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#1 Epic

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:14 PM

So, it's December. That means enduring posts on Facebook, tumblr, Twitter, and other social networking sites about how we need to put CHRIST back in CHRISTMAS.

This thread will be for the purpose of discussing the religious side of Christmas/Yule/Solstice/Whatever.

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#2 Secret Igshar

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:18 PM

Relevant link: Is it Christmas?

Also, I don't like how materialistic Christmas is. My favorite part of the holiday is spending time with my extended family and just enjoying their company. I don't like the religious side of the celebration, because it turns the whole affair away from being a fun time with family and turns it into a big old prayer session.

And I'm a more secular person. I prefer to keep my concerns here on Earth and not worry about whatever is out there watching us.

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#3 Shino

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

I don't like the religious side of the celebration, because it turns the whole affair away from being a fun time with family and turns it into a big old prayer session.


Because this is what Christmas is really about. Not about having fun with family. You celebrate the birth of Jesus and rejoice in his name.
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#4 Epic

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:27 PM

I share your thoughts, iggy.

Here's a relevant video by TheAmazingAtheist;

That is my favorite part of the holiday as well. Good food, the company of friends and family, and basking in the joy of the season. I think we are teaching our children incorrectly about what the holiday is really all about. Santa, for example, has come to symbolize material goods to children. To a child, Santa is "that one guy that brings you toys." He doesn't symbolize what he used to; love, charity, and good will.

Christmas has gone from a Pagan holiday celebrating love and life to a Consumerist holiday celebrating that new video game system or that new car.

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#5 Ralor

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:28 PM

Because this is what Christmas is really about. Not about having fun with family. You celebrate the birth of Jesus and rejoice in his name.


Except that Jesus wasn't born in December.

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#6 Epic

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:29 PM

Except that Jesus wasn't born in December.


I think he was born in March...

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#7 Shino

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:29 PM

Except that Jesus wasn't born in December.


It's a day to celebrate the day of his birth, not his birthday.
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#8 Ralor

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:30 PM

I think he was born in March...


Close, but if I understand correctly it was late April-Early May.

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#9 Secret Igshar

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:31 PM

It's a day to celebrate the day of his birth, not his birthday.

Christians only bastardized the pagan celebration to fit their own needs. It was not created to celebrate this.

Why is there a Christmas Tree? That's one of the few remnants of the old pagan celebration that survives in tradition to this day.

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#10 Epic

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:33 PM

The Christmas Tree, Santa himself, the giving of gifts... and I think that's all that survived.

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#11 Secret Igshar

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:39 PM

Granted, it IS an original celebration in its own right, since it combines a couple different pagan traditions into one holiday, and "Christmas" itself was created by the Christians to celebrate Jesus' birth, but it draws so much inspiration from pagan winter festivals that to call it independent of them is a little silly.

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#12 Valor

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:28 PM

A few things:

Here's a relevant video by TheAmazingAtheist;


I hate him. I hate his videos. I hate everything about him. I hate that I watched that while knowing how much I already loathe this man. He's part of the problem, not part of the solution.

OH WOW AMERICA TOTALLY SUCKS LOOK AT THIS EXPLOITATION OF WORKERS I'M GONNA COMPLAIN AND POINT OUT HOW FUCKING COOL AND ATHEIST I AM WHILE OFFERING NO SOLUTIONS AS TO WHAT TO DO TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM WOW AMERICA TOTALLY SUCKS EVEN THOUGH IF I MADE THIS VIDEO IN MANY OTHER COUNTRIES I'D BE FUCKING EXECUTED ON THE SPOT.

Yeah. Thanks for that insight, Amazing Atheist. You changed my life.

Why the hell does everyone think that gifts = the best part of Christmas? Just because it's the commercialized thing that people tell you... NO ONE in this thread has ONCE said so far that gifts are the best part of Christmas. So why do we assume that children believe this? Are they really so stupid that all they care about are gifts?

WELL if the kids are like i dunno 12 years old or younger... why the hell not!? Do kids often get gifts aside from their birthday? No, probably not. It's a special day for them and a really cool holiday about getting a bunch of stuff you've wanted but couldn't get.

As you grow up you gradually care less and less about getting gifts and care more about getting them. it's called growing up. Try telling a 10 year old that the new Playstation 3 under the tree isn't as important as seeing his aunt and uncle for five to six hours. I'm sure he'll totally believe you.

Who cares. Just... who cares.

I don't give a shit that Christianity usurped a holiday to facilitate their own nefarious ends to try and dominate... America? Europe?... Asia...? whatever. I don't care. It doesn't bother me. Anyone with a functioning frontal lobe will learn about the "pagan" holiday it began as. Millions of pretentious folks on the internet will make it abundantly clear LIKE CLOCKWORK every damn year around this time.

Don't worry about what you think other folks are trying to do to the holiday and just enjoy it the way you always have.

Unless you're jewish. Enjoy your eight days, or something.

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#13 Lexaeus

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:42 AM

Look, Christmas was even at some times iirc forbidden (CC, Puritans also did this at some point in America/England)to be celebrated because of the connection some of the liturgy were displayed based on pagan (mostly Saturnalian) practices/traditions. The epiphany (the visit of the magi) was more of a bigger deal back then which is strange/sad because there's a good chance a Christian doesn't even know what that word is for. Anyway, it is known that Jesus was not born in December (even if thats up for debate its not important so I really couldn't care less) its just a picked date by most churches to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who they (and me) believe is the Son of God. Some churches, a lot of the early break aways, celebrate on different days, so go figure. Also, I wouldn't say it was bastardized. Many of the pagans traditions we see today were "adopted" because they could be used as symbols to teach lessons/maybe values about Christmas and its surrounding culture. I didn't source/or look that up, so thats iirc. I sure it something like that though, otherwise that stuff would be approved by the people that have seriously thought over it and have some credibility to there name. So all these practices are just used to help the environment on the what is being celebrated.

When it comes to the secular materialistic side of Christmas, I would rather the whole not even be. People commit suicide over the advent/christmas days. (Remember Christmas is 12 days, not 1, so that kind of helps the whole doesn't have to be his birthday or whatever in terms of most of us don't even know the full scope of this through the course of history). Anyway, this modern Christmas is a true bastardization of Christmas, even if Christmas to Solstice is a small one. The entire meaning of the holiday is reversed. Rather than it being about God, who chose to come to Earth and become man like us for our sakes, it is now about ourselves and what we want. That is unacceptable. Human societies don't last long on greed, so even on a secular level this isn't very good. So, is celebrated Christmas okay is you believe, yes. The traditions that go with it even though they were used by pagans for something else, I say yes though we could bring more light to the subject. Secular Christmas, I think not. At the moment I feel that's an evolution of the market that was trying to being the consumer-ship of Christmas that was developing to the entire public. You don't believe in Jesus, but you can have Santa. I don't know, I'm tired, so take my post with a grain of salt. I think I even forgot my main point so I'll just end here.

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#14 Valor

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:15 AM

Anyway, this modern Christmas is a true bastardization of Christmas, even if Christmas to Solstice is a small one. The entire meaning of the holiday is reversed. Rather than it being about God, who chose to come to Earth and become man like us for our sakes, it is now about ourselves and what we want. That is unacceptable. Human societies don't last long on greed, so even on a secular level this isn't very good.

I don't think that giving gifts to other people is really a greedy mentality. I think it's a giving one.

*turns the coin over*

In a society where money is a prized thing and everyone is trying to get more of it and squeeze it out of a tight-fisted system like blood from a stone, to take a day and spend that money not even on yourself but on others is a pretty awesome thing.

Everyone here appears to be so focused on the "get" that the "give" seems to have been forgotten about. Someone has to "give" for you to "get". GIVING is the spirit of the season. Not getting. Every after-school special will tell you the same thing.

Is it bad for people to want things? That's arguable. In a Christian sense, yeah, it kind of is. In a realistic sense, no, I don't think so. In a consumer run society if people stopped buying things we'd be sunk. Sunk hard. The economy flows by people putting money into the system.

If no one spent money on anything the economy would dry up. Why do we want to raise taxes on the wealthy? Because otherwise that money is apparently sitting in a giant silo in gold coins that the billionaires swim in. It doesn't circulate. So we have to print money to have money. This money isn't backed by literally anything other than the promise that the United States of America will exist tomorrow. Not the gold standard.

TL;DR -> SPENDING IS GOOD. WE WANT TO SPEND. SPENDING FOR CHRISTMAS IS NOT A BAD THING [from an economic standpoint.]

I have never [ever] met a single person in my life who has ever said that Christmas was awesome because you get whatever you want. It's awesome because you get a list of things you've always wanted.

Maybe as a kid this happened [WHEN YOU HAD NO MONEY TO SPEND ON YOURSELF]. As an adult it happens less often. Nowadays all I ask for for Christmas are things I have wanted but don't want to spend my money on/cannot afford to purchase for myself. They are extra items that I don't need but I would like to have. Some games that slipped through the cracks, a few neat things that I've always wanted, and so on.

I don't feel it's fair to classify wanting things as being greedy. No one is turning the idea of getting gifts into a golden steer or anything. Also, Christmas is becoming more and more of a secular holiday anyway since it's celebrated by people who don't even believe in Christianity anyway. It's a fun holiday. It's a good holiday that people like.

Christmas for religious folks shouldn't be as important (I feel) as Easter. Easter should be the BIGGEST Holiday because when Jesus died, he opened the gates of heaven (that were CLOSED to all souls because it was during God's PMS cycle or someshit [i don't even remember]). His death and subsequent resurrection were the Good News and all and pretty much PROVED to the world that he was the Son of God and set up Heaven as we know it. The Immaculate Conception and Jesus' birth are like cool and all, but his death, I feel, is more meaningful than Christmas and his birth in a stable (or cave).

That's my two cents on that.

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#15 Lexaeus

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:29 AM

I don't think that giving gifts to other people is really a greedy mentality. I think it's a giving one.

*turns the coin over*

In a society where money is a prized thing and everyone is trying to get more of it and squeeze it out of a tight-fisted system like blood from a stone, to take a day and spend that money not even on yourself but on others is a pretty awesome thing.

Everyone here appears to be so focused on the "get" that the "give" seems to have been forgotten about. Someone has to "give" for you to "get". GIVING is the spirit of the season. Not getting. Every after-school special will tell you the same thing.

Is it bad for people to want things? That's arguable. In a Christian sense, yeah, it kind of is. In a realistic sense, no, I don't think so. In a consumer run society if people stopped buying things we'd be sunk. Sunk hard. The economy flows by people putting money into the system.

If no one spent money on anything the economy would dry up. Why do we want to raise taxes on the wealthy? Because otherwise that money is apparently sitting in a giant silo in gold coins that the billionaires swim in. It doesn't circulate. So we have to print money to have money. This money isn't backed by literally anything other than the promise that the United States of America will exist tomorrow. Not the gold standard.

TL;DR -> SPENDING IS GOOD. WE WANT TO SPEND. SPENDING FOR CHRISTMAS IS NOT A BAD THING [from an economic standpoint.]

I have never [ever] met a single person in my life who has ever said that Christmas was awesome because you get whatever you want. It's awesome because you get a list of things you've always wanted.

Maybe as a kid this happened [WHEN YOU HAD NO MONEY TO SPEND ON YOURSELF]. As an adult it happens less often. Nowadays all I ask for for Christmas are things I have wanted but don't want to spend my money on/cannot afford to purchase for myself. They are extra items that I don't need but I would like to have. Some games that slipped through the cracks, a few neat things that I've always wanted, and so on.

I don't feel it's fair to classify wanting things as being greedy. No one is turning the idea of getting gifts into a golden steer or anything. Also, Christmas is becoming more and more of a secular holiday anyway since it's celebrated by people who don't even believe in Christianity anyway. It's a fun holiday. It's a good holiday that people like.

Christmas for religious folks shouldn't be as important (I feel) as Easter. Easter should be the BIGGEST Holiday because when Jesus died, he opened the gates of heaven (that were CLOSED to all souls because it was during God's PMS cycle or someshit [i don't even remember]). His death and subsequent resurrection were the Good News and all and pretty much PROVED to the world that he was the Son of God and set up Heaven as we know it. The Immaculate Conception and Jesus' birth are like cool and all, but his death, I feel, is more meaningful than Christmas and his birth in a stable (or cave).

That's my two cents on that.


Easter is a bigger holiday, just not in the culture sphere. Christmas is also easier to celebrate because its quite joyous at first glance. Easter isn't, though after meditation and reflection its the bee's knees. I mean, ignoring theology of Jesus's conception and birth , Jesus could have come down Superman style and then he lives his life and dies for humanity. It was why he had to be born. It was his main purpose on this earth. HE LIVED TO DIE. PRAISE HIM. No seriously, your post is very much right on the MONEY. Also, I think we need some form of standard, even if we can't go back to gold.

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