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Old 12-21-2013, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,485 posts, read 26,089,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
I knew at least two Jewish couples who had "Christmas trees" and a Muslim couple who also had a Christmas trees when I lived in the Albany area back in the 1990s. Albany is pretty diverse for a small metro and very progressive on most social issues.

I will have to find out if my nephew and his wife put up a Christmas tree since she is Jewish ... or maybe they didn't this year because they were moving into their new house last week!



Two more recent Jewish artists who have put out Christmas albums are Kenny G and Neil Diamond. I think that Barbra Streisand also has a Christmas album.
I had never thought about Jewish performers singing Christmas songs until today: Barbra Streisand on the radio.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
4,896 posts, read 5,864,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theatergypsy View Post
[/b]

I think they call it a Chanukah Bush.

I had a Jewish boss at one point in my working career, (she's now deceased), but I loved her story about going away with her husband for the Christmas season to avoid the madness, and then, buying a plant and trimming it with construction paper cut-outs to decorate their hotel room!!

There are all manner of shoppers out there during the Christmas season because that's when many stores have well-stocked shelves with merchandise that they don't have other times of the year.

My feeling is that while I hang a simple wreath on my door, and my neighbors have enough lights to be seen from outer space, there's room for all of it.

If the library wants a creche, and/or a menorah, or giant blow-up whale, it shouldn't matter to anyone. Believe what you want but don't make me believe it. I think this country was founded on the principle of religious freedom. At least, that's what they taught me in school.

And please, don't cry "tax dollars". There are far more frivolous things for which the government is using your tax dollars.
theatergypsy, I loved this post. I especially got a chuckle with the Jewish boss story....lol. It is so simple, live and let live. We started out in this country as mostly Christian and the whole holiday has evolved into something far different. I still like to think of it as symbolically the Christ childs birthday but, I love all the other stuff as well. It's all good except for the excessive spending. I do not like people who try to stifle other peoples joy in something.....it's like they can't bear other peoples happiness which says a lot about them, IMO.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
4,896 posts, read 5,864,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
...snipped....IMO, if the Christian zealots -- and the news media that panders to them -- would show some respect for others' beliefs instead of trying to constantly force their version of Christianity down everybody's throats, this wouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, they constantly try to push the envelop, either looking to get their particular sects some "advantage" or riling up the stupid, ignorant or bigoted. The "Happy Holidays" controversy from the recent past is a perfect example of this "culture wars" BS.
not all Christians are zealots. I know plenty of Christians, including myself, that do not care a fig whether you like Christmas at all and you are certainly welcome to observe or not observe any tradition that you want to. If you put up a display of blow up zoo animals on your lawn at Christmas time, I could care less. If you do nothing in regards to the season, I'm okay with that, too.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:15 AM
 
Location: NJ
22,674 posts, read 28,559,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velvet Jones View Post
Sorry, the establishment clause. And don't play dumb, you know exactly what I mean. Your side lost, get over it. Find some other place to setup your theocracy. Uganda might be a good place for you.
when exactly did my side lose?

its funny that apparently i would want to set up a theocracy considering that i have no religious beliefs whatsoever. i dont follow any religion and i dont believe in god, but the constitution doesnt require that religion be completely extricated from all things public. it forbids the establishment of a state sponsored religion.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,962 posts, read 98,795,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpasa View Post
I live near LA and all the public libraries have Christmas trees. But if Christmas trees are not allowed in public schools, why are they allowed in libraries?

Do all US K-12 schools have the same rules about whether they can have a Christmas tree - or is it different between states, cities, counties?

Christmas is obviously a Christian holiday, yet so many people celebrate it as a non-religious, cultural thing. Harper's Magazine just mentioned that 1/3 of American Jewish people have a Christmas tree.
I guess the question is: are Christmas trees not allowed in the public schools? Come to think of it, I don't remember a Christmas tree in any of my schools growing up, and I went to school in the late 1950s-mid 60s. But really, so what? I'd guess that many schools really don't have a good place to put up a tree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fleetiebelle View Post
Well, since researchers have practically proved that Jesus was actually born in the spring, (shepherds don't watch over their flocks by night in the winter, etc.) it's actually Christians who've co-opted the pagan winter solstice celebrations, not pagans honing in on Christmas. The tree has nothing to do with Jesus.
I'm not so sure that "researchers have practically proved that Jesus was actually born in the spring". This story that shepherds only watch over their flocks in springtime has been around a long time, since I was a kid (see above). It's been countered by personal observations of shepherds in Israel watching over their sheep at all times of year. The best we can say is we don't know when Jesus was born.

And (sigh) yes, most of us Christians know all about the pagan origins of many Christmas traditions. Even if we didn't know it before we joined CD, the atheists on CD make a point of telling us over, and over and over. . . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Wishes View Post
You make a good point.

At one time Valentine's Day and Halloween were "religious" Christian holidays, now they are secular holidays that many, many non-Christians celebrate. I think to some extent the same deal has happened with Christmas, you see it celebrated secularly in many Far East countries nowadays. However, I think it will never completely go the way of Valentine's and Halloween because of the word "Christ" in the holiday and it's origins are much more "religious" than the latter two holidays were. There is much more of a sensitivity out there not to 100% secularize it than there is with the latter 2 holidays.

I'm curious of the source that says 1/3 of Jews have a Christmas tree. I am (relatively secular) Jewish and the only tree I ever had is my parents owned a bunch of convenience stores and would have a small one there as a nice general holiday display for customers alongside a wreath and a menorah, but never a tree or wreath at home. Other than one couple I know of who has a "Chanukah bush" or sorts, the only Jews I know with a tree at there home are those married to a Christian spouse, such as my sister for example. I am wondering if a majority of the "1/3 of Jews" actually are married to a Christian and have it for that reason.

An interesting side note on that though that reflects the "holiday spirit" in general American culture, I've read that something like 30-40% of all non-religious Christmas carols were written by Jews (some good examples include Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (by Johnny Marks), Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire (by Mel Torme, who also sung it), and White Christmas (by Irving Berlin). But then on the other hand Israel is the only first world nation on earth that does not officially celebrate New Year's Day (though it does use the Gregorian calendar for secular and business purposes in sync with the rest of the world) because of sensitivities in the religious community there to it's original connection to Christmas (ironically the Feast of Christ's Circumcision, since that would be 8 days after Christmas, ironic in that Jesus was obviously circumcised because he was Jewish).
I'm pretty old, and I don't remember Valentine's Day or Halloween ever being religious holidays. My parents are dead, or I'd ask them, but from the stories I heard, especially from my dad, about Halloween in his childhood, it didn't sound like a religious celebration. St. Valentine is a special day in the Catholic church, but I don't know as it was ever "celebrated" per se.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:55 AM
 
19,237 posts, read 11,137,433 times
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I went to school in 60's all was celebrated--we had little 2 ft trees and sang carols. -- whats celebrated mean??- (go read)-- don't want to participate, AHA! it is a free country to or not too... PUBLIC- well public owns it,,, so except for some disturbing item -like the dead cat... put it up! the rest of us don't care... we too busy " celebrating"
they made the book MR GRINCH for a reason... and there area few-- Live an dlet LIVE- to me the GRINCH's are control freaks
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:16 PM
 
131 posts, read 169,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpasa View Post
But if Christmas trees are not allowed in public schools, why are they allowed in libraries?
Who cares? The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. If you don't like the tree, don't look at the tree.
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:24 PM
 
1,925 posts, read 1,326,189 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpasa View Post
I live near LA and all the public libraries have Christmas trees. But if Christmas trees are not allowed in public schools, why are they allowed in libraries?

Do all US K-12 schools have the same rules about whether they can have a Christmas tree - or is it different between states, cities, counties?

Christmas is obviously a Christian holiday, yet so many people celebrate it as a non-religious, cultural thing. Harper's Magazine just mentioned that 1/3 of American Jewish people have a Christmas tree.
Christmas isn't a Christian holiday. It is a cultural Roman holiday created to commemorate the winter solstice and was converted to a cultural observance of the birth of Christ when Christianity became the state religion of Rome.... for some strange reason. Jesus wasn't born in December anyway. The Bible indicates he was born during Sukkot, in late September-October timeframe. The Christmas tree is nothing but a cultural tradition. It has nothing more to do with Christianity than the Easter Bunny does.

There is absolutely no instruction in the Bible to celebrate Jesus' birthday. The only instruction in the Bible is to celebrate the spring and fall festivals in the OT, and communion in the NT as a commemoration of Jesus' death.

If we want to get so very legalistic about eliminating symbols in public places, we should start by eliminating Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas as paid holidays for public employees (boy, I'd love to hear the reaction to that!!!), Then we could tell the President he can no longer have a spiritual advisor come to visit him and pray on public property. We need to rip down the Jefferson Memorial, the dome of Congress, throw away half the stuff in the National Archives. We need to tear down all the Ivy League Universities that were started by Christians. We need to rip out all the tombstones at Arlington Cemetary, etc. etc. Quit using AD and BC in our dating system.
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:46 PM
 
5,050 posts, read 3,330,095 times
Reputation: 4865
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpasa View Post
I live near LA and all the public libraries have Christmas trees. But if Christmas trees are not allowed in public schools, why are they allowed in libraries?

Do all US K-12 schools have the same rules about whether they can have a Christmas tree - or is it different between states, cities, counties?

Christmas is obviously a Christian holiday, yet so many people celebrate it as a non-religious, cultural thing. Harper's Magazine just mentioned that 1/3 of American Jewish people have a Christmas tree.
It's not a christian holiday anymore. It's a consumption holiday.

Let Christmas be Christmas (I've always celebrated it as a family thing, I'm not one bit religious) and everyone stop getting their panties in a wad.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
11,042 posts, read 11,455,634 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I'm pretty old, and I don't remember Valentine's Day or Halloween ever being religious holidays. My parents are dead, or I'd ask them, but from the stories I heard, especially from my dad, about Halloween in his childhood, it didn't sound like a religious celebration. St. Valentine is a special day in the Catholic church, but I don't know as it was ever "celebrated" per se.
Valentine's Day is just a Hallmark Holiday. Nobody paid any attention until the greeting card company started mining it for money. Halloween and Mayday (Smahain and Beltaine) were the major Celtic year festivals.

May Day was a celebration of fertility and life, the beginning of the planting season. Girls dancing around the May pole was originally maidens binding and decorating the God's penis in anticipation of their entry into womanhood. Nobody but a few neo-pagans pays much attention to that any more. Halloween was the Celtic New Year, end of harvest and the beginning of the hunting season, and a celebration of death. People still tell ghost stories and run around in the dark, just like they did 3000 years ago. It's a folk festival that is celebrated by anyone with European roots. Nobody thinks any more that the sound of geese migrating at night is actually the sound of the Wild Hunt riding the skies. It makes a great ghost story if you can hear it, though.

Solstice celebrations are much older. We know from Newgrange ( Newgrange Stone Age Passage Tomb - Boyne Valley, Ireland ) that the winter solstice was an important festival over 5000 years ago. The mid-winter festival continues to the present day.

If you are looking for a uniquely Christian festival, try Easter. In the West it is set on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, because the bible clearly records that Jesus ate Seder with his disciples and then was crucified. It's not a holiday because it is a Christian festival, not a folk festival. Besides, it's always on a weekend, so making it a holiday would be just silly. It's also a movable feast, following the Jewish lunar calendar rather than the Roman solar calendar.
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