be themselves despite the thuggery of the bigots, and shaming anyone who cowers to the side and lets the racism happen.


watersoul wrote:
I frequently find myself defending other ethnic groups in conversations with others here, racism is shockingly common and I for one will challenge it every time it crosses my path.
So yes, if the non-Christian store owner pretends to celebrate a festival to make his life easier I totally understand.


I'm not in the store 24 hours a day, but if I saw racist behaviour while there I would fight to stop it. I have physically fought and suffered injury defending someone suffering a racist attack before and I would again. Only a month ago I verbally and publicly defended a woman with her children in the town centre being ridiculed by 'white trash racist youths' and called a terrorist because she was wearing a veil. If you truly misunderstood my 'understanding' of an ethnic minority choosing to 'pseudo-conform' to make their life easier when no-one else is around to help defend them, well so be it.
You are way off the mark with how passionately I will defend other human beings from bigotry and hatred, but equally I will always understand if any particular individual chooses whatever strategy to get by, in whichever hostile environment they have to.

*edit* As unbelievable as it sounds, I've also suffered at the hands of small-minded racist English people myself, being a Welsh man who moved to England many years ago. I too don't think it's right that anyone should have to change their reasonable behaviour to 'fit in', but as a frightened 16 yr old in a strange town, I myself also made sure I pronounced words the 'english' way to avoid conflict and abuse. Thats why I 'understand' others adopting a similar strategy, wherever they may be from...I hope that helps others understand the tone of my previous posts.
Afaceinthematrix
Indi wrote:
i was responding to that. But i was doing so in the context of the thread (and the rest of my post). You said: "However, Christians have the unique position in that they're whiny and if you don't endorse Christmas, many will (and I know from experience) boycott your store until you start to endorse their stupid holiday." (And then linked to the AFA.)


My point there was, as I said, Christmas does not lose any customers. If you sell Winter Solstice Pagan Holiday merchandise, then many Christians may think that you're being anti-Christian* simply because you're endorsing another religion and then they may leave your store whereas Pagans wouldn't be offended for selling merchandise for the hijacked version of their holiday.

I would sell Christian merchandise because you would sell more of it and make more money. If I truly felt that Christmas was immoral and that by selling Christmas stuff I was being immoral, then I would just be a neutral store. Many stores are neutral and no one cares. I think that if I went into heavy metal shop there wouldn't be too many Christmas references... Other shops like donut (I think it's doughnut outside of the U.S.?) shops, butcher shops, smoke shops, Bob Marley stores (there's actually one of those in my town) are neutral and they do just fine..

But if you're marketing stuff that's a competitor holiday to Christmas then you're really cutting down your clientale..


Quote:
i say it again: that was the topic of the thread, and the topic i followed through my entire post. Why would i suddenly change the topic to reply to just the first part of your post, instead of the bit at the end which is actually on topic? Especially when my comments - about immorality and explicitly about companies being pressured by boycotts - make no damn sense when applied to just the first part of your post, and only make sense when applied to the last part and the overall topic?


I clearly states that I despise people getting mad for not endorsing their holiday. That actually happened yesterday. Some stupid b**** got mad at me for saying "Happy Holidays." She replied with, "No! It's 'Merry Christmas!'" I said, "Excuse me, you stupid b****? Your holiday isn't the only holiday in town and just because you celebrate something doesn't mean that the rest of us have to." She got offended for some reason or another... Then I said, that I would make one exception and that's if I was in retail. To make sure that I wasn't a hypocrite, I explained that it was because Christmas sells (point of retail) plus you won't lose any customers over it. Selling winter-solstice Pagan holiday stuff might lose a few customers (like those AFA morons) but mostly you'll lose customers simply because you're taking up shelf space that could be used to stock stuff that more people want.
Quote:

As for the rest: i really don't care about your opinions on how retail works or how you think you can make more money, and most everything else you're replying to isn't what i was talking about. The topic of this thread is the "war on Christmas" - it is about companies who want to include other holidays, but are being harassed by people who want to force them to exclude all other holidays except Christmas. i am, was, and plan to continue to stay on topic. Feel free to join me on topic any time.


Then why even respond to it? My whole point was completely on-topic. Me explaining "my opinion" (although it's more fact because it's obvious that you sell more if you stock what people want) on retail explained why I would make my "Merry Christmas" exception under that one circumstance...
Indi
watersoul wrote:
Wow Indi, you should re-read my post.
Indi wrote:
Good grief, telling a victim of that kind of bigotry that they should just shut up and roll with it is... i don't even have a word for that that will get through Frihost's filter. It's disgusting... reprehensible, and the worst kind of cowardly.


That hasn't been my advice ever, more a statement of my understanding why some people actually choose that option, I also don't know where you think I ever suggested anyone should 'shut up' and 'roll with it'?
watersoul wrote:
...but in the reality of life it is certainly easier to 'go with the flow'

Nowhere have I said a particular option is right or wrong, I was simply making an observation on life options that may, or may not be easier for the people making the choices. For that reason I also wonder which bit of the above quoted statement could be factually incorrect?
watersoul wrote:
I agree absolutely that we should all be confident enough to be who we are, but I also completely understand when people choose not to be more public about their own traditions - especially when the traditions are effectively alien to the environment they live in.


Indi wrote:
you should not shrug and say it's okay

I never ever have.

Indi wrote:
You should be helping them to be themselves despite the thuggery of the bigots, and shaming anyone who cowers to the side and lets the racism happen.


watersoul wrote:
I frequently find myself defending other ethnic groups in conversations with others here, racism is shockingly common and I for one will challenge it every time it crosses my path.
So yes, if the non-Christian store owner pretends to celebrate a festival to make his life easier I totally understand.


I'm not in the store 24 hours a day, but if I saw racist behaviour while there I would fight to stop it. I have physically fought and suffered injury defending someone suffering a racist attack before and I would again. Only a month ago I verbally and publicly defended a woman with her children in the town centre being ridiculed by 'white trash racist youths' and called a terrorist because she was wearing a veil. If you truly misunderstood my 'understanding' of an ethnic minority choosing to 'pseudo-conform' to make their life easier when no-one else is around to help defend them, well so be it.
You are way off the mark with how passionately I will defend other human beings from bigotry and hatred, but equally I will always understand if any particular individual chooses whatever strategy to get by, in whichever hostile environment they have to.

*edit* As unbelievable as it sounds, I've also suffered at the hands of small-minded racist English people myself, being a Welsh man who moved to England many years ago. I too don't think it's right that anyone should have to change their reasonable behaviour to 'fit in', but as a frightened 16 yr old in a strange town, I myself also made sure I pronounced words the 'english' way to avoid conflict and abuse. Thats why I 'understand' others adopting a similar strategy, wherever they may be from...I hope that helps others understand the tone of my previous posts.

Yes, but you went past just saying you "understood" into saying that it was a good idea - even pointing out that they'll make some extra "££" if they do it. You see? If you'd just said "i understand", then your statement would have been empty and pointless, but unoffensive... but you went a step further into saying that it's good that they do it because they don't get harassed and they get benefits from it. Then you went even further by saying that when minorities "whiten up", this "softens cultural differences" (for the record, it hides them, it doesn't "soften" them). You did all that while never once saying that it was a bad thing to surrender to the bigotry.

To recap, this was the content of your post: that you are aware that there are racists, and you don't like them. However, you think it's a good idea for minorities to pretend to be part of the majority - to hide their cultural uniqueness - because it spares the "uneducated bigots" the unpleasantness of having to face "cultural differences", and, oh yeah, the minority people can make a little extra cash by selling out their cultural identity. Again, you say all this while never once even hinting that any of it is bad, saying that you find it "completely understandable".

And then, you get all butt-hurt when i point out that you spent four paragraphs going on about how reasonable it is for minorities to cower and hide who they are, and, oh, zero paragraphs saying that all of it is evil and wrong.

Yeah, you know what. i completely understand that women in Central Africa have to cower and hide when large convoys of mercenaries pass through their town. If they do that - given the frequency of rape and AIDS in those countries - it works out better for them because they don't get raped and don't end up with AIDS. Anything which softens the preponderance of rape and AIDS is completely understandable to me. But you know what? it is wrong that that these women should have to be so afraid. It is WRONG that rape is used as a form of afternoon entertainment by the warlords and their soldiers, it is WRONG that contraception is believed to be sinful and ineffectual and is therefore not used, and it FREAKING WRONG that any of this is happening at all. See? That's how it's done. That is how you "passionately defend other human beings from bigotry and hatred"... not by saying you "understand" being terrified by bigotry while pointing out how comfortable hiding in fear can make everyone... but by saying it's wrong.

i'm sorry, but if you really want to be taken seriously as a "passionate defender" against bigotry and hatred, you're going to have to do a whole lot bloody better than, "i 'understand' that bigotry exists and victims are terrorized into hiding, but hey, if they do cower in hiding it will soften the cultural differences and they'll make a little extra cash, too!"

People who are being discriminated against and looking for help in a hostile society really don't need to hear how comfortable it is to knuckle under. What they need to hear are resounding declarations that the discrimination is wrong, and will not be tolerated, and, if it happens, the victims will be supported by the good people in society. Saying that they won't have it so bad if they just surrender to the bigotry is worse than saying nothing. If that's you're idea of "passionate defence", then, i'd have to say the cause can do without you. We'd much rather have people that actually defend the victims and speak out unequivocally against the bigots - doesn't even need to be 'passionate', so long as it's actually defence, and not a wishy-washy declaration of 'understanding' their fear while telling them the benefits they'll get from surrendering.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
My point there was, as I said, Christmas does not lose any customers.

Yes, well, your point is irrelevant in the context of the thread, and my point was that i don't care about your opinions of how to make more money in retail (because it is irrelevant in the context of the thread). If you want to celebrate Christmas in your store, do it. Enjoy.

But....

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
If you sell Winter Solstice Pagan Holiday merchandise, then many Christians may think that you're being anti-Christian* simply because you're endorsing another religion and then they may leave your store whereas Pagans wouldn't be offended for selling merchandise for the hijacked version of their holiday.

And they. Are. Wrong.

They are bigots. They are jerks. They are evil.

The Pagans are being reasonable. If a store celebrates Christmas, it is absurd to assume that that store is "anti-Hindu", "anti-Pagan" or "anti-atheist". It's just as wrong to assume that if a store chooses to celebrate the solstice, that means it's "anti-Christian". And it is very wrong to try and force either store to celebrate Christian or Hindu celebrations just because you do, especially when you are trying to get them to celebrate only your holiday and no other holiday. That's the bottom line. That's what i've been talking about from the start, and that's what this thread is about, and it's wrong, plain wrong.

Now, if it's your store and you are being forced by evil, bigoted jerks to celebrate their holidays to the exclusion of all others, or else, you have a choice. You can choose to bow to the pressure and change your plans to satisfy the demands of the bigots in order to avoid a little financial hardship, or you can choose to tell the bigots to go to hell and do whatever you want to do. If you choose to bow to the bigots, you have made a morally bad choice. You have chosen to do something that you know is wrong (helping bigots discriminate) for the sake of some short term benefit (a better bottom line). There is absolutely no difference morally between that and any other situation where you bow to negative peer pressure for personal benefits. You can't justify it by saying "but i get more money that way and that's what a business is supposed to do" and have the moral problems vanish. It's still wrong.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
If I truly felt that Christmas was immoral and that by selling Christmas stuff I was being immoral, then I would just be a neutral store.

And again. NO-ONE SAID CHRISTMAS IS IMMORAL. No-one. Certainly not me. i didn't even say it was bad (you did).

Christmas is fine, and if you want to celebrate in your store, go for it, and that's like the tenth damn time i've repeated that.

The issue of this thread, the topic being discussed, is when people try to get to you to STOP celebrating OTHER holidays in favour of only celebrating the holidays they want you to. In other words, if you want to celebrate Christmas, this topic is not about you. But if you don't want to celebrate Christmas, OR if you want to celebrate all holidays generally, and then groups pressure you to stop celebrating anything else but Christmas... THAT is what the thread is about.

And if you don't want to celebrate Christmas exclusively in your store, but you are being forced to by thugs, and you cave into their demands, you are acting immorally. It doesn't matter if it will get you more money or not. It is immoral. You are doing something that you know is wrong (making your store discriminate against any other religion other than Christianity because a bunch of bigots want it that way), for the wrong reasons (either to make them stop harassing you, or to get more money).
watersoul
Whatever Indi, I think I probably explained myself well enough in my previous post, if only so other people apart from you could see where my thoughts were coming from - and I think most reasonable people will understand quite well from the statements I've already made.

I do actually agree with most of your comments, especially about fighting racism everywhere it crosses my path, which I do. But perhaps foolishly in my posts I failed to also condemn it at the same time as I was making a sociological observation about 'understanding' when individuals choose to mask their cultural differences, (for whatever reason) to make their immediate life easier.

I haven't felt 'butt hurt' either, and I actually struggle to see where you might think I even intimated in my posts that I could be. Your inaccurate opinions are far from able to 'butt-hurt' me at all, if only because I don't particularly care what you think you may know about my views.
My replies however, have been focussed on presenting my defence publicly so other users reading this thread may not think your insinuations are correct. I believe the majority of decent people reading them will come to a similar conclusion, so that satisfies me enough and I'll leave you to it Wink

*Edit* It's also always fairer in any debate when we avoid using terms that an 'opponent' has actually never used, such as "whiten up" - That will only unnecessarily complicate the discussion through emotive thoughts which could be clouded by prejudice.

...this is way off topic as well, perhaps we should both just walk away, or leave it to PM's?
Afaceinthematrix
Quote:

Yes, well, your point is irrelevant in the context of the thread, and my point was that i don't care about your opinions of how to make more money in retail (because it is irrelevant in the context of the thread). If you want to celebrate Christmas in your store, do it. Enjoy.


It is relevant. My whole point was that the one exception I would make to not saying "Merry Christmas" is if I needed to make money... So yeah... How is that not relevant?


Quote:
And they. Are. Wrong.

They are bigots. They are jerks. They are evil.

The Pagans are being reasonable. If a store celebrates Christmas, it is absurd to assume that that store is "anti-Hindu", "anti-Pagan" or "anti-atheist". It's just as wrong to assume that if a store chooses to celebrate the solstice, that means it's "anti-Christian". And it is very wrong to try and force either store to celebrate Christian or Hindu celebrations just because you do, especially when you are trying to get them to celebrate only your holiday and no other holiday. That's the bottom line. That's what i've been talking about from the start, and that's what this thread is about, and it's wrong, plain wrong.


I don't think anyone actually directly forces any store to celebrate Christmas. There's simply an environment that makes it happy and if one store doesn't endorse it, then they'll leave it (which is basically boycotting it) and go somewhere else. Most people, when they boycott a store (which I regret using that word now, because I didn't mean it in the same sense as you're taking it), they aren't necessarily trying to take down the store. They just want to go to a store that they feel is better.

Throughout my life, my interests have basically been the same. But I'll use music because, in this case, it's the easiest example. I love heavy metal. I'm a metalhead. Look at my avatar. It's a Slayer avatar. Now imagine that there are two CD stores in the same city. I'll paint the picture of both.

Store 1:
You walk in and they're loudly playing some Soulja Boy and Justin Bieber song that probably exists by now. They have music videos up on the television screens with typical rap music videos. Scattered everywhere are posters of Lil Jon and Lil Wayne. In the very back corner they have a respectable sized metal selection.

Store 2:
You walk in and Slayer is blaring on the stereo. I look around and see posters of Deicide, Children of Bodom, and Amon Amarth. There are skulls and pentagrams everywhere. Right in the very front they have a metal selection that is the same size (and same price) as in store 1.

Now... Given that both stores have the same sized metal collection, would it make sense for me to not care which store I go to when I decide I have saved up enough money to pick up a few CDs? It's not like I'm going to base it on inventory because if I save up $x for CDs, I'm just going to go to the CD store and pick up CDs that I like until I reach that amount... So essentially it doesn't matter which store I go to.

However, I will probably go to store 2 simply because it's more comfortable to me. I'm going to boycott store 1 simply because I'm not comfortable in there and I like the atmosphere. If I liked rap I'd probably go there. Do I want to take down store 1? Force them to conform to what I want? Not really... I'm just going to store 1 because it's a cooler store.

So I think that most people who want a Christmas-themed store want it because they like the holiday and they want to shop somewhere that is comfortable and fun to them. They may not necessarily want to take down some store to make them conform. Of course if they do, they're jerks. And I'm sure some of those people from AFA are jerks. But by conforming to these people, you're just making potential customers feel more comfortable. And if a store doesn't endorse your holiday, I really can't blame you for not shopping there if there's an equal alternative because I showed that I'd do the same.

And then I mentioned that Christmas doesn't lose any customers... That's mainly because, for the most part, people that don't celebrate Christmas really do not have much of a choice of where they shop because basically everywhere celebrates Christmas so it's even playing field. You could start a store to appeal to them; however, they're a minority so your clientale would be small and many people (like me) just do not care. I just walk past that stuff and get what I need.

Indi wrote:

And again. NO-ONE SAID CHRISTMAS IS IMMORAL. No-one. Certainly not me. i didn't even say it was bad (you did).


Haven't I already agreed with that many, many times. Didn't I even confirm that? Didn't I even, once, point out that you completely misread what I said? So you don't need to say it "and again."

Earlier, you said:

Quote:
By that logic, theft is a good idea, because even though you will probably be eventually caught, it's profitable today.


I responded with:

Quote:
...Stealing is immoral. I was endorsing doing something completely amoral..


So in that paragraph, all I did was reaffirm the fact that Christmas is not immoral because if it was, then what you said would tear my argument apart. When I responded to that initially, I showed you that your analogy doesn't work because I wouldn't steal for profit because it's immoral but I would sell Christmas stuff for profit since it's not immoral. So your analogy didn't work... But it only doesn't work because Christmas is not immoral. See? All I was doing was, once again, reaffirming what I had already said so that I could cover my ass from your example. So I think that sentence was basically a misunderstanding. I probably should have said: "If I truly felt that Christmas was immoral and that by selling Christmas stuff I was being immoral, then I would just be a neutral store or else I'd be just as bad as that thief you mentioned that steals for profit since he probably won't get caught today." If I had added in that extra bit, perhaps you should have known why I added in that sentence.


Quote:
The issue of this thread, the topic being discussed, is when people try to get to you to STOP celebrating OTHER holidays in favour of only celebrating the holidays they want you to. In other words, if you want to celebrate Christmas, this topic is not about you. But if you don't want to celebrate Christmas, OR if you want to celebrate all holidays generally, and then groups pressure you to stop celebrating anything else but Christmas... THAT is what the thread is about.


I understand the point of the thread. I also think that I've mentioned my argument. I completely agreed with the topic and mentioned that I generally said that I do not say Merry Christmas. I then just showed the one counterexample where I would but explained why I would say it so that I do not look like a hypocrite. I basically said, "I don't usually say 'Merry Christmas' but if I owned a store then I would because it's profitable and I have bills to pay." Then we got into this...

Quote:
And if you don't want to celebrate Christmas exclusively in your store, but you are being forced to by thugs, and you cave into their demands, you are acting immorally. It doesn't matter if it will get you more money or not. It is immoral. You are doing something that you know is wrong (making your store discriminate against any other religion other than Christianity because a bunch of bigots want it that way), for the wrong reasons (either to make them stop harassing you, or to get more money).


I'm all for standing up for your rights - I do things like that all of the time. I started a topic in the politics forum asking for advice on political activism on a larger scale because I potentially see a major right being stripped from me. But with times as tough as they are in retail, owning a store isn't about providing for social change. It's a job. It's about feeding your children and paying your rent. You would do far better to sell what sells, pull off the merchandise that doesn't sell, and follow what is profitable so that you can actually have money to do something that really makes a difference. Because honestly, how much social change are you going to cause by not endorsing Christmas? You might lead to a little... Maybe somebody else might think it's cool how you endorse the Winter Solstice instead of Christmas... But I think that you'd be far better off actually making money and then doing something matters...
Indi
watersoul wrote:
Whatever Indi, I think I probably explained myself well enough in my previous post, if only so other people apart from you could see where my thoughts were coming from - and I think most reasonable people will understand quite well from the statements I've already made.

Riiiight. "Reasonable people" are people who guess at what you "really" mean even when you don't actually say it, and, in fact, say things that imply the opposite. Yeah, that's "reasonable".

watersoul wrote:
I do actually agree with most of your comments, especially about fighting racism everywhere it crosses my path, which I do. But perhaps foolishly in my posts I failed to also condemn it at the same time as I was making a sociological observation about 'understanding' when individuals choose to mask their cultural differences, (for whatever reason) to make their immediate life easier.

What you did was:
  1. State the glaringly obvious that didn't need stating on any level. "Knuckling under the demands of a racist, bigoted majority will make your life more comfortable in the short-term." No, really? Wow! Amazing. Gee, never thought of that. Hey, i wonder if the bigots have figured that out yet, because it would sure-as-shootin' give them a good reason to do... you know... what they're already doing, and for that very reason.
  2. Go to great pains to describe how surrendering to the bigoted pressure makes everyone's lives "better". And not just one way, either! You took the time to explain how surrendering to the bigotry improves the lives the bigot, the victim and the society in general.
  3. Make a point of suggesting that standing up to the bigotry is NOT a good idea. Yup, you actually do that - you note the option to stand up to the bigots exists, but then turn around and say "but in the reality of life" and go on to start describing the benefits of just giving in.
What you didn't do was:
  1. Condemn the bigotry. Other than calling the bigots ignorant and small-minded, you don't write one single word to state that they and their actions are wrong.
  2. Point out that the "benefits" you just spent time describing are short-term and illusory. Nope, you just described all the good things that will happen, never once bothering to point out that those things are neither really good, nor long-term.
  3. Take into account that the law is on the side of the victims. They don't need to cower, despite your suggestions, because if any violence or property destruction does break out, the law is on their side.
  4. Mention that everyone that does surrender to the bigots makes it that much worse for everyone who doesn't. Oh yeah, apparently you forgot about the bigger picture. Because every concession you give the bigots will actually make them bolder... which will make them more likely to make it worse for the people that do take your advice to heart. Not to mention that everyone that actually has the courage to do what's right and try to fix the injustices for everyone now has a tougher battle. Yeah, thanks for that.
  5. Offer a single word of support to the brave people who do choose to stand up to bigotry. You seem aware that the people that do that do it at the risk of personal hardship, and sometimes harm... yet you don't offer one single word of support for that option. Not one.
Ah, but maybe a "reasonable" person will figure out what you "really" meant, even though there's no indication of it in what you actually wrote. Oh, wait... maybe "reasonable" isn't the right word. Maybe it's "psychic".

watersoul wrote:
*Edit* It's also always fairer in any debate when we avoid using terms that an 'opponent' has actually never used, such as "whiten up" - That will only unnecessarily complicate the discussion through emotive thoughts which could be clouded by prejudice.

i don't do "debates", i do philosophy, and there is nothing "unfair" about accurately paraphrasing someone else's words. If it bothers you to hear that it's good for foreigners in Britain to try to be more like the Christian Anglo-Saxon majority, then the problem is not with the way i put it, it is with the fact that you said it.

watersoul wrote:
...this is way off topic as well, perhaps we should both just walk away, or leave it to PM's?

Er, it is not off-topic. The topic is people forcing other to conform to their religious and cultural mores. Your take on that is that it works out pretty well for everyone when you surrender to such coercion. My response is: it doesn't. Details are then included. That's about as on-topic as it gets.

If you really do condemn the kind of bigotry that drives minorities underground, and if you really don't think that being driven underground is okay, then in future you should be much more careful with what you say. Understanding alternative viewpoints is noble, but tolerance must be balanced by courage or it is just surrender. Anyone with an open mind can "understand" just about any viewpoint they want - i can equally well understand why the mercenaries in Central Africa rape their way across the country as i can understand the plight of the victims - but if i went public "understanding" immoral viewpoints without ever condemning them... that's tantamount to support. Every bigot in England that read your post about how nicely it works out for minorities who stay underground was emboldened; every minority thinking about standing up for themselves but nervous about the challenge was cowed. If you have a problem with that, then your problem is not with my opinion of your beliefs, it is with your own words.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Quote:

Yes, well, your point is irrelevant in the context of the thread, and my point was that i don't care about your opinions of how to make more money in retail (because it is irrelevant in the context of the thread). If you want to celebrate Christmas in your store, do it. Enjoy.


It is relevant. My whole point was that the one exception I would make to not saying "Merry Christmas" is if I needed to make money... So yeah... How is that not relevant?

? Because the topic of the thread is being coerced to say things like "Merry Christmas" even though you've chosen not to. The topic is not about the fact that you would choose to do it to make a quick buck.

i don't really care what you would choose to do or why. The issue is people who DON'T want to say "Merry Christmas" (whether they've chosen a different holiday, or to say something generic instead) and are harassed for that choice... not people who DO want to say it, for whatever reason.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I don't think anyone actually directly forces any store to celebrate Christmas. There's simply an environment that makes it happy and if one store doesn't endorse it, then they'll leave it (which is basically boycotting it) and go somewhere else.

That is still coercion. Indirect force is no different from direct force.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Most people, when they boycott a store (which I regret using that word now, because I didn't mean it in the same sense as you're taking it), they aren't necessarily trying to take down the store. They just want to go to a store that they feel is better.

If an individual person decides not to go to a store just because the store isn't making a big enough deal about their religion, they are making an irrational and immoral choice. That's bad, and i'll get back to that in more detail in a minute, but it gets worse.

Because this is not simply an issue of individuals acting like jerks. These are groups that are actively organizing their bigotry - banding together to do evil in unison. That's systematically planned and executed bigotry.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Throughout my life, my interests have basically been the same. But I'll use music because, in this case, it's the easiest example. I love heavy metal. I'm a metalhead. Look at my avatar. It's a Slayer avatar. Now imagine that there are two CD stores in the same city. I'll paint the picture of both.

Store 1:
You walk in and they're loudly playing some Soulja Boy and Justin Bieber song that probably exists by now. They have music videos up on the television screens with typical rap music videos. Scattered everywhere are posters of Lil Jon and Lil Wayne. In the very back corner they have a respectable sized metal selection.

Store 2:
You walk in and Slayer is blaring on the stereo. I look around and see posters of Deicide, Children of Bodom, and Amon Amarth. There are skulls and pentagrams everywhere. Right in the very front they have a metal selection that is the same size (and same price) as in store 1.

Now... Given that both stores have the same sized metal collection, would it make sense for me to not care which store I go to when I decide I have saved up enough money to pick up a few CDs? It's not like I'm going to base it on inventory because if I save up $x for CDs, I'm just going to go to the CD store and pick up CDs that I like until I reach that amount... So essentially it doesn't matter which store I go to.

However, I will probably go to store 2 simply because it's more comfortable to me. I'm going to boycott store 1 simply because I'm not comfortable in there and I like the atmosphere. If I liked rap I'd probably go there. Do I want to take down store 1? Force them to conform to what I want? Not really... I'm just going to store 1 because it's a cooler store.

So I think that most people who want a Christmas-themed store want it because they like the holiday and they want to shop somewhere that is comfortable and fun to them. They may not necessarily want to take down some store to make them conform. Of course if they do, they're jerks. And I'm sure some of those people from AFA are jerks. But by conforming to these people, you're just making potential customers feel more comfortable. And if a store doesn't endorse your holiday, I really can't blame you for not shopping there if there's an equal alternative because I showed that I'd do the same.

And then I mentioned that Christmas doesn't lose any customers... That's mainly because, for the most part, people that don't celebrate Christmas really do not have much of a choice of where they shop because basically everywhere celebrates Christmas so it's even playing field. You could start a store to appeal to them; however, they're a minority so your clientale would be small and many people (like me) just do not care. I just walk past that stuff and get what I need.

Alright, let's consider this problem philosophically.

First, what are rational reasons for preferring one store over another? Obviously, better selection, better prices, and so on.

What are irrational, but amoral reasons for preferring one store over another? The atmosphere, the music they play, the attractive salesperson that you like to ogle while you shop.

What are immoral reasons for preferring one store over another? One is easier to get away with criminal stuff in, and... because (not) going to that store can further other immoral goals, such as discrimination against some racial, cultural or religious minority.

It is possible for three people to choose to do exactly the same thing, but one is acting morally, one is acting immorally and the third is acting amorally. How? Why? Because it is not WHAT you do, it is WHY you do it.

Imagine a case where two people are drowning and you have equal chance to save either, but you can only save one. If you pick one randomly, or pick one because you like them better, you're acting amorally. However... if you pick one because you hate the other and want them to die, you're acting immorally. Keep that in mind for a sec.

Now consider 4 possibilities for these two record stores. Y is the one you select and N is the one you reject.

  1. Y has a better metal section. Y is playing better music. Your choice is rational.
  2. Y has a better metal section. They're both playing the same music. Your choice is rational.
  3. They both have the same metal section. Y is playing better music. Rationally, it doesn't matter which you pick.
  4. They both have the same metal section. They're both playing the same music. Rationally, it doesn't matter which you pick.

So far, no problems. But now, consider these two cases:
  1. N has a better metal section. Y is playing better music. Your choice is irrational.
  2. N has a better metal section. They're both playing the same music. Your choice is irrational.

Now choosing Y in either case there is irrational, but is it immoral? The answer is... it depends.

It depends on WHY you make the irrational choice. Going back to the drowning example, your action is immoral if you make your choice for evil reasons - in the drowning case, it is immoral if you did it to harm the other person. If it is irrational to chose Y because N has a better selection, then what is the reason that you chose it for? It is a good or neutral reason? Or, is it an evil reason?

If it is just because you like the atmosphere of the store better, that's a pretty neutral reason. Therefore, your choice would be morally neutral.

If it is because you don't like the race/religion/culture of the guy running the other store, that's an immoral reason. Therefore, your choice would be immoral.

Now let's get to the topic at hand:

If a Christian decides not to shop in a store because it is not celebrating Christmas, but they were not going to shop in anyway, then they're not doing anything immoral (because they had already made the rational choice to shop somewhere else). However, if they make a big noise about the fact that they are not shopping there either to a) pressure the store to celebrate Christmas or b) convince others not to shop there... then they're acting immorally.

If a Christian decides not to shop in a store because it is not celebrating Christmas, but they would have otherwise (i.e., it has better selection/prices/whatever), then they might be acting immorally, depending on the precise reason why they made the choice. If it's just because they really like the colours red and green or something else similarly pointless, they will not be acting immorally. But if it's because they are trying to overpower all other belief systems and their holidays.. then they are acting immorally.

Now flip to the other side, as you seem determined to do:

If you are the store, and you want to celebrate Christmas - exclusively or otherwise - then you're free to do so. Obviously it would be nicer to include everyone, or to do something to raise the spirits of a minority group (for example, by making a point of explicitly celebrating Yule or solstice in a Christian-dominated society), but it's not immoral to not be nice. If you want to celebrate Christmas, go for it.

But if you don't want to celebrate Christmas, but do it because of the pressure, then you are acting immorally, because you are rewarding the immoral behaviour of others, and allowing their immoral action to be successful for the sake of peace or a few extra bucks in the till.
watersoul
Oh my gosh, far too long Indi, and also rather unfortunately a bit boring to me now, I've said enough and can't be arsed arguing with you anymore. I know I'm not racist and as I previously stated, I have actually experienced physical violence before whilst in defence of other people suffering racist attacks - and I would be prepared to again if necessary. You can of course think whatever you like, it matters very little to me as I'm quite satisfied with the public record of my opinions already posted.



Merry Christmas Laughing
Indi
watersoul wrote:
Oh my gosh, far too long Indi, and also rather unfortunately a bit boring to me now, I've said enough and can't be arsed arguing with you anymore. I know I'm not racist and as I previously stated, I have actually experienced physical violence before whilst in defence of other people suffering racist attacks - and I would be prepared to again if necessary. You can of course think whatever you like, it matters very little to me as I'm quite satisfied with the public record of my opinions already posted.



Merry Christmas Laughing



And a Merry Christmas to you, too. ^_^;
watersoul
Indi wrote:
watersoul wrote:
Oh my gosh, far too long Indi, and also rather unfortunately a bit boring to me now, I've said enough and can't be arsed arguing with you anymore. I know I'm not racist and as I previously stated, I have actually experienced physical violence before whilst in defence of other people suffering racist attacks - and I would be prepared to again if necessary. You can of course think whatever you like, it matters very little to me as I'm quite satisfied with the public record of my opinions already posted.



Merry Christmas Laughing



And a Merry Christmas to you, too. ^_^;


Lol, good one! I guess I asked for that really Wink
I think both you and I know that your representation of my opinion is factually incorrect though.
As I said, I'll leave others to judge after reading everything I've stated previously...without too much concern about what you may think you know from 'reading between the lines' of statements I haven't ever actually made.
ocalhoun
Indi wrote:

Imagine a case where two people are drowning and you have equal chance to save either, but you can only save one. If you pick one randomly, or pick one because you like them better, you're acting amorally. However... if you pick one because you hate the other and want them to die, you're acting immorally. Keep that in mind for a sec.

Hm... spin-off-topic time!
(Don't want to go off-topic here.)
http://www.frihost.com/forums/vt-121986.html
jeffryjon
I'm all for supporting the use of the word Christmas, Eid or whatever and not even for religious purposes. In UK we effectively abolished anything special about Sundays and everyone (or as near as possible to everyone) having a common day off. Partly as a result of that families, close neighbours etc interact far less than they used to. So now let's abolish holidays altogether and call them 'vacation' days. The slippery slope starts and soon after, there's no need to have any fixed vacation days for any of us. Families stop meeting up a couple of times a year (where when we had a Sunday, they met up far more - if only because there was much less to do otherwise). Communities get together less and less and everyone's very surprised that things are going downhill. So my tip of the day is let's keep Christmas as Christmas - not because it's your 'thing' but because it's one of the few 'our things' remaining. Divide and rule has always been the mission of those who would have complete rule over us so I urge us to remember that improvements in countries have almost never come about because of an all-loving government with a figurehead at the top, but because people bonded together, put their differences aside and made a stance for something worth having - try rallying the troops against an internal enemy when you don't even know your neighbours names and you quickly find the battle's over before it began.

And a very Merry Christmas to All Mankind. Very Happy
Bikerman
Well, I also live in the UK and I see things differently.
Firstly I think that relaxing Sunday restrictions has been a good move. I don't agree that this has led to less interaction between families, neighbours etc - rather the opposite. Sunday is still a day where most people don't work - the difference is that we can now go shopping or go for a trip out, knowing that you can actually find some places open for business.
Sunday used to be a wasted day for many people. Religiously inspired restrictions made it difficult to do anything other than mope around at home. You can call that an opportunity for families to meet up, but I don't remember it that way. I remember it as a boring day when the opportunities to do things as a family were pretty limited. Nowadays many families go shopping together, go out for a nice relaxed meal, do some DIY around the house, or take a trip out for the day.

The argument that people are forced to work on Sunday against their will is a weak one. Some people have always worked on Sunday and for them nothing much has changed. The vast majority of 'new' Sunday work is in retail - in shops - and all shop workers have the LEGAL RIGHT to opt-out of Sunday working. I think you will find that the majority of people are quite happy with the changes - and a substantial number would like them to go further (there are still restrictions on Sunday opening hours for many establishments).
watersoul
jeffryjon wrote:
So my tip of the day is let's keep Christmas as Christmas - not because it's your 'thing' but because it's one of the few 'our things' remaining.


Excellent slant on this discussion, I had a lovely 'Christmas' meal with family and friends, even though none of us sharing it were Christians. Whatever the label for the celebration it is one of the few times of the year when most of us make an effort to interact with each other over good food.

...our society doesn't seem to do that very often these days, so for that reason alone I say long live Christmas.
Bikerman
The debate was not about whether the festival should remain - it was about whether we should all call it Christmas, and thus be exclusive about the reason for the festival. I have no problem with the notion of a winter festival at all, but I don't see why Christians should insist that only THEIR 'reason' for the festival is valid - it clearly isn't. Hence calling it 'Christmas' is a personal decision. If people want to call it Christmas then that is up to them. I prefer to call it 'Yule' because that seems to be a more accurate description of the origins of the festival, and I won't be lectured by Christians about the 'real meaning' of Yuletide.
watersoul
Bikerman wrote:
The debate was not about whether the festival should remain - it was about whether we should all call it Christmas, and thus be exclusive about the reason for the festival. I have no problem with the notion of a winter festival at all, but I don't see why Christians should insist that only THEIR 'reason' for the festival is valid - it clearly isn't. Hence calling it 'Christmas' is a personal decision. If people want to call it Christmas then that is up to them. I prefer to call it 'Yule' because that seems to be a more accurate description of the origins of the festival, and I won't be lectured by Christians about the 'real meaning' of Yuletide.


I'm happy with the 'Yule' thing but I'm also indifferent to 'Christmas' at the same time.
To me it's about the winter solstice and return of longer daylight hours and even though the Christians have won the marketing/promo battle, I don't really mind...it's still a nice excuse to share good conversation and company over good food.
Bikerman
That's fine, but the next time someone lectures you on the 'true meaning' of Christmas (and they will, if my own experiences are anything like typical), I hope you take the opportunity to educate them on the matter Smile
watersoul
Bikerman wrote:
That's fine, but the next time someone lectures you on the 'true meaning' of Christmas (and they will, if my own experiences are anything like typical), I hope you take the opportunity to educate them on the matter Smile


Every time! Smile
Only yesterday I assisted my son with some advice for dealing with one of his uncles when he's on an Alpha Course evangelist spree. He asked me 'is it ok to tell uncle **** that I don't believe what he does?' I replied 'absolutely' and my lad will now quite confidently remind him that those are his beliefs and whilst still respecting his right to hold that belief his uncle must remember it remains unproven.

The same for Christmas and/or Santa Claus!
Indi
watersoul wrote:
I think both you and I know that your representation of my opinion is factually incorrect though.
As I said, I'll leave others to judge after reading everything I've stated previously...without too much concern about what you may think you know from 'reading between the lines' of statements I haven't ever actually made.

i wasn't trying to represent your opinion. i don't know or care what your opinion is. i don't 'read between the lines', i read the lines. i was represeting what you said. Surely you understand the difference between 'what you said' and 'your opinion'.

That is an accurate representation of what you said, which is why i took issue with it to begin with.

But, whatever, i don't want to bore you with any more unpleasant facts.

(Incidentally, if you want people to try and guess your opinions by 'reading between the lines' of what you've written, you leave open the possibility that they'll guess horribly wrong. i would strongly recommend that rather than asking people to try and guess your meaning, you just state your meaning. Encouraging people to try and guess at your motives is just inviting trouble. But, whatever.)
watersoul
Indi wrote:
(Incidentally, if you want people to try and guess your opinions by 'reading between the lines' of what you've written, you leave open the possibility that they'll guess horribly wrong. i would strongly recommend that rather than asking people to try and guess your meaning, you just state your meaning. Encouraging people to try and guess at your motives is just inviting trouble. But, whatever.)


Comments noted and taken into consideration for my future postings.

Back to the OP's post though...
quex wrote:
Please tell me: is this JUST America? Are there arguments in the UK, Russia, China, Australia, Canada, etc. about this sort of thing? Have you ever heard the phrase "war or Christmas" in your local media, or has your local police force been publicly reprimanded by a national group because they wish citizens "happy holidays" rather than "merry Christmas?"

No, personally I've seen little of that, apart from some local councils with large Islamic communities etc trying to avoid potential offence by dropping official use of the 'Christmas' word.

I personally tend to use the word 'Christmas' with people I know, as it's the most easily recognisable term here for that period of time off work in December. (If I lived in 'Little India' in Kuala Lumpur for example, I'd probably wish folk Happy Diwali every Oct/Nov as well) However when in professional/work conversations I simply wish people a happy time being off work.
My happy or merry wishes do not denote my indoctrination into the festival itself, but simply my wish for the persons time during their celebration to be happy.
None of my friends celebrate 'the birth of Christ' or are remotely religious, but they equally use the 'Christmas' label for that particular time of year. I guess it's just been ingrained in our society but with most people not seeming to care either way, the term continues.

I actually think of the 'holiday season' as July/August when most Brits take their Summer holiday. Incidently, a tourism programme on TV today referred to the 'holiday season' coming in Summer 2011 and how advance bookings have been down on flights etc so far.

If someone wishes me Merry Christmas I am not offended by it at all, but the passionately Christian elements should also not be offended when someone wishes Happy Holidays/Yule/Solstice/Saturnalia/Hanukkah or whatever. I simply consider the initial part of the statements 'Happy' or 'Merry' wishes toward me and take it with the kindness I assume it was intended to convey.
deanhills
watersoul wrote:
I personally tend to use the word 'Christmas' with people I know, as it's the most easily recognisable term here for that period of time off work in December. (If I lived in 'Little India' in Kuala Lumpur for example, I'd probably wish folk Happy Diwali every Oct/Nov as well) However when in professional/work conversations I simply wish people a happy time being off work.
My happy or merry wishes do not denote my indoctrination into the festival itself, but simply my wish for the persons time during their celebration to be happy.
The same here. When it is Ramadan and Eid El Adha time Christians however always are specific in their greetings. They would never wish Muslims "Happy Holidays" or a "Happy Festive Season" as they probably would not understand and it would not sound very sincere. Wonderful how many of my Muslim colleagues went out of their way to wish me a "Merry Christmas" last week. And not a "Festive Season", whereas some of my Western colleagues would wish me a "Happy Holidays"! I must say those who are more specific, and obviously know where I am coming from, and more important where they are coming from, make a greater impression on me.

I would far rather that non-theists not wish me a "Happy Holidays" when they so obviously don't believe in Christmas. I would respect them much more for not wishing me anything, than wishing me "Happy Holidays".
Bikerman
This is not a useful comparison.
Ede and Ramadan are distinct - they do not co-incide with other religious festivals. Wishing someone a Happy Ede is therefore entirely clear and specific - and I do it all the time.
'Christmas' is different. 'Christmas' is a secular holiday as well as a festival celebrated by several different religions. It has many distinct 'reasons' and can 'stand for' different things. By insisting on 'Christmas' you discriminate against all the other possible meanings.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
'Christmas' is different. 'Christmas' is a secular holiday as well as a festival celebrated by several different religions. It has many distinct 'reasons' and can 'stand for' different things. By insisting on 'Christmas' you discriminate against all the other possible meanings.
Where I come from Bikerman, Christmas is a religious holiday. I don't mind if someone wishes me Happy Festive season, but at the same time when some one wishes me Merry Christmas it does have more meaning for me. Happy Festive season is completely non-specific. If I don't know whether someone is religious or what religion they follow or whether they are non-theist I would do the same, i.e. wish the Happy Holidays or something that is non-specific. It did mean something special to me when I received Christmas cards from my Muslim friends.
Bikerman
Quote:
If I don't know whether someone is religious or what religion they follow or whether they are non-theist I would do the same, i.e. wish the Happy Holidays or something that is non-specific.
I bet you wouldn't. I bet you would wish them a happy Christmas.
Quote:
I would far rather that non-theists not wish me a "Happy Holidays" when they so obviously don't believe in Christmas. I would respect them much more for not wishing me anything, than wishing me "Happy Holidays".

This seems inconsistent. You say that you would wish people 'Happy Holidays', unless you knew they were Christian, but you would rather that non-theists not do the same to you? It seems to me that an atheist wishing you a 'Happy Christmas' would be insincere, whilst wishing you a 'Happy Holidays' would be much more sincere, since, as you say, they don't believe in Christmas.
And why would you not object to 'Happy Festive Season', but object to 'Happy Holidays' ?
Quote:
I don't mind if someone wishes me Happy Festive season
Hello_World
Yeah, it is nowhere near Christmas, but I'm bored... so...

every year the newspapers come out and say, 'Oh what a shame, oh awful political correctness, oh those horrible Muslims don't let us celebrate Christmas in schools.'

And every year the Muslim Society (okay, the official Muslim representatives in Australia, I forget the actual name right now) says, 'no, actually, we never said we have any problem with the celebration of Christmas in schools'.

Repeat year after year.

There is always a column lamenting the commercialisation of Christmas, or the use of the word Xmas.

I tend to say 'Happy Christmas'. To me it is just the celebration of family. If I were to try to say 'Happy Holidays' it would seem a little forced.
Indi
Hello_World wrote:
Yeah, it is nowhere near Christmas, but I'm bored... so...

every year the newspapers come out and say, 'Oh what a shame, oh awful political correctness, oh those horrible Muslims don't let us celebrate Christmas in schools.'

And every year the Muslim Society (okay, the official Muslim representatives in Australia, I forget the actual name right now) says, 'no, actually, we never said we have any problem with the celebration of Christmas in schools'.

Repeat year after year.

Not just Muslims, secularists, too. Every damn year it's the same thing: some pious agitator finds some story where someone isn't using "Christmas" explicitly... and they go on the air to rant about the "War on Christmas".

Meanwhile, in the vast majority of the cases, it wasn't a matter of someone saying "we should stop saying 'Christmas' because it's 'wrong'"... it's a case of "if we say 'Season's Greetings' instead we will be reaching out to more people". For example, in most stores: why put up decorations for only one group - even if they are 70% of the population - when you can, for the same price, put up decorations for all groups - all 100%? It's such an obvious decision, you'd be stupid not to do it. The only people that would dream of raising a stink about it are the self-absorbed, privileged, paranoid Christian groups who want to rally up the base under the banner of hate. Which, of course, happens every year.

Who wants to bet me that it will come up again in the coming months, hm?
queer-eyre
In Australia we try to avoid beeig too public with our religious convictions

That doesnt mean it isnt done from time to time, but that it uniformally frowned upon through the general public and media

And lets face it, one of the really good things about the USA is that it's enthusiastic in everything it does....

Unfortunately one of the really bad things is that its so darn enthusiastic in everthing it does!

Anti-secular movements included.
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Thats why I celebrate winter solstice instead
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