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A holiday message - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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A holiday message [Dec. 21st, 2011|08:45 am]
Zoethe
Dear "they're taking Christ out of Christmas" hysterics: you want to know who first wanted to take Christ out of Christmas?

Martin Luther. You know, that dude who freed you from Catholic tyranny? The Puritans didn't celebrate Christmas, and neither did many other Christian sects, precisely because it was a pagan holiday. There's no evidence to support a December 25 birth of Jesus of Nazareth, but plenty of evidence of the church usurping the traditional birthdate of loads of other gods and heroes.

So how about being glad that you get to celebrate alongside everyone else who honors this time of year and being inclusive instead of grabby?

And to everyone else who gets offended when I say "Merry Christmas"? You lighten the fuck up, too. It's a holiday with a long tradition of family, friends and feasts. Enjoy it for what it is.

(This message brought to you by Curmudgeons for Common Sense.)
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[User Picture]From: aiela
2011-12-21 01:49 pm (UTC)
I think I liked this on facebook, but I'm mostly commenting to see what everyone is screaming about re: the new comment interface.

(Other than there no longer being a preview, I'm not that upset, honestly.)
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[User Picture]From: aiela
2011-12-21 01:58 pm (UTC)
On second thought, it's the behavior AFTER you post a comment that's irritating me.

Anyway. Sorry to hijack your journal. Merry Christmas! ;)
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[User Picture]From: ba1126
2011-12-21 02:02 pm (UTC)
Even though I'm Christian and bemoan the way stores make Christmas into a feeding frenzy, I agree with you on this. This year I'm also 'ticked off' by 'holier-than-thou' Christians who protest celebrating because they've read their history and KNOW it came from pagan sources. I don't really care. It's a day for "Peace on Earth" and "Good will to men" and celebrating our common understanding that there is a 'higher power' and a purpose to our being here. And that purpose involves 'loving our neighbors' and celebrating what we SHARE instead of knocking each other down.

I'll get off my soapbox now. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 04:59 pm (UTC)
Agreed entirely! Merry Christmas!
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[User Picture]From: l8ntmthrnr
2011-12-21 02:11 pm (UTC)
hear hear sister and a happy Solstice, yule, holiday season to you.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 05:02 pm (UTC)
And to you and yours!
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[User Picture]From: mariness
2011-12-21 02:11 pm (UTC)
To be fair, various elements of the Catholic Church also tried now and again to take Christ out of Christmas before Martin Luther; there's some suggestions that St. Stephen's Day and Holy Innocents Day were raised to greater liturgical importance to remind everyone that Christ did not necessary mean wildly drunk carousing time.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 05:02 pm (UTC)
Good point.
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[User Picture]From: fyarr
2011-12-21 02:13 pm (UTC)
This is why I just wish everyone happy "whatever". I try to accommodate my family as best I can, but sometimes that pesky "Happy Holidays" just slips out. I mean, it's still a holiday, right?

I'd prefer it if everyone could just be enjoy the season for what it is to them, and let me enjoy it in kind. :)
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2011-12-21 03:15 pm (UTC)
I'd prefer it if everyone could just be enjoy the season for what it is to them, and let me enjoy it in kind. :)

This. Exactly.
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[User Picture]From: oakangel
2011-12-21 02:16 pm (UTC)
Exactly what I'd have liked to have posted! Would you mind terribly if I linked to this post on my Facebook page?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 05:05 pm (UTC)
I prefer you link to my Facebook version of it, as I do try to keep FB, which is where my family lurks, separate from my LJ. I'm just Gini Judd over there.
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[User Picture]From: azurelunatic
2011-12-21 02:20 pm (UTC)
Well-said! And Happy Solstice!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and you, too!
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From: anonymousalex
2011-12-21 02:35 pm (UTC)
I'll agree with you on the former. Frankly, I think the idea that Christmas is "under attack" in this country would be laughable (along with most other similar Christian victimization theories) but for the fact that there's a critical mass of people who actually take it seriously.

As for the latter, IME at least, I think describing the reaction as "offended" is, if not quite a strawman argument, at least something of an overstatement. One must consider the comment ("Merry Christmas") in context: in this country, it's part of a massive, nay overwhelming barrage of messages that say to anyone who isn't Christian "Don't you ever forget that you're not one of us."

No, that isn't the primary message that the speaker intends (at least I assume), but there is, at least in large swaths of this country, a certain thoughtless presumption that people are Christian which can certainly rankle.

Are there a large plurality of exceptions to that characterization? Of course. Depending on one's location (percentage of non-Christians locally) and on the speaker (say, yourself, who is known not to be Christian), the subtextual message can seem quite different. But in what I suspect is the majority of cases, it's there, and it's that which is the issue, such as it is. IMO, of course.

Finally, love love LOVE your icon.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 05:08 pm (UTC)
Well, but then that is to say that Christmas should only belong to the Christians and everyone else should be separated from the very valid secular celebrations of that holiday, which is a premise I don't accept. I love Christmas, I will always love Christmas, and I want my part of it, too.

It's an awesome icon, I have to say. I can't take credit, but I love using it.
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2011-12-21 02:36 pm (UTC)
I had to laugh at a rather rabid Pagan who threw a fit about CHRISTmas and Merry Christmas and the like.

Yet he had a tree and gave presents...and bitched over the name Christmas (yet bought his tree at either a Christmas Tree Lot or Christmas Tree Farm heh).

At least the rabid Christians (whom I don't care for either) who bitch about Halloween being evil don't celebrate it.

Blessings are blessings. If they're meant from the heart, who the hell cares? I'll take a blessing and well wishes from anyone no matter how they choose to verse it.

Kudos on knowing the Martin Luther bit. Few do. Puritans didn't celebrate anything and Catholics were notorious for assimilating other holidays into their own.

Celebrate. Celebrate often. Celebrate the small things. Because if you bitch about it, or only celebrate the big things, you're missing a ton of fun. Wisdom from Grandma Nell who was probably a GreenWytch. We celebrated everything that came along and sometimes *just because*.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 05:12 pm (UTC)
Evergreens as midwinter decorations far precede them as Christmas trees, so I don't see any disjunct between being pagan and having a Yule tree. But yeah, get over the Merry Christmas part, dude!

Catholics did that because of their Roman heritage. Romans went around vacuuming up culture and adapting it to themselves with merry abandonment!
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From: (Anonymous)
2011-12-21 02:36 pm (UTC)

Free from Catholic tyranny?

That would be great if they hadn't gotten Protestant Tyranny in its place--which sometimes came with no booze and no dancing.

Happy Holidays,
Charlie O.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 05:12 pm (UTC)

Re: Free from Catholic tyranny?

Catholic tyranny was said a bit tongue in cheek. Protestant tyranny is more prevalent all the time.
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[User Picture]From: stripedsocks
2011-12-21 03:05 pm (UTC)
*kermit flail* Yaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!! */kermit flail*

THANK you for writing this so concisely.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 05:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: mishamish
2011-12-21 03:24 pm (UTC)
Of course, Martin Luther also taught that St. Paul's term "arsenokoithai" meant that lazy people who wank wouldn't inherit the kingdom of heaven, rather than the more popular current interpretation of "teh gays." So I'm pretty sure there's a pretty significant overlap of population of people who don't really wanna think about what Martin Luther's opinions were, anyway. :-D
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 05:15 pm (UTC)
Interesting! I like him better already. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: violet_helix
2011-12-21 03:27 pm (UTC)
This. Exactly this. I just wish there was a way to translate it into language that my Holier-than-thou, Born Again Christian stepmother would understand or at least accept as something other than an attack on the Swwet Baby Jesus himself.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 05:16 pm (UTC)
I feel so fortunate that I have no such relatives to deal with - I have them, they're just far enough away that I don't have to deal with them!
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[User Picture]From: mrs_kat_tyler
2011-12-21 03:46 pm (UTC)
I agree 100%. When a friend brought this up this week I mentioned that as a kid I never thought about "Happy Holidays" as just a way to include Hannukah and Kwanza or whatever but because it was an easy way to say "Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy your Christmas and New Years" since they all come so close to each other.

The other argument that confuses me? That the Puritans came here for religious freedom so we should all say "Merry Christmas" instead of pandering to those of other religious or are not religious with our "Happy Holidays". It hurts my head to try to understand the thought process when I hear that. I just don't know what to say...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 05:17 pm (UTC)
These are people who want to interpret them as coming to build a Christian nation, not a free one. They scare me.
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[User Picture]From: wdomburg
2011-12-21 05:33 pm (UTC)
Martin Luther. You know, that dude who freed you from Catholic tyranny?

That argument isn't likely to be compelling to Catholics. ;)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-12-21 05:41 pm (UTC)
The Catholics I know are all very cool about the secular side of Christmas so I'm not worried about that.
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