Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread?)

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Bamfette » Mon Dec 26, 2005 11:38 pm

Well, a 'water off a duck's back' attitude will only take you so far, and there are limits. being religious, does not excuse poor behaviour and lack of common courtesey for other people. If someone tells me they'll pray for me for one reason or another, I'll kinda smile and nod, even if i don't think it will do any good, I know they meant well. If someone asks me why I believe what I do, I will tell them, it's likely they are generally curious and there is nothing wrong with that, I will try to set straight any misconceptions and explain my stance as best I can. If they try to tell me how great their religion is how good it makes them feel, etc. I find that kinda annoying if I didn't ask for it, but if I shared my view, they can share theirs, and they aren't hurting anyone, so whatever. But when they step into the realm of telling someone they're 'wrong' be it because they are a different religion, or they are gay, or whatever and their religion tells them it's wrong. or when they try to actively and persistently try to prove my beliefs wrong, despite me telling them to not do that. Or when they begin with the threats of burning in Hell and such, they step over the line, in my book. This can seriously hurt a person, I've seen it happen a few times, it can tear appart a family, ruin friendships, and just generally cause mental anguish. their reigion may require 'spreading the good news' but they still have to live in our multi-cultural society, and recognize there are limits of common courtesey.

I mean.... being proud of your religion is one thing. being pushy and insistent about your religion is another. the former hurts no one, the latter is (in an admittedly extreme form, but it's the same attitude all the same) responsible for the Crusades and decimating the native indians in North and particularly South America.

and Lisa... have you considered Buddhism? If you want a sort of structured belief system that straight agnosticism does not offer, Buddhism can offer that without requiring the belief in a god. It is a religion in the sense that it's followers share a common set of beliefs, but not in the belief in the supernatural. Buddha was considered to be very wise, but not divine in the sense that Jesus was. If I were to follow a religion, Buddhism would be it. the reason I don't is because mainly I don't feel the need for structure (though I know others do) and I personally don't agree with one of the main teachings (that because there is pain in the world, and you will lose things/people that are close to you, you should try to seperate yourself from them in order to spare yourself pain. Personally, I'd rather just accept all humanity has to offer, including pain.) and a few other things.... but it may be fine with you.

According to BuddhaNet:

Statues of Buddha or other famous individuals in Buddhism utilized as a symbol of respect and/or devotion for Buddhist disciples. In the earliest tradition, no figures of Buddha were crafted for fear that such a gesture would develop into a cult of personality at best a deification of Buddha at worst. Such a position is consistent with Buddha's repeated statements that he was just a man. In time, perhaps as early as the reign of King Kanisha (100 A.D.), as Buddha's absence was felt deeply and in similarity with other Indian religious traditions, Buddha-figures gradually began to appear..... etc.
If you found some sense with the Jedi in Star Wars, Buddhism may be for you. George Lucas borrowed heavily from it, the Jedi were in particlar modeled after Shaolin Monks. :P

plus, with your view against proselytizing, Buddhism strictly forbids such practice. ;)

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by NachtcGleiskette » Tue Dec 27, 2005 2:04 am

I actually have been thinking about Buddhism recently....I know I had a chat with Em and Ange about books to look at and such. Sometimes I think I need structure, and other times I feel like I can believe what I want to believe and that'll be fine, ya know?

But I have been meaning to look into Buddhism.....it's getting my lazy self to the bookstore thats the problem (and shelling out the cash. Christmas crippled me :()
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Angelique » Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:00 am

I never said being religious excuses anything. But we have to be careful about expecting people to cater to our definitions of what's offensive. Expecting basic courtesy is one thing. Expecting someone to curb their constitutionally protected religious expression because you either disagree with their religion or disagree with proselytizing in general is another thing entirely.
But there is that small logical matter of how diametrically opposed beliefs cannot both be correct. And after I'd finished drifting from one religion to another, I figured there really is no point in believing anything unless you are convinced it is true. Yes, I believe a lot of people are off the mark. Part of my religion is the admission that we all have been off the mark. So just because someone thinks someone else is wrong about something and may say it in perhaps even an unpleasant manner, it doesn't mean they're bigoted or about to launch some unholy war or something.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by kladyelf » Tue Dec 27, 2005 4:03 am

*wanders onto thread*

uh, yeah, what she said! *points up*
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Saint Kurt » Tue Dec 27, 2005 4:04 am

Originally posted by NachtcGleiskette
As for me, I rarely share my faith. Mainly, I'm still in that "what do I believe" phase. I know I believe certain things (I am terminally science-minded..which causes finding my faith difficult. Sadly, one thing I truly don't believe in is an afterlife. This is something I've explored in my artwork, and it scares me all the time that this is IT, ya know? And as much as I sometimes WANT to believe in it, I can't. It's bizarre....), sometimes I head toward agnostic, but I definately am not an atheist. I just can't rule OUT the fact there's a God, ya know? So why not be in between? Lol...sometimes I feel like I'm alllll about the middle ground...
Oddly enough I felt like this for years as a Jew and did a similar search that you are now. (And I was roughly the same age too.) The idea of God, an afterlife, prayer... It all sounded very attractive to me and raised as an orthodox Jew I'd had plenty of exposure, but there was no "bite" to it. I could think about it but I couldn't apply it to me in the world.

But I loved reading religious books regardless of the faith tradition just for the philosophy of it.

Oddly it was my deep love and investment in science that made me realize I was Catholic at heart. (A very odd realization for a Jewish girl with Tibetan Buddhist leanings, but let's just say I had a lot of little things I did, said, and believed that seemed to have no origin. All of a sudden I had a way to answer a lot of the unanswered questions I'd been living with my whole life.)

For me it was an incredibly beautiful experience, but I too avoid sharing it for fear that people think I'm either trying to convert them or that I'm insane. I can't promise it's not the latter, but it's absolutely never the former.

As for those books on Buddhism Nacht, send me an address and I'll send them your way.

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Angelique » Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:21 am

I used to actually be quite excited about sharing my faith when I first returned to the Church. But some of my experiences in my college years, ie, exploring my Jewish heritage with two rabbis and cantors of a couple denominations (who inspired the topics of some of my best term papers), working for a Muslim couple, lunch with some of the campus Hare Krishnas, attending some really interdenominational Bible studies, and sometimes diplomatically distracting or quieting down the occassional loudmouths we'd get on the quad, such that the sharing of beliefs is a lot more effective and, yes, even fun, when it goes both ways. And even if we don't convert each other, well, we still share a fascinating, intellectually stimulating discussion and expose each other to new ideas.
I think what really made me aware of the main thing I enjoy about this was while watching some bleak news on TV about some intifada or another. It triggered a discussion about religion and Mid-East politics. And one man, a Palestinian Muslim, reflected out loud about how wonderful it is that here a Muslim, a Jew, and a Christian can talk and even disagree openly and honestly about these things, and still be on polite or even friendly terms.
Now that I live and run a business in an area with an obvious religious supermajority, however, I feel like I have to be more careful. We're talking about how the performance of a couple of patriotic hymns, in the the Irish language, at some of my concerts raised some eyebrows because it was Catholic music! And so we had to make excuses like, "Well, it's part of Irish culture, and, after all, it is St. Patrick's Day." That really did bother me. And so maybe that's why I'm a bit sensitive when other people ask to tone down the evangelism.
(I really felt like reminding them that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir also occassionaly sings Catholic hymns, too!)
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by NachtcGleiskette » Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:56 pm

I feel like you have kind of missed my point, Ange. I never said there were any problems with SHARING your faith, playing hymns in public, etc. What I had a problem with was people who bully others into believing what they believe, by insulting or patronizing them. That's the major problem.

I basically said everyone needs to loosen up about this sort of stuff. We ALL need to be able to respect each others rights. Someone who believes in God should be able to respect that some do not, while those who don't should be able to respect that others do. It runs both ways, and 90% of the time, people complain about something or other that threatens one groups rights, while they fight the same thing for their own rights. It's a vicious and ridiculous circle that if we all, as human beings capable of acceptance and respect, just learned to back off and learned to know each other just a bit better could SO easily be avoided.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Angelique » Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:31 pm

>I feel like you have kind of missed my point, Ange. I never said there were any problems with SHARING your faith, playing hymns in public, etc. What I had a problem with was people who bully others into believing what they believe, by insulting or patronizing them. That's the major problem.

I haven't missed your point. A lot of people do regard sharing faith as bullying, insulting, patronizing, etc.,. That's why even saying "Merry Christmas" these days can get people into trouble.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Saint Kurt » Tue Dec 27, 2005 8:05 pm

At the risk of having to moderate (which everyone knows I hate) - Angelique, you and Nacht are describing two entirely different scenerios.

Scenerio #1 - is the misinterpration of sharing as "evangelizing". I call it the dessert sharing phenomenon. If I had a really good bar of chocolate and I offered a piece to just about anyone there would be no hard feelings. But if I offered to share a piece of my faith with the same intention, the reaction might not be so positive.

This is what I believe you are talking about Angelique and yes, we all know what it is like and we all know that it is a huge pain in the ass.

Scenerio #2 - is what we are trying to do in this thread: maintain an open and friendly discussion of religious matters as they occur in our lives and in the world around us. It is something we all want and all strive for. It is a most difficult goal, but one I believe us capable of.

So, let's do it! :D

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Bamfette » Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:34 am

Originally posted by Angelique
That's why even saying "Merry Christmas" these days can get people into trouble.
ok I just have to say here, i think you have it backwards. what happened as far as i can see is that this is a FAKE war. Fox News and Bill O'Reiley and his ilk are trying to make it seem like Christians are persecuted over Christmas (all 80% of them being persecuted by the other 20%. yeah.) with a bunch of stories that are greatly exaggerated or outright lies, when i just can't see that happening. All that happened was that yes, people DID start saying things like 'Happy Holidays' in lieu of 'Merry Christmas' but it wasn't in an effort to destroy Christmas or anything, it was merely them trying to be polite and inclusive to those who may not be Christian and not celebrate Christmas specifically. Their way of saying 'I dunno what you celebrate, but whatever it is, have a good one' it's the fundamentalist Christians who got upset over 'taking the Christ out of Christmas', not the other way around. Half the time, it's Christians themselves who are making these decisions, just given how the population split in terms of what religion they follow. were they maybe being a bit TOO politically correct? I dunno, maybe in some cases, but the intent behind it isn't bad as far as i can see, quite the opposite.

I and most others will not get OFFENDED if someone says 'Merry Christmas' but i can certainly appreciate the thought of inclusiveness and tolerance that goes into saying 'Happy Holidays' instead, and I support and will defend the right of public entities such as stores using the more inclusive 'Happy Holidays over the exclusive 'Merry Christmas' if they choose to do so, though i'm not going to get angry if they don't.

on that topic....

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/12/21.html#a6426

which one do you think is over reacting here?

and just for fun....(you have to read the description in its entirety, as well) http://www.deviantart.com/view/26781869/

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Angelique » Wed Dec 28, 2005 1:13 am

I don't care what the talking heads say. Wal-Mart did ban employees from saying Merry Christmas. That isn't a made-up story. And I don't think "Happy Holidays" is particularly inclusive. There are, after all, religions that don't believe in celebrating any holidays whatsoever. Should Wal-Mart employees just do away with all holiday greetings, then?
But let me use another example from where I live. July 24, "Pioneer Day," is celebrated to commemorate the arrival of Mormon settlers to the western United States. I am not LDS. I don't celebrate Pioneer Day. But I'd much prefer hearing "Happy Pioneer Day" from my LDS neighbors than a generic "Have a nice day," because the day means something special to them and they may want to share their festive mood. And there is far to little good will in the world anyway to get offended over a greeting particular to a holiday you don't celebrate.
(Now it's the assumption that I celebrate Pioneer Day that bothers me. Happy Pioneer Day is fine. "What are you doing for Pioneer Day?" and then looking at me weird when I say I don't celebrate it, on the other hand, is not.)
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by HoodedMan » Wed Dec 28, 2005 1:43 am

Originally posted by Angelique
I don't care what the talking heads say. Wal-Mart did ban employees from saying Merry Christmas. That isn't a made-up story. And I don't think "Happy Holidays" is particularly inclusive. There are, after all, religions that don't believe in celebrating any holidays whatsoever. Should Wal-Mart employees just do away with all holiday greetings, then?
You know, you really should cite sources for such a bold statement as that if you want anyone to listen to you. Just my two cents.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by NachtcGleiskette » Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:45 am

Originally posted by Angelique
I don't care what the talking heads say. Wal-Mart did ban employees from saying Merry Christmas. That isn't a made-up story. And I don't think "Happy Holidays" is particularly inclusive. There are, after all, religions that don't believe in celebrating any holidays whatsoever. Should Wal-Mart employees just do away with all holiday greetings, then?
But let me use another example from where I live. July 24, "Pioneer Day," is celebrated to commemorate the arrival of Mormon settlers to the western United States. I am not LDS. I don't celebrate Pioneer Day. But I'd much prefer hearing "Happy Pioneer Day" from my LDS neighbors than a generic "Have a nice day," because the day means something special to them and they may want to share their festive mood. And there is far to little good will in the world anyway to get offended over a greeting particular to a holiday you don't celebrate.
(Now it's the assumption that I celebrate Pioneer Day that bothers me. Happy Pioneer Day is fine. "What are you doing for Pioneer Day?" and then looking at me weird when I say I don't celebrate it, on the other hand, is not.)
On the happy holidays thing: Yes, there are a few faiths here who do not celebrate a winter holiday, but in this country we ALL celibrate the New Year, a holiday.

From a corporate standpoint it is an EXTREMELY intelligent move to not use "Merry CHristmas" as a greeting, but rather "Happy Holidays". In this sue-happy state we are in, someone could easily take a "Merry Christmas" and turn it around into some discrimination lawsuit, and who wants to pay for that? People have sued for sillier things, and it's far easier to just use "Happy Holidays" which does include at least every American citizen visiting their stores.

I don't, however, agree with this "holiday tree" bs. I mean, I don't know other faiths celebrations well (I'm sorta familiar with Hanukkah...I did grow up in NY ;)) but Christmas is the only one I am aware of that uses an ornamented tree as a centerpiece for the celebration....

Your example of Pioneer day is interesting. Firstly, Pioneer day is celebrated at a time of year where people not celebrating don't have anything TO celebrate. It's not that people ARE being wished a Merry Christmas, but more that they ARENT being wished a Happy Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Ramadan/Soltice/whatever I'm forgetting. You yourself said you enjoy a Pioneer day greeting, but only to a point. Imagine your own reaction to "what are you doing for Pioneer day" for a Muslim or Jew beign wished a "Merry Christmas"...

There's a bunch of stuff on Snopes (you know I love it!) about the whole walmart/target banning christmas....here's one, but there's one or two more:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/targetxmas.asp

You know, Christmas is the only holiday in this country where basically EVERYTHING shuts down. You won't find another day where almost every business has closed its doors, hell it's not ALLOWED to happen on another day.....

Just an observation....
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Angelique » Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:51 am

Okay, from their own site:

According to Sarah Clark, Wal-Mart spokesperson, “We encourage associates to use their best judgment when greeting our customers and to assess which greeting –or greetings – best suit the customers and associates in their local store. We want our stores to reflect the communities they serve. If ‘Merry Christmas’ is the preferred greeting, that is fine and appropriate. Or, some associates may choose to say 'Happy Holidays,' which may be more inclusive for Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Three Kings’ Day, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”

Of course, some people I know who've worked at WalMart have a different story.

At any rate, I dislike generic one-size-fits-none holiday greetings, because it does not reflect what makes a holiday what it is- its non-generic-ness. But then there are some people who think it's wrong to celebrate any holiday. What are we going to do to show them respect?

Ultimately, my point is that I prefer Happy Diwali (another holiday I don't celebrate) undiluted to Happy Holidays.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by idsunki » Wed Dec 28, 2005 4:41 am

I'm just gonna weigh in on this with a vote for "Happy Holidays."

I love that commercial with "Happy Chrismahannakwanzaka." Perfect.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by HoodedMan » Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:03 am

Originally posted by idsunki
I love that commercial with "Happy Chrismahannakwanzaka." Perfect.
My favourite. ;)
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by NachtcGleiskette » Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:40 am

BTW, Northstar, I really really reall love your sig.....that quote is FANTASTIC!

EDIT: They change! I meant the one about freedom and moral responsibility...let me see if I can find it exactly..here it is:

"I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."

That, especially the final sentence, is SO pertinent to what I am saying it's not even funny....
"If you live your life to please everyone else, you will continue to feel frustrated and powerless. This is because what others want may not be good for you. You are not being mean when you say NO to unreasonable demands or when you express your ideas, feelings, and opinions, even if they differ from those of others.â€

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Bamfette » Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:04 am

Okay, I have been busy and haven't had the time to respond sooner. but a few points. first, go here: http://www.au.org/site/PageServer?pagen ... xmas_tales and for a bit more in depth look at one of the cases mentioned: http://poynter.org/forum/view_post.asp?id=10778

There, they're lying about this so called 'War on Christmas'

And those are just a few, there are many more.

You may not watch the talking heads on TV, I don't either, quite frankly, unless they're shown on a clip on the Daily Show. but many many people out there do, they bought Gibson's book about the 'War on Christmas' and wether you personally watch them on TV, their views trickle down.

And even if the claims were true, does it make your holy day any less holy if it's not on overt display in some arenas like public schools or stores? seriously, just because it's not on display will it mean it is any less special to you, personally? does it REALLY, seriously, detract from it? are you going to stop celebrating it because people say 'Happy Holidays' instead of Merry Christmas' to you? why is it so important that Christmas be given preference over all the other holidays celebrated at the same time?

And, as for the stores, are they (the smaller ones, anyway) not owned or managed by individuals who may not celebrate Christmas themselves? why should they feel obligated to pander to it if that's the case?

why should someone who does NOT celebrate Christmas be made feel they are somehow persecuting Christians jsut becuase hey don't say 'Merry Christmas'? because that's the message that is coming across. If i owned a store and i said 'Happy Holidays' and instructed my employees to do the same, simply because I do not believe in Christmas, that's wrong?

and as for
At any rate, I dislike generic one-size-fits-none holiday greetings, because it does not reflect what makes a holiday what it is- its non-generic-ness. But then there are some people who think it's wrong to celebrate any holiday. What are we going to do to show them respect?
so since there isn't a greeting that encompasses ALL beliefs, you prefer to default to the less encompassing one, rather than the one that at least encompasses all but one? that's rich.

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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Angelique » Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:27 am

There is no "the" less encompassing one. I'd prefer whichever one seems most appropriate for the specific occassion. I don't like reducing a holiday, any holiday, to something generic. I think that's an insult to every holiday. Holi- means set apart. It would defeat the purpose of us even calling them holidays if we lumped them all together and stopped acknowledging what makes them each unique.
Now, I'm not going to stop celebrating just because somebody thinks a generic greeting is all any specific holiday deserves. But if we're going to do away with specific holiday greetings out of supposed respect for people's religious beliefs, in all fairness, we should do away with the very mention of holidays. The only holiday greeting that truly is all-encompassing is no holiday greeting whatsoever, and Jehova's Witnesses deserve respect, too.
And yet the Jehova's Witnesses I've been privileged to know aren't offended by public displays and celebrations for any holiday. They don't participate, but they don't object if someone wishes them a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, or whatever.
And did you read what I posted about receiving wishes particular to holidays I don't celebrate? I don't feel persecuted when somebody wishes me greetings specific to a holiday I don't celebrate. And that actually has happened quite a bit.
Please also bear in mind that people of my religious denomination are actually in a small minority. In fact, where I live, while discrimination against non-LDS is not as prevalent as it used to be, it still is a bit of a problem. So I am most definitely against the government giving people of any one religion preferential treatment. But I expect individuals to, while respecting other people's religions, show obvious preference for their own beliefs. And I don't want anyone stifling greetings particular to their preferred holidays on my account.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by NachtcGleiskette » Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:05 pm

Originally posted by Bamfette

And even if the claims were true, does it make your holy day any less holy if it's not on overt display in some arenas like public schools or stores? seriously, just because it's not on display will it mean it is any less special to you, personally? does it REALLY, seriously, detract from it? are you going to stop celebrating it because people say 'Happy Holidays' instead of Merry Christmas' to you? why is it so important that Christmas be given preference over all the other holidays celebrated at the same time?
Every year, i am absolutely enchanted by the holidays. Christmas in particular, obviously. I love Christmas shopping, writing out cards, seeing the salvation army people in front of the mall. I even love those red cups they start using at Starbucks. It all adds to that magical feeling, and for one time out of the year, everyone seems to really care about one another....

This year...I didn't feel it. Not one bit. And I 100% blame this war on Christmas nonsense. I mean, way to take all the magic out of a holiday over something soooo trivial....

Mainly: I don't see any war on Christmas!!! We still put the tree up in Rockafeller Center......There were Christmas decorations all over my office, because here we mainly celebrate Christmas. But in my area....we're pretty Jewish. Long Island is HUGELY Jewish. And still, there were far more Christmas decorations than Hanukkah. I haven't seen any evidence of a war on Christmas other than Walmart and other huge corporate chains have started using Happy Holidays as policy. But, the real war on Christmas, is this whole thing. Well, the war is over, and it's been won by those who started it, they defeated the Christmas holiday and spirit over "Happy Holidays".

Great.....
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by idsunki » Tue Jan 03, 2006 3:32 am

Angelique,

I believe what Bamfette is trying to get across is that there are a lot of holidays going on at this time of year. I work in retail and said a whole lot of Happy Holidays, unless someone wished me a particular holiday (mostly Christmas), then I would wish it back.

The problem with saying Merry Christmas to everyone is that there are a whole lot of faiths that have holidays at this point. If I wanted the holidays to stay special, I'd have to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah (Chanukah, Hanuka, etc), Happy Kwanzaa, Ramadan (Happy Fasting?), etc. This would take a long time, and I wouldn't be able to sell anyone anything because I'd have twenty to thirty holiday greetings I'd have to rattle off for each person that would walk through the door.

If I went with "the most appropriate for the specific occasion," I wouldn't be saying Merry Christmas until the 24th, and we're closed the 25th. Until then, I'd be saying Happy St Nick's Day, Happy Hannukah, and the entire month would be spent greeting people with a Happy Ramadan.

As for the persecution bit, I do not believe Bamfette was worried about the people she was wishing a Happy Holidays to feeling persecuted, but that she herself was for not saying Merry Christmas. I have two really good examples, one from Christmas Eve '04, and one from today.

The one from Christmas Eve '04 doubles as an explanation as to why I don't attend the church my family does. The preacher (this is a southern baptist church) spent the entire service railing against people saying Happy Holidays, how they were taking God out of the country and making the world a worse place. He then jumped from that topic to pursue his political goals - any liberal, homosexual, Catholic, or anyone that didn't share his exact beliefs weren't worshipping HIS God, therefore were probably going to hell. I felt pretty persecuted at that point.

The one from today is not quite as bad, but similar. We had a customer come in that seemed relatively harmless, but another customer mentioned the name Wal-Mart. We kind of laughed and did our standard mid-twenties-in-college anti-Wal-Mart conversation, and this other guy jumps in and says that Wal-Mart is a horrible place because they say Happy Holidays and God-damn it this is a Christian Nation! We kind of stopped, blinked, sold him a copy of Silver Surfer and sent him on his way. This is the exact same tone of voice that I frequently hear "America for Americans!" in Texas.

Helpful note to our non-United States readers - There is no official religion of the United States, therefore we are not a Christian nation.

If none of that made sense, I like "Happy Holidays" over "Merry Christmas" because I enjoy alliteration.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Angelique » Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:51 am

Well, if you don't know what holiday your customer celebrates, offer a greeting for whatever specific is making you feel festive. I know there's a whole lot of holidays going on around the same time. (One of the advantages of attending Catholic school is that I got to study two years of comparative theology before I was even in high school!)
As for small-town living with a religious supermajority, my life wasn't always like that. I grew up in Los Angeles, after all. And I remember my little brother coming home from public school kindergarten proud as punch about the Chanuka card with a little blue menorah he made at school. Now, at the time, we weren't aware that there was any Jewish ancestry in our family (we had kind of a Madeline Albright situation), so we didn't really celebrate Chanuka. We weren't offended. We didn't sue. In fact, we thought it was pretty neat that the schools didn't shy away from addressing the differences and the scope of religious (and cultural) diversity in the holidays we celebrate. Differences are part of what makes our country great, so we should not sweep them under a rug.
But actually, "Season's Greetings" sticks in my craw even more than "Happy Holidays." Happy Holidays takes every occassion from Ramadan (whenever it may occur in our calendar) to Epiphany (the 12th day of Christmas) and lumps it all together. "Season's Greetings" doesn't even acknowledge that there are holidays going on.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by idsunki » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:24 pm

Originally posted by Angelique
But if we're going to do away with specific holiday greetings out of supposed respect for people's religious beliefs, in all fairness, we should do away with the very mention of holidays.
Originally posted by Angelique
"Season's Greetings" doesn't even acknowledge that there are holidays going on.
Well then, there you go. This would be the perfect one not to offend anyone, right?

Just to make something clear, I am all for people saying what they choose. If someone says Merry Christmas to me I'm certainly not going to take offense. I just hope no one takes offense when I say "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year's. It's sort of that 'live and let live so long as ye harm none' thing.

I mean really, in the grand scheme of things, does 'Merry Christmas' vs. 'Happy Holidays' really matter? I doubt Christianity is going anywhere (the late Bill Hicks's wishes notwithstanding), and people who don't celebrate Christmas or would rather use Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings or Happy Chrismahanukwanzaka or whatever can do that.

I think this is it for me on this particular matter, as the only way I could be converted over to the Merry Christmas camp would be to make it more alliterative than Happy Holidays, and 'Christmas Condolences' or 'Have a Cheeky Christmas' just don't work for me.
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by Angelique » Tue Jan 03, 2006 9:09 pm

I'm fine with people saying whatever they want. It's the idea that some people are actually forbidden to mention specific holidays by name that bothers me. I'm all for being politically correct, but this is taking it to an extreme that I'm beginning to find offensive not just to mine, but to all religion and religious diversity. I don't get offended when a Wiccan wishes me a happy solstice. I really don't think anyone has the right to censor Merry Christmas (especially in light of some of the garbage that is deemed non-offensive enough for television, but I digress).
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Schiavo autopsy finally released... (the new religion thread

Post by NachtcGleiskette » Tue Jan 03, 2006 11:21 pm

But who is forbidding the mention of any holidays? Nothing has been forbidden, only people have shown a preference for using Happy Holidays. Not once have I seen any evidence that using the name of any holiday was forbidden. The only instance that comes close is companies and corporations encouraging their employees to use Happy Holidays, but then thats not being forbade. Theres a big difference...

Angelique. Northstar asked you to cite yourself. And the rest of us have all backed up our arguments with references. I am beginning to believe that perhaps you know something we don't, or have seen something we haven't, because honestly, I haven't seen anything outside your posts that 100% backs up your claims. Please, give us some references so we can better understand where you're coming from...
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