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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel


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Christmas... Holidays... Winter... whatever it is
Rocket Skates
stainsteelrat
Saw an interesting article on CNN last night about the religious backlash (or frontlash) over Christmas vs. Holiday term in the USA. Similar things have of course been afoot in the UK with the changes of "Christmas Lights" to "Winter Lights" in some towns and cities.

One thing I hadn't heard before though was that in the US Constitution apparently all religions are supposed to be treated equally, or something to that effect. A surprisingly forward piece of thinking for the time it was written (although my US history isn't good at the best of times... hell my history is ropey full stop). So some folks are citing the Constitution as being a reason not to call Christmas err... Christmas, well at least not in public circles. Also various religious items, principally Christian, are being removed from government related buildings such as courts. Although this I agree with. The government should be independent of religion. Then they discussed the problem with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Constitution being at odds, and that I think one state has had this altered.

Well, I found it interesting :-)


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Yeah, it's supposed to be separation of church and state but the Pledge of Allegiance contains "... one nation under God". And if you weren't absolutely certain of the hypocracy, there is always our currency which has written on every bill and coin "In God we Trust".

True, God does not necessarily define a church, it is refering to religious principles and by association wouldn't THAT be church.

OK, I'm done using up you LJ space to rant. whew. apologies *grin*

I guess it's more the case that God does tend to get ascribed to the Christian form. It was an interesting report about the confusion.

The founding fathers didn't define god as a church, they all believed in a higher being. The founding fathers were all Freemasons. Our Supreme Court has the 10 Commandments inscribed in it's walls. Our congress also has a chaplin and opens each session with a prayer. This being said, the way our government acts in order to be politically correct is absurd. You can't put nativity scenes on public places, yet you can place a Menorah. Since 90% of the citizens are Christian, I think that Christmas should be recognized as such. Just remember that the God of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims is the same God of Abraham.

Aloha,

Jeff

But what about Buddhists, Pagans?... ;-)

Personally I agree with the separation, and those who want to pratice religion need to do it outside of the political institution.

I think it's silly though to change Christmas for Holidays. Call a spade a spade. I don't see Hanukah and other religious holidays having to be defined as "Holidays" also, although Christianity is obviously the most popular one in the USA and a few other countries.

And on the subject of popularity, when 90% of your voters are Christian (in some form anyway) it becomes hard to effect change I would imagine. I wonder how those who complain about things changing though would feel if they were the minority religion...

There was mention on the report of a householder being instructed by his local neighbourhood organisation to remove his nativity (ironically they were Iraqi immigrants who'd live in the USA for 30 years). This was relatively small potatoes though compared to the other issues, and I think was probably more down to the thing looking like an eye sore ;-)

But that question of Buddhists, pagans, and other fringe groups brings this to bear.....why should I let a small percentage of people dictate what I can or can't do? One of the tenents of a democracy is majority rule, after all.

A good ultra liberal Jewish friend of mine went to a Baptist Church for a service remembering 9/11. She was offended that the pastor kept bringing up Jesus Christ. I asked her what she expected in a Baptist Church. She thought that the pastor should consider the thoughts of any people in the audience who might not believe in Jesus, and not mention his name. I laughed at that one.

People in the USA want to be politically correct which is a form of censorship. For instance, in our congress there is the Congressional Black Caucus which excludes whites. If a white member of congress were to start a Congressional White Caucus, they'd be branded racist. This country is so screwed up in the matter of racial relations, it's not funny.

There's a movement among a large segment of the black population in the USA who are trying to get a lump sum cash settlement for each black, because their forefathers were brought here as slaves. The numbers bandied about are staggering, with the average settlement of $200,000 per black person. This movement is really taking on steam in this country among the blacks.

During the slave years, there were many blacks who were free. In fact there were many free blacks who owned slaves....I wonder if their descenmdents will get the cash also...LOL:)

Aloha,

Jeff

On the topic of religion though, I think it's important to keep government separate. There will always be minority religions, and I wouldn't feel happy as a minority religion walking into a court with the ten commandments inscribed on the wall or some other icon. Of course democracy is majority rule, but it shouldn't also be religious majority rule.

On the other hand I have no beef with calling Christmas "Christmas", Hanuka "Hanuka" etc. That's going too far, as is having to remove nativity scenes from the front lawn.

I think there's a balance to be struck.

The Black Caucus is clearly a different topic. Positive discrimination is a bad idea generally as it can often alienate minority groups even further. As for slave reparations, ultimately this all happened a long time ago and you have to learn to forgive and forget at a certain point, also though to learn from the mistakes.

In this country, certain minority groups have a victim's mentality. They use this to rationalize their failure to improve their lot. Certain liberal political parties exploit this trait to garner votes, and keep things like slave reparations on the table.

The Chinese came over to the US as indentured railroad workers. They worked their asses off, their entire families work their asses off. The poverty rate among Asians in thyis country is almost nil.

When you go to court, if you are any religion, you are not expected to be happy, you are expected to be a little frightened.

If you go into any court, you will find at least 6 Masonic symbols in every courtroom in the land. On the US Dollar Bill, there are at least 30 Masonic symbols. Masons are not a religion, just a group of men who all believe in a higher power. No atheist can belong to the Masons.

The 10 commandments are the basis for English Common Law, American Law, European law, and most of the laws of the civilized world, with the exception of China and Japan.

Aloha,

Jeff

The 10 commandments are common sense, and law is to a certain degree. No need to push religous icons in peoples faces though, particularly in a place that *should* be seen as free and independent.

I find the Masonic idea a little irritating as well in all honesty, and really it's just a form of Gentlemans club, which in itself just hails back to children's gangs. Why people have to belong to a club to be able to give and receive favours is beyond me. If Masonry requires a religious concern then there is a link, and it's often associated with Christianity (for the right or wrong reasons).

In all honesty, you don't know what you're talking about with the Masons.

Aloha,

Jeff

This is my perception of them, and I think most peoples perception, but then I'm not a member and have not "experienced" what they're all about.

Of course maybe if you are a member you're going to be defensive of them.

One of the tenents of Freemasonry is that we never, ever defend ourselves, as there is no need to. We don't care about what people's perception of Masonry is, either.

http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/
One of the sites around that has some info on Masonry.

Aloha,

Jeff

Well it seems the eye above the pyramid is a load of hooey, if nothing else ;-)

You're right, the eye is a great misconception.

Aloha,

Jeff

my country is a christocracy. it's totally fucked.

Certainly if government and religion blur, and it surprises me that USAians tend to follow the Constitution so "religiously" in some senses (isn't the Constitution the document that cites the right to bear arms?) yet in this topic not.

I guess the problem with the Constitution is that it was a bit of a community document with probably all sorts of ideas chucked in for a USA gone by.

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