Church and State

churchstate In a recent ‘Letter to the Editor’ in the Washington Post the writer states that after seven years, he was able to convince his supervisors at the Dept. of Vet. Affairs that the annual “Christmas Party” should be a “Holiday Party.”

I’m sick and tired of Atheists and members of other Religions attempting to change Christian Holidays into holidays void of any religious connotations.  Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. You cannot change that no matter how much you try.  Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ and you cannot change that.

Can any of you give me a reasoned response as to why a celebration that is centered around Christ should not be so named.  And why are you not clamoring to change Ramadan to holiday or Rosh Hashanah to holiday.  Each year,  the White House hosts a celebration of Eid ul-Fitr or the ending of Ramadan. Why no clamoring to change that to some neutral name? I’ll wait for an answer.

13 thoughts on “Church and State”

  1. my good fellow… you can celebrate what ever you want and call it what ever you want… as long as you keep it in your church.

    outside out of your church the world does not belong to your deity… but to all inhabitants of our good planet… we do not all share your internal “programmings”.

    by the way easter (ishtar)… is the celebration of the ancient mesopotamian goddess ishtar

    1. aforceier, thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I appreciate your comments even though we disagree. Actually, all of the world belongs to my deity even though they to not believe in Him.

      However, that aside, most of the US where I am a resident does believe in God and many if not most believe in Christ as the Messiah. I really do not care what folks in other parts of the world do but It concerns me greatly that a small vocal minority is whining away because they do not believe in Christ and don’t want anyone else to.

      And you still haven’t answered the question as to why a celebration of Christ’s birthday should not be call Christmas.

  2. It is now. Earlier traditions had other solstice celebrations going on around the 21st of December. When it came time to bring Christianity more into people’s lives, it was easiest to co-opt holidays already in existence. That’s why Easter moves around every year as well – because the original spring festivals were all about the Equinox. Really. If Christ’s death really mattered, it wouldn’t have to be celebrated Friday to Sunday just because a book says so. If you knew exactly what day that supposed miracle happened, you’d celebrate his resurrection that day instead, even if it wasn’t always a Sunday.

    1. Ok, first a clarification: Christians do not celebrate the death of Christ but rather we celebrate his resurrection. You see, Christ is the ONLY religious leader to rise from the dead.

      As for the day, an in-depth study of the Bible and other writings will show that Christ rose on Sunday. Rather than re-hash it here, I would suggest you do a search on “When did Jesus rise from the dead?”

  3. mr. hinson, sincerely, that you – nationally – call your religious festivities by “christmas” and “easter” does not ruffle my feathers too much.

    however… a great number of your fellow citizens do not share your belief in a god… and i find it of great human interest how dismissive you are of their (my) space.

    on another note: jesus is not the only ancient deity to have risen from the dead… so did the sumerian god demuzi… and the egyptian god osiris.

    but as you would say: “i really do not care about what other folks…”

    it is what i find the most mystifying about religious people these days… not caring about others. my dear fellow human being, why is it so? (i read your blog on no public medical care) “you sick… you no money… you suffer… you die… me no giving you MY money… me no care… i’m christian. (!)

  4. I’m sick and tired of Atheists and members of other Religions attempting to change Christian Holidays into holidays void of any religious connotations.

    You mean the way in which Christians created Christmas by usurping the celebration of the birth of Mithras? Hilarious! Who writes your material?

    1. Mithras? Mmmm, I thought it was the holiday of Saturnalia. The Catholic church did many things back then that I do not agree with but for hundreds of years, December 25, has been known as Christmas and the holiday known as Christmas Season.

      And now, it’s mostly those folks whose religion is Atheism, that are intolerant of other religions.

  5. 1. Please do not feel that the fact that I want to call Christmas by the same name that it has been called for hundreds of years is meant to ‘ruffle your feathers.’ If others wish to call their celebrations by their traditional names does not ruffle my feathers at all.

    2. I do not see how Calling Christmas Easter, Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan, etc. is dismissive of anyone’s space.

    3. Yes, but where are the witnesses, the empty tombs, etc. etc. Can you give me some links that present an argument for either of those you mentioned rising from the dead?

    4. As my professor in college was fond of saying; “text without context is pretext.” My “I do not care…” statement was a response to the statement that the world outside my church does not belong to my deity. The context clearly shows that I was speaking of the world outside the USA and their beliefs. Much of that world is Islamic, Buddhist, Bahai, etc. And no, I don’t care what they believe. I believe that they are sincere in their beliefs but that they are sincerely wrong. Hoever, they have the right to believe as they wish.

    5. I most definitely disagree with your assessment of ‘religious people’ in your last paragraph. If you really READ my blog on public medical care, you would see that I said I did not want to be FORCED to give. However, in the sentence prior to that, I said that even in my current situation, living on my SS and my wife’s part-time income, that I would still manage to throw in $5-$10 bucks to help out.

    And contrary to your beliefs, it is the ‘religious people’ who are the first to help when folks need help. If you want to compare lists, I’ll put up my list of schools, colleges, charities, hospitals, food banks, shelters, missions, etc. that were started by or being run by religious groups or individuals and you put up your list of the same which were started by non-religious groups or individuals.

  6. … not easy to be on opposite side of a great divide. you are convinced that there is a divinity somewhere yonder. i know there is none. my non-belief attacks the very foundations of your existence… and, your divinity imposes on my space.

    we could keep on throwing mud at each other but, eh, christmas is coming!

    mr. hinson, i know that in your heart of heart, you are a good fellow. (but the present religious right’s hard line position on health care does not make christianity look very charitable.)

    so thank you for the chance to converse over the divide for a brief moment.

    as to demuzi and osiris… google both names and you will find the source of their story.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, however I’ve seen no mud slung. I think our discussion was fairly calm and respectful, all things considered 🙂

      I do like your spin though. I am convinced while you ‘Know.’ Well worded my friend. But please understand, your non-belief (as you refer to it)does in no way attack ‘the very foundations of my existence” and for the life of me, I cannot understand how my believing in God imposes on your space?

      As for the other gods, I know their sources. I asked for some evidences that they rose from the dead.

      Please do visit regularly. I appreciate your comments

  7. Mr. Hinson,

    1) The christmas and easter holiday’s did NOT start as christian holidays – – they were pagan holiday’s. (Please spend a bit of time researching the origins of both holidays).
    2) Jesus is not the only “diety” that rose from the dead, nor was he the first to do anything that hadn’t already been done by other “diety’s.” (Feel free to do the research on the many other dieties….several have already been listed in above comments.)
    3) Atheism is not a religion. It is simply a disbelief in the existance of a diety.
    4) Actually, the bible (and other writings) have differing opinions concerning jesus’ (supposed) ressurection.
    5) I am in the small minority that does not believe that jesus is a diety; however, that does NOT mean that I wish for YOU (or anyone else) not to believe. To assume so is ignorant and just spreads unnecessary hate/fear.
    6) Many people that you speak of (atheists/agnostics/etc.) do not have a problem with YOU celebrating whatever holiday YOU want to celebrate. The problem that people have is that many chrstians feel it is necessary that ALL people observe THEIR holiday….and it is completely disrespectful. Personally, I have NO problem if you want to celebrate christmas, easter or any other holiday, in any way that YOU want to – – what irritates me is that my family is FORCED to observe holidays that WE do not wish to observe.
    I am actually okay if people in the work place wanted to have a “christmas party,” “solstice party,” “easter party,” “spring equinox party,” “hajj Party,” “ramadan party,” “vesak party,” “bodhi day party,” “onam party,” “diwali party” ….. and ANY other holiday that is observed by ALL religions: HOWEVER, if you leave ONE holiday out, you need to leave them ALL out!!
    7) I am absolutely sure that if people of other faiths insited that all Americans join them in observing their holiday, myself and other atheists/agnostics would be just as upset…as I am sure you would be as well. What we would all like to see happen is that people learn to respect each other’s beliefs and allow each other to celebrate whatever we would like to celebrate in the PRIVICY OF YOUR/OUR OWN HOMES…..and NOT to force the observation of ANY holiday.
    8) As a citizen of the United States, it troubles me that you would be so callous and disrespectful of all the citizens of this fine country – – shame on you.

  8. Hi jhcckkm; welcome to the blog and thank you for taking time to respond.

    A couple of quick points. I’m a digital artist and go by the singular name “Hinson.” “Mr” is not necessary. 🙂

    Secondly; since the thread is about those wishing to change the name of traditional holidays, I’ll not respond here to #s 1,2,4,5 in this thread.

    So, having said that, let’s move on.

    3.) I disagree and will start a new blog for that discussion. Great topic though.

    5. I don’t believe I’ve made that statement.

    6. From the first paragraph: can you please explain how you feel that Christians want you to celebrate their religion or how you and your family are FORCED to celebrate holidays that you do not wish to observe?
    I am almost in agreement with the second paragraph. If my workplace were to celebrate a ‘spring equinox’ I would have no problem. I simply wouldn’t join in the observation. If they wanted to close down for a week to allow families to celebrate Easter and Spring Equinox” I wouldn’t oppose that since there are many, many Pagan groups. Eid ul-Fitr (the Ramadan party you refer to)is already observed even in the White house. These are all major religions. However, it it not realistic to observe holidays belonging to smaller religious groups simply because there are not enough of them in this country. For example, if I went to Haiti, I would certainly expect certain Voodoo celebrations to be honored since that is the National religion. And likewise, it is not at all realistic to ask that none be observed. No one is forced to observe any religion in this country.

    Finally, “callous and disrespectful” because a small minority (in your own words) wants to change the name of a traditional holiday, that is observed by millions, religious and non-religious alike because it contains the name of Christ?

    I would think it is the other way around. According to Barna, Harris and others, about 85% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. Now for a small minority group to want to remove the name of Christ from a traditional holiday that has been celebrated for hundreds of years, is to be callous and disrespectful.

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