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Battle stations! Or, uh, not.... - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Battle stations! Or, uh, not.... [Dec. 13th, 2009|12:11 pm]
Zoethe
Two excellent responses to the Christmas hijacking hysteria:

First, an interesting historical explanation about how little Christ has historically had to do with the celebration. (Thank you, saraphina_marie for pointing out this essay.)

Second, a letter written by a conservative Christian group pointing out the Christian way of addressing the perceived problem. While I don't really believe there is a war on Christmas, I appreciate someone taking a "mote and beam" approach to the issue. EDIT: Didn't realize it was a locked post; here is the text of the letter:

Letter from Jesus about Christmas:

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that, let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up... It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember.

I LOVE YOU,

JESUS
------------------------

The notion that a midwinter holiday should "belong" to any single group is ridiculous. That being said, I love Christmas carols, particularly the religious ones, as lovely and nostalgic music of my childhood. Just because I am not Christian doesn't mean I can't love it.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: ebonypearl
2009-12-13 05:34 pm (UTC)
Your second link is a locked post. Would you mind posting the highlights for those of us lacking permission to view the real thing?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-13 05:40 pm (UTC)
Oops. Edited.
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[User Picture]From: iscari0t
2009-12-13 05:41 pm (UTC)
alyxbradford had me right up until they got all "pagans enjoy their winter holiday more than other people". Excellent article, but yeah - definitely poorly ended. Though I allow, it is a livejournal, so I can't expect flawless execution.

Also - the second link is forbidden.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-13 05:43 pm (UTC)
Just realized that the second was locked; put the text behind a cut.

And yeah, wrapping up is often tough.

Edited at 2009-12-13 05:44 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-13 05:46 pm (UTC)
Because there was so much historical accuracy in that movie. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2009-12-13 08:40 pm (UTC)
Amen!
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[User Picture]From: kenp_v3
2009-12-13 10:00 pm (UTC)
But isn't this all a side issue? I mean the real threat to the "spirit of Christmas" is consumerism and the selfish behavior it encourages. One of the saddest stories I ever heard was last year when that Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death on black friday. All because a bunch of people wanted to get some toy that their kid just had to have (or his/her Christmas would have been miserable?).
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-13 10:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, I don't disagree that there is way too much emphasis on shopping and consumerism. If that were the only issue I'd definitely be okay with it. But the hysteria of "nonChristians are stealing our holiday" is the issue.
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[User Picture]From: jenk
2009-12-13 11:22 pm (UTC)
This stuff really makes me want to channel my uncle's "Those #_)*$@# preachers! NOW they're trying to horn in on Christmas!!!" rant.

Edited at 2009-12-13 11:22 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-13 11:33 pm (UTC)
LOL!
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[User Picture]From: mamculuna
2009-12-14 12:31 am (UTC)
Hooray for the letter writer!

I just came back from a retreat (I'll probably write more about it) at a center where five eco-spiritualist, feminist nuns have many Christian events interspersed with Native American drum and sweat lodge events, us Buddhists and...hmmm, who could have been using that Celtic tree and Circle of Trees? I hope Ratzinger never finds out about them, but that's what Christianity could be. Restoring an old cemetery where enslaved Africans were buried, planting cypress in the swamp, they haven't gotten time to worry about whether or not people can wish them happy holidays. Sister Ursula for Pope!

Edited at 2009-12-14 12:34 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-14 12:45 am (UTC)
There is lots of "underground Catholicism" out there - if it hadn't been for that, I would have left the church sooner than I did. When it was yanked away by a suddenly-attentive parish, I felt betrayed.
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[User Picture]From: trillian42
2009-12-14 04:23 am (UTC)
Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.
y'know, OR NOT, since that would deprive a bunch of people who can only work weekends of half of their income.

Other than that, sure.
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[User Picture]From: finding_helena
2009-12-15 02:28 am (UTC)
Or you could not shop there on Saturdays, which would (taken to this illogical conclusion) allow Jewish employees to spend their sabbath with their families.

I am torn on this because I really don't want to work Sundays for my own religious reasons, and may face that hindering me in my career, but I don't care for the idea of places assuming everyone wants/should want Sunday off for religious reasons and closing on that day.
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[User Picture]From: ithildae
2009-12-14 04:30 am (UTC)
We live in a suburban area near a major metropolis. It is a majority of white in the school district, but a simple reading of the music program participants is a jawbreaking process because of the cultures represented. In two concert evenings, call it two and a half hours of music, there was not one single Christmas piece performed. That bothers me.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-14 04:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's pretty amazing.
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[User Picture]From: libco
2009-12-14 06:47 am (UTC)
Can I steal the letter text?
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[User Picture]From: libco
2009-12-14 06:48 am (UTC)
Actually I will steal it and if you tell me later no-I will take it down-cuz I am too impatient to wait.
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[User Picture]From: lishablog
2009-12-14 08:36 am (UTC)
I LOVE Christmas carols, and I simply adore going out caroling. (Not that I get the chance these days, but you know.)

I have a funny Christmas carol story. When I was a kid I was always in choir, but I went to a Jewish day school, so I never learned Christmas carols at all. But when I was in High School I was finally in a public school. Thing is, I'm an alto. So, I didn't *exactly* learn any Christmas carols then, either. I just learned the harmonies to a bunch of Christmas carols. So for a few years, until I finally took the time to learn the melody lines of some carols, whenever Christmas came I'd walk around singing "Ding, dong, ding dong" or other not-quite-right-sounding carol bits with great gusto, much to the chagrin of everyone else who didn't quite get it. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-14 05:00 pm (UTC)
That's great.
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[User Picture]From: cindyg
2009-12-14 09:05 am (UTC)
I love that "letter from Jesus"! It makes perfect sense to me that certain people spend more time fussing about, than passing the love around, in a season where everyone mouths "peace to all of goodwill".

May I pimp this out to my Twitter circle?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-14 05:01 pm (UTC)
Absolutely.
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[User Picture]From: celticcowboy68
2009-12-14 10:49 pm (UTC)
"Just because I am not Christian doesn't mean I can't love it."

Seconded. I'm about eighteen shades of non-religious and dammit, some o' them there christmas carols are just beautiful music. A thing is not bad/good because it's religious, or bad/good because it's not.

A thing can simply be good because it's good.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-15 02:06 am (UTC)
Very much so.
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[User Picture]From: joemorf
2009-12-15 09:24 am (UTC)
I'm not Christian either, and I make my living this time of year singing Christmas Carols!

~j
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-12-15 04:38 pm (UTC)
What a great way to make a living!
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