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Christmas and Jesus. I say Merry Christmas, not happy holidays.

 
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Mick Fisch wrote:Obama's statement that the USA is and always has been a Muslim country was typical political bullshit and, I think, was recognized as such by basically everyone.



Say whaaat??? Obama never said that. He said:

Islam has always been part of America. Starting in colonial times, many of the slaves brought here from Africa were Muslim



I'm sorry, I couldn't sit quiet and let that just sit out here in public.
 
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I stand corrected.
 
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Mick Fisch wrote:
This is a real problem with multi-culteralism.  Each society has manners, norms, customs and laws that allow people to live together with a minimum of violence.  Many of these are common, some might be universal.  The ones that aren't can cause real conflicts.  The idea,"Let's all just be cool" works until some one, or worse, some group isn't.  Eventually the groups will come to a common agreement, but until then it can be messy.



No, you do not understand multiculturalism, which is simply the acknowledgement of cultural/ethnic differences, and abandonment of the notion that the mainstream majority white culture is that of the country, or is imposed in some way.

We have a long history of negative sanctioning cultural and ethnic difference in the USA, but fortunately have made great progress in overcoming this tendency and its institutionalization.

To reject multiculturalism we then have to support the re-imposition of a "white" norm, which is by its nature oppressive against other groups, and even against whites who deviate from the norm (ask me how I know about this).

To re-tool an old French phrase: "Viva la difference!"
 
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Rebecca Norman wrote:

Mick Fisch wrote:Obama's statement that the USA is and always has been a Muslim country was typical political bullshit and, I think, was recognized as such by basically everyone.



Say whaaat??? Obama never said that. He said:

Islam has always been part of America. Starting in colonial times, many of the slaves brought here from Africa were Muslim



I'm sorry, I couldn't sit quiet and let that just sit out here in public.



My best guess is that Fox News got hold of the original statement, then did what they do. These things get repeated so often that the original statement doesn't look much like what comes out of it.
 
Mick Fisch
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Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
 
Mick Fisch
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Victor Skaggs wrote No, you do not understand multiculturalism, which is simply the acknowledgement of cultural/ethnic differences, and abandonment of the notion that the mainstream majority white culture is that of the country, or is imposed in some way.



I guess I don't understand multiculturalism, because to me the laws, customs and what passes for good manners is a reflection of the dominant culture.  You can have more than one culture in an area, but they will struggle for domination and because of different accepted practices, it leads to conflicts, this is a historical fact.  Whatever group has the upper hand generally takes advantage of it to enforce their sense of 'right and wrong'.  It doesn't mean the dominant group is right or wrong, it just means they are dominant so they make the rules, for the most part.  Would it make sense to say, 'well, your culture says that you can beat your wife, so I guess we need to allow that, but we'll throw this other guy in jail for beating his'.  No matter how much you loosen up the rules, there will always be someone standing on the outside yelling, "Hey my behavior is only a little worse, I should be accepted also."  The logical endpoint of that is that everything including mass murder and caniballism is accepted.  You're probably thinking "Oh, that would never happen, cause I know right where the rule should go."  Well, I am seeing things now that 40 or 50 years ago would have been inconceivable.  Just cause you get accepted doesn't mean the next guy is going to stop pushing for his acceptance, and the next, and the next.  There will always be people who push the edge and people who go way out of bounds.  Society, as a group of people, has a right to protect itself.  In a democratic republic, the majority generally gets to make the rules.

The part of multiculturalism I can get behind, is that we accept that other people have differences, but we have a discussion and establish and maintain standards of behavior.  Of course that means someone will not measure up.  It sucks.  The way I see it, it's either that or Lord of the Flies.  There needs to be discussions, but just because someone is unhappy with the rules doesn't mean the rules have to automatically change.  I knew a guy who taught in the Texas prison system.  He told me he never met a guilty con.  They would say something like, "Well, yeah, I shot her, but I don't think they read my whole Miranda rights to me or some other thing that had nothing to do with the fact that they had robbed, murdered or raped another person."  We still have laws against those behaviors, I guess we aren't very accepting.

It sucks to be the disliked minority.  I've experienced it several times in my life and didn't enjoy it at all.  Right now you were railing about the 'oppressive white culture', but it's nothing to do with the majority being white or christian.  It has to do with the majority of the people being in some way 'other' than you and not wanting you around or not being willing to accept behavior you think they should.  It's generally easier to be part of the majority (or the group in power, which isn't always the same thing) and you have my sympathy, because I know that is hard to be on the outside.
 
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Mick Fisch wrote:Would it make sense to say, 'well, your culture says that you can beat your wife, so I guess we need to allow that, but we'll throw this other guy in jail for beating his'.  No matter how much you loosen up the rules, there will always be someone standing on the outside yelling, "Hey my behavior is only a little worse, I should be accepted also."  The logical endpoint of that is that everything including mass murder and caniballism is accepted.  You're probably thinking "Oh, that would never happen, cause I know right where the rule should go."  Well, I am seeing things now that 40 or 50 years ago would have been inconceivable.  Just cause you get accepted doesn't mean the next guy is going to stop pushing for his acceptance, and the next, and the next.  There will always be people who push the edge and people who go way out of bounds.  Society, as a group of people, has a right to protect itself.  In a democratic republic, the majority generally gets to make the rules.



Spot on.

I remember reading how in Norway some place held a childrens’ multicultural soccer match to celebrate multiculturalism. When the boys of a certain culture learnt that there’d be- shock horror- girls included, they refused to play until all girls were removed. Boys and girls playing sport together offended their cultural and religious sensibilities. The aboriginal Norwegians refused segregation, and the soccer match was cancelled as a result.
 
Dale Hodgins
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That's a shame that they cancelled. I hate it when things get cancelled because someone doesn't want to participate. Much better to continue with whatever it is and allow those unwilling, to exclude themselves. Cancelling give them a win. Although they didn't get to play, they determined what others would do.
......
Children go door-to-door singing Christmas carols in the Philippines where my wife and in-laws are. They want money . It can be enjoyable, when it happens occasionally. When I was there at Christmas last year , my white face brought young street hustlers at very inconvenient times. I'd be trying to load my groceries or walk down the street and they would follow us or walk in front of us, singing and holding their hands out. Giving them money doesn't make it stop. Others are likely to join in. The ones coming to the door now, are all kids who live within the gated community, so they aren't poor kids who are desperate for food, they're just out trying to make a buck. They are generally well received, because almost everyone within the subdivision can afford to give them something.

There are a few families who never should have moved into expensive housing. Keeping up appearances is important to them, so some live in poverty behind their gate that is unneeded for people of their financial status. I'm sure this is a worldwide thing, where Christmas can turn into a burden for those who feel they need to buy things or entertain, when it's just not in the budget.

We bought new dresses for the little girls pictured earlier. I will get Nova to buy something for each member of her immediate family, and that will be the end of Christmas shopping for me this year. Nova will make a really good meal and invite lots of people to a Christmas party.

Eventually, I expect to get some little thing for many people that we know. That's expected in some circles and we will be producing things that could be gifts. So we might give out spices or bamboo baskets filled with other farm produce. Giving a piece of coal isn't really an option. But many people would really appreciate a bag of charcoal.
 
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I hate to chime in here, but as a history geek some of the misinformation circulating on this topic is pressing my buttons a little.  If I could clear a few things up...

X-mas: As Tereza Okava mentioned, the intent is not a cross, nor to "x out Christ", but is the Greek letter chi.  Victor Skaggs was even more accurate, describing it as chi-rho, a common combined symbol, though it did not originate with the Catholic Church, but with the Emperor Constantine, who (as legend has it)  had a vision of Christ, converted, and won a great battle because his standard ("the Labarum of Constantine") which was the familiar combined chi-rho symbol.

Concerning the word "christ", Victor also rightly pointed out that Christ is not a last name, but a title of authority, the Greek word for "anointed" they then said the Hebrew word was "yeshua".  Um, correct up until that last part.  "Yeshua" actually is a name - literally the origin of the English names Jesus and Joshua.  The Hebrew word for christ is mashiach, Pronounced, "messiah" in English.  (I once heard a radio call-in show once where the caller was trying to claim, "The Bible doesn't ever say that Jesus Christ is the Messiah".  I was banging my head on the dash board that day, I tell you what!)

While I'm skeptical about Constantine's vision, we do know is that he not only went on to end the persecution of Christianity as under previous emperors, but also by claiming it himself, made it the religion of Rome.  While no longer getting tortured and fed to lions was, no doubt, appreciated by Christians, this brought in a new wave of "christian" people who didn't believe in it so much as they saw it as a way to kiss some royal butt.  The Church became a political faction overnight, which would begin to plague much of history since then.

Back to the point, this history plays into the confused hodgepodge that is modern Christmas (and Easter, as Ryan Hobbs mentioned). There are generally three forces that account for that:  supplantation, syncretism, and metamorphosis.

First supplantation, since some people brought up "Christmas is not Jesus' birthday".  The idea of supplementation is the common custom of all cultures to tear down the symbols of the old guard and replace them with their own.  For example, the Bolsheviks pulling down the statues of the Czars and putting up statues Stalin in their place, or in Constantine's own capital, the Turks invading the beautiful Hagia Sofia cathedral and converting it to a mosque.  Same goes for holidays, feasts, traditions, etc.  The date of Christmas was carefully selected, but not to be the most accurate representation of Jesus' birthday, but rather to try to supplant pagan traditions surrounding the winter solstice.  (And the same could be said about Christmas verses more recently-created holidays like Kwanzaa and Festivus.)

As for the real timing, remember Back to the Future. "...or witness the birth of Christ" and he types in Dec 25, 0BC.  Wrong on all counts!  An independent historical record Dale Hodgins was searching for would be "Antiquities of the Jews - Book XVII" by the historian Josephus, who records the census was declared by the governor Quirinius probably in 6AD.  (Jesus was born when he was 6!??  Our calendar is so messed up!)  Of course in an agricultural economy fall also makes total sense for this as Nick Kitchener said.  After all, it's when the harvest comes in.  It's when they'd actually have the money to pay the taxes.  So, Doc, try Fall, 6AD. :)
 
In fact, I find it interesting that if you can follow along with the math, this timing lines up chillingly perfectly with the prophecy given by Daniel in the Bible.  It stands to reason, then, why wise men, literally magi/astronomers, would have shown up.  Not only were they "from the East", but I think more accurately, from modern-day Iraq, where Daniel had lived.  Let's see... something weird starts going on in the sky at the exact time our old scrolls say something would happen?  They'd have certainly put two and two together and, "game on! let's saddle up the camels, boys!"

But that's far enough off-topic.

Sometimes supplantation can successfully drown out the old holiday, but more often than not, it results in syncretism where the old customs kind of seep in in unexpected ways.  This is especially the case in the Easter example mentioned by Ryan Hobbs, but also in how some prior traditions like Christmas trees have lasted long after their original significance and symbolism has been forgotten.

The third reason for the mixed-up mess is metamorphosis.  For a prime example of that, look no further than Santa Claus himself.  "Ah, but that's Saint Nicholas!" some might be quick to point out.  Well, true... ish.  In fact, the first metamorphosis is that Saint Nicholas Day used to be its own holiday (literally "holy day", FYI) in December.  To point out the obvious, that and Christmas have become smooshed together into one over time.  Then on top of that, we have the increasingly strange metamorphoses of sleighs and chimneys and flying reindeer.  Note that the real Saint Nicholas lived on the temperate Mediterranean coast of Turkey and certainly never saw a reindeer IN. HIS. LIFE!!!
 
Tim Kivi
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‘Easter’ is very clearly an ancient spring festival that permeates all the major religions of the Middle East, just under a different story with a similar meaning of a ‘new beginning’. It’s no coincidence, and what’s interesting is that this is the most important time for all three monotheist religions. Here are the dates for 2020:

Nowrooz, 20 March (Persian new year. Most important day in Iran even today).
Passover, 8 April
Easter, 12 April
Ramadan, 23 April

All have their own greeting but all spring from the same origin.
 
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Just dropping this here...

 
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well maybe a tad late...but came across this vid again, got some good deep chuckles -->
 
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