Non-Christians celebrating Christmas? Reconciling the hippocracy... - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 59 Old 10-21-2004, 01:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by APMom98
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But on the other side, my sis and her dh are Islamic. She converted after they got married, and we are expected to buy gifts for all of their children as well as the other cousins who are practicing Christians. Now, if this was a get together kind of thing, I could understand it, as it would be unfair to her children if all the cousins got gifts and hers didn't. But I haven't seen my family for Christmas since my ds was a year old, and he's now almost six. But, yet, still, every year, my sis sends out a *discreet* email, letting everyone know what her kids sizes are and what their interests are, usually sometime in October. And my parents "So what are you getting the cousins?" so as to not have multiple gifts. It infuriates me. They don't recognize Christ as the Savior, fine. Then why do they expect us to celebrate Him with them. For the gifts? Cheap, shallow and just plain rude, IMO.

I've asked my parents for an explaination and all I get is that it would hurt her feelings if we didnt' all buy gifts for her kids as well. She and I don't really speak much anymore, due to some other issues, and yet, every year, my mom asks me what we're getting her kids for Christmas. She doesn't recripocate, since they don't have the $, and that's fine. I don't buy my kids a lot for Christmas, and *if* people ask what they need, I tell them to donate to their college fund/savings account/etc. I certainly don't volunteer sizes and/or interests in a solicitation of gifts.

Anyway, I wonder if anyone here can shed some light on this for us.
It seems to me that your mom and your sister are using Christmas to cling to some sort of family connection since she converted to her dh's faith and also seems to be alienating the rest of the family (I gather that since you two aren't really talking?).
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#32 of 59 Old 10-21-2004, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lotusdebi
We visit with most of our family members, eat a lot of food, and enjoy the company. It's a celebration to us, and a time to show our friends and family members that we appreciate them.
Yep. Atheist here and this is exactly how I feel about xmas. It also gives me an excuse to put up lots of fun festive decorations.
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#33 of 59 Old 10-21-2004, 02:22 PM
 
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Maybe the Islamic sister is not celebrating Jesus. Maybe she's holding onto a family celebration from her childhood and, as Kava suggested, holding onto a connection with her FAMILY. Why is that wrong?

As has been stated repeatedly on this thread, Christians do not hold a monopoly on this holiday of Winter and the days starting to lengthen etc. Their's is just one of the latest overlays of something that's been celebrated at least since humanity in the Northern hemisphere figured out what was going on with daylight.

It's not like Muslims don't honor Jesus anyway. They do. They see him as one of Allah's prophets--Allah being the Arabic word for God and also used by Arabic Christians to address your God. So I don't see how celebrating his birth would specifically violate Islam, though not being Muslim I could be incorrect on that?

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#34 of 59 Old 10-21-2004, 03:44 PM
 
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We are Buddhist, and after much discussion we decided to celebrate a secular Christmas because it is, after all, a cultural holiday in the US. Pretending that it wasn't so would be silly. We, of course, don't do any Jesus stuff or attend church, although as the children get older I will remind them that one of the reasons Christmas is celebrated is because of the birth of Jesus (whom I believe was a real and good man even if he wasn't the son of a god). We're still hashing out the Santa debate. I'm anti, my dh is pro. We do have a "one-gift-per-family-unit" rule for our kids (each part of the family is only allowed to give one gift to each child, but somehow they always manage to get around that!!) because we don't want Christmas to be seen as a "What-did-you-get-me?" reason to get together with family.

On to the Muslim thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by APMom98
They don't recognize Christ as the Savior, fine. Then why do they expect us to celebrate Him with them. For the gifts? Cheap, shallow and just plain rude, IMO.

Anyway, I wonder if anyone here can shed some light on this for us.
I think it has been established that most people see Christmas as a secular, cultural holiday even if they also see it as a Christian one. My BIL is Muslim (from Iran) and his family also celebrates Christmas as a time to get together and exchange gifts. They do it because they like to get together and give gifts to the ones they love. I give a gift to my nephew because I like to give him gifts occasionally. If you are actually "infuriated," to use your word, at having to give gifts to your non-Christian family members, don't do it. Just stop sending them. If you don't speak to you sister anymore anyway, you won't even have to tell her why!

I don't think anyone should ever give a gift in a resentful manner. I do think the bad karma of that will come back to haunt you!

Namaste!
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#35 of 59 Old 10-21-2004, 03:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wemoon
I'm not sure how I feel about the tree deal. I used to get cut trees, but then I decided I felt weird about playing a part in this poor trees death. So I put up a fake tree. That seems ok, but also still very strange. I think I want a live tree to plant, but I don't have that kind of money.
Just my thoughts on the matter....

My dad loves trees. He has made their care his livelihood. We had a large ice storm a few years back, and our maple sugar bush was badly damaged, as well as many other trees on our property, and many that we had planted as a family. My dad couldn't go out and survey the damage for quite a while, and when he did, it brought him to tears.

We have cut down a live tree every year. Some years from our own trees, but usually from small, family-owned, local tree farms. My dad has always said he didn't understand the environmental argument against using live trees. Consumer demand for live trees means that businesses are planting and growing trees instead of them being plowed down to clear space for other commercial purposes. He also cuts up and saves our Christmas tree to use to feed the fire (they have a wood burning furnace to heat their home) on Christmas morning the next year. It's a nice tradition. I know this is more addressing the environmental aspect, not the spiritual side of it which is what you seem to be asking about. But, those are my thoughts on it. That being said, the one year that we haven't been able to return home for Christmas, we bought a tree from in front of a grocery store. I still liked it, but it definately didn't have the same feeling as when we would spend a good hour tramping around the tree farm looking for the perfect tree, carefully cutting it down and carrying it back to the truck.

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#36 of 59 Old 10-21-2004, 04:16 PM
 
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I don't believe in Jesus, nor does anyone else in my family, but we are very big on xmas. It's always kind of puzzled me. Even tho much of it is secular, you really can't get away from the Jesus aspect of it. Which was fine when we had no kids in the family, but now that we do... . Not sure how I want to present xmas to ds. I don't have anything against Jesus (seems like a very cool guy) or his followers (some of my best friends are... no, seriously! :LOL), but I do object to the dominance of Christianity throughout our society and I would prefer not to perpetuate that in my home, kwim? As for Santa - in this society he's mostly just a tool of commercialism, one of the first ways kids learn to say "I want I want I want." Ugh. OK, call me cynical, I totally am. Gifts in moderation (I have another thread on that! :LOL) are nice, and I like the tree, and I love the family time and and the FOOD, so I'm not going to ditch xmas. But I'm having a hard time figuring out how to make it mean what I want it to mean, and maybe I'm asking too much.

My sister and I keep talking about doing Solstice instead. As my sister says, it's the ultimate secular holiday - it's based on a scientific fact, no faith involved unless you want it. But I do like the xmas trappings.
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#37 of 59 Old 10-21-2004, 05:10 PM
 
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We don't buy gifts for people we aren't going to see on Christmas (or thereabouts). This solves the problem of buying for people who aren't really celebrating Christmas. This has been a pretty regular thing in my family, so nobody is going to be offended. For instance, last year we lived near my aunt and her kids, and we got them presents - this year we won't be seeing them during the holiday season and we won't be getting them anything.

I am a Christian and do not celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. My family celebrates it as a cultural one.

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#38 of 59 Old 10-22-2004, 12:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaDaednu
Not to stir the pot but....

You needen't feel bad. Christmas as it's celebrated in December is actually a Pagan holiday. The dates were co-opted from Candlemas in order to have more people convert to Christianity. That's why many hardcore Christians choose not to celebrate Christmas.
It's believed Jesus was actually born in the summer. I've had some very interesting conversations with ministers about this.

~Daednu
yea, cosign that. It's a pagan holiday (north europe origins) and a commercialized capitalistic holiday, but not so much a Christian holiday.

We've stopped celebrating it a few ago.
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#39 of 59 Old 10-22-2004, 02:08 AM
 
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I'm not Christian, and I love me some Christmas. And Easter. Don't get me started on Easter, its my favorite holiday.

My parents were raised Catholic, but didn't make much of an apptempt to raise us as Catholics or even Christian. The "Christain" holidays are really cultural holidays in the U.S. I have no moral qualms about celebrating the cultural holidays I was raised with.

I am a Buddhist and my husband is a Christian, and we celebrate Christmas etc. as non-religious holidays. I think any excuse to be festive and foster connection with family is a good one!
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#40 of 59 Old 10-22-2004, 05:46 AM
 
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We are non-Christians and we celebrate Chirstmas. Both of our families are into it BIG time, and living in the US, it would be pretty tough to keep DD away anyway. Rather than make a big issue of it, we've decided to just go with it. It really makes our familiies happy to get those Christmas Day phone calls, and send DD presents. They really love the pics of her opening/ using them.
Fortunately, we live 3000 miles from our families, so we don't get sucked into the Holiday party madness too much. We are pretty able to give DD our explanation of what is going on and she doesn't get too confused or anything. We tell her that some people believe in Jesus and Christmas is their way of celebrating his Birthday. We also tell her that although we don't personally believe in him, it is nice and respectful to honor our families traditions, and that is why we celebrate it too.
She knows about Santa and gets excited about him, but she thinks of him the same way she thinks of Snow White or Cinderella-- a character from a story she loves (Twas the night before Christmas). I have made very clear to our families that DD is not to recieve gifts from Santa as we want to her to be thankful for how much her family loves her and not think she has to be good to earn presents.
I love sending out Christmas card with pics of DD in them, but i send out "Holiday" or New Year cards. I prefer to send out Wintery cards or something with a "Peace" theme, but I have a hardtime finding cards like this.
As far as sending out emails as to what gifts would be appropriate, I think this is a good idea. We live so far away, most of our relatives have no idea how big DD actually is or what she likes. They always call and ask what she would like anyway, so I just send out a note telling them. My Mom actually asked me to do this, I send the note to her and a few other relatives that always send gifts and let them tell wehoever else may want to know. They like to know their gifts will actually get some use.
I have always thought Christmas was so silly and swore for years I would never celebrate it once I "grew up," but it sure is fun to have a little tradition. And I get a major kick out of watching DD open her presents.

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#41 of 59 Old 10-22-2004, 08:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kamilla626
OK, I'll try to make this fast and simple.

I was raised (casually, liberally) Protestant, until I was a teenager, when I was pretty much allowed to figure out my own spiritual/religous path.

I don't really consider myself to be a Christian now, but everyone in my family (parents, sib's, extended...) is Christian and we all celebrate Christmas in a big expensive commercialized chocolately cholesterol filled way!! Gift exchanges, get-togethers, tons of food, etc.

Part of me feels a little strange participating in what is essentially a "Happy Birthday Jesus" party. I just don't consider myself Christian, because I don't shape my life around living as Christ lived.

OTOH, I'm not anti-Christian. I do think Jesus was a powerful, wise, charismatic, (probably psychic) man who did a lot of cool hippy socialist things in his day. But I equally "take in" the values and teachings of other spiritual leaders as well, (including Nature itself).
So...
Is anyone else in a similar situation - celebrating only the secular aspects of Christmas, without being truly Christian? Do you feel guilty or weird about it? Have you added or eliminated parts of "traditional" Christmas to better suit your own beliefs?
Christmas has never had anything to do with Jesus or his day of birth . Christmas was never instituted by Jesus or celebrated by his apostles . Jesus was not even born in the winter as the lie is propagated .
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#42 of 59 Old 10-22-2004, 08:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chersolly
(Hippocracy? Rule by the Hippos.)

I'm agnostic and I don't find it hypocritical to celebrate Xmas. The Roman Catholic church picked Jesus' birthdate to be Dec. 25 in 336 a.d. to attempt to convert the masses who still wanted to celebrate Saturnalia. For me, Xmas is about family. DH is military and so was I not to long ago. The holiday season is the only time we're able to go home. We're able to see our loved ones, celebrate and have good time, regardless of our religious affiliations.
That is right on the money what you said about the R.C church picking that day to convert ( or kill anyone who opposed there doctrine ) .
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#43 of 59 Old 10-22-2004, 10:48 AM
 
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That is right on the money what you said about the R.C church picking that day to convert ( or kill anyone who opposed there doctrine ) .
Ooookay. I'm a non-practicing Catholic (much to my parents dismay ) But is it just me - those last two posts felt a little inflammatory? And whether you like it or not - the word "Christmas" has the word "Christ" in it - meaning "Jesus". You can't change that - even if you don't believe in it.

I don't think we're here to debate anyone's faith - just whether or not you celebrate Christmas and how. And just for the record in my family, we use the Christmas season to relax and just hang together in a very low key way. Baking, playing outside in the snow, hanging with friends - that's my idea of a holiday.

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#44 of 59 Old 10-22-2004, 12:13 PM
 
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I love, love, LOVE Christmas!
I'm not Christian, I'm rather Pagan, but I LOVE Christmas! I also love celebrating Yule and Kwaanza.
The shopping frenzy doesn't bother me at all, because I don't participate in it.
I don't go to the mall, because we make our gifts. We spend a week baking cookies and cakes, making mulled wine, eggnog and spiced apple cider for gifts. I have my dried fruits soaking in wine in anticipation of baking my Jamaican style fruit cakes. I love how my house smells at Christmas time! Like cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, allspice, cloves and orange peels.................
Everything on our tree is edible, except the lights.......we bake and decorate cookies and wrap them in plastic wrap and tie them with ribbons. We string cranberries and popcorn garlands. We hang candy canes. We make popcorn balls and wrap them in red, green and gold cellophane and tie them on with ribbons.
I love getting together with family and friends, sharing food, drink and laughter. I love having my son's friends over for dinner. (There's usually at least 6 or 7 of them)
My kids choose ONE really important gift. That's it, they get ONE gift, and their stockings filled with trinkets and candy. (The only time they get candy is for holidays)
We walk to midnight mass at the R.C. church, and then walk home under the winter stars, filled with peace and joy. Oh, the carols are so beautiful! What a message of hope and love!
We make tons of food, and we share into paper plates nicely wrapped with foil complete dinners, and then drive dwn to the marina and share our food with the homeless. We collect clothing and blankets and distribute them with the food.
We go to every party we can, not out of a feeling of obligation, but because we love the people there.
I don't feel a bit guilty at all. Why should anyone feel guilty celebrating love and giving?
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#45 of 59 Old 10-22-2004, 12:56 PM
 
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Christmas only has something to do with Christ because of the Roman Catholic Church. Call it inflamatory if you like, but it is the truth. Easter is quite the same. The RCC picked December 25th because it is close to the winter equinox, a pagan celebrated holiday. Christmas is the same as Halloween, just made "pretty" by people, not by Christ, and not preached in the Bible.

I always find it laughable when staunch Christians refuse to celebrate Halloween because it is "Satanic" but celebrate Christmas with trees and lights and such.

For the record, I am a Christian. We celebrate Christmas a purely secular holiday, trees, gifts, family, food. Halloween is the same, except we get candy instead. Easter too, eggs, bunnies, ham, but no Jesus.

We celebrate the death burial and ressurection of Christ on every Lord's Day, through the Lord's Supper, as commanded in the New Testament.
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#46 of 59 Old 10-22-2004, 02:29 PM
 
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I am not Christian but I enjoy celebrating the secular aspects of Xmas. I would never have angels or nativity scenes for decoration, but I dig decorating the tree and hanging stockings and exchanging presents with family. I see it as a cultural celebration. I understand it also has religious significance to some people but that does not affect my experience and enjoyment of it.
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#47 of 59 Old 10-22-2004, 03:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zoesmummy
Ooookay. I'm a non-practicing Catholic (much to my parents dismay ) But is it just me - those last two posts felt a little inflammatory? And whether you like it or not - the word "Christmas" has the word "Christ" in it - meaning "Jesus". You can't change that - even if you don't believe in it.

I don't think we're here to debate anyone's faith - just whether or not you celebrate Christmas and how. And just for the record in my family, we use the Christmas season to relax and just hang together in a very low key way. Baking, playing outside in the snow, hanging with friends - that's my idea of a holiday.
"Christ is the Anglican form of the Greek word "Christos" which is derived from the Hebrew word "Messiah." Since Christ is synonymous with Messiah, it is logical that if we want to know the meaning of the word Christ then we need to know the definition of the word Messiah."

Christ does not mean Jesus .


Truth is inflammatory ? Fact is fact . Simple and plain . Jesus the Christ had not one thing to do with "christmas" . It was never practiced by the jewish nation at that time nor did he command his apostles to adhere to such a false man made teaching .

I marvel at the fact you label us with such a term as inflammatory. I never once put down the Roman Catholic church . Check your history and you will find out how the church merged the practice of sun woship with their agenda.

Neither am I here to argue faith but simply to tell the facts about Christmas. Just because a word has the name christ in it does not make it approved . You could merge many things with the name and call it so and so .
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#48 of 59 Old 10-28-2004, 07:22 PM
 
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I love Christmas, too!!! I don't find it hipocritical to celebrate it, and when DD is older I will explain that there are a host of other holidays celebrated. I am trying to come up w/ some good traditions to start this year, since DD is 18 months old, and will probably know what is going on this time around! I do put up a tree, and do the gifts, not sure on Santa, but we will get our pics made w/ him I think I might go ahead and tell her it's makebelieve when she can understand what that means. I think it will be neat to pick different ways to celebrate when the kids are older. Mostly, we think of the food, and time w/ families and presents! I hope to also instill the value of thankfulness and giving that is shown in abundance this time of year. I don't limit what I buy DD, but since she is the only grandchild and greatgrandchild, it got out of hand last year. This year I am getting her a craft table as her big gift, and I ordered some Melissa and Doug toys a while back that I think she will enjoy playing with. Family gets her SO much! I am hoping that they ask me what to get, so I can tell them craft supplies, or such. I'm not sure how to bring it up if they don't ask
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#49 of 59 Old 10-28-2004, 07:40 PM
 
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This is a funny debate, because I guess I am one of those "hardcore" Christians who at times has wondered exactly why I celebrate it. The pagans are wondering if they should celebrate it, some Christians are wondering if they should..just strikes me as funny
I say if you want to celebrate Christmas celebrate Christmas.
BTW, I have heard that Jesus was probably born in late summer, early fall-around the time of Feast of Tabernacles. Anyone else hear this?
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#50 of 59 Old 10-29-2004, 01:08 AM
 
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The word Christmas comes from Christ's Mass.

The name of the holy day inaugurated by the RC church back in the 400's is actually "The Feast of the Nativity". But Christmas is shorter to say.

Of course Christmas was never celebrated by the Jews. They have their holidays just as all the peoples 2000 years ago had theirs. Why would they adopt anyone else's holy day? Why would they adopt a holy day on a date co-opted to celebrate a messiah in whom they do not beleive? What does that have to do with this discussion?

The Church chose the date to celebrate the fact (in their belief) of Jesus's birth to coincide with a time during which others were already celebrating. You make converts more easily if you fit your religion into a framework they already understand. Celebrating the birth of the sun was easily changed into celebrating the birth of the son (thank-you Star Trek), not to mention that other virgin-birth dying and rising Gods' births were celebrated at that time of year.

I will honor the longest night, or maybe the sunrise after it! by lighting candles and the tree, and then on the 25th we'll see what Santa brought us.

I'm getting more to seeing some of these holidays as seasons rather than A day.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#51 of 59 Old 11-06-2004, 11:15 PM
 
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I think, NM, that you will find that Jesus was born in September/October... god always having meaning in everything...{and when shepherds might be out on the hills gurding sheep and why} it makes more sense to have Jesus conceived on 25th December which is the 'purification of the temple" and born on Israel's "Day of Atonement"..... )

Most real christians I know (with the exception of Nursing Mother) don't "celebrate" Christmas, for reasons mentioned by other people above.

I can appreciate the fact that for many people, traditions, and such like give real meaning to their lives. From my point of view, I just wish the "church" had kept their big nose out of it, and left all the pagan festivals to stand for what they are.

So for us, there is no hypocrisy, since it never has been relevant to us.

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#52 of 59 Old 11-07-2004, 12:36 AM
 
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Most real christians I know (with the exception of Nursing Mother) don't "celebrate" Christmas, for reasons mentioned by other people above.
Ummmmm, the Roman Catholic Church is the largest organized Christian denomination on the planet, over 1 billion strong according to DH's memory. They are real Christians. They celebrate Christmas, no quotation marks needed.

Or am I misreading that statement somehow?

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#53 of 59 Old 11-07-2004, 12:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Meiri
Ummmmm, the Roman Catholic Church is the largest organized Christian denomination on the planet, over 1 billion strong according to DH's memory. They are real Christians. They celebrate Christmas, no quotation marks needed.

Or am I misreading that statement somehow?
Those who know me well, know that I divide Christianity into two sections, amongst which there is considerable overlap.

The first is churchianity, and amongst "churchianity" you will find "christians". But not everyone who attends "churchianity" will be a christian. Just because someone goes by a denominational label, doesn't mean that they are really christians. It might just mean they were born into it, and its tradition, but not something they really adhere to. And Jesus, isn't to them, someone with whom they have a personal relationship.

There are some real christians I know who still chose to celebrate Christmas, but the "christians" that I mix with, don't.

Because for them, and for us, we can't find a good reason for us to do so. The reasons that the Churchian Powers That Be, decided to "make" Christmas, christmas and Easter, Easter, never held water to me, or the people that I know.

christmas and easter should revert to their pagan names, and "christians" should really work out what they want to celebrate, why, and keep commerciality out of it.

“I want to sell drugs to everyone. I want to sell drugs to healthy people. I want drugs to sell like chewing gum.” former Merck CEO, Henry Gadsden

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#54 of 59 Old 11-07-2004, 03:56 PM
 
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Just wanted to add, in terms of defining a real Christian, there is a big difference between believing that Jesus is the son of God, and belonging to Jesus.

The two are not synonymous.

“I want to sell drugs to everyone. I want to sell drugs to healthy people. I want drugs to sell like chewing gum.” former Merck CEO, Henry Gadsden

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#55 of 59 Old 11-08-2004, 02:29 AM
 
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I see.

When I meet someone and they tell me that they are Christian, I take their word for it. Their actions will tell me if they are the kind of person who puts more importance on Dogma or on people: letter of law judgementalism versus loving actions as Jesus would Do.

Either way, I don't take it upon myself to declare that some are real and some are " ". Not my call. Not yours either IMO.

Come to think on it, I find the same applies to any other religion too.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#56 of 59 Old 11-08-2004, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by sevenkids
I We spend a week baking cookies and cakes, making mulled wine, eggnog and spiced apple cider for gifts. I have my dried fruits soaking in wine in anticipation of baking my Jamaican style fruit cakes. Everything on our tree is edible, except the lights.......we bake and decorate cookies and wrap them in plastic wrap and tie them with ribbons. We string cranberries and popcorn garlands. We hang candy canes. We make popcorn balls and wrap them in red, green and gold cellophane and tie them on with ribbons.
I love getting together with family and friends, sharing food, drink and laughter.
We walk to midnight mass at the R.C. church, and then walk home under the winter stars, filled with peace and joy. Oh, the carols are so beautiful! What a message of hope and love!
We make tons of food, and we share into paper plates nicely wrapped with foil complete dinners, and then drive dwn to the marina and share our food with the homeless. We collect clothing and blankets and distribute them with the food.
We go to every party we can, not out of a feeling of obligation, but because we love the people there.
I don't feel a bit guilty at all. Why should anyone feel guilty celebrating love and giving?

I wanna come to YOUR house for Christmas! What a beautiful picture you painted!

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
ds20, dd18, ds17
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#57 of 59 Old 11-08-2004, 04:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Meiri
I see.

When I meet someone and they tell me that they are Christian, I take their word for it. Their actions will tell me if they are the kind of person who puts more importance on Dogma or on people: letter of law judgementalism versus loving actions as Jesus would Do.

Either way, I don't take it upon myself to declare that some are real and some are " ". Not my call. Not yours either IMO.

Come to think on it, I find the same applies to any other religion too.
It is my call, and yours too. You admitted as much above, by reference to people actions.

The Bible doesn't ask you to take their word for it. Any more than you should take Bush's word for it, that he is a Christian.

The Bible is very specific, that all claims should be "tested". The ultimate "test" though, is that "by their fruits you shall know them" as you yourself said.

If their actions don't match their words, then their words are meaningless.

Therefore, it is my "call" to "know" in my own head, if someone is a fraud or not. Were I to accept everyone's word for it, I would have been drowned in a load of hogswash years ago.

“I want to sell drugs to everyone. I want to sell drugs to healthy people. I want drugs to sell like chewing gum.” former Merck CEO, Henry Gadsden

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#58 of 59 Old 11-09-2004, 02:06 PM
 
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It is my call, and yours too. You admitted as much above, by reference to people actions.
It's their actions that tell me if that person is loving or judgmental. That has nothing to do with their being Christian or not. If someone says he/she is Christian, I take their word for it that they are. If someone tells me they are Jewish or Muslim or whatever form of Pagan, I take their word for it that that is what they are and what they believe. That has nothing to do with their actions telling me whether they are a loving person or a judgmental one.

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The Bible doesn't ask you to take their word for it. Any more than you should take Bush's word for it, that he is a Christian.
I couldn't care less what the Bible says. Bush says he's a Christian. I believe him. I can see by his actions though......

Quote:
The Bible is very specific, that all claims should be "tested". The ultimate "test" though, is that "by their fruits you shall know them" as you yourself said.
While I couldn't care less what the Bible says, there are some points on which the writers got things correct.

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If their actions don't match their words, then their words are meaningless.
Exactly

Quote:
Therefore, it is my "call" to "know" in my own head, if someone is a fraud or not. Were I to accept everyone's word for it, I would have been drowned in a load of hogswash years ago.
I don't challenge someone's religious self-label because that's irrelevent. Any religion can be used to bolster a person's ability to be good, a blessing on the world, helpful, loving, caring, etc. Any religion can also be used to bolster a person's ability to be hateful and judgemental, legalistic, bigotted, etc. Since the religious label is meaningless, I don't take it to mean anything beyond that the person follows a particular religious mythology or another. Therefor, why argue with them, or declare them to not be a real Christian, Jew, Muslim, Pagan, etc? They are all real.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#59 of 59 Old 11-10-2004, 10:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kamilla626
So...
Is anyone else in a similar situation - celebrating only the secular aspects of Christmas, without being truly Christian? Do you feel guilty or weird about it? Have you added or eliminated parts of "traditional" Christmas to better suit your own beliefs?
Well, my family is made up of various paths. My granny is Christian, my fiance is agnostic, his family is pretty much not religious while claiming Christianity (not practising in any way), my best friend and her family are Jewish & my mom, my coven, numerous friends and myself are Pagan. So I like to think we celebrate the season

In my house however we celebrate Yule which focuses on nature as well as deity. We have trees, presents, songs, the holly king, stags, feasting, etc. Around more mainstream folk I use "Christmas" when I mean Yule simply for the sake of keeping my faith private (or if i don't particularly feel like explaining or debating).

I think of Christmas as more of a traditional, family oriented holiday rather than a religious one.
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