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Christmas Tree or Holiday Tree?? - Page 2

post #31 of 47
The Druids thousands of years ago celebrated the Winter Solstice with holly, ivy and evergreens because those plants were thought to have mystical properties. The decorated Christmas tree has only been around for about 200 years, started in Germany and was brought to the US by immigrants and to the Uk by Prince Albert, the German husband of Queen Victoria, in the 1840s. All traditions have their roots in earlier ones. Christ wasn't born at Christmas - it was the early Holy Roman Emperors who decided that we would celebrate his birth then so they tacked it on to the previous Roman festival of Saturnalia. All the Christmas stories are crazy if you think about it - snow in the middle East etc. None of that really matters if you are a Christian and accept the basic tenets of Christianity. Here in Bosnia no one was allowed a tree during the years of ethnic hatred as it was thought to symbolise partition, but now many people, Christian and Moslem, have ' new year trees' and celebrate peace, harmony and family feeling. And I think that is wonderful.
post #32 of 47
In my opinion and from what I hae observed, it is NOT the jewish people or muslim people who have a problem with the word christmas but the Atheists and since they believe in nothing how can they be offended. Religous people, (Jewish, christian, and muslim etc..) need to put an end to this non-sense. I go to a jewish school and I am christian, we all get along. Why can't the atheists join the rest of society and live and let live.
post #33 of 47
So the more appropriate term would be "Pagan Tree".
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by touro1979
In my opinion and from what I hae observed, it is NOT the jewish people or muslim people who have a problem with the word christmas but the Atheists and since they believe in nothing how can they be offended. Religous people, (Jewish, christian, and muslim etc..) need to put an end to this non-sense. I go to a jewish school and I am christian, we all get along. Why can't the atheists join the rest of society and live and let live.
Because Atheists have the same rights to their own beliefs and feelings as Christians, Muslims and Jews do.
post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
Because Atheists have the same rights to their own beliefs and feelings as Christians, Muslims and Jews do.
I personaly dont think that Non-belief is a belief if that makes any sense. If you dont believe in something, why would you be offended that someone else believes in it? I just dont understand why atheists would be offended by someone elses beliefs.
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by touro1979
I personaly dont think that Non-belief is a belief if that makes any sense. If you dont believe in something, why would you be offended that someone else believes in it? I just dont understand why atheists would be offended by someone elses beliefs.
Based on this comment, my guess is that you haven't done your homework on atheism. Atheism is a full belief system based- in some way shape or form and to varying degrees- on the assumption that there is no such thing is God and that organized religion is flat out wrong. Agnosticism is basically religious apathy or having not joined a specific faith or denomination. Many Agnostic people still believe in God and have nothing against religion. Atheists actually strive to disprove God and denounce organized religion. Now, especially since, as has been said, Christians borrowed many of their Christmas symbls from far-flung and absolutely non-Christian sources, don't you see how that would make someone who, in many cases is actually angered by religion, offended?
post #37 of 47
I fully support their (atheists and agnostics) choice NOT to celebrate - whatever makes them happy. However, I certainly don't support them trying to stop ME and anyone else from celebrating whatever they want to celebrate - whether that is a Christian Christmas, a secular Christmas, Yule, Winter Solstace, Hannukah. Kwaanza, Raamadan (I know that's a little earlier, but still), or Purple Pig God Day ( ). That's what gets me about it - they seem to think that their opinion is SO right that everyone else should bow to their wishes to not ever see anything that has to do with anything that ever had to do with religion.
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I fully support their (atheists and agnostics) choice NOT to celebrate - whatever makes them happy. However, I certainly don't support them trying to stop ME and anyone else from celebrating whatever they want to celebrate - whether that is a Christian Christmas, a secular Christmas, Yule, Winter Solstace, Hannukah. Kwaanza, Raamadan (I know that's a little earlier, but still), or Purple Pig God Day ( ). That's what gets me about it - they seem to think that their opinion is SO right that everyone else should bow to their wishes to not ever see anything that has to do with anything that ever had to do with religion.
Actually Heidi, you're a little to late on Ramadan, ^,^ funny lunar calendar and all that.

But more to your point. I agree that people should all have the right to celebrate (or not), however, I think things like the nativity should be left to being in front of churches and not in my town square. and I think it's fabulous that they also want to put a giant flag up with the menorrah on it, but that still doesn't address the other religions here.
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlecat
Actually Heidi, you're a little to late on Ramadan, ^,^ funny lunar calendar and all that.
Yeah, I know, but I definitely wanted to include Islam in there and that's the only celebration that I know of in this last quarter of the year.

Just wanted to add: Being a pagan, I fully realize that my religion of choice will never be really recognized by the powers that be. An "inclusive" holiday season does not include Winter Solstace or Yule; there will never be a pagan float in the Parade of Lights in Denver even though they do allow a Hanukkah float and (beginning this year) a Nativity float. And I'm OK with that. I honestly couldn't imagine forcing my beliefs on everyone else. Live and let live, IMO.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb

Just wanted to add: Being a pagan, I fully realize that my religion of choice will never be really recognized by the powers that be. An "inclusive" holiday season does not include Winter Solstace or Yule; there will never be a pagan float in the Parade of Lights in Denver even though they do allow a Hanukkah float and (beginning this year) a Nativity float. And I'm OK with that. I honestly couldn't imagine forcing my beliefs on everyone else. Live and let live, IMO.
Yeah, I'm not really any sort of recognized religion (I sort of take what I want and leave the rest as far as faith systems go...I'm primarily like a Pagan Quaker Buddhist, I suppose) but with all of teh pagan under-pinnings of Christmas, it would be interesting if they gave it a little bit of airtime. Don't want to upset the Religious right, though I myself celebrate Christmukah, which overlaps this year!
post #41 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
The short answer is no, it's not. At least that's not where it came from. Evergreen have always been a symbol of life during the bleak months of winter and have been used by numerous cultures throughout winter and especially around the winter solstice. This has been around far longer than Christianity and it was simply adopted by Christians. So, really, it technically IS a holiday tree...

http://www.historychannel.com/exhibi...mas/trees.html
I heard that on The View the other day, but I couldn't remember if it was the TREE or something else.
post #42 of 47
I don't think all atheists feel like that. I am atheistic in the sense that I don't believe in a personal God who cares whether I believe in him/her/it or not, nor an afterlife, and I don't feel that I need religious belief to live a good and meaningful life. But I read the teachings of many good and 'holy' leaders and philosophers and they all have something to teach us about being human and loving and respecting our fellow men, as well as all other life on this planet. And I am happy to join in others' religious holidays, as many as possible! All symbols can be used for good, whether you believe in the concepts attached to them or not.
post #43 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson
I don't think all atheists feel like that. I am atheistic in the sense that I don't believe in a personal God who cares whether I believe in him/her/it or not, nor an afterlife, and I don't feel that I need religious belief to live a good and meaningful life. But I read the teachings of many good and 'holy' leaders and philosophers and they all have something to teach us about being human and loving and respecting our fellow men, as well as all other life on this planet. And I am happy to join in others' religious holidays, as many as possible! All symbols can be used for good, whether you believe in the concepts attached to them or not.
Well said Jenny. I've often felt that some folks just like to argue things just for the sake of arguing - i.e., they like the sound of their own voice. We know someone like that in our circle. If you say white, they just HAVE to say black - why? Because they just like to stir things up and love listening to themselves. Do they have a lot of friends? No! Most people hate to be around them and they are the first ones to cry foul.

I try to respect all peoples and just want them to respect me and my traditions. I don't think that's too much to ask for.
post #44 of 47
I think it is stupid that they are trying to change it now. I will always call it a Christmas tree and I will always say Merry Christmas. I don't mind saying Happy Holidays, but I do mind being told to say it. Just like with Walmarts employees, they were told this year to say Happy Holidays. My husband refuses to shop there now. I agree with him there is no reason to change it now, this will just lead to more changes in the future.
post #45 of 47
Here's an interesting column by NY Times Columnist Nicholas D. Kristof that pretty much sums up my feelings on this whole debate perfectly. Since he writes much better than I do, I'll let him tell you how I feel
http://select.nytimes.com/2005/12/11...%20D%20Kristof
post #46 of 47
I can not read it, you have to be a subcriber.
post #47 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
Because Atheists have the same rights to their own beliefs and feelings as Christians, Muslims and Jews do.
So they can choose not to celebrate my Christmas with me and my family!
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