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I feel offended by holiday greetings... - Page 4

post #121 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
schools left and right are eliminating "Christmas" programs in favor of "winter celebrations"...just well...just because.

If this were happening "left and right" among the thousands of public schools in America, you'd think that there would be some evidence of the numbers, the school locations, and, most importantly, the religious demographics of the schools.

Quote:
Not because they are worried of offending anyone (or getting sued by the ACLU)...just because.

I would hope that these legions of public schools, thousands of them at the least, completely eliminating any official sanctioning of a religious holiday because it's the right thing to do. But does it really matter? The issue is where these scores of public schools are. Surely there must be a list somewhere of communities outraged by the choices their schools have made? Surely there must be a list maintained by zealous Christians of their neighbors and local organizations who aren't zealous enough in their love of Jesus?

Quote:
Retailers are dumping "Merry Christmas" just because...not because they are worried of offending anyone. It is all just a figment of my imagination. A fantasy. A ghost of Christmas nonsense.

Retailers? Who are bound by no law and subject to no reasonable lawsuit whatsoever if they put "Merry Christmas, Love Satan" in their advertisements? Maybe they're doing it because not everyone is a Christian? Maybe they're doing it because they're part of a sinister cabal whose numbers are only known by Bill O'Reilly and you? Maybe, just maybe, they're not as zealous in their Christianity as you'd like?

Quote:
Just because there are not links to organized battalions of "the offended" doesn't mean they don't exist.

If this were what people like Bill O'Reilly claimed it was, you'd think there would be all kinds of numbers and statistics of people who aren't worshipping the Christ as zealously as they should.

Quote:
Or maybe they don't.

Indeed. But you seem to be a person of faith.

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Maybe it is an extremely small minority.

Indeed. I tend to think it is an extremely small minority of very loud, very vocal, very zealous Christians who don't think the world is worshipping the Christ as zealously as it ought.

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A tail of hurt feelings wagging the dog of our overall culture. I could believe this.

You got it. It also works as a nice distraction from other political issues and serves to galvanize the Christian right for the midterms, which will get going in earnest shortly.

Quote:
But apparently someone is getting offended enough by it to raise stink about it or at least scare schools and retailers and even employers into avoiding the "C" word for fear of offending...well...no one I guess.

Why is it more likely that retailers are cowering in fear of "someone" who is "offended" than it is that retailers are trying to target a broad range of consumers, not all of whom are Christians?

Or maybe, just maybe, it's about a small and vocal minority of zealous Christians demanding that moderate Christians in America worship the Christ more zealously than it does.
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post #122 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
I tend to think it is an extremely small minority of very loud, very vocal, very zealous Christians who don't think the world is worshipping the Christ as zealously as it ought.

Of course you do.
post #123 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Of course you do.

Oh man! How could anyone not see the wisdom of your rebuttal?!

Merry Christmas. I'll probably not be back much before tomorrow evening.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #124 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Of course you do.

Well, sure, we're all free to tend to think whatever, and you're free to make of that what you will, but Midwinter has predicated his tendency to think a certain way on a couple of reasonable observations:

--That if retailers are not using the word "Christmas" in their advertising and such it seems likely that they are doing so because they want to peddle their wares to as many people as possible, not because they are beset by the ranks of the "offended". Retailers pretty reliably calculate their persona based on potential profits; if they had any reason to think that they were alienating more people than not, that is, losing money by caving into this alleged band of the thin-skinned, don't you think they would be shouting the good Christmas news from the rooftops?

--That if there is such huge number of schools eliminating every reference to Christmas, and if such activities are running counter to deepest desires of the communities that these schools are in, you would think that, given the intensity and focus of the people putting forward the whole notion that there is a "war on Christmas", there would be some kind of list, or statistics, or ways to contact the many neighborhood action committees that must have sprung up in the face of the outrageous betrayal by the "offended".

Neither point, of course, has any bearing at all on the general observance of Christmas amongst folks, and I don't think anyone can make a case that there are roving bands of the "offended" going around giving out humiliating tongue lashings to anyone saying "Merry Christmas" to random people on the street, or store clerks, or their friends and neighbors. Haven't heard any anecdotes about people having their Christmas decorations vandalized, or Christmas tree lots being decimated, or bricks being thrown through the stained glass windows of the churches, or radio stations being driven off the air for playing Christmas music 24/7, or Santas being attacked the irritable irreligious.

So what Midwinter tends to think seems to be entirely consonant with the observable world, which I realize doesn't carry much weight in the modern landscape of right wing outrage.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #125 of 206
Couldn't it possibly be that this whole outrage thing and The War on Christmas was simply made up?

Ockam's Razor = a brand new wedge issue in which to pound liberals with in order to remind conservatives how mean and nasty they are and how they want to steal Christmas...oh, and remember that when you pull the lever next November.
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post #126 of 206
The Grinch Factor
Rosa Brooks

THE WHOS down in Who-ville
Were a tolerant lot:
Who Christians, Who Muslims a Who melting pot.
Who Hindus! Who atheists! Who Buddhists, Who Jews!
Who Confucians, Who pagans,
And even Who Druze! The Who 1st Amendment's
Establishment Clause
Said, "No creches in courts," and the Whos loved their laws.
Because somehow they worked. The Whos rarely fought,
Mostly, each Who did just what he ought.

Every Who down in Who-ville
Loved the Consti-Who-tion a lot.
But the O'Reilly, who lived up in Fox-ville,
Did NOT!

The O'Reilly DETESTED the Who Consti-Who-tion,
He thought it was some sort of liberal pollution.
Now, please don't ask why, for I really don't know.
Perhaps it had something to do with his show.
It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right.
Or it could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his RATINGS
Were two sizes too small.

Well, whatever it was, bad ratings or tight shoes,
He stood there one Christmas, just hating the Whos.
"They're so multicultural," he sneered, "and wherever they're from,
They lack the good sense to just launch a pogrom!
There's no Who ethnic cleansing, no Who Inquisition,
If this PEACE can't be stopped, I may lose my position.
Those sensitive, tolerant Whos! It's quite grating.
I must think of something to fix my show's ratings!"
Then he said with a smirk, "I know just what to do
To destroy all the joy in the land of the Who!
I think I can end that PC Who peace.
This year, not one Who will enjoy his Roast Beast!

"Here's just how I'll do it:
I'll tell each Who Christian
That the liberal Whos have devised a new mission
To take away Christmas!
To mock and destroy
Till no little Who Christian is left with a toy!
And when secular Whos most likely Who Jews
Attempt to deny it? Why,
I'll just SPIN THE NEWS!
"I'll bluff and I'll lie; I'll sow seeds of mistrust.
Soon they'll form battle lines into
Who 'THEM' and Who 'US,'
Based on which Whos prefer
To sing out, 'Merry Christmas'
And which Whos say, 'Kwanzaa!'
Or 'None of your business!'

"They'll get so confused and so MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD
That they won't even notice the way
They've been HAD!
They'll be so busy squabbling
They won't notice the war!
They won't care if Who rich
Start to trample Who poor!

"Forget torture, and terror, and taxes, and health!
They'll waste all their time on some red-hatted elf.

"And the Who Consti-Who-tion?
They'll stretch it or burn it!
If it came as a gift, they would try to return it!

"The Who Christians will think that they fight the good fight,
They won't know that they're puppets of the Fox-ville Far Right.
They'll forget all that DRIVEL about faith, hope and LOVE
And say 'Merry Christmas' with a sneer and a shove.

"But I? I will prosper! My ratings will soar,
And maybe at last they'll forget I'm a BOOR.
Then for every Who Christmas tree
A most fitting adornament:
My O'Reilly MUG on the tackiest ornament!"

And what happened then?

Well, the rest's up to you.
But I know what I'd like this holiday season:
A little less NOISE and a little more reason.
So Who Christians! Who Buddhists! Who Muslims! Who Jews!
WHOever you are, just say NO to Fox "News!"
If you don't want to lose the whole Who Consti-Who-tion
It's time to reject the Far Right Revolution.
So turn off O'Reilly and everyone shrill,
Let's have some peace
And old-fashioned GOODWILL.
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post #127 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Northgate
Couldn't it possibly be that this whole outrage thing and The War on Christmas was simply made up?

Ockam's Razor = a brand new wedge issue in which to pound liberals with in order to remind conservatives how mean and nasty they are and how they want to steal Christmas...oh, and remember that when you pull the lever next November.

Ockam's Razor would hold that it is much simpler to believe that hundreds of isolated incidents of individuals expressing intolerance for Christmas has led this perception rather than one individual controlling everything, everywhere including the perceptions of parties.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #128 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
Ockam's Razor would hold that it is much simpler to believe that hundreds of isolated incidents of individuals expressing intolerance for Christmas has led this perception rather than one individual controlling everything, everywhere including the perceptions of parties.

Nick

No Ockam's razor would suggest that it is all in the minds of the people who perceive such things -- a sort of mass hysteria that is baseless.
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post #129 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
No Ockam's razor would suggest that it is all in the minds of the people who perceive such things -- a sort of mass hysteria that is baseless.

This, to me, would be the simplest answer. Add on to that a brazen captilization of the situation for political purposes.
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post #130 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
Ockam's Razor would hold that it is much simpler to believe that hundreds of isolated incidents of individuals expressing intolerance for Christmas has led this perception rather than one individual controlling everything, everywhere including the perceptions of parties.

Nick

Ok. I'll bite.

It's not one person. It's a coordinated effort by several people. The usual suspects.

And I doubt it's "hundreds" of isolated incidents. Probably a few dozen spread out of years and years. And most of those incidents are about religious displays on government property and not...how did you phrase it...intolerance for Christmas (I'm even disappointed in you for reaching for such low hanging fruit).

And with your admission that these incidents are "isolated", then I assume you agree that (because they're isolated) that they are, in fact, NOT part of a super-secret liberal campaign, funded by George Soros, to secularize America?

Additionally, because the evidence shows that these incidents are isolated and spread out over a large period of time that this does not qualify as a "War on Christmas." You would agree, no?
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post #131 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
Ockam's Razor would hold that it is much simpler to believe that hundreds of isolated incidents of individuals expressing intolerance for Christmas has led this perception rather than one individual controlling everything, everywhere including the perceptions of parties.

Nick

I just want to know where this list of hundreds of isolated incidents is maintained.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #132 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
No Ockam's razor would suggest that it is all in the minds of the people who perceive such things -- a sort of mass hysteria that is baseless.

I've experienced it myself and encounter stories like this often. Also how is mass hysteria a simple thing?

No Silent Night or any religious celebration for you

Note that it is told from the perspective of the offended party.

Quote:
Originally posted by Northgate
This, to me, would be the simplest answer. Add on to that a brazen captilization of the situation for political purposes.

Hahahaha... yep. The simple answer is that everyone, everywhere is in on it but you had your tinfoil hat on. Lucky for you.

Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
I just want to know where this list of hundreds of isolated incidents is maintained.

Just take off the tinfoil hat and the web address will be broadcast to you.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #133 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
Just take off the tinfoil hat and the web address will be broadcast to you.

Nick

That's rich. Considering that all the bloviating on this issue is coming from your side.
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post #134 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
I've experienced it myself and encounter stories like this often. Also how is mass hysteria a simple thing?

No Silent Night or any religious celebration for you

Note that it is told from the perspective of the offended party.

Ohh... Okay. If a couple of Jews feel uncomfortable and ask for some sort of equitable sharing of culture that does not involve praising jesus, that constitutes an attack on Christmas... Riiight. ..

Look, as a Jew, I find it laughable that you would even propose this as an example of an attack on Christmas. You must note that the family tried to push their concerns through reasonable paths, and at some point even had the acceptance of the PTO... Regardless, until you cringe at the on-coming holiday season, you can't understand how simple and small a request this was. It isn't like the family can turn off the radio in the local CVS, or demand that their baker turn off the Joyeux Noel sign etc etc etc (almost all of my family develops twitches this time of year, it isn't our holiday, we share nothing of the culture that produced the modern santa claus...). Everyone would and should consider that an inappropriate request. The difference here is that this was a school sponsored activity which puts undue burdon on children of some faiths versus others. The parents in this article are asking for a more generic chirstmas celebration, secular even, as I suspect the Dreaming of A White Christmas, a secular Christmas song written by a Jew, would have been acceptable.

But I cannot speak for their accepted limits on such things.

My limit would be far looser, but not because I believe it is wrong to make a complaint, the children of the Christian parents have plenty of time to sing carols and other non-secular songs outside of the public school, but because there are some beautiful Christian songs, and most of them have significant cultural value outside of the religious indications.

Really, if you cannot understand what those silly minorities are complaining about, why don't you ask one of them.

Edit: Further, I guess you assumed I wouldn't read the article. Your entitlement of it is not only misleading but an outright lie. Where in that article did the mother request that all celebration of christmas end? Eh? Oh, she didn't. Fuck off, Nick. You have become truly intolerable.
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post #135 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Northgate
That's rich. Considering that all the bloviating on this issue is coming from your side.

The point is examples are found all the time. The reality is that you don't care to tune into them and consider them. You would prefer to consider everyone reacting to these to be mass hysteria.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #136 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
The point is examples are found all the time. The reality is that you don't care to tune into them and consider them. You would prefer to consider everyone reacting to these to be mass hysteria.

Nick

Out of curiosity, what is an attack on Christmas?
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post #137 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Out of curiosity, what is an attack on Christmas?

A Prime example:

http://www.seussville.com/grinch/

Evil, just plain evil what these pointy-eared people are up to.
post #138 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Ohh... Okay. If a couple of Jews feel uncomfortable and ask for some sort of equitable sharing of culture that does not involve praising jesus, that constitutes an attack on Christmas... Riiight. ..

Equitable sharing of culture, but oh, by the way, leave yours at home when we share.

If your culture involves being Jewish and my culture involves being Christian and you want to equitably share cultures, but please leave my being Christian at home, how is that anything but intolerant?

Quote:
Look, as a Jew, I find it laughable that you would even propose this as an example of an attack on Christmas. You must note that the family tried to push their concerns through reasonable paths,and at some point even had the acceptance of the PTO... Regardless, until you cringe at the on-coming holiday season, you can't understand how simple and small a request this was.

The methodology is not the question. You were the one suggesting that there were not requests, reasonable or not being made and instead we were all experiencing mass hysteria.

Also how is it a small and simple request to have a family move into an area and require all other parties in that area not even to just accomodate them, but to bend entirely to their will?

Also them move from Israel to Pennsylvania with this understanding.. from the author herself...

After living so many years in Israel, we thought it would be a good idea for our children to experience something they could never experience in the Jewish state: feeling what it was like to be part of a minority.

So don't hit me with this cringing at the coming Christmas nonsense. They moved to experience that cringing.

Quote:
It isn't like the family can turn off the radio in the local CVS, or demand that their baker turn off the Joyeux Noel sign etc etc etc (almost all of my family develops twitches this time of year, it isn't our holiday, we share nothing of the culture that produced the modern santa claus...). Everyone would and should consider that an inappropriate request.

Yet they made the inappropriate request. They felt that Dreidel, Dreidel, obviously an attempt to expand the boundries of the children and be inclusive was not equvalent to Silent Night. The appropriate request would have been to allow someone authentically Jewish to supervise or suggest the part of the program where Jewish culture is celebrated and sung about. Instead they just wanted any references they didn't agree with to be removed.

Quote:
The difference here is that this was a school sponsored activity which puts undue burdon on children of some faiths versus others. The parents in this article are asking for a more generic chirstmas celebration, secular even, as I suspect the Dreaming of A White Christmas, a secular Christmas song written by a Jew, would have been acceptable.

Perhaps they would have been acceptable or perhaps it would be round two for next year. We can't fully get into that. I choose the article in part because it was one-sided from the perspective of the minority in this instance. Obviously the principal and other parents might have had a different view about their actions and requests.

From the author...

It all started rather innocently with the children singing what we have since learned are called "secular Christmas songs" - an oxymoron if there ever was one. Granted, the name of Christ was not mentioned in these songs, but watching my little Jewish children up there on the stage with their classmates singing Christmas classics like Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer did make me cringe.

Note that even the secular Christmas songs made the author cringe. She also considered the secular Christmas songs to be an oxymoron or basically still religious.

How does the local Christian official feel about this?

The day Tamar told her classmates she was leaving the school, I encountered the father of a classmate of hers, a reverend of a local Lutheran congregation. "Why not?" he asked, when I said we did not feel religious songs should be sung in American public schools, in response to his queries about our decision to pull Tamar out. "I think it's intolerant to demand that Christians not be able to sing their songs."

And by the way, he said, he was happy that his daughter had had the opportunity to meet a Jewish child and learn "lots of things" about the Jewish religion. "Tamar taught my daughter that 'shalom' means hi, bye and peace," he said.


That sounds pretty open-minded to me.

Quote:
My limit would be far looser, but not because I believe it is wrong to make a complaint, the children of the Christian parents have plenty of time to sing carols and other non-secular songs outside of the public school, but because there are some beautiful Christian songs, and most of them have significant cultural value outside of the religious indications.

Your own reasoning shows why their request was not reasonable.

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Really, if you cannot understand what those silly minorities are complaining about, why don't you ask one of them.

I understand fully. I even appreciate the reasonableness of many people who realize that openness is a two way street.

Quote:
Edit: Further, I guess you assumed I wouldn't read the article. Your entitlement of it is not only misleading but an outright lie. Where in that article did the mother request that all celebration of christmas end? Eh? Oh, she didn't. Fuck off, Nick. You have become truly intolerable.

Read a little more closely there Hardy.

We did that several weeks later, and the PTO not only "got it" but voted unanimously to take all religious Christian songs out of the program. Unprompted by us, the PTO also decided to rename the event "Winterfest" rather than "Holiday Sing."

The request was for all religious songs to be removed. The unprompted action was for the event name change.

We were naive enough to believe the matter could be resolved in a short, friendly chat. We'd tell her that it was very uncomfortable for us, as Jews, to take part in a school event in which religious Christian songs were being sung, and she'd say that she was terribly sorry, that she had no idea this was offensive to non-Christians, that she had no idea that Dreidel, Dreidel was not the religious equivalent of Silent Night, and the Christmas carols would be removed from the program.

The chat was a request to remove religious Christmas carols from the program.

Thanks to this attitude, I find myself today painfully familiar with the lyrics to Silent Night. In fact, waging my own private Christmas war has forced me to learn them by heart.

She characterizes her own actions as waging a private war against Christmas.

Also just get over yourself. The titling is just my little Seinfeldian/Soup-Nazi reference.

However all of this is besides the point isn't it? I mean this whole article and all the actions described in it obviously never happen. They are all part of the mass hysteria.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #139 of 206
How is her reasonable request to remove religious songs (note she did not ask for secular christmas songs to be removed, she like all jews knows how to suffer) from the song list an attack on the other parent's right to celebrate Christmas?

Oh, it isn't.

She not only didn't tell parents to stop this celebration, she also didn't tell them to get rid of all Christmas songs. Dreidle... is about as secular as you can get so why can't they just create a secular winter time celebration like she requested?

They tried, but the principle decided with a minority of presmably Christian parents, that nothing was to change.

You see, the real war here is being waged by the Christian Conservatives who won't even allow a reasonable secularization of a school sponsored event.

You also failed to understand her tongue-in-cheek reference to her battle as a war on christmas. She isn't trying to stop people from celebrating their holidays, she is trying to make her children's lives easier and there is nothing wrong with that, is there?

You clearly do not understand her position. You find it amuzing and blow off the principle's actions, and yet, I would have to argue that the principle is the only one in the wrong in this entire tale.

Your example is utterly and completely about this woman's children, and you don't get that.
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post #140 of 206
Oh, and how is a request to respect minority rights an attack on Christmas?

No, sorry, not an attack, a War?
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post #141 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
so why can't they just create a secular winter time celebration like she requested?

A "winter time celebration"? Of What exactly? Cold? Snow? Why not just eliminate the celebration altogether?

The interesting thing I notice in this tolerant, multi-cultural age of ours is that the solution to things is to eliminate expression of faith, religion, culture, etc. vs. elevating them. Why is that? I mean why isn't the solution to elevate Hanukkah (at this time of the year)?

It seems (to me) that a truly tolerant and multi-cultural society would do just that.

Unless...what is really happening is that secularlism is the only permissible expression of faith/religion/culture that is allowed and all others should be muted or eliminated.
post #142 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Oh, and how is a request to respect minority rights an attack on Christmas?

Ummm...what "rights" are we talking about here? What rights were being violated exactly? Was that the right to not feel uncomfortable? The right to not be offended?
post #143 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Ummm...what "rights" are we talking about here? What rights were being violated exactly? Was that the right to not feel uncomfortable? The right to not be offended?

The right to free practice of religion. You know, so there is no reasonable expectation for a child to sing a song about a man who some believe was a god, er, i mean, a son of a god.

This is a School Sponsored event -- the leaders of the school sponsored event, the PTO even agreed to the reasonable request of the mother of the child and the principle (a school official) changed the plans. Let's see, we not only have a free practice problem, we have an establishment problem.

See how easy that was.

Can we at least agree that changing this celebration to a more secular one would not have stopped anyone from being able to practice their religion?
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post #144 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla

The interesting thing I notice in this tolerant, multi-cultural age of ours is that the solution to things is to eliminate expression of faith, religion, culture, etc. vs. elevating them. Why is that? I mean why isn't the solution to elevate Hanukkah (at this time of the year)?

First, almost everyone has secular aspects of their lives. The few exceptions are in cloisters.

Second, the reason we don't "elevate" Hanukah is because well, Hanukah was and is a meaningless festival of lights. On the list of religious holidays and significance it falls near the bottom. But since schools and society as a whole likes to think of Hanukah as a very important holiday, we have idiots like yourself trying to force a significance on a holiday that has nothing to do with anything, and you aren't even Jewish which makes this suggestion even more humorous...

Why can't those minorities start playing our way...

Go jerk off.
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post #145 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
The right to free practice of religion. You know, so there is no reasonable expectation for a child to sing a song about a man who some believe was a god, er, i mean, a son of a god.

Was the child being forced to sing the song? Were the children punished or prevented from "opting out"? Could they have suggested a Jewish song be added as well? What other options were available?

Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Let's see, we not only have a free practice problem, we have an establishment problem.

No (if by "free practice problem" you mean that the family was prevented from expressing or practicing their own beliefs) and no (if by "establishment problem" you are referring to the first amendment).
post #146 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Was the child being forced to sing the song? Were the children punished or prevented from "opting out"? Could they have suggested a Jewish song be added as well? What other options were available?

These were songs taught to them in their music class during the school year by a school employee. That is much clear. There is no sign that they were offered the ability to "opt out" of signing them, and from personal experience it is very likely that no one thought about such problems. In other words, if the child was learning these songs for a grade, then yes they were being forced to sing them.


Quote:

No (if by "free practice problem" you mean that the family was prevented from expressing or practicing their own beliefs) and no (if by "establishment problem" you are referring to the first amendment).

By your logic, then there is nothing wrong with secularizing the event as it doesn't constitute an attack on the ability of Christians to practice their religion, now does it?

Edit: Addition of a Jewish song is a slippery slope, right? I mean, it isn't merely sufficient to add one minority's songs, you have to add all of them... or more reasonably your secularize the event.
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post #147 of 206
This thread is making me angry... as did a political cartoon about this nonsense about a month ago. For my mental health, lets be clear, the War on Christmas is simply a religious majority trying to stiffle legitimate requests for, not cultural equivalency, but cultural respect. It is clear Chris and Nick, you don't know the Jewish culture, and that is as much a problem of Christian centric policies of districts as is evident from this Pennsylvania story as it is from the equivocation of religions that has so far passed as the 'secular' trend in this nation.
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post #148 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Go jerk off.

Must you be a crude jerk?
post #149 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Second, the reason we don't "elevate" Hanukah is because well, Hanukah was and is a meaningless festival of lights. On the list of religious holidays and significance it falls near the bottom.

So, essentially there is only one religious holiday of any significance near the end of December and so all of this "happy holidays" and "seasons greetings" crap is simply a desire to avoid saying "Merry Christmas".
post #150 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Must you be a crude jerk?

Yes. It got your attention, no?

Quote:
So, essentially there is only one religious holiday of any significance near the end of December and so all of this "happy holidays" and "seasons greetings" crap is simply a desire to avoid saying "Merry Christmas".

Well... I think I have been through this here before...

I will spell it out:

Jews use the lunar calender for religious holidays.

It causes a massive swing in the dates of such religious holiday as passover and the christian celebration of Good friday and easter which are coupled to the Jewish holiday previously mentioned as mr. christ's last meal was a Passover sedar.

Hanukah is no exception.

Hanukah falls most of the time before Christmas, about 1/3 of the time on or after Christmas. This year is a notable one because it is the first time in 50 years that Christmas and Hanukah's first day fall on the 25th of december.

You would know this if you had actually sat through a multicultural class.

Now, back to the point. Hanukah is not the reason for the expression Happy Holidays. There is no rational for that suggestion as there is a 1/3 chance that the expression is even temporaly correct.

Ah but wait... Exactly 7 days after Christmas falls New Years which is celebrated by more people than Christmas and is a Holiday. Happy Hollidays refers to Christmas and New Years...

And/Or alternatively, banking on percieved universality Commercial enterprises coined the phrase Happy Holidays.

It wasn't the Jews. It wasn't the Muslims. It wasn't the secularists. It was the Crass Commercial Enterprise that banks on big budget sales at the end of the year... Funny, no?
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post #151 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Yes. It got your attention, no?

If being crude is the only way for you to get someone's attention, you have serious issues.

Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
You would know this if you had actually sat through a multicultural class.

Probably correct. They didn't have those when I was in school.

Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Exactly 7 days after Christmas falls New Years

Ahhh...so it is an efficiency thing. That I can handle.

Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
New Years which is celebrated by more people than Christmas and is a Holiday.

Wel, if polls I heard about are to be believed, at least as it pertains to America, it can't be many more. According to one article I read something like 96% of Americans celebrate Christmas in one way or another.
post #152 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
If being crude is the only way for you to get someone's attention, you have serious issues.

No one said it was my only way. It has and always will be a very effective way...

Edit: 96%? I would call that a secular holiday... given that only 80% identify as Christian... Heh.
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post #153 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
The point is examples are found all the time. The reality is that you don't care to tune into them and consider them. You would prefer to consider everyone reacting to these to be mass hysteria.

Nick

I have considered them and I've deemed them a fringe voice with little to no influence on the mainstream.

I don't think anyone's suffering from mass hysteria. Point to where I've said that. What I have said multiple times in this thread, to which you've conveniently ignored, is that this is simply a manufactured soapbox for the modern conservative movement to score some political points with the Christian base.

Basically, you're completely ignoring who is creating this controversy. When the reality is that Bill O'Reilly CONVENIENTLY decides to make an isssue out of this at THE SAME TIME his buddy at Fox News, John Gibson, releases his book The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought.

I would love it if you could point to a similar diatribe from the left. How 'bout their spokesperson? Perhaps you could point to a major liberal cable news network who, over the course of a five-day period at the end of November through early December, devoted 58 segments to the topic.

That tin-foil hat charade of yours doesn't seem to hold any water anymore, does it? Is that because you're intelligent enough and politically savvy enough to know that you and your conservative brethern are arguing out your ass?

Again, I find it deliciously ironic that conservatives propose a GRANDIOSE CONSPIRACY that the liberals are waging a War on Christmas, and when the left responds with laughter and ridicule, you attempt to brand them hysterical tin-foil hat wearers.

You crack me up Trumpt.

Nice try, though.
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post #154 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
How is her reasonable request to remove religious songs (note she did not ask for secular christmas songs to be removed, she like all jews knows how to suffer) from the song list an attack on the other parent's right to celebrate Christmas?

I would like to order a ham sandwich. Please hold the ham and the bread.

I'll be happy to let you celebrate your holiday. Just hold many of the ingredients that happen to make it... your holiday.

Quote:
Oh, it isn't.

Yeah except for the parties who actually had this occur to them felt that it was. Also the author writing about it felt it was as well.

That leaves you as the deluded one.

Quote:
She not only didn't tell parents to stop this celebration, she also didn't tell them to get rid of all Christmas songs.

She didn't tell them to dance like monkeys on a wedding cake either.

She was unwilling to be inclusive. She would only allow the celebration on her own terms.

Quote:
Dreidle... is about as secular as you can get so why can't they just create a secular winter time celebration like she requested?

You declare Dreidle to be secular on your terms. However imagine if I simply declared it religious in my terms and declared that you should remove it to be "inclusive" to my views. Why can't you just take being Jewish out of a Jewish song. That is what you are asking for when asking to take religion out of a Christmas celebration.

Quote:
They tried, but the principle decided with a minority of presumably Christian parents, that nothing was to change.

That is a presumption. It is fine to make it because that is partially why I picked that article.

But the better question is this. If the Jewish community was a minority of one and their request was honored. Why should the request of another minority community (Christian parents) not be honored as well? How tolerant is it to honor some minority views and exclude others?

Quote:
You see, the real war here is being waged by the Christian Conservatives who won't even allow a reasonable secularization of a school sponsored event.

Interesting that "reasonable" means "total" in your view. No one complained about the event being semi or even mostly secular. The complaint is about ANY religious exposure at all.

Quote:
You also failed to understand her tongue-in-cheek reference to her battle as a war on christmas. She isn't trying to stop people from celebrating their holidays, she is trying to make her children's lives easier and there is nothing wrong with that, is there?

You are insane. Their children's lives will not be made easier by becoming even more insolar and intolerant of others. The children felt no harm from singing with their classmates. The feelings were generated entirely by their parents. After the actions by their parents they went from getting along with their classmates to wanting to write hate letters and telling their classmates that Santa was dead. The only way they have "made their children's lives easier" is by showing them that intolerance is fine and that keeping to others exactly like yourself is better than experiencing and appreciating different people.

Quote:
You clearly do not understand her position.

I can see her intolerance and hate. I can understand it even if I don't endorse it.

Quote:
You find it amuzing and blow off the principle's actions, and yet, I would have to argue that the principle is the only one in the wrong in this entire tale.

Of course the principal is going to be wrong when written from the perspective of this mother. However the reality is that when you consider the views of ALL parents and ALL children, not just this one parent, the views of the principal make sense. You don't tell people to leave parts of themselves home. Nothing indicates that the school was trying to avoid Jewish culture or religious influences. Claiming that the community did not choose the best or most appropriate influences does not mean they were not open to improving in this area. It is clear the school community desired to be inclusive and open. This mother demanded the be exclusionary. The principal when encountering the parties that DID NOT desire to be excluded wisely choose to remain inclusionary.

Quote:
Your example is utterly and completely about this woman's children, and you don't get that.

Nonsense. Nothing about her actions were prompted by feelings from or actions against the children. All of it was prompted by the fears of the parents. The moved their children from a neighborhood where they were the majority and into a neighborhood where they were a minority.

The mother describes her entire non-Jewish experience as being totally lacking. She describes her own background as "as isolated from the gentile world as you could possibly be."

This woman, who has no experience with the gentile world soon has a five year old begging for Christmas lights. Their children are singing songs with their classmates and have no problem with it. The parents claim they did not have enough English to understand what they were singing about. However the real fear of the parents is that they did know and didn't care. It is the PARENTS who were horrified and sickened.

The children are "helped" by their parents hate and soon desire to send hateful letters to Santa Claus and tell their classmates he is dead. They are helped by being pulled out of their school and being taken to a more insular community where they won't have to ever question or think about people different from themselves.

I do get that this woman who grew up not experiencing gentiles at all thought she might want to see what life was like among non-Jews. She thought it might be good for their children to experience what they did not. Instead they used their own background ignorance to insure the same type of ignorance for their children. I do not consider that a good thing.

Nick

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post #155 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
The point is examples are found all the time. The reality is that you don't care to tune into them and consider them. You would prefer to consider everyone reacting to these to be mass hysteria.

So in other words, there are so many examples of this that we just don't see them? Where is this coordinated attack?

And as an aside: I simply don't understand how Christmas and religion could be so weak as to need all this defending.
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post #156 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
So in other words, there are so many examples of this that we just don't see them?

Your straw man of "well there must be a list if it is happening so much" just won't stand here.

Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
Where is this coordinated attack?

I don't think anyone (in this forum) is suggesting some sort of conspiratorial, coordinated "attack"...merely that incidents of being "offended" appears to be prompting some changes.

Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
And as an aside: I simply don't understand how Christmas and religion could be so weak as to need all this defending.

There isn't any need to defend Christmas at all. And that is not really what the discussion is about. Another straw man on your part. It is simply a discussion of what (if anything) is prompting an (apparent) cultural change that seeks to mute public expressions of the Christmas holiday.

No one (here) has claimed Christians are being persecuted or prevented from their own (private) Christmas expressions/rituals/etc. But there appears to be (from anecdotal evidence) a change over the past, say 20 years, away from more free and open and public Christmas celebrations/expressions to more secular and (so-called) "tolerant" "winter celebrations". This is at the root of what we're discussing. First, is it really happening (from my observations, it is...some here think it is only mine and other's imaginations), and second, why? The truth is there are probably a variety of intermingled reasons. But some refuse to accept that there are at least some (possibly a very vocal minority) that are expressing offense or discomfort and thus prompting this cultural shift.
post #157 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
I don't think anyone (in this forum) is suggesting some sort of conspiratorial, coordinated "attack"...merely that incidents of being "offended" appears to be prompting some changes.



Ah, but the promoters of this "war" obviously are. Namely O'Reilly, Hannity and Gibson. That much cannot be denied.

Quote:
There isn't any need to defend Christmas at all. And that is not really what the discussion is about.

Bullshit. Have you been living under a rock for the last month? This is exactly what we've been talking about. Don't move the goal posts.

A complete analysis of articles and editorials, both signed and unsigned, are quite revealing:

1. 14 out of 17 editorials have called The War on Christmas bogus.

2. 48 out of 62 signed opinion pieces call it bogus as well.

3. 44 out of 45 signed opinion pieces that mention either Bill O'Reilly, John Gibson or Fox News also call it a load of a crap.

That's 106 out of 124 papers calling this manufactured outrage bogus.

That conservative bastion The Wall Street Journal wrote:

Quote:
War is hell, and Christmas as originally conceived was supposed to be about deliverance from that. Those insistent believers, non-believers and pundits who won't rest 'til their side wins the great Christmas war should come clean and admit that their favorite soul this time of year is and always has been Ebenezer Scrooge.



I do admit, Chris, you make Bill O'Reilly proud.
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post #158 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Northgate
I do admit, Chris, you make Bill O'Reilly proud.

post #159 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
You declare Dreidle to be secular on your terms. However imagine if I simply declared it religious in my terms and declared that you should remove it to be "inclusive" to my views. Why can't you just take being Jewish out of a Jewish song. That is what you are asking for when asking to take religion out of a Christmas celebration.

There are songs that are objectively secular. Driedle being one of them. The prayers over the Hanukah Candles not being one of them. White Chistmas being one of them Holy Night not being one of them. This allows us (me?) to establish a reasonable definition of secular and nonsecular -- does it mention god (and in the case of a tritheistic religion like Christianity, the holy spirit, jesus/christ?)? If it does then it is not secular and can be sung at non-school sponsored events and not at school sponsored events if the community truly wants to be inclusive. Inclusivity does not imply that all of every culture needs to be included as that would be impossible, what it does mean is that we should seek to avoid stepping on eachother's cultural toes. No Amidah to avoid stepping on non-jewish toes and no singing the praises of christ to avoid stepping on non-christian toes. Get it? Nothing about the pursuit of secularism in such things is exclusionary as it doesn't bias against one group any greater than another.

Quote:

But the better question is this. If the Jewish community was a minority of one and their request was honored. Why should the request of another minority community (Christian parents) not be honored as well? How tolerant is it to honor some minority views and exclude others?

Hypothetically, what would a Christian parent request?

I suspect that a Christian parent in a Jewish neighborhood would request a secularization of a holiday .... scratch that, look there is nothing like this in American Jewish culture (or I suspect in the Jewish culture of any other place). There are no sing alongs, there are no pagan symbols of Santa Claus or the Nativity scene, it is a much simpler religion overall. So a christian parent in a Jewish community this time of year would be free to send his children carolling all they wanted. My real question is why are we now formalizing the carolling experience? Why are they teaching children of unknown faiths Christian songs, and requesting (if not forcing) them to sing them in front of a group of parents? Why can't the children learn these carolling songs on their own, with their parents? Are we now in need of a school structure to indoctrinate children in the dominant religion?


Quote:

Interesting that "reasonable" means "total" in your view. No one complained about the event being semi or even mostly secular. The complaint is about ANY religious exposure at all.

I finished the logic gate before you did it seems. If you allow any bit of religious experience into these state sponsored events, you have to allow all relgious experiences into the state sponsored events... that is simply impossible. What if a Christian Child refuses to sign the Amidah that his teacher is trying to teach him for the Holiday sing along? You know what, that doesn't even work. No Christian parent would complain about praying to god. Jewish prayers make up a significant fraction of Christian Prayers, but the converse isn't true. Jews are set up in this system to be the offended party. If I asked your children to pray to god in hebrew, I suspect, as a Christian parent you would have very little problem with that. However, if you asked a Jewish parent's children to pray to Jesus, they would become enraged. The two religioun aren't equal. One is a derivative of the other. Now, this discussion would be more enlightening if I were muslim, but I am not.


Quote:

You are insane. Their children's lives will not be made easier by becoming even more insolar and intolerant of others. The children felt no harm from singing with their classmates. The feelings were generated entirely by their parents. After the actions by their parents they went from getting along with their classmates to wanting to write hate letters and telling their classmates that Santa was dead. The only way they have "made their children's lives easier" is by showing them that intolerance is fine and that keeping to others exactly like yourself is better than experiencing and appreciating different people.

Here you lambast the fundamental idea that the Christian Right has recently used to get its perspective into public schools... the parent's can't have schools not indoctrinating their children (or more broadly, indoctrinating into a perspective that isn't their own). You see, you can't have it both ways. You can't simulatenously care about the parent's perspective in a child's education and not care about a parent's perspective in a child's education. And I must say, as the son of two educators, your failure to understand the interplay of child/parent futher shocks me into questioning your ability as a teacher. Of course the parent's are going to care about what there children are learning. If a teacher told my children that Santa Claus was coming at the end of December I would be infuriated, because 1) its a lie, and 2) ITS A LIE THAT IS SPECIFIC TO ONE RELIGION. Is it shocking to you that this parent wanted her children to not have to say christian prayers?

I have to say I am surprised by your blaise attitude about this whole thing. I have attended mass several times in my life, and not once was I forced to knell, bow my head, or even state prayers. Yeah, it made me uncomfortable but I was allowed the choice to not say the prayers. These children were not given that option... these children were taught the equivalent of prayers in a school setting, and were made to feel like their culture's dreidle... was equivalent to Holy Night -- which is bad in both directions.

Oh, about that whole santa claus thing. Christian children who know the truth about santa claus also have a schadenfreude when it comes to younger children/their own siblings... its perverse, yes, but it isn't limited to the Jewish set.

Quote:

I can see her intolerance and hate. I can understand it even if I don't endorse it.



She simply doesn't want her children to praise Jesus. If that is intolerance and hate, then you should drive off a cliff.


Quote:

Of course the principal is going to be wrong when written from the perspective of this mother. However the reality is that when you consider the views of ALL parents and ALL children, not just this one parent, the views of the principal make sense. You don't tell people to leave parts of themselves home. Nothing indicates that the school was trying to avoid Jewish culture or religious influences. Claiming that the community did not choose the best or most appropriate influences does not mean they were not open to improving in this area. It is clear the school community desired to be inclusive and open. This mother demanded the be exclusionary. The principal when encountering the parties that DID NOT desire to be excluded wisely choose to remain inclusionary.

Really, what did the principle do to include traditional Jewish songs like the Prayer over hanukah candles?

Need I say more?

Quote:

Nonsense. Nothing about her actions were prompted by feelings from or actions against the children. All of it was prompted by the fears of the parents. The moved their children from a neighborhood where they were the majority and into a neighborhood where they were a minority.

You missed the salient point that that neighborhood where Jews were a majority was Israel and I have to say that the dominant Jewish Culture there behaves very similarly to the dominant Christian culture here, in that they are "open as long as we don't have to change".

Quote:

This woman, who has no experience with the gentile world soon has a five year old begging for Christmas lights. Their children are singing songs with their classmates and have no problem with it. The parents claim they did not have enough English to understand what they were singing about. However the real fear of the parents is that they did know and didn't care. It is the PARENTS who were horrified and sickened.

Again with the inability to know that the parent's discomfort translates into their children's discomfort. If my children begged for a giant cross of jesus I would refuse... it seems you consider the children's request for christmas lights endearing. Looking at it from the other side, once those children are told that christmas lights/tree are not part of their religious life, those lights burn into their souls every winter. I can't look at a christmas lights set up and not think waste of electricity. The children were getting along fine with the implicit assumption that everything they learned in school was correct... that chirstmas lights should be had by all...

Nick, what of the little boy who told the Jewish child that Christmas is a better holiday than Hanukah, where do you think he got an idea like that from?
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post #160 of 206
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
I don't think anyone (in this forum) is suggesting some sort of conspiratorial, coordinated "attack"...merely that incidents of being "offended" appears to be prompting some changes.

So what you and Nick are saying is that it's not so much that there's a War on Christmas as it is that there are a few nutjobs here and there. So what do you want? A War on Reasoning from the Exception? What's that fallacy called? Hasty...um? Hasty...ummmm?

Hasty Generalization.
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