December 21, 2014

Modified Christmas, Christmaskwanzakkah, and the No-Holidays Holiday.

3 approaches to dealing with the desire for festivities at solstice time, discussed in "My Jewish child was asked to wear a Santa hat at school. Should I care?"

Public schools would do best to go with...
 
pollcode.com free polls

115 comments:

Gahrie said...

Where is the option for:

"Exactly the way they have always done it."?

Oso Negro said...

You left off an important choice - good, old-fashioned Christmas! That is my vote. The United States did done fine with it for hundreds of years and can well continue to do the same. People who are down with the mainstream cultural practice can hum a few bars or shut the fuck up once a year. It isn't going to kill them, and it gives anxious Jewish moms something to whine about. If they were a bit more thoughtful, they might consider how Jews are faring in the USA compared to nearly anywhere else, and why that is so.

As far me, I don't believe in anything, but feel that we are better off with mainstream Chrisitanity for the masses. We could well take a lesson from the good folks in Trinidad and Tobago. Down there, they celebrate everyone's holiday. There is nothing quite like seeing a group of Hindus bang out a traditional Christmas song. I asked one once how, as a Hindu, he felt about singing Christmas songs about God and Jesus. "Fine!", he replied, "it is a great song and Christmas is a great holiday." THAT is the right approach.

rhhardin said...

We used to sing actual Christmas carols in school.

The value is learning a poetic tradition that reflects a truth in life.

As you grow up you take it less literally and more figuratively.

Kids literalize it.

The figurative truth is that everybody is the messiah.

Oso Negro said...

rhhardin - Yes! And to make it as an enduring Christmas carol, it has to be a fine piece of music!

wildswan said...

The best thing would be to name all holidays just "Holiday" - Christmas Kwanzaa, Labor Day, 4th of July, Hanukkah - all offend someone. So just "holiday". Holiday I, Holiday II and so on. And why "happy", why don't we have "Sad Holiday" on Dec. 25th - how do the turkeys feel? And then after this goes on for while, just drop holidays because the government has made them as ridiculous as itself. And meanwhile Christians get Christmas back. Not shoving and macing in Walmart which is a happy (or sad) holiday kind of thing. Angels, Kings, stars, stable, shepherds and Prince of Peace - you know - Christmas.

JAORE said...

If you hear me call "Merry Christmas", assume I mean you all the best and act accordingly. If you respond "Happy Holidays", "Good Kwanza to you", "Happy Hanukkah", or "Have a fine Festivus", I shall do the same.

How much angst, time and energy must we spend on self-tightening that wad in our panties or boxers?

C R Krieger said...

Short of options.  Non-Christians should show an interest in Christian traditions, as a step toward tolerance and multi-culturalism.  Especially ones with global appeal (e.g., Japan and Korea—where Christmas can be a time to profess you love to another).

Regards  —  Cliff

AReasonableMan said...

For once I agree with the wingers. I am not religious but Christmas should have been respected as a christian holiday and left alone.

AReasonableMan said...

It is revealing that Althouse doesn't include the most obvious choice in her list, a traditional christmas.

iowan2 said...

Just a silly old fashioned notion. Since we are supposed to be a self governing representative govt., how about we use the system in place to run our govt institutions? I live in the US. Specifically the constitution has no jurisdiction concerning school operations.
I live in Iowa. The only restriction concerning religions restricts the govt from using tax monies to build a church, or hire a preacher.
That leaves the decision to the local schoolboard. I know each and every one of them. If I dont like their decision I will work to remove them from the board in September.
Problem solved.
The people that pay for the school get to treat the birth of Christ as they wish.

tim in vermont said...

I live on the 45th parallel (the Morse Line), pretty far north as the US goes, and the days are pretty darn short.

If we didn't have a holiday right about now that involved pretty lights and fun to brighten up these days, we would have to invent one. Christmas is as good as any and better than most.

Hagar said...

Well, that is the problem Iowan2.
Murphy's Golden Rule and all that.
We let the Gov't establish a Dept. of Education, and now they set the rules for everything, including school lunches and extra-curricular activities. In fact anything at all.

MountainMan said...

I just got back from a business trip to Hyderabad, India, which is about 50% Hindu, 40% Muslim, and the remainder a smattering of Christians, Buddhists, and others. The 5-star hotel where I stayed was covered with strings of red and green lights on the exterior and had a Santa's workshop and a big Christmas tree set up in front of the entrance. It was quite a colorful spectacle the other evening to arrive back there after work with all the lights on the decorations lit up at the hotel as the convention center next door was filling up with guests for two large Hindu weddings that were just cranking up (8000 guests at one, 10,000 at the other). The stores in the local malls had Christmas trees and decorations up. I watched the employees in our office there spend an afternoon taking time to decorate a Christmas tree and put decorations up all over the office. Not a one is Christian.

When waiting the other day at the gate at the airport for my flight to Dubai I observed that I appeared to be the only WASP on the plane, the majority of other passengers in the gate area were obviously Muslim. Over the PA system the airport was playing non-stop Christmas music. I did't notice anyone being offended.

I have observed the same in Singapore several years ago, there appeared to as much Christmas spirit and celebration there than I have seen anywhere here. Orchard Road was lit up from one end to the other with Christmas lights and trees and everyone seemed to be OK with it. In mid-winter everyone goes wild over Chinese New Year, in mid-autumn it's Diwali, and on and on.

In these other countries everyone celebrates everyone's holidays and everyone has a good time.

Mark Caplan said...

WILDSWAN: best thing would be to name all holidays just "Holiday"

"Holiday" (holy day) will deeply offend atheists.

As we know because some Scrooge reminds us every year, the Puritans outlawed the celebration of Christmas because they considered Christmas festivities papist.

tim in vermont said...

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

Isn't dictating how schools should treat Christmas making a law "respecting an establishment of religion"?

I am sure there are miles of arguments that the Constitution's plain text is wrong. I reject them. I am what is known as a "Christian Atheist." I was raised by believing Christians, have believing Christians as siblings and friends, I know they are not hateful people from firsthand experience, and if it comes down to choosing sides in a fight, I will choose Christianity.

tim in vermont said...

Chrismas in Japan

Bob R said...

I voted for modified Christmas. Christmas is a pagan holiday. The Christian message has been grafted on rather haphazardly. So downplaying the religious aspects of the celebration in public places is fine with me. I'll be spending a lot of time in church this week, so I don't need watered down religion in the public square. On the other hand, pretending that the evergreen tree with lights is a "holiday tree" is a bunch of nonsense. Pagan Christmas in the public square, religious Christmas in church.

CStanley said...

I have a lot of reactions to the article but here's one point on which I'd like to comment:
I tell people: ‘You’ll never get a solution if you keep focusing on December.’ It’s ridiculous.”

I think that's exactly right....Christmas wars are a proxy for values in general. More discussion of values and religious traditions and pluralism throughout the year would be a good thing. As it is, the silly "peace" celebration earns it's scare quotes because there is no real peace without understanding of others' values and viewpoints,

Bob Ellison said...

Well said, tim in vermont. People of all faiths can admire Christianity. It's a good force.

Scott said...

Schools run by governments should not be "celebrating" any religious holiday.

I was going to write "funded by public money" but I would not be averse to a voucher system that would enable parents to send their kids to schuls or Catholic schools or madrassas that met state standards.

We should adopt the British practice of labeling them all "bank holidays" and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

I could go for disestablishing Christmas if some other ersatz holiday ( holy day) was not substituted.
I want all the kiddies in school and my government employees at their stations.

This also goes for New Year (It's a Christian new year via a calendar by a pope) and Thanksgiving.

Fritz said...

Give up Christmas entirely and make all the teachers work straight through. Tell me how that works out.

chickelit said...

I didn't vote for no change.

tim in vermont said...

Scott is a neo-disestablishmentarianist. I am a neo-antidisestablishmentarianist. There are tons of things the govt does with my money that I don't like. Like make regulations regarding the establishment of a religion in putatively locally public schools.

What @scott is suffering is displacement of his fear of Islam onto a more non-threatening object, Christianity, to reduce that fear. Hatred of religion spiked after 9-11. Before that, it was mostly socialists and communists trying to foist their failed belief system on us.

chillblaine said...

Saturnalia, with special attention on maximizing consumer demand for merchandise.

Scott said...

"What @scott is suffering is displacement of his fear of Islam onto a more non-threatening object, Christianity, to reduce that fear. Hatred of religion spiked after 9-11. Before that, it was mostly socialists and communists trying to foist their failed belief system on us."

Suffering from projection, are we?

m11_9 said...

Christmas belongs to everyone now, it is the quintessential American holiday. The "War on Christmas" by chauvinists/purists can't ruin it for me and I will not stop using the words, regardless of my beliefs.

Thus, I don't believe in a "modified Christmas", I think it has evolved in the real world and it is what it is.

tim in vermont said...

@Scott, I wouldn't expect you to know it.

robinintn said...

Can you imagine the faux outrage if her Jewish child hadn't been offered the opportunity to wear a Santa hat? I can.

iowan2 said...

@Scott

Schools are contructs. They cant 'do' anything.

The people however that create schools, and governments, those people are free, self governing people and can do as the please.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

¡Festivus Feliz a todos!

chickelit said...

I think having the mother wear a dimly lit bulb would be appropriate for the solstice.

traditionalguy said...

War on Christmas is a war to prevent children from hearing the message of Jesus the Messiah.

So pick your side.

Freedom of speech allows the Christmas message. But approving the government's outlawing the message is choosing to oppose the message and place it with a common core of hopelessness and hate.

JHapp said...

Get rid of public schools.

Gabriel said...

Oh good Lord.

There's a religious component to Christmas, and a secular component. There has been for a very long time.

Yule logs and Christmas trees and such are not Christian elements and never were.

Santa Claus was a Christian element, but isn't any longer--he is now a symbol of the Coca-Cola corporation and as such is secular.

There isn't any Establishment clause challenge to Christmas any more than there is for the New Year--which is a pagan holiday, might I add.

If there's no Jesus and no angels, there's no religious component.

Michael K said...

"n these other countries everyone celebrates everyone's holidays and everyone has a good time."

A few years ago, one of my medical students told me that her mother had informed her when she was about 14 that they were going to stop having a family celebration of Christmas. The girl was disappointed but the mother told her, "after all, we are Hindu."

The anti-Christmas agitation is more "micro aggression" bullshit.

Scott said...

People from Vermont are so smug.

Hagar said...

Today you should be in Chaco Canyon to get your chrystals adjusted.

Roger Zimmerman said...

It is only in the context of government-run (or controlled) schools that such issues may arise. Were parents free to educate their children as they saw fit, they would choose the level of participation in the "main stream" religious celebrations that best reflected their values. They would of course need to balance this against the rest of their values hierarchy, including the quality of actual education offered by the free-market schools. That is, they would need to choose an education product as they do other products/services in their lives.

If they were not happy enough with the existing offerings, they would be free to start their own school of forgo sending their children out of the home for schooling at all. As it is, these options are open only to the very well off, those that are willing and able to make tremendous financial sacrifices (since the fees for the government schools are taken from them in any event), or the few (mostly poor) people that have been allowed to receive vouchers or tax credits for schooling.

With schooling freedom, the fact the some people send their kids to schools that explicitly celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, All Hallow's Eve, or whatever, would be of no more consequence than the fact that other people go to church on Sundays. It would be no skin off of anyone else's nose, and genuine mutual tolerance would be possible.

It is only because all activities in government schools implicitly involve force that these values differences rise to the level of battles in the culture war.

Scott said...

@Roger Zimmerman: Well put. Are you in favor of a voucher system to replace government-run schools?

rhhardin said...

Put the khah back in hanukkah.

rhhardin said...

There used tp be a huge netnews battle at work by Jews against Christmas decorations, the same players every year.

It itself was part of the Christmas festivities.

Islam may have quieted it down by now. You pick your friends.

Scott said...

@rhhardin: Remember the Seattle Airport Christmas Tree Kerfuffle?

Scott said...

2006: Rabbi threatens to sue Seattle Airport because it displays a Christmas tree.

Seattle Airport removes all holiday decorations.

Rabbi whinges that removing the decorations might foster hatred of Jews.

etbass said...

This issue just shows that the foolishness of multiculturalism really means you can't have any culture at all.

Given that "no culture allowed" is now the rule, we should get the government out of schooling and replace it with an education voucher system.

Browndog said...

Christmas is Christmas. It cannot be anything else.

It cannot be repealed by Law. It cannot be banished by popular demand.

So, how do leftists/marixst eliminate it?

Adjoin it, co-opt it, then expel it.

Standard procedure.

Christmas can be whatever you want it to be, so long as it has nothing to do with Christmas.

I suspect the 4th of July/Independent's Day will be next.

MadisonMan said...

If it's not disrupting school, why not?

(I would not include under the penumbra of 'disrupting' the idea that what someone might wear would offend/outrage someone else)

One of My kid's favorite memory from West High was that the final week before Christmas was Sweater Week, and it ended with Cozy Friday, when Pajamas were encouraged.

John Lynch said...

Problem... because what about religions that don't use solar calendars? Or the Julian calendar?

mccullough said...

Just don't have any acknowledgement at all. If kids want to sing songs then let them sing the National Anthem. And let them put up more US flags as decorations. And wear Uncle Sam hats.



Tom Gallagher said...

SJW's know what's best for everyone - just like community organizers.

Renee said...

I rather have nothing, then the no holiday holiday.

Christmas is Christmas, it never relied on public schools before.

Gahrie said...

Are you in favor of a voucher system to replace government-run schools?

I'm a public school teacher in favor of vouchers, charter schools, and anything else that gives parents more choice (and the responsibility that goes with it).

Sadly however there will always be a need for government schools or some children would go completely uneducated (as opposed to mostly uneducated) because of irresponsible parents.

Roger Zimmerman said...

@Scott

Yes, I am in favor of vouchers, though I would much prefer tax credits, since with credits, it is more clear that the individual is spending their own money. Still, government-run schools are a complete disaster in many places, and the evidence is they cannot be fixed - the incentives are just too strongly supportive of the status quo.

As such, for those parents/children that seek an escape from this tragedy, vouchers are better than nothing. Charter schools are another small positive step (less good than vouchers, but still greater than 0), in that they do devolve some control away from bureaucrats and public-sector unions, into the hands of people with some real incentive to deliver a desired product.

Basically, I think that, in many jurisdictions (mostly poor inner cities), the situation is truly emergent - young minds are being destroyed as we speak. Any policy that gives a single motivated family/child a way to escape the stultifying travesty which is their government school is a step in the right direction.

So, to me it's much more about education than these culture war issues. The deescalation of the culture war would be a nice-to-have secondary benefit.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who doesn't want to say "Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth" can go fuck themselves and die in a fire.

Anonymous said...

we should get the government out of schooling and replace it with an education voucher system.

You want all the government's money but none of their rules?

That is an interesting concept. Are you in favor of zero accountability for all welfare recipients or just in this singular situation?

Roger Zimmerman said...

@madisonfella

An honest consideration of the other side would at least acknowledge that we start from the premise that it is not the "government's money" to begin with. The argument for vouchers is therefore that it returns some of the wealth to its owners and allows them, in a very limited way, to choose how to use it. Preferably, there would be no government schools at all, and therefore the local tax burden could be substantially decreased. But, in the meantime, anything that cracks the monopoly is worth a try.

From your perspective, I don't see how you could ultimately argue against any particular curricular or extra curricular decision made by the representatives of the people. Yes, you would (and should) be always able to raise your voice in objection, but, by your premise, the accountability is at the ballot box, so the winners get to decide what is taught.

Right?

Beldar said...

"Should I care?"

Yes, you should care about even this sort of detail in your child's life, in the sense of wanting to be aware of it, and in this case, probably, to take adorable pictures of it.

Should you care because some important principle is being offended against and your child's and your family's religious liberties are being trounced?

No, that would be stupid. It's a red hat with a white tassel. No one will treat it as anything else unless you freak out and make a big deal over it.

You should definitely care about what that might do to your child.

Big Mike said...

None of the above. Christmas is Christmas. Hanukkah is Hanukkah. Kwanzaa is made up.

If a child doesn't want to wear a Santa hat, or dress up like an elf, he or she shouldn't have to. Even a child from a devout Christian family might want to opt out.

In fact, especially a child from a devout Christian family might want to opt out.

Freeman Hunt said...

Santa and all of that is secular, state holiday Christmas.

Gabriel wrote:

There's a religious component to Christmas, and a secular component. There has been for a very long time.

Yule logs and Christmas trees and such are not Christian elements and never were.

Santa Claus was a Christian element, but isn't any longer--he is now a symbol of the Coca-Cola corporation and as such is secular.

There isn't any Establishment clause challenge to Christmas any more than there is for the New Year--which is a pagan holiday, might I add.

If there's no Jesus and no angels, there's no religious component.


I agree with all of that.

Freeman Hunt said...

If you talk about these other religions, then you're going to have to start talking about Jesus.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Schools should go back to celebrating Christmas the way it was done at my rural Iowa school in the 1970s.

There was a lunch on the last day before the school break, with turkey and stuffing, and a few decorations. One year we had a bald Christmas tree dedicated to the chemistry teacher for reasons unknown.

There were lots of Christmas concerts and programs in the churches. I suspect a large part of what is going on today is that people who don't send their kids to church want to celebrate Christmas in the school.

YoungHegelian said...

A Jewish mom caught in such a situation might want to turn it into a teachable moment and point out to her child that the Christmas story, is, after all, the story of a 1st C. Jewish family, and, no matter what happened later in history between the two faiths, that much is a fact.

Naut Right said...

Those who complain that schools should not have given Christians the Christmas holiday off need to be reminded that Christmas preceeded the schools. The holiday was going to result in nearly universal abscenses no matter what. They're followers and need to remain so.
I vote for allowing all objecting parents, children and teachers to have classes that day/week. The rest may observe the Holy Day.

traditionalguy said...

It may be time again for the standard issue 82ND Airborne Christmas card of 1990 for troopers out in the fields keeping Saudi's oil wells:
"Peace on earth and good will towards men... or we will kill you." The troopers added that last phrase.

n.n said...

Assimilate. Integrate. Reconcile. Unless you have an ulterior motive.

The parent of the Jewish child should be comforted that Christianity is not incompatible with Judaism.

Chuck said...

I really wish that more of my fellow Christians realized that we are diluting our own religion, the more that one of our religious holidays becomes a matter of public civic observation.

Christmas isn't even the most major Christian holiday. Easter, Good Friday and Maundy Thursday (Holy Week) all rate so much higher. Fox News isn't doing much about Pentecost or Advent.

The War on Christmas meme has always mystified me. I'm a conservative, and a Christian and generally a fan of the Fox News Channel. But I couldn't care less about the nation or our civic institutions observing Christmas. I'd rather leave laughably radical extremism to the ACLU.

Moneyrunner said...

This poll is a great example of how polls are used to create news rather than reflect the views of the people being polled. Good going Ann.

Skyler said...

Strictly speaking, Santa Claus is not very christian and nor are decorated trees.

The best way to deal with these questions is to get rid of government involvement in schools.

Browndog said...

I find it interesting that secularists have no problem informing Christians that Christmas is no longer a religious holiday, and can no longer be observed as such-

Just like in the days gone past, When Christians informed secularists that Christmas is a religious holiday, and must be observed as such.

See--both sides are intolerant of the other!

/sarc

Skyler said...

Chuck said...
I really wish that more of my fellow Christians realized that we are diluting our own religion, the more that one of our religious holidays becomes a matter of public civic observation.

Christmas isn't even the most major Christian holiday. Easter, Good Friday and Maundy Thursday (Holy Week) all rate so much higher. Fox News isn't doing much about Pentecost or Advent.

The War on Christmas meme has always mystified me. I'm a conservative, and a Christian and generally a fan of the Fox News Channel. But I couldn't care less about the nation or our civic institutions observing Christmas. I'd rather leave laughably radical extremism to the ACLU.


Excellent point, Chuck. I'd also like to point out that the more fundamentalist christians complain about keeping christ in christmas and acting offended when businesses say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas," the more they are justifying taking chirstmas observances out of government. If they want to insist that christmas must be an exclusively christian event, then they are going to make it so that no one can mention it in public offices.

Browndog said...

3 of the 4 most celebrated, and traditionally revered American holidays have a certain "theme"...

...Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas.

The 4th, being the 4th, is suspect one day will be the day all Americans celebrate The Government, and it's founding.

traditionalguy said...

The Christmas story of the incarnation of the son of God named Jesus in the womb of a Jewish girl named Mary is a message that no one can dilute. It stands up to the test of being simply great News.

It is all there in the Creche displays by Christians which is what they hate so much.

See, the baby. See, the virgin Mary. See, Joseph the good man. And that was done for you!

That is the mustard seed of faith that draws children into a relationship.

Mary Beth said...

Red and white Santa hats for girls, green and white for boys.

Why are they separating them by gender? Is it just so that they could have green instead of the traditional red? Would the Crips have gotten mad if they thought they're favoring the Bloods?

Gabriel said...

The fact that Christmas is even celebrated on December 25 is itself exclusionary of Orthodox Christians, who celebrate it January 7, since they're not on Gregorian calendar (which was, you will remember, promulgated by one Pope Gregory XIII, to whom Orthodox Christians felt under no obligation to listen).

Not to mention all the tiny Protestant denominations that are agin it.

Once you give in to the butthurt, they consume your society. Butthurt is the one commodity that is in infinite supply.

n.n said...

Americans are marching to become part of a third-world dump ruled by a Marxist regime that will forcefully moderate between the diverse factions. It seems that the ulterior motives have become overwhelming.

Real American said...

which religion celebrates Kwanzaa? oh, right. none. It's made up racist Anti-American Marxist bullshit. The only mention of it in public schools is should be when it is being ridiculed. To place it on par with Christmas or Hanukkah is absurd.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Does anyone here know anyone who celebrates Kwanzaa? It's always included in the trifecta, but I've never met an actual person who celebrates it.

Jack Wayne said...

July 4th is Independence Day NOT Constitution Day. One celebrates freedom. The other celebrates the loss of freedom.

Michael K said...

"Sadly however there will always be a need for government schools or some children would go completely uneducated (as opposed to mostly uneducated) because of irresponsible parents."

The really sad thing is the parents who want to get their kids out of crappy schools and are blocked by the unions and the leftist Democrats.

The simplest illustration of this is "the first black president" ending vouchers in DC.

DavidD said...

Homeschool, and do whatever you want.

Carl Pham said...

If you think having your kid wear a Santa hat excludes your Jewishness, you're a complete fucking moron and should not be allowed to address the public in the first place. Celebrating the festivities of others doesn't exclude you or your culture -- unless the festivities including "Happy Jews All In The Ovens Day" or something.

If I were an ex-pat living in Israel, I wouldn't bitch about my kid participating in some Passover festival and eating bitter herbs or whatever. If I were living in Africa and the local tribe wanted my kid to paint his face with blue stripes in preparation for the celebration of the harvest god, I'd say go have fun. If we lived in France on Bastille Day, we'd happily wear red, white and blue and shoot rockets off.

n.n said...

Carl Pham:

Exactly. When in Rome do as the Romans do. This is how my family survived Soviet Atheism without losing our heritage. Fortunately, Americans are not into human sacrifice and similar cultish practices. Well, at least least not in public, and not all Americans.

Achilles said...

People should have the freedom to choose a school that celebrates how they want. There is certainly a lot of "You will celebrate Christmas and like it" sentiment here. You all don't like it when the state forces you to bake a cake. Don't get all hoppy to have the government jump in for Christmas.

Don't make this about forcing people to celebrate Christmas cuz that's how we do it in 'merica! Let those who don't want to choose a school, and those who do choose a different school.

n.n said...

Let's instead celebrate taxable and liquidated asset day.

Out of the kitchen and into the clinic, to the rat race we go.

Achilles said...

madisonfella said...

"You want all the government's money but none of their rules?

That is an interesting concept. Are you in favor of zero accountability for all welfare recipients or just in this singular situation?"

It isn't the government's money you fuckwit. They had to take it away from me on penalty of incarceration first.

J. Farmer said...

The ironic thing is that the "traditional" Christmas is already a mishmash of multiculturalism and owes as much to Germanic paganism as it does to Christianity. The modern Santa Claus is basically a 19th century American invention, and his current image owes more to Coca Cola than to the original Greek bishop.

Achilles said...

Chuck said...
"I really wish that more of my fellow Christians realized that we are diluting our own religion, the more that one of our religious holidays becomes a matter of public civic observation."

Thread winner.

You will be quoted often.

n.n said...

Dreams of an Arab Spring? You're just replacing one religion with another, and one faith with another. Marx was right, but people failed to appreciate his dry sense of humor, and misunderstood his warning.

The problem is not the cake, but the moral hazard created through selective exclusion. The issue is selective normalization of dysfunctional and fetish behaviors.

It's funny. The communists chose atheism as their official faith, and established Marxism as their religion. In America, they are marginalizing faith and establishing libertinism, and achieving the same outcome. Too many Americans have consumed the opiate.

Achilles said...

n.n said...

"It's funny. The communists chose atheism as their official faith, and established Marxism as their religion. In America, they are marginalizing faith and establishing libertinism, and achieving the same outcome. Too many Americans have consumed the opiate."

What is really funny is thinking that using the government to enforce Christian values strengthens Christianity and the people who practice it.

Citizens who voluntarily accept and live in virtue as believers are the bedrock of our founding. This is different from a country of serfs forced to live like Christians.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Well said, @Roger Zimmerman.

The American Dream is
..not home ownership
..not a job
..not "affordable care"
..not a college education.

The Original American Dream - why those fellows Dissolved the Bonds to the British Government was
..TO HAVE GOVERNMENT INTERFERE LESS WITH THEIR LIVES.

James Pawlak said...

In California public school pupils were required, without notice-to or permission-of parents, to wear "Islamic clothing" and practice the rites of that criminal-terrorist ideology.

The actual religion being forwarded is "Atheism" as: Declared such by our US Court Of Appeals; And, like Islam, is intent on destroying all true religions.

J. Farmer said...

@James:

What are the "all true religions?"

ALP said...

Carl Pham:

"If you think having your kid wear a Santa hat excludes your Jewishness, you're a complete fucking moron and should not be allowed to address the public in the first place."

THIS! I could only read five sentences or so of this screed before I gave up. I can't focus on the issue that is central to the article, as I am too busy wondering how people like the author of this piece get through a single day! If a Santa hat on your 3 year old warrants the publication of this crap, what else is there to agonize over? The environmental implications of 2-ply vs. 1-ply toilet paper? The mind reels.

Leora said...

I agree the right solution is vouchering education so people can choose. However, I don't think it hurts those of us of minority faiths to learn that we are a minority and that we need to tolerate majority customs in public places even if we choose not to participate. This goes for me as a Jew, strict Calvinists, Muslims and atheists. It's just like teetotalers need to put up with bars and liquor stores in their neighborhoods if they choose to live in a place that is not dry.

CStanley said...

I think if I were a Jewish mother who received that note home I'd have to go with humor if I wanted to make a point. Get a Santa hat and modify it to a fur trimmed yarmulke,

I wouldn't do it if I had a sensitive kid who would be embarrassed but if he wasn't self conscious I'd go for it.

n.n said...

Achilles:

I don't suggest that the government enforce it. I simply consider it as an inevitable outcome, and that there is a state-established faith and religion in a so-called "secular" society. It may not be organized in the popular convention, but it is a state-established church nonetheless. I recognize that it has a characteristically atheistic faith and libertine religion, that is peculiarly selective or pro-choice.

tim in vermont said...

You all don't like it when the state forces you to bake a cake. Don't get all hoppy to have the government jump in for Christmas.

Funny how they come in on the same political side on both examples, isn't it? It is almost as if the left uses any weapon at hand.

If you think that conceded them victory based on one principle means that they will recognize that same principle when presented against what they believe, you are an idiot.

J. Farmer said...

Let me also give a pay-it-forward endorsement to Carl's perspective and say that I agree with it wholeheartedly. There is a difference between adopting the symbols of a tradition and adopting the beliefs of that tradition. My family is non-religious, and we celebrated Christmas every year. For us, Christmas was about decoration, parties, family gatherings, gift exchanges. For others, it's a deeply religious tradition. It's silly to even think of it as Christian vs. non-Christian. There are a number of Christian traditions, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses and certain evangelical groups, that oppose the modern celebration of Christmas because of its incorporation of pagan and Roman Catholic symbols.

richard mcenroe said...

I'll trade you a "modified" Christmas for a "modified" Ramadan, OK?

richard mcenroe said...

Wildswan: EXCELLENT Newspeak!

Alex said...

How about a Festivus for the rest of us?

mtrobertsattorney said...

So what's wrong with celebrating the birth of a Jewish baby?

lemondog said...

Get a Santa hat and modify it to a fur trimmed yarmulke,

Cute.
Santa Yarmulka

Happy Hanukkah and early Merry Christmas to all.

E Hines said...

None of the above, Ma'am. We're a Judeo-Christian nation. Christmas and Hanukkah.

Full stop.

Eric Hines

Achilles said...

tim in vermont said...

"If you think that conceded them victory based on one principle means that they will recognize that same principle when presented against what they believe, you are an idiot."

How is having the government define marriage for all of us working out?

We have to bake cakes on command because conservatives decided and hold on to the idea that the majority can force the minority to observe whatever morality they want. Now you are the minority and we have to bake cakes. Thanks a lot.

Now we have progs running public schools and you think the progs and public schools should tell kids to celebrate Christmas damnit! Brilliant use of majority rule. I can't see any way this will turn out badly.

I think you are too quick with the use of the term idiot.

tim in vermont said...

@Achilles,
I think you are right. It is more complicated than I let on. I was thinking about that while I was out.

Achilles said...

n.n said...
"Achilles:

I don't suggest that the government enforce it. I simply consider it as an inevitable outcome, and that there is a state-established faith and religion in a so-called "secular" society. It may not be organized in the popular convention, but it is a state-established church nonetheless. I recognize that it has a characteristically atheistic faith and libertine religion, that is peculiarly selective or pro-choice."

But you want the government to decide how marriage is defined. You want it to ban abortion. It is the easy answer. But the draw to use the governments monopoly on force to make the world how you want it comes with the obvious caveat. Sometimes you are not the majority and you get the sharp end of the stick.

I agree that there is a growing moral rot in this country. Our country is unique because we were founded on the power of the individual. You can only give individuals freedom if they are responsible and that requires the average citizen to have virtue.

But I cannot explain why you conservatives are trying to make the government the source of virtue. The government will always be inherently progressive. It's nature is to grow. It will undermine the value of the citizen no matter who is in charge.

Whoever said Big government, small God needs to be heeded by you people more.

n.n said...

Achilles:

I don't support selective (i.e. unprincipled) exclusion. The selective inclusion of couplets creates an unreconciled moral hazard. I suggest that the government supports civil unions, and stop establishing a religion to accommodate special interests. An objective criteria for normalization is that a behavior has a redeeming value to society and humanity, so I suggest that marriage remain a cultural institution for couples, in order to promote natural fitness.

As for elective abortion, it is self-evident that a human life evolves from conception to a natural, accidental, or premeditated death. Abortion is the premeditated murder of a wholly innocent human life when it is uniquely vulnerable. So, yes, I do support proscribing abortions. As well as actively promoting the concept of intrinsic value, and disparaging the concept of human life as a commodity (e.g. "diversity"). Only granting an exception in the limited case of self-defense. However, even then, since the evolving human life is wholly innocent, it is still necessary to reconcile the value of the mother and her posterity's life, while recognizing a bias for the former.

That said, the government is a source of virtue, irrespective of who controls it, whether liberal, progressive, conservative, or libertarian. The rule of law reflects a moral consensus or religion, of a majority or a minority. The only question is what principles will sustain and constrain its progress.

SGT Ted said...

Where's the choice for "Christmas", seeing as how that's what's being observed.

SGT Ted said...

I voted for modified Christmas. Christmas is a pagan holiday.

Maybe not.

"There are problems with this popular theory, however, as many scholars recognize. Most significantly, the first mention of a date for Christmas (c. 200) and the earliest celebrations that we know about (c. 250–300) come in a period when Christians were not borrowing heavily from pagan traditions of such an obvious character."

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christmas/

SeanF said...

YoungHegelian: A Jewish mom caught in such a situation might want to turn it into a teachable moment and point out to her child that the Christmas story, is, after all, the story of a 1st C. Jewish family, and, no matter what happened later in history between the two faiths, that much is a fact.

From "South Park," a decade ago, about a school Christmas play:

Mrs. Broslovski: My son is Jewish!
Mr. Garrison: So?
Mrs. Broslovski: So what makes you think he should play Joseph of Aramathea!?
Mr. Garrison: Because it's Christmas...?

EMD said...

You want all the government's money

Well, they certainly haven't earned it.

Forbes said...

Schools are local rule--no need for-one-size-fits-all dictates.

RecChief said...

none of the above

Michael The Magnificent said...

When your neighbor is having a loud party you can:

A) Grab a sixer out of the fridge, wander over, meet some new people, and have a good time, or:

B) Piss and moan to the cops until you've dropped enough turds into the punch bowl to ruin everyone's good time.

I vote for A. Assholes vote for B.