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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The all over the map War on Religion Thread. (Page 2)

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Author Topic: The all over the map War on Religion Thread.
The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I agree that getting angry about well wishes is pointless but why would you wish someone a Merry Christmas when they don't celebrate Christmas?

Usually because I don't know, but shouldn't it be enough that I celebrate Christmas. When I greet someone with a "Good Morning, isn't it a beautiful day", I'm sharing my own good cheer not commanding them to enjoy it as well.

I enjoy Christmas. Should I keep that a secret to keep from hurting peoples feelings. If I throw a party in December, I'm celebrating Christmas. If I invite friends who are Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or athiest, should I need to hide that to make them feel welcome?

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kmbboots
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You don't need to keep anything secret. The beautiful day you are referencing is likely shared by that person you are greeting. You wouldn't say, "Isn't it a beautiful day!" to someone in a different time zone where it was still night or to someone whose weather was lousy that day. Their response would likely be similar to that of Rabbi Stein when you wish him a Merry Christmas. How silly it would sound to wish, "Good morning," when talking long distance with someone for whom it is late afternoon. Even if it is morning for you.

I get that you enjoy Christmas. So do I. But are your good wishes about you or about them? You might love peanuts, but you wouldn't give them to someone who is allergic to peanuts because you enjoy them. Right?

If you don't know, why not stick with, "Happy Holidays"?

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shadowland
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
When I greet someone with a "Good Morning, isn't it a beautiful day", I'm sharing my own good cheer not commanding them to enjoy it as well.

But you are suggesting that they enjoy it in the same way that you enjoy it, are you not? Isn't the implied meaning, "I wish you have a merry Christmas" rather than "I'm glad I'm having a merry Christmas?"

And it is different that wishing someone good day, which is a very generic greeting. It would be more like saying, "Good morning. Enjoy the game" to everyone you meet regardless of their situation. Not that it's worth getting upset over, but it wouldn't make sense to say that to everyone.

<edit> er, what kmb said.

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Scott R
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I work with a number of Muslims; I don't wish them a Merry Christmas; I say, "Enjoy the time off!" or something like that.

That's what seems courteous to me.

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maui babe
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
How silly it would sound to wish, "Good morning," when talking long distance with someone for whom it is late afternoon. Even if it is morning for you.

I actually do this all the time... I've never had anyone correct me, get annoyed or suggest that it sounds the slightest bit silly.
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kmbboots
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So do you think they have a good morning at 6 pm? Or are they just polite?
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maui babe
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Why would they care? I certainly don't mind when I'm wished good afternoon when it's barely dawn here (unless they wake me up at 4 am, which has happened more than once). It's sometimes a good idea for people to be reminded that NYC, Chicago or Atlanta isn't the center of the universe.

As for the holiday greeting issue, we've discussed that ad nauseam in past years here. I'm really not interested in rehashing all of that.

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kmbboots
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I agree that people shouldn't get all bent about it. I am just saying that it doesn't make sense.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
You wouldn't say, "Isn't it a beautiful day!" to someone in a different time zone where it was still night or to someone whose weather was lousy that day. Their response would likely be similar to that of Rabbi Stein when you wish him a Merry Christmas. How silly it would sound to wish, "Good morning," when talking long distance with someone for whom it is late afternoon. Even if it is morning for you.
I experience this on a regular basis and actually strongly disagree with the point. I talk on the phone to people in different time zones and don't find it in the least bit silly when someone says "Good Morning" when its morning by them and not by me. I enjoy comments from my friends about the beautiful snowfall they just had or their great ski trip, even though I'm living in the tropics. I routinely share my excitement over a day snorkeling on the beach with friends and family who are the middle of a winter storm. I don't have to share an experience with someone, to take pleasure in hearing about it.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
I work with a number of Muslims; I don't wish them a Merry Christmas; I say, "Enjoy the time off!" or something like that.

That's what seems courteous to me.

The Muslim's I work with celebrate Christmas with their neighbors. It would seem discourteous to exclude them from the festivities when they enjoy the secular aspects of the celebration.
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kmbboots
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I have not made myself clear.

There is no problem at all with sharing your joy about your lovely day or celebrating their happiness about their experiences. It is wishing them a good experience that they aren't having that is nonsensical. Your friends, I hope, aren't saying, "Gee, I hope you enjoy the snow."

Let me try again. You are going on a trip and your friend is staying home. Sharing your excitement about your trip is lovely. Saying to him, "Have a great trip!" is silly.

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Scott R
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
I work with a number of Muslims; I don't wish them a Merry Christmas; I say, "Enjoy the time off!" or something like that.

That's what seems courteous to me.

The Muslim's I work with celebrate Christmas with their neighbors. It would seem discourteous to exclude them from the festivities when they enjoy the secular aspects of the celebration.
Obviously we work with different Muslims. Neat!
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Mucus
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It should be noted that the two sentiments aren't exactly contradictory.

Maybe they appreciate either greeting as long as there is some thoughtfulness behind it. Maybe the dynamics of being wished "Merry Christmas" are different in the context of a majority culture where "a war on Christmas" is being fought as opposed to a much more fragmented culture where "Merry Christmas" might be viewed more as ethnic flair. It could even be the case that Muslims in either group might have a number of different opinions, opinions that we might ever find out because some might be too courteous or not want to make a big deal about getting the "wrong" greeting, which ever might be the case.

I also note that both examples involve Muslims that one works with. There are "friend friends" and "work friends" which can put another layer of difficulty on assessing the truth.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I have not made myself clear.

There is no problem at all with sharing your joy about your lovely day or celebrating their happiness about their experiences. It is wishing them a good experience that they aren't having that is nonsensical. Your friends, I hope, aren't saying, "Gee, I hope you enjoy the snow."

Let me try again. You are going on a trip and your friend is staying home. Sharing your excitement about your trip is lovely. Saying to him, "Have a great trip!" is silly.

The analogy doesn't fit because the day is known as Christmas whether you celebrated it or not. If a Indian colleague brought you a plate of sweets and wished you a Happy Diwali, would it be inappropriate. If a French friend wished you a Happy Bastille Day, would you get bent out of shape? Should you query people about their position on Northern Ireland before wishing them a Happy Saint Patrick's Day? Would you wish a Canadian neighbor a Happy 4th of July? Could you enjoy being invited to a Seder, even though you aren't Jewish?

I know its not that simple. I'm saying it should be. There is no legitimate reason why Christians should get upset about non-Christians celebrating Christmas in a purely secular fashion. And there is no legitimate reason why anyone should be offended by other people celebrating their religious holidays publicly. I find it unfortunate that we can't do that in current American culture and wish I knew how to fix the problem.

[ December 09, 2011, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
I work with a number of Muslims; I don't wish them a Merry Christmas; I say, "Enjoy the time off!" or something like that.

That's what seems courteous to me.

The Muslim's I work with celebrate Christmas with their neighbors. It would seem discourteous to exclude them from the festivities when they enjoy the secular aspects of the celebration.
Obviously we work with different Muslims. Neat!
I suspect that the big difference is that the Muslims I work with have been living among Christians for several generations.

I presume it would be much more difficult to enjoy Christmas as a Muslim immigrant in a majority Christian country in today's climate. In today's world, Muslim's have much much more justification in feeling their religion and culture are under attack than do Christians.

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Rakeesh
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Seems to me that it's understandable why someone might be mildly irritated to be wished a Merry Christmas if they weren't Christian. A sort of, "Thanks, but we're not all Christians," sort of thing. Nothing to get into a froth over, but understandably a bit frustrating, especially if it happens a *lot*.

Given that the large majority of people you meet in the USA aren't going to mind being wished a Merry Christmas, it doesn't seem problematic to use that as a standard phrase in the holidays, but if you know someone isn't a Christian-that's without knowing if they have a problem with the phrase, that is-and you say it anyway, that strikes me as a bit rude. If you've got an Australian acquaintance, say, wishing them a happy Fourth of July would be odd. It's not their holiday.

Of course, the phrase is gonna get used reflexively because, well, of how usually appropriate it is. No problem with saying it by reflex, it's when (and I hardly think this happens often) you say it intentionally to someone who isn't a Christian more than once that actual, discussion-worthy rudeness has happened.

Not seriously rude or anything, just a bit inconsiderate, that's all. If y

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jebus202
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I wouldn't find it weird if an American wished me happy Fourth of July. I'd just wish it right back. Rabbit's right, it really doesn't need to be so complicated.
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kmbboots
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They day you leave on your ski trip is known to your neighbor as the day you are leaving on your ski trip.

I have said at least a couple of times that people shouldn't necessarily* get upset about it. Nor is it about a public celebration. Of course, none of those greeting would upset me but I would not wish my Canadian neighbor a Happy 4th. I would, if I remembered to, wish him a happy Canada Day a few days earlier. Wishes, like gifts, should be given with the recipient in mind rather than the giver.

*Though I can see being annoyed at what could be seen as triumphalism from a dominant culture. You might want to watch who you wish what if you visit N. Ireland especially if you are wishing people a happy 12th.

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shadowland
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FWIW, I don't think I know anyone that doesn't celebrate Christmas that has actually been personally offended by being wished a Merry Christmas. I have, however, spoken with people who celebrate Christmas that have been offended by being told "Happy Holidays."

So anecdotally speaking, it seems that the people who are typically offended are the ones that celebrate Christmas, yet the perception is that it is ones that don't celebrate Christmas that are so easily offended.

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advice for robots
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I think the ones who complain about it on either side are the vocal minority as usual, the same ones forcing all the people in the middle who are fine with however they are greeted to walk on eggshells.
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Dan_Frank
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I've seen both, Shadowland. Anecdotally, I agree with you. I've seen a few more Christians offended by "Happy holidays!" than non-Christians offended by "Merry Christmas!" But that was working customer service, where I saw hundreds of people a day, and even with that I've actually seen very very little of either. The vast majority of individuals, it seems to me, don't actually care and aren't going to get offended one way or the other. Because honestly, what kind of tool gets offended when someone is trying to be nice to them?

Personally, I tend to let the person I'm talking to say it first and then use whatever they did, unless I already knew them and know what they are going to use. If neither option is available, I say Happy Holidays. Just because I don't think people have a right not to be offended, and just because I think it's a really dumb thing to get offended over, doesn't mean I actually like offending people for no reason. [Smile]

Teshi/Rabbit/Orincoro/Etc... I'm well aware of the body of text, writing and decisions that support a separation of church and state. I also agree with them, for the most part! I just rankled a bit at the smug tone in which you (Teshi) acted as though anyone who objects to the extent to which we separate church and state is going against a law "enshrined" in that constitution they love so much. I think that's a pretty gross mischaracterization, given that the issue is not nearly that clear-cut.

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vegimo
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I have never been offended when someone greets me by saying "Happy Holidays." The offensive part of the issue is when they are forbidden from saying "Merry Christmas."
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kmbboots
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It depends on why someone is forbidden from saying, "Merry Christmas". I would need some context to know if it is appropriate or not.
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Mucus
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Doing some quick guesstimating, this poll reports that 32 percent of Americans are offended by "Happy Holidays" and 5 percent are offended by "Happy Christmas" while also saying that upwards of 85% of Americans are Christian.
http://www.christianpost.com/news/more-americans-offended-by-145-happy-holidays-146-than-145-merry-christmas-146-23973/

Assuming that there aren't many Christians that are offended by "Happy Christmas" and vice versa, that would give about 38% of Christians that are offended by "Happy Holidays" and about 33% of non-Christians that are offended by "Happy Christmas."

So the claim that Christians are more sensitive about this may very well be true. The claim that these are vocal minority groups is also true overall, but they aren't trivially small either. That 32% overall could potentially mean majorities among smaller groups.

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advice for robots
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I'm curious about what in either greeting people take offense at, how offended they are (enough to speak out publicly about it or just enough that it registers in their thoughts) and whether "offended" is always the right term for the emotion (perhaps they are mildly irritated but take no offense). I also wonder how many people would never have voiced their opinion and how many wouldn't have even really thought about that emotion if they hadn't been asked in a poll.
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Traceria
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Teshi, you wrote, “…if Christianity stopped trying to remind everyone of it all the time there would be far more public Christmas celebrations because atheists and people of other religions would participate more willingly.”

I have a couple issues with this. The first is this: You’re assuming that the “fault” of lack of participation is someone else’s. No one is holding these people at gun point, a gun pulled out from under a pillow no doubt, and trying to make them participate nor are they trying to keep them from participating. If traffic is backed up on a road to my office, I may choose to attempt an alternate route or I may choose to crawl forward with the rest of the cars in the backup. Whatever the cause of the backup, it’s my own choice how I react. I think it’s the choice of the individual, be they an atheist or a person who practices a religion other than Christianity, to not participate, willing or otherwise, in celebrating Christmas.

The second issue I have is that in many Christian sects, it is thought that the message of Christianity is not just for the Christian, but should be shared. I wouldn’t say that it needs to be shouted obnoxiously, but if asked about it, if asked about what Christmas is, the serious, practicing Christian will probably say something about the birth of Jesus. Do you really expect them to keep silent? Please clarify if I’ve completely read this wrong.

On a note somewhat related to one of Rabbit’s comments, I have one boss that is Jewish and one that is Catholic (there are only two partners in our firm). The Catholic one actually took a trip to Rome this past Spring and came back and felt free to say it was very special to him because of his faith. The Jewish one and his nephew, who also works in the office, get no grief when they talk about their beliefs and celebrations, and the Christians, mostly Catholic strangely enough, in the office get none when they do the same. In fact, my Jewish boss greatly dislikes avoiding mention of Christmas or the putting up of Christmas decorations. He feels that if people in the office felt they shouldn’t for his sake that would be more appalling. Instead, we all have a good time at the holiday party. [Wink]

Edit: Fixed verb tense.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
[QB]Assuming that there aren't many Christians that are offended by "Happy Christmas" and vice versa, that would give about 38% of Christians that are offended by "Happy Holidays" and about 33% of non-Christians that are offended by "Happy Christmas."

While I think its a reasonable assumption that there aren't many Christians that are offended by "Happy Christmas", the vice versa is not true in my experience. I know several atheists who think "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" is offensive. There are also some Christian sects, like Jehovah's witnesses, that eschew Christmas so I think there is considerable folly in the conclusions you are trying to make.

Even if the assumption were reasonable, I doubt the difference is statistically significant.

I have noticed that Christians who take offense at the generic greetings are usually under the impression that its something being pushed by atheists and liberal humanists who want to suppress religious expression. They've never really considered that it could be motivated by a desire to be inclusive of people from diverse religious backgrounds.

An awful lot of Americans have never really known anyone who was devoutly religious but not Christian and so it doesn't really occur to them that people might object to "Merry Christmas" for reasons other than a general opposition to religious expression.

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Geraine
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It should be simple. Is Christmas a federal holiday? IT IS! So I think it is perfectly acceptable to say Merry Christmas whether you celebrate it or not.

There has been one time that someone has said something back about it. I said Merry Christmas to a customer and she replied back "I'm Jewish." So I wished her a Happy Hanukkah, she thanked me, and left.

We tell everyone Happy Thanksgiving, Happy 4th of July, and Happy New Year. I don't ever remember hearing of Chinese people getting offended over being wished a Happy New Year when they don't celebrate it until almost a month later.

I'm with Rabbit. You are wishing the person well, and there shouldn't be anything wrong with it.

I'd be interested to see how much charitable giving increases during the month of December. If only we could find a way to convince everyone in the country to give like that all year long.... [Smile]

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The Rabbit
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I think atheists get blamed for a lot of stuff that is actually done to protect religious minorities not secularism. The Santa Fe Independent v. Does decision that banned student lead prayers at football games is a classic example of this. Its frequently used as an example of the liberal humanist war on Christianity, despite the fact that the lawsuit was initiated by two different Christian families. I've even heard Mormons complain about the decision and the horrible activities of the ACLU without ever recognizing that the ACLU was defending a Mormon student who was being persecuted at a public school.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
It should be simple. Is Christmas a federal holiday? IT IS! So I think it is perfectly acceptable to say Merry Christmas whether you celebrate it or not.

That's rather circular reasoning. It's a federal holiday because the majority of the culture (at least at the time it was made a legal holiday) identified as Christian. Part of what makes that kind of attitude obnoxious is specifically the marginalization by the majority of the minority.

I'm among the occasionally-irritated-but-almost-never-offended crowd afr alluded to above. I appreciate when someone makes the effort to say "happy holidays" instead, but don't usually think much of it when someone says "merry xmas". The few exceptions have been specific deliberately obnoxious individuals, and their obnoxiousness was about them, not their religion.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
I'm with Rabbit. You are wishing the person well, and there shouldn't be anything wrong with it.
For me, its more than just this. I think its a pity that Americans can't simply relax and enjoy living in a multi-cultural, multi-religious society. It's a shame that a celebration like Christmas would be something people find divisive and offensive.

And honestly, I think Christians are primarily to blame for this. We can't really expect Jews, Muslims, Buddhist, Hindus and atheists to respect and appreciate Christian traditions when some Christians are so vocal in demonizing and even persecuting non-Christians.

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The Rabbit
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Perhaps I'm naive, but think that expressions like "Jesus is the reason for the season" reflect more cluelessness than intentional proselyting.

In my experience, such sentiments are generally spoken with the presumption that everyone listening is some sort of Christian and the intent is to encourage Christians to focus more on the religious rather than secular aspects of Christmas.

Such expressions are completely appropriate when directed at a Christian audience but clearly insensitive and insulting when they are issued to a general audience.

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jebus202
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I like it when a religious person says to me "God be with you". I could potentially take it as some kind of affront for neglecting to consider my beliefs, but that would be silly, since at the end of the day the person is just trying to be nice and is sharing something that's important to them with me. If a Jewish person wished me a Happy Chanukah, I'd probably respond with "Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas", to respect what they're sharing with me and share my holiday back with them. I don't know why it has to be something people get annoyed about, but I admit that could be attributed to living in a country entirely dominated by the trappings of Christianity when it comes to holidays, much more so than the US is.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I agree that getting angry about well wishes is pointless but why would you wish someone a Merry Christmas when they don't celebrate Christmas? It is rather like wishing someone Happy Birthday when it isn't their birthday. Wouldn't it make more sense to wish them a happy whatever they have? If you really wish them well, why not express that wish in a way that will please the recipient?

Because "Merry Christmas" is a phrase that means more than "let's celebrate the birth of my God". I just wished a jewish person Merry Christmas, then realized I had, and THEY laughed and wished me one back. They weren't offended, they took it to mean I hoped they enjoyed the holiday season, which to me is at least as much about family and helping others as it is the birth of Christ.

I have no problem with enjoying the season, even if my own faith and beliefs are not completely in tune with a lot of mainstream Christians, because I respect the tradition, which has always been very important to my family.

When I ask someone how have you been, I don't really want a laundry list of every ailment they have either, but I still say it because it is one way of being polite and opening a conversation. [Big Grin]

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
It should be simple. Is Christmas a federal holiday? IT IS! So I think it is perfectly acceptable to say Merry Christmas whether you celebrate it or not.

:sigh: okay...
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Shanna
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I personally love Christmas. I will sing "We Three Kings" loudly and repeatedly to all of my coworkers. I don't have a problem with my friends wishing me a Merry Christmas because they know I will gladly celebrate any holiday that combines my love of shiny things and cookies.

However, I personally have a problem with strangers making assumptions about me. And since I work retail, I deal with ALOT of strangers on a daily basis. For the most part, I just smile and nod when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. A kind customer may earn a "you too!" reply.

For me, this time of year is just one festive blur. I start the whole "Happy Holiday" thing just before Thanksgiving and will carry it right through New Years Eve. And since my family still acknowledged our Jewish roots when I was younger, we had a manger under the tree and a menorah on the serving table. My best friend growing up was Muslim so the whole "not everyone is Christian" thing is something I'm very conscious of. One of my favorite work stories happened a few years back when a gentleman walked around the store and shook every employees hand. The reason? We were the only store that was carrying Hannukah-themed gift cards. At the time, we also had Kwanzaa gifts cards and a dozen non-Christmas, winter-themed cards but every year that number seems to dwindle in favor of designs of Santa or nutcrackers.

And yet, every year, I have people who get upset with my personal choice to say "Happy Holidays." I've seen customers chase down my poor managers to express their opinion about how wrong is it to force employees to say Happy Holidays, never considering the possibility that my bosses were respecting my right to say whatever I want. I've had little old ladies who refuse to leave my counter until I wish them back a "Merry Christmas." When we run out of complimentary Christmas themed wrapping paper (little sleighs piled with gifts), people scoff or get downright upset when we offer the generic blue paper we keep on hand for Hannukkah gifts.

Its enough to drive a person mad. Maybe its wrong that I hear "Merry Christmas" and just hear the selfishness in the statement. I also understand that 95% of people are saying it because that's what they celebrate and that's what they think most people celebrate, and so they're trying to simply share the joy. But it still rubs me the wrong way.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
... in the conclusions you are trying to make.

I'm not really "trying" to make any particular conclusions. In this case, I'm noticed that at least two posters were relating anecdotes about proportions of people offended or the relative risk of different groups being offended, and I thought it would be interesting to see whether a quick search would find corroborating data.

I'm certainly not satisfied with the data, hence "guesstimating."

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BlueWizard
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Back in Michigan, there was a kerfuffle over a new anti bullying law because it made exceptions for religious views. ...

It would seem that bullying is bullying. Yes, certainly religious speech should be allowed, but if that speech exists to oppress, suppress, intimidate, or bully someone, then it should not be allowed. It is one thing to discuss religion and have opposing views, but quite another to use that speech to oppress another group.

Disagreements are fine, but hate speech is not. Yes, there can be a fine line between the two, but bullying is bullying, and religious bullying should not be an exception.

As to the central subject, I don't see a War on Religion, which of course actually means a War on Christianity. What I see is Christianity making war on the world. Christianity feels it has a right to dominate the world and suppress all other views.

Religion wasn't always like this, though if you go back a little father in time, this is exactly how religion was. It should take a live and let live attitude, but lately it is the Christian religion, or at least the fat idiots who claim to speak for Christianity, that have grown more fascist and oppressive.

I don't think those oppressive and dictatorial views reflect the rank and file Christians, but the Christianity has been taken over on the public stage by fanatics who want to use the authority of religion to push a particular political agenda.

Most of those who claim to speak for Christianity today, are so massively far from the teachings of Jesus as to be laughable. At least, it would be laughable if it weren't so sad.

I think the same it true of Islam, the rank and file do not support the radicals, but the radicals have claimed the public stage and further claim to speak for all Muslims. When, of course, they do not.

There is no War on Religion, instead there is a Religious war on secular society that wants to control and dictate every aspect of our lives.

If a fanatic like Michele Bachman where elected President, democracy would quickly give way to theocratic fascism. In my opinion.

Steve/bluewizard

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Samprimary
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apologies if this is already here but

http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/s320x320/390455_340035512679554_100000193251471_1572403_1975162155_n.jpg

lul?

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

Teshi/Rabbit/Orincoro/Etc... I'm well aware of the body of text, writing and decisions that support a separation of church and state. I also agree with them, for the most part! I just rankled a bit at the smug tone in which you (Teshi) acted as though anyone who objects to the extent to which we separate church and state is going against a law "enshrined" in that constitution they love so much. I think that's a pretty gross mischaracterization, given that the issue is not nearly that clear-cut.

And I am rankled at casual references to the US as a "Christian Nation" or "nation of Christians". It is fundamentally *not* a nation about religious belief. That's what I like about it.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

Teshi/Rabbit/Orincoro/Etc... I'm well aware of the body of text, writing and decisions that support a separation of church and state. I also agree with them, for the most part! I just rankled a bit at the smug tone in which you (Teshi) acted as though anyone who objects to the extent to which we separate church and state is going against a law "enshrined" in that constitution they love so much. I think that's a pretty gross mischaracterization, given that the issue is not nearly that clear-cut.

And I am rankled at casual references to the US as a "Christian Nation" or "nation of Christians". It is fundamentally *not* a nation about religious belief. That's what I like about it.
Rankle away, man! I agree. While I respect the influence that Judeo-Christian values played in our history and current culture (an influence that I think has been more positive than negative, taken in aggregate), I absolutely take exception when someone characterizes it as "A Christian Nation." I think you may have read more into what I said than was there. [Smile]
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Yes, certainly religious speech should be allowed, but if that speech exists to oppress, suppress, intimidate, or bully someone, then it should not be allowed
I pretty strongly disagree with this. Freedom of speech means freedom of speech, not freedom of speech except for the stuff you disagree with. I'm fine with schools having anti-bullying rules, but if we're talking about making it illegal, I think you're taking it way too far.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

Teshi/Rabbit/Orincoro/Etc... I'm well aware of the body of text, writing and decisions that support a separation of church and state. I also agree with them, for the most part! I just rankled a bit at the smug tone in which you (Teshi) acted as though anyone who objects to the extent to which we separate church and state is going against a law "enshrined" in that constitution they love so much. I think that's a pretty gross mischaracterization, given that the issue is not nearly that clear-cut.

And I am rankled at casual references to the US as a "Christian Nation" or "nation of Christians". It is fundamentally *not* a nation about religious belief. That's what I like about it.
Rankle away, man! I agree. While I respect the influence that Judeo-Christian values played in our history and current culture (an influence that I think has been more positive than negative, taken in aggregate), I absolutely take exception when someone characterizes it as "A Christian Nation." I think you may have read more into what I said than was there. [Smile]
I think a large part of people's reactions - and, a fair bit of time, overreactions - to Christianity in our culture draws from the active and politically powerful group of not very nice people who are aggressively trying to push Christianity on everyone else. I'm not on board with the idea that there is a war on Christmas, but there is pretty clearly a war of (certain) Christians against everyone else in our country. Without the provocation and need to defend against this, I think you'd see much less of a reaction to Christian things in the public space, even those that are somewhat over the line.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
Yes, certainly religious speech should be allowed, but if that speech exists to oppress, suppress, intimidate, or bully someone, then it should not be allowed
I pretty strongly disagree with this. Freedom of speech means freedom of speech, not freedom of speech except for the stuff you disagree with. I'm fine with schools having anti-bullying rules, but if we're talking about making it illegal, I think you're taking it way too far.
It wasn't "disagree". I think bullying was the thing being discussed. You don't have absolute freedom of speech, but a freedom to express yourself without impinging on the freedoms of others.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
Yes, certainly religious speech should be allowed, but if that speech exists to oppress, suppress, intimidate, or bully someone, then it should not be allowed
I pretty strongly disagree with this. Freedom of speech means freedom of speech, not freedom of speech except for the stuff you disagree with. I'm fine with schools having anti-bullying rules, but if we're talking about making it illegal, I think you're taking it way too far.
It wasn't "disagree". I think bullying was the thing being discussed. You don't have absolute freedom of speech, but a freedom to express yourself without impinging on the freedoms of others.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. Could you unpack it a bit?
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Scott R
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My understanding of Orincoro's statement is that the speech mentioned goes beyond disagreement and into bullying. So the speech is not protected as such.

I'll just note that the law in question took this into account-- religious bullying would not have been tolerated.

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Orincoro
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Bullying, at least to the level of verbal assault or intimidation, is against most school's internal codes, and against the law. Students have a right to access education without fear of unequal treatment. I agree that student behavior should mostly remain within the purview of schools, but those schools themselves have legal requirements placed upon them, and students who practice intimidation should be dealt with; if not by the school, then by the law.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
My understanding of Orincoro's statement is that the speech mentioned goes beyond disagreement and into bullying. So the speech is not protected as such.

Exactly. Harrassing speech is not protected under the law. Disagreement, be it civil, is protected.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Bullying, at least to the level of verbal assault or intimidation, is against most school's internal codes, and against the law.
It is not against the law in most places and those where it is, I believe the law is overreaching its proper boundaries.
quote:
Students have a right to access education without fear of unequal treatment.
Unequal treatment from the administrators (at a public school; private schools should, with reasonable exceptions, be able to set their own policies). But guaranteeing equal treatment among the students? That's crazy. I don't think we can or should try to make it illegal for kids to be mean to each other.
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The Rabbit
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Threatening speech is against the law if there is sufficient reason to believe that the speaker intends to act on those threats and that the threatened action would be illegal.

When bullying includes threats of physical assault, it falls into that category. A lot of school bullying falls into that category but the most common types of bullying in schools don't.

I agree that its ridiculous to think schools could guarantee equal treatment or require all kids be nice to each other. But I think there are some types of harassment that should not be tolerated on school grounds or at school activities. In my high school (decades ago), there was an unofficial club of boys who sat in one of the halls during lunch and shouted degrading sexual comments to girls who walked past. This was a tradition that went on for years. The school could easily have stopped this and they should have.

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