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The Christmas debate!!

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by revken, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. I kinda had to go to church, seeing as I am a minister . . . . . .

    and it was bloody brilliant. I love Christmas, and hey, it doesnt say in the Bible we should celebrate Jesus birth, but so what? For me, it is something worth remembering. even if the date is wrong. we dont really know what the actual date is, so its as good a day as any.

    Its funny, but how can you be heathen/atheist and celebrate Christmas? I mean, even the name Christmas is Christian, or has that been forgotten? isn't that a bit hypocritical?

    I know, lets change it to "tacky commercialism getting pissed and eating till you vomit day", or "lets be nice to the rest of the family for a couple of hours once a year day". Its good to be nice to each other and respect, but hey, what about respect all the time. thats a radical idea, isnt it?

    here endeth the lesson. (Let the debate begin again LOL) :D
  2. I'm glad you had a good day. :)

    Some of us heathens manage to do our best to get on with and respect other people throughout the year, but rather like getting together with our families and friends at Christmas time as well.

    But hey, put a fence around it if you want to. :roll:

    We'll just get together on 25 December each year to celebrate Saturnalia. :p
  3. Revken, I'm not a church goin man, too many people confuse going to church with having christian values, and I've met way too many people who attend church because of their position in the community not because of some desire to actually be a christian.
  4. Mmm, not putting a fence around it, just trying to stimulate conversation. In fact, I actually feel often that secular society tries to put a fence around something that is quite central to me in my faith. And why shouldnt Christians own the festival that celebrates the birth of the person central to their faith, and proclaim that proudly and defend that fact?

    Respect for beliefs is not something that is often shown to people of my faith. We seem to get tarred with the fundamentalist right-wing looney brush all the time, the butt of jokes and huge assumptions made. I think the fences are there already.

    I enjoy discussion about matters of faith and philosophy, and raising issues that some may find confronting. thats my job, I guess. I dont expect everyone to accept my views, or agree with them. I tolerate others, hopefully they tolerate me. But I will critique if I feel I should, as others do to me. Hopefully if the argument doesnt get too personal, we can reach more understanding and an exchange of views, a sharing of perspectives that will make us all richer.
  5. Hmmm this is a different topic to the normal netrider ones...

    I was raised Presbyterian (later Uniting Church) with one parent Presbyterian (mother) and the other Church of England.

    I went to Sunday School and later church most sundays when I was younger but drifted away when I was a busy late teenager.

    My other half is a mostly lapsed Catholic and I'm mostly lapsed Uniting Church and the kids go to a state school so church hasn't been a high priority.

    Do I believe?

    Yah... most of the time (I don't claim never to doubt) :)

    I'm just sort of slack about going to church and these days I mainly find myself in church for christenings, weddings and funerals.

    I don't feel out of place though... it always feels natural when I go (except for the I really don't go often enough passing thoughts), doesn't stop me from being slack after I leave again though :wink:
  6. the fact that it's a pagan ceremony that christians thieved is one good reason...
  7. The whole Christmas , new year thing , even the twelve days of christmas stems from pagan rituals , I'm ok with that.
    The coca Cola Santa fantasy is even ok , kids love it, but those fundamentalists and PC groups that prattle on , (see fox news) now that shits me , coz what the spout is factually wrong.

    Be good and may your gods smile on you
  8. I don't see too many pagans rushing to reclaim it, and anyway, why should the fact that the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated on one of the only 365 available days of the year, present a problem?

    Are you seeking to play advocate for the pagans, or are you complaining about the celebration of the birth of the central human being in all human history, being celebrated at all?
  9. That is a belief not a fact, It's your belief he was born and he is so central to human history
    I think that is the main argument , I don't think someone has to be christian or pagan or even jewish to follow the ideals of christmas most of these festivities have more to do with keeping Coles Myers or old mother hubbards xmas hampers afloat than anything else these days. Although we haven't gone to the extremes of japan yet, where they have 2 valentines days, because sales are so good :LOL:

    Funny how things go pagens -> christians -> capitalists -> Aliens ?
  10. Hang on a sec, Paul.

    Revken said:

    I pointed out that even atheists like to use the day as a family occasion.

    Tailus reminded us that it's a pagan festivity that was taken over by the early Christians.

    And you're saying:

    Er, I don't think any of the atheists here were complaining about anything. The boot was on the other foot - Revken had a (quite justifiable) rant about tacky commercialism and people pretending to be nice to their families once a year, and the conversation went on from there.

    We've got 2 things happening at Christmas time, of course. It's a religious occasion celebrated by Christians (and Ken, I don't think you'll find too many heathens or atheists joining in :wink: ).

    Then we have the secular event, which is the development of the traditional European mid-winter festival. I suspect this always tended to involve people eating too much roast boar, quaffing too much mead, and arguing with their relatives. Now it involves turkey, beer and expensive electrical goods. But the principle seems to be pretty much the same. :)
  11. Reasonable and clear point there, Gromit.
  12. Christmas rules.

    You don't do any work the week before it. You generally get a week or two off during it. The government doesn't require us to celebrate it. You get to spend time with your family. You get a special day off just to clean up after it, even though you probably went to a party at someone elses place.

    Rock on!

    And it's santas birthday and all that so if your religous then it's even more special.
  13. My usual 'leaping to the defence of....' position, Clive! :D

    I guess the problem for those who believe in the spiritual significance of Christmas, even though this is the wrong time of the year to be celebrating Jesus' birth, is that there is an element of society that seems to resent the imposition of that spiritual on the secular, whereas in fact they are imposing the secular on the spiritual.

    Perhaps we can discuss whether or not Jesus lived at all on another thread, HiH, but if you're saying He didn't, that's a brave call!

    The bottom line for me is whether or not this is the right time of the year, and whether or not Christmas has been encrusted with selfishness and comercialism, it DOES provide one time in the year when these matters can at least be discussed, exactly as we are doing now, and that can't be bad!
  14. Isnt christmas / santa ( nicolas) and gift giving derived from Saint nicolas , before he became a bishop and was a minister , on three nights left money for a poor man who would have to put his daughter into prostitution for a dowery ?
  15. I'll agree with you there hornet :)
  16. I've a kinda theological question:

    Sometimes I like to sing "Like a bat out of Hell..." when I ride, if I'm pushing the Exciter to its extremes limits! Does this have any soteriological function (will it get me to Heaven)? It's usually at these times that I'm taking the narrow road (or corner) (as I sing "On the rode again" if I'm cruisin' the wide and easy path). Sure, my mind's set on being out of Hell, rather than on Heaven, but by fallacious implication "He who is not against me, is with me" (and that ain't so fallacious, according to the Spirit (depending on how spiritual or mean-spirited your theology is (sloppy minded apathy aside))).


    (Use it for a thesis if you like - combine your interests :) )
  17. Will pushing an SR185 to its extreme limits bring you closer to meeting your maker? The Bible records many grisly deaths, but boredom isn't one of them, so I'm not sure that exigesis will give the answer. :LOL:
  18. Im impressed someone else knows what soteriological means!!!! But isnt calling an sr185 an exciter an oxy moron?
    I think Im gonna have to think about it for a while - my brain hurts this early.
    I think that perhaps riding is what removes me from what can be hell on earth - the mundane, the boring existence, all the crap that goes on in life, the putting up with other peoples stuff when you dont want to and whatever else drives you nuts. It clears the decks, gets you to a space that is more your own, in which communion with the deity of choice or whatever it is that gets you through the night (see, I am capable of being tolerant).
    Will it get you to heaven? Ummm, at the risk of being intolerant and all that, I dont believe so.
    Heaven and hell mutually exclusive? I guess at metaphors for our existence, then they are, yet in the muddiness of life, I think we usually exist somewhere in between them, and sometimes we set for ourselves and others a mixture of the two.

    on the theiving of a pagan festival - appropriation is a term I prefer. Im looking into it. I have my own thoughts on it, which I may write about later. But I found some interesting views on that process, at least in Britain, in the book "The Mists of Avalon". Interesting read.
    And I just found this. The appropriation of Christmas in the Roman Empire, which is where it seems to have occured, happened at some point prior to 336, replacing the festival of the invincible sun with the festival of the birth of the Son. Thats what my dictionary on liturgy and worship tells me anyway.

    man, cant wait to get to NZ
  19. The original gift givers were of course the 3 wise men.

    The mid centuries european who resurected it made it into what we have today.

    However I want to pose a question to you all.
    Why are we celebrating the birth of a jew who claimed kingship as he was in line of kingship through his mother? Remember when he was executed it is said there was a plaque saying he was the king of the jews and that was also the reason for the crown of thorns.

    That he later preached good and great things is probably the answer. Had he not preached, he would not have been executed and therefore we would know nothing of him. Same as we know nothing of his lineage back to David from whm he was decended. (Have I got that right?)

    Now if he was the son of god, why did the jews renounce him? They still do.

    When he was executed, I understand all his family and close friends had to escape the region. That was why the books of the bible were written in Greece. Apparently the jews and the romans had to put down all efforts of insurrection. Pax Romanus system was off with the heads of all and so there will be no problems.

    So. Are we really celebrating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, or are we celebrating the re-enactment of the gift giving? If it is that he was the son of god, then most other religions say we have got it wrong. If we allow a vote, it would be defeated. So who is right and who is wrong?

    If you are offended by the above - stiff. Rhetorical questions. You might notice I have not mentioned my religion. Try to guess.
  20. LOL christmas to me is time to be spent with family... There are a number of FAMILY traditions that we have and I hope me and my wife will be able to pass them onto our kids... I belive that is what christmas is about... traditions... traditional foods and basicaly caching up with family...

    Hey does any one else here celeblates christmas on the 24th?? I/we do...