Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Because, That's Why

not to be controversial or nothin', but i wanted to say something about the fact that i'm wholly engaged in holiday insanity despite the fact that i'm not christian.

i mean, obviously i love the holiday season. i love american christmas traditions and the way my family has interpreted them over the years. i love carols, lights, trees, treats, snow, and mostly spending time with loved ones and giving them gifts. love it, love it, love it.

and because the issue has been raised before, i feel i should say, no. i don't really feel hypocritcal in celebrating christmas in the "traditional american" way, because our typical american traditions have so very little to do with the bible or the actual birth of jesus (save for some key song lyrics, i know) and way more to do with reinterpreted pagan rituals and celebrations of the winter solstice and cool stuff like that.

i am ALL FOR a season of light and hope and harmony and "miracles" and lifetime-movie-inspired moments of love.

i just recognize that some of the season is christian-inspired and some of it isn't and i think it would be awesome if we could just really embrace that this is a super time of year to celebrate whatever and however we choose. and doing so isn't an attack on christianity, it's an acceptance of christianity and everything else.

anyway -- i was just sent this link which says sort of the same thing, except in a MUCH ruder, cruder way (and i daresay funny way as well).

it doesn’t really espouse light or hope or cheer (so maybe i am being hypocritical after all), but it actually made me feel better about some of the recent fox-news-like frothings that, in my opinion, do more harm than good to christian causes.

but if you find this URL offensive – and i’m sure many of you will, though that isn't my point at all – probably you'll want to skip it.

*returns to caroling*

54 comments:

  1. I would like to be the first to day, "Not offended! Laughed my *%#$%$%#$ @ss off!"

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  2. Um...first to say, that is....

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  3. Purely brilliant, and K, if you don't mind me asking, what are you? Pagan? Because if you are, then you have ten times the right to celebrate Christmas that Christians do.

    But I can see that you already know that. :)

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  4. Thank you. Thank you SO MUCH for that. It's terrifying when the news and the government are the crazy people using insane troll logic and bloggers are the only source of common sense. But at least we have the smart, savvy, funny bloggers!

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  5. since you brought it up, so what are ya? Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Canadian ;)

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  6. oh, i am completely non-denominational. i suppose if anything i was raised with a christian bent, but my family didn't attend church.

    frankly, i don't consider myself spiritual, either.

    i could probably dig on some paganism, though.

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  7. I gotta call you out on this, if I may. If your parents are/were Christian (in any of its forms) that uh, actually makes you one too. Same for Judiasm, etc.

    So, K, you can call or consider yourself any damn thing you like - but going the 'oh-so-hip' route of saying you are 'nothing' and not actually a Christian is a bit disingenuous.

    you

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  8. kirin,

    i don't think that's a hard and fast rule. i am not, actually, a christian. i was not raised in a household where we believed that christ was our lord savior.

    my father is an athiest. my mom grew up occassionally attending church with her neighbors.

    we celebrated christmas and easter, with no mention of prayer or religion.

    i thought to say that i was christian would be far more disingenuous.

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  9. As someone who attended a decidedly Christian college, here are some questions...do you not believe in any sort of God at all? If not, that would make you an atheist. Do you maybe believe that something is out there and it might be God but you haven't decided? That might make you more agnostic. I don't think non-denominational fits you, however. That would suggest that you are, in fact, a Christian, but you don't belong to any one denomination.

    And to the person who said that you would be a Christian just because your parents were, um, hello? I am pretty sure that once we hit adulthood we are well into the thinking-for-ourselves section of things, which means we have made up our minds on our own. So I am Catholic, but that's because, after much reflection and consideration, that's what I decided I wanted to stick with. However, I could have just as easily decided to convert to some other Christian denomination, or I could have become Jewish, or I could have denounced religion totally. And it would have had nothing to do with what my parents are.

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  10. a-ha!

    i didn't know that about the term "denomination" -- i didn't realize it was strictly christian.

    if pressed, i would probably lean to the agnostic side of things. i mean, life force started somewhere. but that's about all i'm willing to commit to. :)

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  11. What you wrote was thoughtful and reasonable, but it would take a Christmas miracle for the content of that URL to not be offensive to many people (you didn't really think your readers would skip it after that caveat, did you?!). I'm all for live and let live; I just don't get how providing that link is conducive to "a season of light and hope and harmony".

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  12. k said "i was not raised in a household where we believed that christ was our lord savior."

    - that just means you were not raised in that particular flavor of born-again Christianity..lots of Episcopalians, Methodists, etc. do not beleive that either.

    You can call yourself anything you like, but you are would be classified under the broad umbrella of being raised Christian. Hey, Jewish families don't celebrate Easter at all - get it? And even if you only ate a chocolate bunny and called it a day - you are broadly defined as a...Christian in this country.

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  13. I wanted to add that you can be wholly engaged in the season and not be Christian (even tho' you are ;) - nothing wrong with that. no need to defend it.

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  14. Just because you were raised in a religious household does NOT mean that you subscribe to it's beliefs. I was raised in a Catholic house. Does it mean I believe the Pope is infalliable? Uh, no. He's a man who can make mistakes. Just like the rest of us.

    I found the link hilarious, and it's content refreshing. It's nice to know that the boundaries of the "PC, let's try to keep EVERYBODY happy, love through assimilation" movement are being challenged by others too.

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  15. anon,

    you're right. i added a couple edits to reflect that the link is NOT really cheery at all. and you're right, it doesn't exactly promote 'harmony.'

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  16. i don't find the link offensive, just sad. what a loser.

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  17. I'm ALL about people givin me stuff...yup I am!
    And embarassing office parties.

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  18. Well, I'm way too tired to jump in here, but I just had to say that the rant on Fox news made me laugh out loud--hard. Thanks, as always, K. Sometimes I think the crazies are in control and then I read something like this URL and realize once more that the crazies may be loud, but we're crazier than them. We will survive. Ho! Ho! Ho! And a merry holiday season and/or Christmas to one and all!

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  19. well, the link is what it is, we're all grown ups aren't we? you don't need to mollycoddle your anonymous posters k. why do they keep coming here if they can't accept you as you are. geez. that bugs me.
    happy holidays and keep on caroling! :-)

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  20. i have to say, i didn't think the link was sad or really that offensive. i mean, sure, some of the language was borderline over-the-top, but every point was valid and legitimate in my book. but then again, i'd probably be considered a terrorist because i *gasp* support the ACLU.

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  21. I got a $20 gift certificate for reporting you to Bill O'Reilly! I'm going to use it to buy you a Christmas present. Take THAT double whammy, you liberal, you!!!

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  22. Ummm....Kirin, did you actually say that you are what ever your parents are? I hope I misunderstood you. I also hope your parents aren't KKK or Nazi's. Shouldn't religion really be about spirituality that you feel rather than some sort of organized group who dictates what you should or shouldn't believe in? Shouldn't it come from your heart and what you really feel and believe rather than being passed down through family affiliation? How authentic is it if you're just following some creed rather than what you personally feel? What if one of your parents is Jewish and the other is Buddhist and you went to Catholic school? Organized religion is a way to control people who can't think for themselves and really have no spirituality of their own. They need someone to tell them what they should believe in. I have a personal connection with my higher power. I don't need some hierarchy of priests, bishops, cardinals and popes to have to go through to speak to my higher power. I have DSL with my higher power. If you really are spiritual, you don't need to jump through all those hoops to reach your "god". I guess though, if you are incapable of having thoughts of your own and not having the ability to figure out what's right and what's wrong, maybe you do need the guidance of someone else controlling your thoughts. Scary!!

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  23. Maybe we should take a vote...how many people think that Kristy should call herself a Christian just because back in her youth she celebrated Easter with her family and her mom went to church with friends once in a while?

    Also, even those Christian religions that don't believe in accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior do believe that he was the Son of God and died for their sins...along with all the other stuff that the Bible says. So I would say that if one doesn't believe in that "Christ"ian World View, whether evangelical or otherwise, he or she would not be a Christian. It doesn't much matter what was done in the past...it's what a person believes now that says whether they are Christian or not.

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  24. I do have to say that I find this quote, from a certain Anonymous person, a little offensive...

    "Organized religion is a way to control people who can't think for themselves and really have no spirituality of their own. "

    I would say that your generalization against organized religion might be even worse than Kirin's generalization about what constitutes a Christian. Last I checked, my brain was still working and thinking for itself, and I was a pretty spiritual person. If my chosen way of expressing such spirituality is through organized religion, while your's is not, that is certainly okay. But while I will not bash you for not subscribing to organized religion, please don't bash me if I choose to.

    Hmmm...maybe I should be doing this in my own blog...

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  25. I loved the link Kristy. Im not religious, but I can still love the holidays. They are so over commercialized anyway that im surprised that any religion is left at all. BUY! BUY! BUY!

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  26. All I really need to know about Christmas, I learned from Charlie Brown (well, technically Linus)

    "And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and goodwill toward men. And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

    Take the religion out of it, and it's an amazing sentiment.

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  27. Kristy--
    Thanks for putting into words what I have always thought about myself. I was raised in an Athiest family, but we still celebrate Christmas, complete with Santa, a tree, stockings and presents. Just minus the "Christ" part of Christmas.

    I completely agree you can celebrate the holidays (Christmas, Easter) without subscribing to Christian doctrine. Because, as you pointed out, these were originally pagan celebrations.

    And because it's your blog, by the way, you can link to whatever you like. And you don't have to apologize for it!

    Carol on, woman!

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  28. Do I think Kristy should call herself a Christian? Absolutely not.

    Do I think Kristy should call herself a Christian based on the results of a poll on a blog? Definitely not.

    I, personally, don’t even see the point of debating whether or not Kristy is a Christian. She has already told us what her take is on the whole thing and that should be enough. Religion, Spirituality, and Faith are such deeply, deeply personal things. None of us should be encouraged (or chastised) wearing a label that we know in our heart doesn’t suit us.

    And as for whether or not organized religion is a means to control people… Uhm, yes, yes it is. And not just because I say it is, though this would be incredibly convenient because I am very tired this morning and my computer has already crashed once while writing this.

    If you look at the progression of civilization, you will see that there is a synchronized shift in both the predominate religious view and the form of ruling power. As humans evolved from animism to polytheism to monotheism there was also shift from ruling tribal counsels to ruling kings. This is not merely a coincidence. And while there is a raging debate about which influenced which (anthropologists love turning anything they can back into the “chicken and the egg”), there is not much debate about how this concurrent shift was used.

    Harnessing blind faith has been one of the most beneficial, and influential, political strategies of all time.
    Early on, when territories grew to massive proportions, priests and the “Word Of God” were incredibly effective at maintaining allegiance to a King who was, much like God, completely invisible. Today, we basically have 24 hour access to the decrees and events within our government, and religious faith is used instead to manipulate the political process and public opinion.

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  29. i could probably dig on some paganism, though.

    I can think of a pagan who'd be willing to let you. ;)

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  30. Since when do you have to be a Christian to participate in the insanity of the holidays?

    I didn't realize it was a requirement. I think most people have forgotten what Christmas is about anyway....it's a birthday celebration!

    So, embrace that it is a super time of year for some, and a not so super time of year for others.

    Eat, drink, shop, sing....be merry whether you call yourself a "christian" or not!

    Merry Christmas!

    Laurie

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  31. Just wanted to point out that the whole poll thing was a joke. It seems like maybe some people didn't sense that I was being sarcastic there.

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  32. I really enjoyed that link, thanks K! I certainly agree with the sentiment that one does not need to subscribe to a particular faith or religion just because one grew up in a household that promoted it. I was forced all the way through to Catholic confirmation at the age of 17 (by a father with the best, although misguided, intentions) but I would never call myself a Catholic. I went to 9 long years of Catholic school, did lots of searching and thinking, exposed myself to many viewpoints and explanations, and decided that organized religion was something I wanted nothing to do with. In my opinion, it is on the whole more based in speculation and “blind faith” than not, and has great power to be divisive and destructive to societies. The idea that you just carry on with whatever you were born to is out dated and out of place in modern American society. I enjoy some carols, hot spiced cider, presents, parties, gathering with family and friends, and some well deserved time off this time of year. And I certainly don’t feel the need to label myself as anything in particular to do that.

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  33. heeheehee... excellent link :-)

    my two cents - dude, because my family "celebrates" xmas (ie, we get presents) and "celebrates" easter (ie, we get chocolate) CERTAINLY doesn't make me christian. look at the root of the word... "christ." i feel pretty confident that since i don't believe in christ as our savior, that pretty automatically makes me not christian.

    just someone who likes presents and chocolate :-D

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  34. i'm stealing this link for my blog!

    enjoy the holidays, friend! :-)

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  35. oh...i'm seareach from blogster, btw

    ;-)

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  36. The weird thing is that since I am Jewish by blood, I consider myself Jewish even though I am an atheist! I think that's because being Jewish by blood is what got my grandparents siblings killed in the holocaust. It didn't matter whether they were religious or not.

    But I've never thought that way about Christians, that they just ARE Christian even if they don't believe in the religion.

    Interesting... something to think about.

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  37. serrephim wrote:

    "All I really need to know about Christmas, I learned from Charlie Brown (well, technically Linus)

    "And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and goodwill toward men. And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

    Take the religion out of it, and it's an amazing sentiment."

    crimineycrikey, i really cannot believe this. you actually said this? posted this online for all to read? uhm, hellooooo??? what's the whole point of the charlie brown christmas special? CRASS COMMERCIALISM!!! yeah, that's right, it's about people like k thinking it's all about presents, buying and giving, and fancy wrapping paper, and office christmas parties, etc....

    and then you oh-so-selectively choose just a wee bit of dialogue out of the entire christmas special to support your idea but in the process, you shoot yourself in the foot, s.

    Charlie Brown Christmas Special is all about the dude going off and finding the TRUE meaning of Christmas....in direct response to the hyped-up, glossed-up, smacked-up commercialism perpetuated by people who say mememememe or minemineminemine or thatonethatonethatone or allofitiwantallofit.

    *tsk*tsk*tsk*

    and i had such high hopes for you, s.

    uhm, yeah. what they said.

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  38. kristi?
    the christmas message is, in itself, simple: it's the story about the miracle of the birth of Jesus.
    you either get it or you don't. no one can force you to believe it, no one can make you believe it, no one can statistically and scientifically prove it, but that's pretty much it -- the birth of Jesus and the message of love and forgiveness that he brought with him.

    happy christmas, kristi, and god bless you.

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  39. Dear Anonymous 9:08pm,

    Kristy's name is spelled with a "y", not an "i".

    Thank you.

    Another Anonymous

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  40. Wow, anon.

    Lighten up, will you? Please? You are taking me, and yourself, far too seriously.

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  41. Ah yes...the miracle birth of Christ. Boy, Joseph and Mary really pulled the wool over everyone's eyes with that one didn't they? And it's lasted for over 2000 years. Can you imagine today a pregnant young woman saying to her parents/neighbors/co-workers "no but really, I'm still a virgin. We've never had sex...it's a miracle!"

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  42. Wow. OK, as a Christian I want to say that I wasn't offended by this post or the link.

    Second, Christianity is a choice people. You are not born into Christianity, that's the whole point of it. That God has given human kind a choice. A choice to accept Jesus as their lord and savior or not. It's that simple. You can be raised in a Christian home and not be a Christian. You can attend church every Sunday, Wednesday and special service days of your life and not be a Christian. You can technically be a preacher and not be a Christian. Nobody knows who is truly a Christian because it is in their heart. Some people put on a great show and those people often are called hypocrites.

    True Christians know that Christmas as day/date is arbitrary as we celebrate the life and death of Jesus in our daily lives. If not, then we couldn't really be Christians could we?

    Whatever religion/non-religion any of you happen to be, I hope that you all are able to enjoy the holiday season with your family and are able to experience the warmness of being loved and giving love. Because that is really what it is all about, and what your entire year should be about.

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  43. That link was absolutely cathartic! Thank you.

    I'm an atheist who bakes cookies for the whole month of December. I also put up the lovely Italian Nativity scene I receive as a gift years ago when I was a Catholic. I don't believe in God, but I believe in ritual.

    "I contain multitudes."

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  44. You certainly don't need to believe, Shull o' fit, so I wonder why you had the need to mock the story of the birth of Christ. Yeah, yeah, free speech and all, but, really, what's the point of deliberately dissing someone's faith? Prejudice comes in all shapes and sizes, none of which is particularly attractive.

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  45. Anon 5:23. Who said I was mocking or dissing? Where does prejudice come into play here? You don't even know how I was raised, or what I believe, or anything about my spirituality. I merely stated that if today, a young woman, pregnant, said "I'm a virgin, we haven't had sex, it's a miracle." You mean to tell me that you wouldn't question that and would just blindly say, yes, it is a miracle and so this must be the son of God...and that's what happened. Did I say I'm not Christian? I posed a question with what I thought had a little humor behind it. I'll tell you what I didn't do. I didn't hide behind "anonymous". If you feel so strongly about your religion/spirituality/beliefs, why are you calling me out anonymously? You could even at least make up a nom de plum.

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  46. Oh, and one more thing Anon, as long as you are accusing me... Prejudice: An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts. Ummm, school me, because obviously I didn't learn enough in my religious studies classes in college or life experiences and world travels in the 25 years since. Teach me the knowledge and examination of the facts that you know about the birth of Christ. Please, do share your insights because you may be the key to solve the world's problems right now...and thus saving many lives.

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  47. Goddess of Unconditional Love12:27 PM, December 17, 2005

    Yo Shull, don't sweat it dude. it's Anon who is prejudice since he or she or it is the one guilty of the name calling and "making of adverse statement" on what was a kind of Seinfeld-ish sardonic statement. Yeah but that's how those vocal "hypocritical" type Christians are anyway isn't it? Name calling, killing, torturing, enslaving, judging, all for the death penalty (and talk about prejudice), bombing and killing people at planned parenthoods to stop the killing, killing innocent people in other countries cause they don't believe in the "christian" messege. yup...Shull, your "mocking and dissing" is SO much more of a sin. I'll pray for your soul dude.

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  48. Sorry, Shull, I obviously hit a nerve and maybe "prejudice" wasn't the appropriate word for me to use (although one of the definitions that you chose not to post is: "Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion", which might be more apt regarding your original post).

    The word I should have used is sarcasm ("1. A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound. 2. A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule"). Religious faith is the belief in things that you can't actually see, hear, touch, feel -- you know the drill. You either believe or you don't - and that's okay. However, I think it's not okay to make sarcastic remarks about *anyone's* religious beliefs. I just see no way that that helps make the world a better place.

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  49. Anonymous, I see you are spending your time doing your part making the world a better place. You seem be spending a lot of time reading things into my dear friend Shull's post. I'm a Christian and I think her post was funny and took it in the manner it was intended. Now, you're telling her that she has an "irrational hatred of a particular group, race, or religion". All this based on her comment! If you only knew how so wrong you are about her but I know she doesn't give a shit who you think she is. She laughed when I told her about your latest post and said your time would be better spent praying for her. I'm off now to pick Shull up to go to a joyous holiday party where her "sarcasm", humor, caring nature and charm are very appreciated. You enjoy your evening trying to come up with more insults to throw at her, I guess that's your idea of being a good Christian.

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  50. Alexis, neither you nor Shull have any idea if I even espouse any religion. My thoughts apply to sarcasm used in reference to any and all religions. You're entitled to think the sarcasm is funny. I'm entitled to think it's cruel and believe that remaining silent would be the same as condoning it.

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  51. Thanks for the link... I loved it and it totally put me in the holiday spirit. I think it's high time we got a little more pissed off about a bunch of people thinking they own the right to celebrate love, life, charity, humanity and spirituality during the month of December just because a few white guys wanted to rule the world, and chose to re-label all that came before them as Christian. So whatever your religion, or denomination, or lack thereof, hold your head high and get out there and celebrate the season however you please. It doesn't belong to anyone. And that tree in my living room? I call it Henry.

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  52. amen, anon! from one to another, amen!

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  53. reindeer who ran over grandma1:26 PM, December 19, 2005

    a tree named henry? funny but..lookout. watch out for the backlash from anon! It's "christ"mas tree. now you'll be attacked like the other before you here for your mockery, suspicion and hatred of another's religion! (my tree's name is ivy and hangs off my desk with colored post it's and plastic paper clips)

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  54. Just here to watch11:23 AM, December 22, 2005

    anonimous 9:23 said "I'm entitled to think it's cruel and believe that remaining silent would be the same as condoning it"

    hmmm, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black. there seems to be a bit of hypocricy there in that maybe the poster you are speaking of feels the same way about the birth of christ. to some, that story/religion is cruel and remaining silent would be the same as condoning it.

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